The death penalty, like war, is easier to support in the abstract, when someone else is doing the actual dirty work, the switch-pulling, the injection, the shooting - and in a place out of view, out of earshot, far removed from our safe, comfortable world.
Perhaps the best thing about Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking, which is receiving an exceptionally strong production by the Baltimore Opera Company, is how quickly and irrevocably it pulls audiences into an issue and a reality that usually get no closer to us than a newspaper headline or a snippet of film at 11.
Dead Man Walking Baltimore Opera Company. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 8:15 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Lyric Opera House, 140 W. Mount Royal Ave. $40 to $132. 410-727-6000