Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking at Kentucky Opera
At the heart of this story is, of course, Sister Helen Prejean. Emily Fons makes her Kentucky Opera debut in this role, bringing Prejean’s humor, outspokenness and deep faith to light. Fons’ warm voice foregrounds Prejean’s compassion, while still showing the doubts she has about undertaking this journey and, ultimately, the strength of her convictions to see her commitment through.
The cast commands the story and the score is led by mezzo-soprano Emily Fons’ naïve Prejean, striving to find a way to keep her faith close to her and do the right thing. Fons’ voice has the youthful quality of her character but also has maturity and clarity of purpose. (Fons also sang the role of Ruby in Santa Fe Opera’s 2015 world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s “Cold Mountain.”)