Saturday, March 23, 2013

A barihunk trio in Opera Lyra's La Traviata

Benjamin Covey, Gregory Dahl and Jonathan Estabrooks (PHOTO: Sam Garcia)
We don't usually think of La Traviata as an opera where we would find three barihunks that have appeared on our site. In fact, it's rare to find it in Verdi, although his Attila has surely given us plenty of barihunk duos, who also happen to have some pretty exciting music. But Opera Lyra in Ottawa assembled three Canadian barihunks in their production of the Verdi masterpiece: Benjamin Covey as the Marquis, Jonathan Estabrooks as the Baron Douphol and Gregory Dahl as Germont.

Gregory Dahl as Jokanaan in Salome w
As much as we love seeing three barihunks on stage together, the big news from this production is actually the return of Opera Lyra. Like many opera companies during the Great Recession, the Ottawa-based company struggled and cancelled performances, never quite sure if they could fully recover. This concert version of Traviata was a sure-fire way to get opera audiences back in the door. They will follow up with completely staged performances of Bizet’s Carmen and Puccini's Madama Butterfly, as well as a family performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance.

Traviata has one more performance tonight at 8 PM at Southam Hall at the National Arts Centre. Tickets are available online.

We love seeing Jonathan Estabrooks back at Opera Lyra since we began covering him when he was first appearing with the company. He has kept busy since moving to New York City, where he just completed his first performance at Carnegie Hall as a soloist with the Oratorio Society of New York in Paul Moravec's The Blizzard Voices.

Check out Jonathan Estabrook's "A Singer's Life":

Estabrooks will also team up with fellow Ottawan Larry Edelson at the American Lyric Theater in New York City. Edelson has cast Estabrooks as  Alan Turing, the World Warr II computer genius who was persecuted for being gay.

Commissioned in honor of the Turing Centennial, The Turing Project is a historical fantasia based on the life of the English scientist Alan Turing. The opera explores Turing's extraordinary contributions to mankind, his county's disavowal of him because he was gay, and the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death. The opera imagines the man inside the legend, the unique perspective he had on the universe, the public and unashamed view he had of his own homosexuality, and the impact he had upon the future of civilization.

Gregory Dahl will head to the Mannitoba Opera on April 13 for three performances as Amonasaro in Aida.

1 comment:

  1. It may be an inappropriate thing to say the night before Palm Sunday, and I could be struck by lightening, but somehow I just don't think John the Baptist looked that hot!

    Of all the 'young' barihunks to watch, I think Estabrooks has such amazing potential, not only in opera, but as an entertainer - a real one - and they are a rare commodity this day and age. It is going to be exciting to watch how his career develops.

    The Pink Flamingo