Baritone Morgan Smith reprises the role of Joseph De Rocher in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking at Kentucky Opera. Conducted by Joseph Mechavich and directed by Ellen Douglas Schlaefer, Smith has received some excellent reviews for his performances.
‘Morgan Smith, as De Rocher, holds a steady, cool demeanor and delivers a conflicted sense of power over his own sense of himself in front of Prejean as he sings his part. At one point, he even sings after doing a string of push-ups.’
WFPL Arts and Culture, Elizabeth Kramer, 28 October 2017
‘Morgan Smith, returning to Kentucky Opera and to this role, is a compelling Joseph De Rocher. His physical size alone is intimidating. Smith's confident baritone is a good vehicle for De Rocher's arrogance and braggadocio in the early parts of the work. Heggie writes some of his most lyrical phrases for De Rocher, and Smith is equally potent in those moments, opening up, finally, to the confession that Prejean has sought all along. The relationship between these two doesn't have quite enough time to explore their early disconnects, but these two performers give full due to those last hours on Death Row.’
Broadway World, Keith Waits, 30 October 2017