Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christopher Maltman: COVERBOY

Christopher Maltman (photo by Pia Clodi)
We have a thousand reasons to love Christopher Maltman. We could start with his stunning lieder recitals and recordings, which currently include some of the best Schubert recordings on the market. Or we could love him for his dramatically intense portrayals on stage where he consistently taps into his emotional and psychological reservoirs to give us a complete portrayal of the character. Who could ever forget his Don Giovanni's at the Salzburg Festival or his portrayal of the same role in the movie Juan? We could love him for bringing elegance and grace to the world of opera both on stage or off stage. But Barihunks is equally about great musicianship and charismatic sexiness. Maltman has the latter in abundance.

Of course, there is nothing sexier than a sexy man who can carry it off without being pompous, arrogant or acting like a reject from Jersey Shore. Maltman wears his barihunk status as well as anyone in the business, along with guys like Erwin Schrott, Daniel Okulitch and Mariusz Kwiecien. One can always tell how comfortable a singer is in his skin by the way he answers a question about being a barihunk. We've seen singers make the ridiculous claim that they are completely unaware of their sex appeal or that they've never read articles (or looked at Barihunks) that discuss their sexiness. Of course, many of these same singers regularly send us photos and try desperately to get on the site!

That's why we loved this part of the profile on Maltman that appears in the Janauary 2012 edition of Opera Now magazine, where the British barihunk appears on the cover:

Opera needs its sexy poster boys and Maltman is claiming his billboard - not with Erwin Schrott-style Latin machismo or velvety Jonas Kaufmann looks, but a guy-impaling intensity that shatters surface veneer.

Does being considered a sex symbol bother him? 'No one's going to complain about being found desirable,' he laughs. 'And for Don Giovanni, it's crucial. He has to be dangerous, without that he's nothing. That's what I learnt when I was directed in the role by Sir Thomas Allen. He has to unbalance people, make them vulnerable and access their psyches at the same time. He's a chameleon, he changes from minute to minute but without personal contradiction; that's dangerous and sexy.'

Maltman will return to the role of Don Giovanni this summer with five performances at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin. Performances will run from June 24-July 6 and tickets and additional cast information can be found HERE. The all-star cast is laden with barihunks, including Erwin Schrott as Leporello and Alexander Tsymbalyuk as the Commendatore. Anna Netrebko is the Donna Anna and this will undoubtedly be one of the hottest tickets in all of opera this year.

Maltman begins 2012 on the concert stage with a recital centering around Ravel and his contemporaries at Wigmore Hall on January 15.  He then heads to San Francisco on January 19 for a recital at the Herbst Theater, which includes music by Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Hahn and Faure. In February, he returns to the opera stage, singing Marcello at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.  The cast at the Liceu includes the most visited barihunk on our site, Gabriel Bermudez, who will be singing Schaunard. Perhaps the most unusual performance for Maltman this year is his assayal of Kurwenal in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde in a concert version with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra on August 24.

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