Michael Mayes as Scarpia in the opera Tosca.

Courtesy of Michael Mayes


Michael Mayes had an unusual path to become the worldwide-performing opera star that he is today. The baritone singer was born in a trailer park in Cut and Shoot, Texas, a small city of about 1,000 people located an hour north of Houston. Mayes grew up singing bluegrass and country tunes, mostly with his church choir.

Today, the Lyons-based opera singer sees a lot of similarities between country and opera. They both focus on love lost and raw emotion. This month Mayes appeared as Count di Luna in Central City Opera's production of "Il Trovatore," which runs through Friday, Aug. 3.