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Mayes "magnificent" in Atlanta Opera 'Bluebeard's Castle"

"Michael Mayes, as Duke Bluebeard, expressed unconditional love and realness throughout his entire performance. His lush tone variety and flawless register shifts were magnificent. Mayes brought a lightness to Bluebeard as he cared for his sick wife but did not shy away from the bitter truth of being a caregiver. He let loose and expressed the frustration of his sorrowful monotony." Operawire

"From a musical standpoint, Mayes and Bullock both deserve top honors. While Bluebeard’s Castle lacks the wide ranging vocal virtuosity of more bombastic works, it is nevertheless an endurance match for the two leads who deliver the entirety of the sung material without rest for over an hour. The result was a performance that leaned heavily on measured restraint and an almost conversational vocal delivery that opened up to embrace larger dynamics only at the most critical of moments. That attention to subtlety also served to emphasize the newly emergent sentimental side of this unique production. . . At a brief talkback session after the performance, Mayes (joined by Bullock, Evans and Higgins) discussed his vision for “opera with a conscience,” the practice of making opera relevant to contemporary societal concerns. In tying Bluebeard’s Castle into the increasingly pressing matter of dementia, Mayes and company undoubtedly succeeded on that front."


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