Monday, November 14, 2011

Minnesota Opera's Barihunk-laden "Silent Night"

Gabriel Preisser, Liam Bonner, Mike Nyby, Andrew Wilkowske & Ben Wager

The Minnesota Opera is one of the gems in the landscape of American opera houses. It doesn't always get the national notoriety that it deserves, but within music circles it is known for consistently strong vocal performances and their religious commitment to young artists and living composers.

The Minnesota Opera has premiered Oliver Knussen's "Where the Wild Things Are," Libby Larsen's "Frankenstein," Ricky Ian Gordon's "The Grapes of Wrath," and Bernard Herrmann's sole opera "Wuthering Heights." They've also presented the American premieres of Jonathan Dove's Pinocchio, Poul Ruders' "The Handmaid's Tale," Dominick Argento's "Postcard from Morocco," Rossini's "Armida," Laurent Petitgirard's "The Elephant Man," and Reinhard Keiser's "The Fortunes of King Croesus."

The latest premiere from the Minnesota Opera New Works Initiative is Kevin Puts' "Silent Night," which is based on the screenplay for Joyeux Noël by Christian Carion. The opera recounts a miraculous moment of peace during one of the bloodiest wars in human history. On World War I’s western front, weapons are laid down when the Scottish, French and German officers defy their superiors and negotiate a Christmas Eve truce. Enemies become brothers as they come together to share Christmas and bury their dead. Tenor William Burden, who has a place in barihunk history for starring shirtless opposite of Nathan Gunn in the production that gave rise to the term, stars as the soldier whose voice inspired peace among adversaries – if only for a day.

Canadian Mike Nyby plays Scottish soldier William Dale

The opera contains more sexy men than a World Cup soccer championship. There are four barihunks who have appeared on this site before, including Mike Nyby, Gabriel Preisser, Ben Wager and Liam Bonner. The world premiere was on Saturday, November 12 and there are additional performances on November 15, 17, 19 and 20, 2011. Visit the Minnesota Opera website for additional performance and ticket information.

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Don't forget that you can support young artists like those performing at the Minnesota Opera by purchasing our 2012 Barihunks charity calendar. All proceeds go to benefit young artists. The calendar features the hottest singers from six countries. Click HERE to purchase your own calendar or make it the perfect holiday gift. 

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