Thursday, May 6, 2010

Benjamin Britten's Barihunks In Berkeley

Opera fans on the West Coast learned this week that they are going to experience the amazing Britten operas that conductor Lorin Maazel has been performing at his ranch in Castleton. Maazel is bringing the barihunk laden "Rape of Lucretia" and "Albert Herring" to Cal Performances in Berkeley. Both operas will be fully staged. Maazel's Castelton Festival has become something of a cult among opera connoisseurs and this promises to be some of the most visually and vocally exciting Britten to hit California in recent memory. Also, make sure to check out classical music critic Anne Midgette's post on this road tour.

[Michael Rice]

Heading the cast of "Rape of Lucretia" will be two of our favorite young barihunks, Matthew Worth and Michael Rice (a.k.a. Steamy Rice). We once had a post called "Our Michael Rice Crush" where we spelled out a number of reasons why we love this young singer. Not only is he eye candy and a wonderful singer, but he is the host of the OperaNow! podcast, one of the most entertaining shows about opera to be found anywhere. You can subscribe to his podcast on iTunes.

[Matthew Worth]

Matthew Worth has become one of the most popular barihunks on this site, often receiving as many hits as established stars like Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Erwin Schrott and Nathan Gunn. He has rapidly developed a reputation in the opera world as a talented young singer, gifted actor and wonderful colleague. Opera fans in the Bay Area should race to buy tickets to see this young singer before he is gobbled up by the Metropolitan Opera and other large companies.

Fans of Matthew Worth in the Midwest can see him from May 8-16 at the Chicago Opera Theater performing the role of Charlie in Jake Heggie's "Three Decembers" opposite Federica von Stade.

[Adrian Kramer]

The second offering at Cal Performances will be "Albert Herring," which along with "Rape of Lucretia" is probably one of Britten's most unfairly neglected operas. It was also written as a companion piece to "Rape of Lucretia" and is another one of Britten's exploration of a societal outcast, a theme that is quite pronounced in his more famous operas "Billy Budd" and "Peter Grimes."

Adrian Kramer, a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music, will be singing the role of Sid in "Albert Herring," as he did at the Castleton Festival.

Visit the Cal Performances website for ticket and performance information.

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  1. I see a road trip to Berkeley from L.A. in my future.

  2. It's "Lorin"...nor "Loren"...just FYI

  3. Kudos to Maazel and Cal Performances for realizing that they had a good thing at Castleton and it needed to go on the road. Also, how nice to see the "minor" works of Britten getting some play. Albert Herring is actually considered a comedy and it is quite charming.

  4. If "Steamy Rice" looks like the picture in the production, I will fly from Vermont to see the opera. Nice.