In Review: Angus and Mayes in BLO "Pagliacci"
"Baritone Michael Mayes made a conniving Tonio, the circus performer who longs to possess Nedda for himself. With a rich tone that easily cut through the orchestral accompaniment, Mayes conveyed the character’s fall into jealousy and vengeance. As Taddeo in the Intermezzo, Mayes found a sudden humor, stuttering his lines on purpose to aptly wry effect. . . Leoncavallo sets his story with sweeping melodies and lustrous orchestration, and conductor David Angus, leading with swift, waving gestures, allowed the music to breathe naturally in all the right places. The string lines that supported the arias and duets flowed gracefully. Trumpets provided sturdy fanfares to open the Intermezzo, and the overture and introduction to the opera’s second half coursed with vitality" -Aaron Keebaugh, Boston Classical Review, September 28th, 2019
"… aided by David Angus’s well-paced conducting …"
-Wall Street Journal
"Michael Mayes’ oaky baritone dominated the action, taking the audience into his confidence, but successfully hinting at the undercurrent of rage which motivates and eventually swamps his character."
"Mayes sang with great character and feeling, conveying meaning and affect with rich and even hues."
-Boston Musical Intelligencer
"Michael Mayes was a tour de force, deftly balancing between the ridiculous and the menacing aspects of his character. This came to the fore particularly in the play within a play, where he plays up Taddeo’s foolishness, but then stabs a chicken rather violently with the eventual murder weapon as if to signal to the real audience that Canio was not the only one breaking character that night. This play in contrast never let up for a second after Tonio tried to force himself on Nedda earlier, and the result was electric."