Thursday, November 27, 2014

Listen to Michael Nagy and the Berlin Philharmonic online

Michael Nagy
WQXR's broadcast of the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Alan Gilbert on December 9th will feature barihunk Michael Nagy in two of three works on the program.

The program will start with Bach's Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid, BWV 58.  The piece is scored for soprano and bass, two oboes, taille, two violins, viola, and basso continuo, with no choral interventions. He'll be joined by German soprano Christina Landshamer. The bass recitative talks about the history of persecution.

The piece will be followed by Mendelsohn's Third Symphony, Opus 56. Landshamer and Nagy will then return for Carl Nielsen's Symphony #3 (Sinfonia Espansiva). The symphony is the only one that Nielsen wrote that includes vocal music, as the second movement includes a wordless vocal part for soprano and bass-baritone. In some performances the soprano is replaced by a 4th clarinet and the bass by a 4th trombone.

The broadcast will be on Tuesday, December 9th at 9 PM EST (6 PM PST). The show is hosted by WQXR’s Annie Bergen and runs two hours.

In December, he takes on Papageno at the Bavarian State Opera in a cast that includes fellow barihunks René Pape as Sarastro and Tareq Nazmi as the Speaker. Tickets and additional cast information are available online

Xavier Rivera: Mr October
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Introducing Canadian Barihunk Bevan Bühler

Bevan Bühler onstage and off
Who says that we don't make dreams come true at Barihunks? Canadian barihunk Bevan Bühler posted the following on Twitter: "My life goal is to be listed on barihunks." We get a lot of requests for singers to appear on the site, but this one seemed like a no-brainer. In 2012, he one of eight finalists in the Discovered international model search, which raised funds for the Children's Wish Foundation.

After completing his Associate Degree in piano performance, Bühler began his journey as a singer when he was given the opportunity to play Rolf in Rodgers & Hammerstein's The Sound of Music in his hometown of Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Since then, Bühler has performed various solo and chamber recitals and has been featured at the Edmonton Vocal Arts Festival and the Saskatoon Music Festival.  Bühler has also joined the casts of Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos and Handel's Alcina with Opera Nuova and has performedin Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and Purcell's King Arthur with Saskatoon Opera.

Bühler began his 2014-15 season by singing Ramiro in Maurice Ravel's comedic opera, L'heure Espagnole, presented by University of Western Ontario Opera (UWOpera). Under the direction of Michael Cavanagh, Bühler's character effortlessly was required to lift and carry large clocks on and off stage. To no one's surprise, he got the girl in the end.

Future engagements include the role of the villain, Caiaphas, in Jesus Christ Superstar with Musical Theatre Productions London, as well as performing as a featured soloist with the University of Western Ontario Opera's cast at the University's Opera Gala this spring.

Off stage, Bühler spends his free time outdoors - including replanting forests in British Columbia during the summer - or in the weight room where he is a certified personal trainer.

Singer! Model! Personal Trainer! Socially conscious good-guy! Welcome to the barihunks family!

Craig Verm: Mr March
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Monday, November 24, 2014

Günter Papendell back in Berlin's colorful Don Giovanni

German barihunk Günter Papendell seems to live on the stage of he Komische Oper in Berlin in a tank top or shirtless (and we're not complaining!). He's returning to the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni on November 30th in the colorful, whimsical and provocative production by Herbert Fritsch. You might recall we posted about him the last time he sang the role in Berlin, so you may have guessed that it's a favorite performance of ours.

Günter Papendell at the Komische Oper in Berlin
Papendell has been with the Komische Oper since 2007, appearing as Marcello in La Bohème, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Kothner in Meistersinger, Jeletzky in Pique Dame, Förster in Schlaues Füchslein, Giorgio Germont in La Traviata, Odysseus in the Monteverdi trilogy, Demetrius in Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pollux in Castor et Pollux by Rameau, Mary in Die Soldaten by Zimmermann and Marquis Posa in Don Carlo.

Next year, Papendell sings the title role in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, Achilla in Handel's Giulio Cesare and a return as Odysseus in the Monteverdi trilogy. 

Doug Carpenter & Richard Alexandre Rittelmann
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Watch Luca Pisaroni live from Vienna

Luca Pisaroni as Count Almaviva
The Vienna State Opera's live streaming opera service will be presenting Luca Pisaroni in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro on February 25th at 5:30 PM CET/11:30 AM EST/8:30 AM PST). The service requires a log-in and the first seven days are free. On demand operas will cost €14.00 ($17.40) for a single opera with subscriptions available. The service also includes the option to view multilingual subtitles and to follow along with the score.

The cast also includes  Adam Plachetka as Figaro, Olga Bezsmertna as the Countess and Anita Hertig as Susanna.

The Vienna State Opera produces more than 40 live broadcasts annually, and is making nearly all of its 2014-15 season productions available in Ultra HD via the Internet, smart TVs and mobile devices. Click HERE to start watching now.

Pisaroni returns to the U.S. early in the new year, with a performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis in January with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas. He then heads to the Met in February for a run as Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni. Peter Mattei sings the title role.

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Craig Verm in the 2015 Barihunks Charity Calendar
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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Jérôme Varnier & Stéphane Degout in London Pelléas et Mélisande

Jérôme Varnier photographed by L'Oiseleur des Longchamps
Two of our favorite barihunks, Jérôme Varnier and Stéphane Degout, will share the stage in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London on Thursday, November 27th. Esa-Pekka Salonen will lead the performance which also includes Felicity Palmer as Geneviève, Monica Bacelli as Mélisande and Laurent Naouri as Golaud. Varnier is singing Arkël, which has become somewhat of a signature role, and Degout is singing Pelleas.

Tickets and additional concert information are available online.

Pelléas et Mélisande appears a lot on Varnier's upcoming performances, including singing Arkël at l'Opéra National de Lyon, and the dual roles of Un Médecin and Le Berger at the Paris Opera. He'll be joined in Paris in Robert Wilson's famous production by Stéphane Degout, who is singing Pelleas. Performances in Paris run from Febuary 7-28 and tickets are available online.

We also wanted to share with you the newest photo of Jérôme Varnier [above] taken by fellow barihunk/photographer L'Oiseleur des Longchamps. The latter appears in our new 2015 Barihunks Charity Calendar [below]. We hope to feature more of his amazing work in the future.
L'Oiseleur des Longchamps (left)
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Roman Trekel to perform controversial Henze oratorio

Roman Trekel
The world of opera has seen its fair share of controversies, including the political censorship of Verdi operas, outrage over the sexual nature of Richard Strauss' Salome and the recent protests over John Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer at the Metropolitan Opera.

Much of this pales to the reaction that greeted Hans Werner Henze's oratorio Das Floß der Medusa (The Raft of the Medusa) in Hamburg, Germany in 1968. The piece, which was written as a requiem for Che Guevera, had advertisements torn down, protests, chanting and the chorus actually walkng off the stage chanting that they wouldn't sing under the "red flag," a reference to the communist flag that had been hoisted by students. Scuffles ensued in the audience, the police had to be called and the performance was cancelled.

The piece has subsequently had a few performances without incident and is scheduled for two performances beginning tonight with baritone Roman Terkel and the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. 

The Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault
Das Floß der Medusa tells the story of the French frigate Meduse, which ran aground off the west coast of Africa in 1816. It marks an ignominious episode in French political and maritime history, and was later immortalized in the painting of the same name by Théodore Géricault. 

The piece is written for soprano, baritone, speaker, choir, children’s choir and orchestra. The choir, as a collective mass, plays an important role and expresses its visions of death in floating, nearly impossible sounds. At the apotheosis, which features the Vietnam war, Henze based his rhythmic patterns on the chants in honor of Ho Chi Minh. As Henze's oratorio builds to its climax, the "dead" move from the choir of the living to that of the dead, which is full of both adults and children, creating an imbalance on the stage.

Tickets and additional information are available online

2015 Barihunk Calendar
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Rodolfo Nieto in free night of love songs

Rodolfo Nieto
American barihunk Rodolfo Nieto, who we introduced to readers during his run as Jose Castro in Minnesota Opera's La Fanciulla del West two months ago, will be giving a free recital on Friday, November 21st. The free concert at Bemis Rehearsal Hall will include love songs by Richard Strauss, Schubert, Chausson, Fauré, and Tosti.

The concert is free, but an RSVP is requested.  If you can't make the recital, you can listen to him HERE singing some Schubert songs.

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Xavier Rivera