(Daniel Okulitch as Joseph De Rocher in Dead Man Walking. Photo: Trudie Lee courtesy Calgary Opera)
Fort Worth opera, that little gem in north-west Texas, will this month launch their 2009 Opera Festival. Sandwiched between crowd-pleasers Carmen and Cenerentola comes Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking, featuring Daniel Okulitch as death row inmate, Joseph De Rocher. As if there wasn't reason enough to catch a glimpse Okulitch's rising star, the performance comes with a caution via the FWO website stating, "Contains nudity and adult situations". Don't do the crime if you can't do the time!
Dead Man Walking is American composer Jake Heggie's first opera (libretto by ~kiss of the spider woman~ Terrence McNally), based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean, is about her time spent with death row inmates in Louisiana in the 1980s.
The death row, convicted murderer Joseph De Rocher is sung by Canadian bass baritone, Daniel Okulitch, etched-up with tattoos (but we're frankly hoping Texas will omit the drawn-on swastika like the one used at the 2006 Calgary Opera shown above). Joining Okulitch and his boxer-briefs is Robynne Redmon as Sister Helen Prejean and Sheryl Woods as Mrs. Patrick De Rocher. The FWO performance opens on May 2 and then repeats on May 10.
Daniel, we can't take our gaze off that secksay scar, and are wondering if you sustained it on death row from being shanked, or it was just a nasty case of appendicitis. *prays for shanking anecdote*