Press Roundup- Michael Mayes in "Dead Man Walking" at the Barbican in London with the BBC Symphony

03.01.2018

 

 

‘In last night’s performance of Dead Man Walking at the Barbican, Michael Mayes was nothing short of sensational. Physically, he looked the part – a big man, the precise image of the casual murderer of your nightmares. The voice matches the size of the man, with giant reserves of power in a baritone of exceptional versatility: Mayes can be gruff, he can be velvet smooth, he can hold a note perfectly in tune when breaking into falsetto. And he produced one of the most credible acting performances you will ever see in opera. You don’t sympathise with Joe – he is far too vile a character for that – but you enter completely into his head. It takes a lot to upstage Joyce DiDonato in full flood, and Mayes did just that.’

 

Bachtrack, February 2018

 

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‘We got no less [than an exhilarating performance] from Michael Mayes’ Joseph de Rocher, whose craggy physicality and cringing bravura has all the sharp nooks and rough dramatic fissures of his namesake. Mayes’ baritone, by contrast, is molasses-smooth, and thickly poured through his Act Two aria.’

 

Arts Desk, February 2018 [Five Stars]

 

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‘Michael Mayes made a fearsome De Rocher.’

 

Finanical Times, February 2018 [Five Stars]

 

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‘….baritone Michael Mayes was a revelation.’

 

The Times, February 2018 [Five Stars]

 

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‘Michael Mayes performs widely in contemporary operas, including in three more by Heggie. He is the acclaimed interpreter of the role of De Rocher in several of the productions staged to-date. He was frighteningly convincing in the part: physically and vocally powerful; unsympathetic in his denial of closure, almost until the end, to the victims’ parents; eventually, revealing his terror of the end and his desire for forgiveness.’

 

Seen and Heard, February 2018

 

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‘Baritone Michael Mayes, as the condemned man, gave a searing performance as he was persuaded by his new spiritual adviser to shed thick layers of defiance and denial.’

 

The Independent, February 2018 [Five Stars]

 

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‘Joyce DiDonato and Michael Mayes gave performances of such stunning strength and complete identification in the central two roles.’

 

Planet Hugill, February 2018 [Five Stars]

 

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‘But the strongest impact is made by the forceful baritone and hulking figure of Michael Mayes as the condemned man and Maria Zifchak as the pathetically dignified figure of his helpless hopeless mother. Even this sceptical critic was moved by the awkward poignancy of their farewell meeting.’

 

The Telegraph, February 2018

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