Saturday, April 22, 2017

Daniel Okulitch to reprise role in Dead Man Walking

Daniel Okulitch and J'Nai Bridges
Canadian bass-barihunk Daniel Okulitch is returning to both his native country and a familiar role this month. He'll be reprising his highly-acclaimed interpretation of accused killer Joseph De Rocher in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking at the Vancouver Opera from April 29-May 7.

He has performed the role with the Fort Worth Opera and in the Canadian premiere at the Calgary Opera. In this production, he'll be joined by J'Nai Bridges as Sister Helen Prejean, Karen Slack as Sister Rose, Judith Forst as Mrs. Patrick De Rocher and Thomas Goerz as Owen Hart. Tickets are available online.

The opera is based on the bestselling memoir by Sister Helen Prejean and chronicles the story of a convicted Louisiana murderer who is befriended by a Catholic nun seeking to understand the nature of divine forgiveness. Prejean's memoir was the basis for the award-winning 1995 film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn

You can listen to Daniel Okulitch on CBC radio talking about his career and favorite music.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Barihunk Edward Miskie pens humorous cancer survivor memoir

Edward Miskie
Barihunk calendar model Edward Miskie has authored "Cancer, Musical Theatre, & Other Chronic Illnesses,"  which he launched tonight in Chelsea.

Miskie is not only a singer, actor (and calendar model), but a survivor of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. A course of treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center provided the inspiration for the book, which was written four years after he was declared cancer free.

A chance encounter with a fellow survivor prompted him to begin writing his "as-funny-as-cancer-can-be memoir." The book touches on the farce that is cancer treatment, the circus that is the healthcare system we face, and the challenges that face you even after you are told you are cancer free all framed in the content of musicals.

It is currently published in hard copy and on Kindle and Amazon. Visit www.cancermusicaltheatrebook.com or follow @CMTBook.


Listen to Jarrett Ott sing from Pearl Fishers on WUNC

Jarrett Ott
WUNC host Frank Stasio previewed the North Carolina Opera's upcoming performance of Bizet's The Pearl Fishers with barihunk Jarrett Ott and tenor John Bellemer on his National Public Radio broadcast. The two singers joined company general director Eric Mitchko for a discussion of the production and they then joined accompanist Sahar Nouri for a live studio performance of the famous duet.

You can listen to the interview, Zurga's aria and the famous tenor/baritone duet on WUNC's website

The remainder of the cast includes soprano Talise Trevigne as Leïla and Jordan Bisch as Nourabad. There are performances on Friday, April 28 at 8 p.m. and Saturday April 30 at 3 p.m. at Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are available online.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Aaron Sørensen pitches Sparafucile on Midday Mississippi

Aaron Sørensen from the Barihunks calendar
Barihunk calendar model Aaron Sorensen appeared on Midday Mississippi on WLBT Channel 3 in Jackson along with soprano Rachel Arky. The duo were were pitching their "one night only" performance of Verdi's Rigoletto in which they perform the brother and sister duo of Sparafucile and Maddalena.

The rest of the cast includes barihunk Corey Crider, Hanna Brammer as Gilda, Cody Laun as the Duke of Mantua and Taylor Hightower as Monterone.


There is a single performance on April 22 at the Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson at 7:30 PM. You won't want to miss Sørensen's glorious Low F! Tickets are available online.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Gay-themed "Les Feluettes" gets two revivals

Étienne Dupuis and Jean-Michel Richer
Australian composer Kevin March and Quebec playwright Michel Marc Bouchard's opera Les Feluettes (Lilies), which had its world premiere last year at Opéra de Montréal, will now be presented at Pacific Opera Victoria and the Edmonton Opera.

The production opens at Pacific Opera Victoria on April 20 and runs through April 30.  Barihunk Étienne Dupuis will reprise the lead role of Young Simon Doucet and hunkentenor Jean-Michel Richer will return as the Count Vallier de Tilly, who is in love with Simon. Tickets are available online.

The opera is based on the play, which tells the story of the confession of an aging prisoner to a bishop. Through the confession we learn that the bishop and the prisoner were part of a gay love triangle and that the bishop was responsible for the death of a young man many years ago. The play was was made into a film called Lilies, which was directed by John Greyson. All of the roles in the opera, including the female roles of La Comtesse Marie-Laure de Tilly and Mademoiselle Lydie-Anne de Rozier, are sung by men as the story is told by actors in an all-male prison. 

Zachary Read (left) and Jean-Michel Richer and Etienne Dupuis (right)
The term Feluette is a Quebec expression with its root in the word fluet, (thin, frail in appearance) which, in common parlance of the time, referred to men who were weak, frail, or effeminate.

Edmonton Opera will present the piece from October 21-27 with barihunk Zachary Read as Young Simon and Jean-Michel Richer returning as the Count Vallier de Tilly.

Jonathan McGovern making two major debuts

Jonathan McGovern
Barihunk Jonathan McGovern is making a major role and house debut this season, beginning with his first performance of the title role in Monteverdi’s Orfeo at the Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao.

The opera tells the story of Orfeo's descent to Hades and his fruitless attempt to bring his dead bride Eurydice back to the living world. It was written in 1607 for a court performance during the annual Carnival at Mantua and is considered the earliest opera that is still regularly performed. Performances are on May 5th and 6th and tickets are available online.

This summer, he will make his company debut with the Garsington Opera in the title role of Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. Andrea Carroll will sing the role of Mélisande and Paul Gay is Golaud. The British singer performed the role last season with English Touring Opera. Performances run from June 16th through July 7th and tickets and additional cast information is available online.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dmitri Hvorostovsky cancels upcoming concert


The following notice appeared on the website of the National Concert Hall where barihunk Dmitri Hvorostovsky was scheduled to perform on April 29th.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky deeply regrets that he must cancel his recital due to a change in the schedule for his cancer treatments.
Information about the concert has been removed from the Hvorostovsky’s official website, but his manager says that the Russian singer still plans on performing in a gala concert in Toronto on April 25th along with soprano Anna Netrebko and her husband tenor Yusif Eyvazov.

Hvorostovsky was diagnosed with a brain tumor in the summer of 2015 and subsequently cancelled concerts in Kaliningrad, Minsk and Vienna, as well as performances in the Met's current production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. He was replaced by fellow barihunks Peter Mattei and Mariusz Kwiecien.