BWW Preview: DEAD MAN WALKING at Lyric Opera

BWW Preview: DEAD MAN WALKING at Lyric Opera

BWW Preview: DEAD MAN WALKING at Lyric Opera

Now in performance at the Kauffman Center is Lyric Opera's production of "Dead Man Walking" by Jake Heggie and Terrance McNally. "Dead Man Walking" is based on a book and a 1995 film of the same name.

Sister Helen Prejean, a sister of Saint Joseph of Medaille , has agreed to be spiritual advisor adviser to a condemned prisoner named Joseph De Rocher on Death Row at Angola Prison in Louisiana. The 2000 opera in English was first performed by the San Francisco Opera to excellent reviews. Since its premier at the turn of the 21st Century, "Dead Man Walking" has been produced an unusual 54 times.

Sister Helen eventually forms a relationship with De Rocher and sees enough good in him to work for the commutation of his death sentence in the murder of a teenage couple. This is a moving examination into victim's pain, the possibility of redemption, and man's ultimately man's inhumanity to man. Sister Helen finally fails in her crusade to save De Rocher and the death sentence is carried out.<


The well regarded 1995 film from Sister Helen Prejan's book. It starred Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon. Sarandon was awarded the Screen Actor's Guild award for her performance.

De Rocher is sung by Baritone David Adam Moore. Sister Helen is sung by Soprano Kate Aldrich. Both performers are veterans of the Metropolitan Opera and leading opera companies across the world.

"Dead Man Walking" continues at the Kauffman Center March 8 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. and closes following a March 12 matinee. Tickets are available at kcopera.org and by telephone at 816-471-7344.

Photo courtesy of Lyric Opera of Kansas City

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Alan Portner Al Portner is a retired career journalist and media executive. He has written for publication over more than 40 years. He has published daily newspapers in venues as far east as Washington DC, as far west as Honolulu HI, and a number of communities in between. His new book on the literary partnership of Ulysses Grant and Mark Twain will be available in 2016.