[John Relyea & Nathan Gunn]
We provided some advance coverage for Ravinia's current festival, including the recent cast changes to Le Nozze di Figaro. Ravinia is always a wonderful place to enjoy great music with family and friends and this year is no exception.
We were pleased to see that the Chicago Tribune's respected music critic John von Rhein not only enjoyed the performance where John Relyea replaced Ildebrando d'Arcangelo, but he referred to two of the singers as "barihunks" in his review:
I was even more taken with Oropesa, the bright-voiced, very musical singer who played the chambermaid Susanna. Her sharpwitted and beautifully sung portrayal was a smooth fit with John Relyea's amused and amusing manservant, Figaro. A big man with a deep, sonorous bass-baritone, he was a pillar of vocal and dramatic strength in a role completely different from the sardonic devil he played in Berlioz's "Damnation of Faust" last season at Lyric. One would never have guessed he was a late replacement for the indisposed Ildebrando D'Arcangelo.
The show's other "barihunk," Illinois baritone Nathan Gunn, brought manly elegance to Almaviva's music, playing the wayward aristocrat as a handsome seducer who realizes his days of aristocratic privilege in the bedroom are numbered.
We don't have any video or photos yet from Ravinia, but here is a selection from YouTube of Nathan Gunn singing from the Barber of Seville with tenor John Osborn. Gunn remains one of the most viewed barihunks on our site and appears to have what amounts to a cult following.
The Ravinia Festival runs through September 7th and you can still see Annie Get Your Gun, Kiri te Kanawa, Nelly Furtado, Counting Crows, the Beach Boy and Train.
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