As the killer Joseph DeRocher, baritone Michael Mayes has become what the composer himself calls the “definitive” interpreter of this role. His imposing physicality and menacing demeanor were frightening. And he sang the role impeccably. Two scenes highlighted his vocal and dramatic gifts: a beautifully rendered memory of being by a river with a woman on a hot Louisiana night, and his stunning solo scene in his cell, pacing with the anger and fear of a caged animal.
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