Susan Graham “stands out” in Dead Man Walking

16700520_10154976328519098_3194590786415554876_o copyIn her return to Jake Heggie’s work and debut in a new role, Susan Graham has earned acclaim for her account of Mrs. De Rocher in Dead Man Walking at Washington National Opera.

The originator of the role of Sister Helen Prejean, Susan’s turn as eponymous convict Joseph De Rocher’s mother “steals the show,” according to, which went on to add that the American mezzo-soprano “Graham, dressed in the trappings of the typical mom… transcends the limitations of the character’s appearance and externalizes what she feels.”

“Graham stood out for the power and intensity of her voice, especially in her outburst at the pardon board hearing in Act I. She brought dignity and sympathy to the character, who believes quite wrongly in her son’s innocence,” added the Washington Classical Review.

The Washington Post also noted that the character of Mrs. De Rocher “was made all the more touching…by the remarkable mezzo-soprano Susan Graham singing a part that everyone in the audience probably wished were twice as long to better showcase her.”

Dead Man Walking continues at the Kennedy Center through March 11.