Convicted murderer Joseph De Rocher is put to death by lethal injection in Central City Opera's performance of "Dead Man Walking"

(Photo: Courtesy of Central City Opera)

The contentious issue of the death penalty is now playing out on stage at the Central City Opera.

The opera "Dead Man Walking" is based on the true story of a nun's relationship with a death row inmate in Louisiana.  Sister Helen Prejean wrote a book about the experience and her story became a popular movie starring actors Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.

The opera follows the relationship between the nun and convicted murderer Joseph De Rocher as she helps him come to terms with admitting responsibility for the murders and rape he committed.

Central City opera's music director John Baril, who also conducts the show, speaks with Ryan Warner.

Read an interview with "Dead Man Walking" composer Jake Heggie.