Il Tabarro/Pagliacci

Tenor Michael Hayes stepped on short notice into two roles Friday night at Opera Theatre -- as the sensitive lover Luigi in Puccini’s "Il tabarro" and as the jealous husband Canio in Leoncavallo’s "I Pagliacci." He displayed remarkable vocal and dramatic gifts, tightening up the paired Italian tragic operas that opened last Saturday night.!/content/31329/opera_understudy_060813?coverpage=3414

Salome at St. Louis

Opera News

Michael Hayes brought bright, ringing sound and plenty of tormented lust to the role of Herodes.

Salome at St. Louis

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Tenor Michael Hayes had almost too noble a sound for the corrupt and vicious Herod. His character was more balanced than is usual for Herod, and he resisted the temptation to chew the scenery too hard.

Salome at St. Louis

Chicago Tribune

Michael Hayes' lustful, clearly declaimed Herod staggered around the stage with deranged abandon.


Naples Daily News

Michael Hayes was a volatile Canio. He brought a confident, expressive tenor and acting ability. He infused the famous “Vesta la Giubba” aria with the depth of Canio’s torture without getting mired in melodrama.

Tosca at Virginia Opera

The Virginian-Pilot

As Cavaradossi, tenor Michael Hayes maintained control in every vocal situation. He used his clear, ringing tone to express equally well emotions ranging from tender love to unwavering commitment to his cause.

Die tote Stadt

Baltimore Sun

Michael Hayes, as Paul, the crazed widower, never seemed to tire, despite the fact that so much of the score kept him operating in the upper register. There was quite a lot of syle and substance to his singing.



Michael Hayes as Otello was menacing and brooding and exuded the kind of energy when on stage that captured the mood swings of a conflicted almost bipolar Otello... Librettist Arrigo Boito wrote Otello as being on the edge and Hayes seemed to revel in being right there with him, pushing the limits throughout. It was hard to tell where the two separated. Hayes’ voice was strong and clear and he sang the role with the kind of believable attachment to his character’s flaws that made his every utterance a kinetic event.

Aida at Nashville Opera

The Tennessean

A laurel should also be placed on the brow of Hayes. He shapes the notes in Verdi's challenging score into gloriously rich tones. Like Crider, Hayes is also good at bringing the audience into this story through his emotionally resonant interpretation of the music.

Turandot at Edmonton Opera

Edmonton Journal

Tenor Michael Hayes was consistently entertaining as the smitten Calaf. He more than managed to sustain interest in the character with a voice that reaches the highs with relative ease and can hit the back of the house without sounding dramatic at the expense of tone quality. Hayes made "Nessun dorma" his own, and the audience appreciated his performance.


The Virginian-Pilot

Whether consoling the slave girl Liu in the first act or anticipating his victory in the last, Hayes conveyed real emotion in both music and body language. His "Nessun Dorma" deserved the first bravos of the evening.

Les Contes d'Hoffman - Cleveland Opera

Opera News

Leading the sizeable cast was Michael Hayes as Hoffmann. Hayes sailed through the duets, trios and four-plus arias with no sign of strain, creating a winning stage persona as well.

Les Contes d'Hoffman - Portland Opera

Opera News

Hayes sang Hoffmann, the loser poet, with ardor and confidence. Besides the length of the role, the notes lie high in the voice, yet he sang strongly and stylishly the entire evening. His manner was appropriately French -- graceful and supple -- and he looked the part of the Romantic poet, so that his scenes with Antonia and Giulietta were believable.