Baritone Michael Mayes enjoys a busy operatic career in both traditional and contemporary operatic roles with theaters throughout the United States and Europe. He is well known for his critically acclaimed portrayal of Joseph De Rocher in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking with multiple US theaters including Washington National Opera and made his debut in that same role in 2018 with Teatro Real and the Barbican. Mayes’s triumphant debut as de Rocher in Spain and the United Kingdom quickly launched him into leading roles in several additional international opera companies, including the title role in Nixon in China, Thoas in Iphigénie en Tauride with Staatsoper Stuttgart, Sweeney Todd with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, an acclaimed debut as Bluebeard in an innovative production by Theater of Sound (UK). As a Company Player at The Atlanta Opera during the 2020-2022 seasons, Mayes performed The Emperor Overall in Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Escamillo in The Threepenny Carmen, and Older Thompson in the digital production of Glory Denied. Mayes recently moved into more dramatic repertoire, adding Il Conte di Luna in Il trovatore with Seattle Opera, Central City Opera, and The Glimmerglass Festival, the title role in Wozzeck with Des Moines Metro Opera, and Rigoletto with Houston Grand Opera, and Boston Lyric Opera. The dual leading roles of Alfio and Tonio in Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci have become a hallmark in Michael’s repertoire, with performances including Madison Opera and Seattle Opera in the double bill, and Boston Lyric Opera for Pagliacci. A remarkably versatile artist, Mayes continues to build an impressive resume featuring performances in twenty-first century operas as well as standard classics. Recent high points include Doug in Everest with Lyric Opera of Kansas City and The Dallas Opera, Starbuck in Moby Dick and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Pittsburgh Opera, Sweeney Todd with The Atlanta Opera, Older Thompson with Des Moines Metro Opera, and a reprise of his role in Dead Man Walking with The Atlanta Opera.