Mayes "impeccable" and a "standout" in Teatro Real Madrid's "Dead Man W
“Michael Mayes debuted at Teatro Real with a moving performance and earned the biggest applause of the night.” –europapress
"Joyce DiDonato and Michael Mayes take the cake, with tireless work showcasing vocal excellence and impeccable characterizations.” –ABC cultura
“The vocal standouts were the well-known Joyce DiDonato, who sings practically all the time, and especially Michael Mayes, a sensational prisoner.” –Beckmesser
"Barihunk Michael Mayes was strong as an initially unrepentant, but in the end devoted Joseph de Rocher." –Klassiker Welt
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“Michael Mayes seems to have been born to the character of the inmate. It has a powerful and threatening physical presence and a solid but flexible baritone voice. Like the rest of the work, his interpretation grew in depth and intensity throughout the performance, from the initial coldness and irony to the rage and despair of his monologues before the inevitable. His final words, that ‘I love you,’ force us to understand the character without falling into the temptation to judge him.
Most operas end with a death on stage, with a climax that is part of the structure of the genre and that has become a chiché. In Dead Man Walking this happens in a very different way. Death appears naked, lonely and clothed with impotence. The endless final silence, the thunderous beats condemned to stop and the spiritual chant of the nun provide a lethal injection of truth as rarely happens on an opera.” -Platea Magazine
“Michael Mayes defied other interpretations of the role and conveyed a ruder, harsher De Rocher, always led by his instincts. His sturdy baritone paid off in the most violent phrases but he was also able to portray all the nuances of the character, from the bravado and sensuality of his first encounter with Helen to the candid acceptance of his fears in Act 2.” -Bachtrack
"Michael Mayes's strong and toned figure, either naturally or dramatically inspired by his violent movements, fulfilled all the visual attributes of a rapist. He commanded his performance with a colorful, captivating, full and free voice, and his characterization was masterful." -OperaPlus