Monday, January 24, 2011

Mayes vs Mephistopheles

Michael Mayes takes on the bad guy
One of our favorite barihunks, the funny and talented Michael Mayes is headed to Birmingham to defend Marguerite's honor in Gounod's "Faust." The role of Valentin is often played by a young barihunk when cast in an age appropriate manner. He also gets what we believe is the best aria, "Avant de quitter ces lieux."

Once again, a regional opera company has assembled an impressive cast for this opera. Joining Mayes will be the wonderful soprano Mary Dunleavy, rising tenor star Bryan Hymel and the estimable Kurt Eichelberger as the devil. For anyone worried about the future of opera, casting like this at Opera Birmingham should give one renewed hope.

Mayes is also the host of the Texapolitan Opera podcast, which is a must for any opera fan. We're sure that this performance will generate a devilishly good show. His current episode already includes two of his co-stars, Eichelberger and Millinnee Bannister, who discuss such topics as "Pants that show of your junk," "Squeal like a pig," and "Only gay men look at breasts."

For your listening pleasure, here are three barihunk versions of "Avant de quitter ces lieux" from Simon Keenlyside, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Thomas Hampson:

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