Sunday, September 25, 2016

Joseph Lattanzi in live stream of The Copper Queen

Joseph Lattanzi
The Arizona Opera will be live streaming today's sold out performance of composer Clint Borzoni's The Copper Queen, which won the company's Arizona Sparks competition for new works in a runaway. The piece was also featured on the front page of the Arizona Republic's arts section last weekend.

The opera's libretto, written by director John de los Santos and based on a true story, revolves around the ghost of a prostitute haunting a historic hotel in Bisbee, Arizona.

The performance will feature barihunk Joseph Lattanzi as Peter Ackerman, who is fresh of a heralded performance as Hawkins Fuller in Gregory Spears’ gay themed opera Fellow Travelers at Cincinnati Opera. This season at Arizona Opera, Lattanzi will also perform the Gamekeeper in Dvořák's Rusalka, Yamadori in Puccini's Madama Butterfly and Dandini in Rossini's La Cenerentola.

Clint Borzoni's "Stufen" with barihunk Marco Vassalli:

The opera also features Lacy Sauter as the prostitute Julia Lowell, Alyssa Martin as Addison Moore, barihunk turned hunkentenor Chris Carr as Teddy Billings, Loren Battieste as Sugar Dog and Zachary Owen as Mr Floyd and Daddy Lowell.  You can hear Alyssa Martin sing "Waiting for a Whisper" from the opera on Soundcloud, as well as Sarah Tucker sing "Still Pretty."

The live stream will begin at 3 PM PST/6 PM EST at the company's Facebook page

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Barihunk sextet in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" touring Italy

Dario Shikhmiri, Rocco Cavalluzzi, Federico Benetti and Paolo Ingrasciotta (l-r)
Our heads almost exploded when we saw the cast list for Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Teatro Amilcare Ponchielli Cremona, as it features a record number of six barihunks and bass-barihunks in one production. Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears are undoubtedly smiling down on this production from heaven. The eye candy cast includes  Zachary Altman as Bottom, Nicholas Masters as Quince, Dario Shikhmiri as Starveling, Rocco Cavalluzzi as Snug, Federico Benetti as Theseus and Paolo Ingrasciotta as Demetrius.

Zachary Altman and Nicholas Masters
The final four on that list have not even appeared on Barihunks before. There are only two performances of the show, which runs on October 7 and 9. Tickets and additional cast information is available online.

Nicholas Masters sings Bottom's aria from A Midsummer Night's Dream:

The production is a co-production with the Teatro Sociale di Como/Aslico, Fondazione Teatro Grande di Brescia and  the Fondazione Teatro Fraschini di Pavia. Most of the cast will perform at the Teatro Municipale Valli di Reggio Emilia on November 18 and 20. There are also performances on November 4 and 6 in Brescia and in Pavia on October 28 and 30, but no cast lists are available or posted. The websites for Zachary Altman and Nicholas Masters show them performing in all of the productions.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rafael Fingerlos tours with Nederlandse Reisoper

Rafael Fingerlos as Harlekin (photo by Marco Borggreve)
Austrian barihunk Rafael Fingerlos is touring as Harlekin with the Nederlandse Reisoper in their production of Richard Strauss’Ariadne auf Naxos. The production is directed by Laurence Dale with stunning costumes by Gary McCann and features Soojin Moon as Ariadne, Jennifer France as Zerbinetta, Martin Momrich as Bacchus and Karin Strobos as the Composer.

Performances are remaining on September 20 and 22 in Zwolle, 24th in Arnhem, 27th in Maastricht, 29th in Breda and October 1st in Den Haag, 6 and 8 in Amsterdam. Tickets are available online.

Trailer for Ariadne auf Naxos at the Nederlandse Reisoper:

Fingerlos will become a fest ensemble member at the Vienna State Opera beginning with their 2016/17 season. His first role will be Figaro in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia on November 12 opposite the Rosina of Isabel Leonard and Almaviva of Pavel Kolgatin. Performances run through December 20.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Günther Groissböck to make his role debut as Wotan at Bayreuth

Günther Groissböck
Günther Groissböck, who debuted at Bayreuth in 2011 as Landgrave Hermann in Wagner's Tannhäuser and sang Fasolt in their 2013 Das Rheingold, is coming back for three major roles in coming seasons.

Perhaps the biggest announcement is his role debut as Wotan in their 2020 season. Groissböck says that he has been approached by other houses to sing the epic role. He's been learning the role on long car trips and feels he's reached the right age to sing the fatherly role. He'll be just shy of his 44th birthday in the Summer of 2020. 

Günther Groissböck sings Lohengrin:

In 2017, he'll be at Bayreuth to sing Veit Pogner in Barry Kosky’s Die Meistersinger, followed by Gurnemanz in Parsifal in 2018, where he will replace Georg Zeppenfeld.
On September 18th, he wraps up a runs as Heinrich  Vogler in Wagner's Lohengrin at the Vienna State Opera. He then heads to the Bavarian State Opera for Rocco in Beethoven's Fidelio in Calixto Bieito's production, which runs from October 1-6.  
We hear that Bayreuth has signed biceps baritone Günther Groissböck to sing Veit Pogner in Barry Kosky’s new Meistersinger next summer.
He will follow that with Gurnemanz in the 2018 Parsifal, building up to Wotan in the 2020 Ring.
- See more at:
We hear that Bayreuth has signed biceps baritone Günther Groissböck to sing Veit Pogner in Barry Kosky’s new Meistersinger next summer.
He will follow that with Gurnemanz in the 2018 Parsifal, building up to Wotan in the 2020 Ring.
- See more at:
We hear that Bayreuth has signed biceps baritone Günther Groissböck to sing Veit Pogner in Barry Kosky’s new Meistersinger next summer.
He will follow that with Gurnemanz in the 2018 Parsifal, building up to Wotan in the 2020 Ring.
- See more at:
We hear that Bayreuth has signed biceps baritone Günther Groissböck to sing Veit Pogner in Barry Kosky’s new Meistersinger next summer.
He will follow that with Gurnemanz in the 2018 Parsifal, building up to Wotan in the 2020 Ring.
- See more at:

Alessio Arduini returns to Royal Opera House; Così fan tutte will be broadcast

Alessio Arduini
Italian barihunk Alessio Arduini, who made his made his Royal Opera debut in 2013 as Schaunard in Puccini's La bohème, will return to the company from September 22-October 20 as Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte. His castmates includes Corinne Winters as Fiordiligi, Angela Brower as Dorabella, Daniele Behle as Ferrando, Johannes Martin Kränzle as Don Alfonso and Sabina Puértolas as Despina.

German director Jan Philipp Gloger will make his Royal Opera debut with the new production using librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte’s alternative title for the opera: "The School for Lovers." Tickets are available online

 Alessio Arduini sings 'Hai già vinta la causa!' from Le nozze di Figaro:

The November 12th performance of Così fan tutte will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 at 6.30pm GMT.

After his run at the Royal Opera House, he heads to New York to perform Marcello in Puccini's La bohème.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Kyle Ketelsen's featured on cover of OPERA

American bass-barihunk Kyle Ketelsen is the cover boy on the October 2016 edition of OPERA magazine.

The article points out that Ketelsen has sung all four low-voiced roles in Mozart's Don Giovanni, but that Leporello has become his signature role. We've also called Ketelsen the "definitive Leporello" in previous posts. The magazine article quotes three famous Giovanni's on singing the title role next to Ketelsen's Leporello. Here's what they had to say:

Russel Braun said, "...there are so many ways in which he identifies with Leporello; his kind of patience, very useful onstage, gives strength to the character."

Rod Gilfy stated, "Kyle's Leporello was boyish, sprightly, troubled, playful; very modern...He's a rock-solid, handsome, athletic bass-baritone who sings beautifully; he could sing a myriad lyric bass and bass-baritone roles."

Kyle Ketelsen talks about singing Leporello:

Finally, Simon Keenlyside added, "Kyle's voice is one of the most beautiful bass-baritone sounds around; he wields the instrument with consummate legato and artistry to match. On stage he is everything a colleague could want...When I know I have Kyle alongside me as Leporello, I know I will be in safe hands. Any Giovanni with a great Leporello alongside him will be so much more than he could ever have been on his own."

Kyle Ketelsen can next be seen at the Opernhaus Zürich in Gounod's Faust, which runs from September 20-October 7. The all-star cast includes Charles Castronovo in the title role, Anita Hartig as Marguerite, Lilly Jørstad as Siebel and Kyle Ketelsen as Méphistophélès.

Benjamin Appl wins Gramophone Magazine's "Young Artist of the Year" award

Barihunk Benjamin Appl has won Gramophone Magazine's coveted "Young Artist of the Year" award. James Jolly of Gramophone wrote the following in his nomination for Appl's award:

For the past few years, British music-lovers have been aware of a major new singing talent in their midst, Benjamin Appl. Listeners to BBC Radio 3 have had a particularly privileged ring-side seat as this young German baritone was a New Generation Artist for the class of 2014-16; but he’s an increasingly visible figure on the concert scene, and once seen – tall, blond, handsome and with a commanding stage presence – he’s not easily forgotten. The last private pupil of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (there’s a YouTube clip of the two baritones, nearly a half century apart in age, working on Lieder together), Appl has been named an ECHO Rising Star and, earlier this year, he signed a contract with Sony Classical, the first fruits of which will appear early next year.

Benjamin Appl accepting his Grammophone award (Photo: Benjamin Ealovega)
Appl has appeared on a number of recordings, often alongside other singers – in the Mendelssohn song series with the pianist Malcolm Martineau for Champs Hill or in songs by Schumann alongside Ann Murray for Linn (‘With clear, incisive diction, he characterises vividly in the narrative “Ballade des Harfners” and catches both the Lear-like weariness of soul and the accusatory bitterness of “Wer sich der Einsamkeit ergibt”, wrote Richard Wigmore in March last year). But 2016 saw the appearance of his first two solo recordings.

Champs Hill’s May release, entitled ‘Stunden, Tage, Ewigkeiten’, linked Schumann’s song-cycle Dichterliebe with other songs to words by Heine. As Richard Fairman wrote, ‘Appl has a baritone voice with its own character and a natural appreciation of the essentials of singing Lieder’. Barely a month passed before his next disc, a Wigmore Hall Live recording – with Graham Johnson at the piano (Appl has worked with just about every major accompanist on the British scene) – of Lieder by Schubert. Hugo Shirley, who reviewed it, felt a marked advance even on that first disc: ‘His instinctive feel for these songs is immediately striking and manifests itself in the sort of artlessness that distinguishes the finest Lieder singers: a lack of tension, an easy relationship with the poetry, a confidence in the words and Schubert’s melodies to communicate with nothing but the gentlest helping interpretative hand.’

This young singer has huge potential and we look forward to following the exciting journey that lies ahead. As Richard Fairman concluded, in his May review: ‘Sample his debut solo disc and you will hear the current front-runner in the next generation of Lieder singers.’