Sister Helen Prejean in DEAD MAN WALKING

Atlanta Opera

“Portraying Sister Helen as a sanctified force for unmitigated good would be easy, but the character that emerges — both in Terrence McNally’s fine libretto and in Barton’s nuanced performance — is intriguingly conflicted and tormented. One of the production’s most compelling threads is the sense of Prejean’s uncertainty and discomfort with her strange obsession.”
–Andrew Alexander, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“For Barton, [Sister Helen] is a role debut — a genuine tour-de-force for the Rome, Georgia native, whose singing has blossomed into a distinguished international operatic career. Barton and Mayes make for a compelling team, leading what can credibly be called the strongest overall cast in the the company’s recent history.”
–Mark Gresham, ArtsATL

“Jamie Barton, an international-class mezzo-soprano and a Georgia native, navigated Heggie’s tricky speech rhythms and fluid key signatures for Sister Helen. Making her role debut, Barton was adept at establishing the sincerity and empathy that Sister Helen must demonstrate.”
–Stephanie Adrian, Opera News

“Barton’s dramatic performance, vivid and arresting with a profusion of expressive facial gestures, infused her character with sympathy, warmth, awkwardness, sorrow, and strength as she struggled between advising de Rocher on how to face death and trying to comfort the victims’ families while abating their wrath. A powerful vocal presence, she easily filled the 2,750-seat theater at Cobb Energy Centre, yet demanded attention when she softly sang hymns.”
–Michael Huebner, Classical Voice North America

Beth Stewart