Thursday, February 2, 2012

Michael Mayes Hits The Gym for "Dead Man Walking"

Michael Mayes: Buffing up for art
We gave a plug to Texas barihunk Michael Mayes yesterday for his entertaining Texapolitan Opera Roadshow podcast. We never miss an episode and neither should anyone who believes that opera should be fun and entertaining. The show introduces opera fans to some of the most interesting people in the business. We fell in love with tenor Chad Johnson, who had has laughing so hard that we wore out the PAUSE button catching our breath. [Barihunk Michael Rice tells a story on his episode where Johnson says he has the body of a lesbian].

Mayes has been busy this past year singing Valentin in Faust with Opera Birmingham, Marcello in La bohème with the Eugene Opera and the Des Moines Metro Opera, Silvio in Pagliacci with Kentucky Opera, the title role in Don Giovanni with Shreveport Opera, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Michigan Opera Theater.  But this season, he turns to a few edgier roles as he takes on Joseph De Rocher in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking with the Tulsa Opera and Kinesias in Mark Adamo's Lysistrata with the Fort Worth Opera.

Three barihunk De Rochers: Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Jordan Shanahan & Daniel Okulitch

He opens in Dead Man Walking on February 25th and Tulsa Opera has put together a series of events to coincide with the performances, including exhibits, screenings of the movie and a lecture by Sister Helen Prejean who wrote the original book. Check out the Tulsa Opera website for details.

Michael Mayes as seen in the 2012 Barihunks calendar
We love Mayes' commitment to the role by hitting the weights at the gym and looking like the ultimate Joseph De Rocher. We've seen him perform and have no doubt that Mayes will be considered one of the great proponents of this role. He has an amazing way of embodying any role he takes on from the goofy Papageno to the swaggering Escamillo.

Lysistrata will be performed at the Ft. Worth Opera Festival on May 26th and June 3rd. The Festival will feature another Jake Heggie opera, "Three Decembers," as well as Puccini's "Tosca" and Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro." Visit the Ft. Worth Opera website for additional information.


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