Sunday, January 5, 2014

An overview of barihunks advancing in the Met Competition

We thought that we'd take a look at some of the baritones and basses who advanced in the Metropolitan Opera Regional Audtions. These singers will compete in the next round. This is list is not all-inclusive, but they are the singers who we've been following.

Edward Hanlon

Edward Hanlon, who we've featured before, was the winner of the Chicago District Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition held on October 12th at Northwestern University. He ended up taking 3rd place in the Metropolitan Opera Central Region. He's racked up a number of top prizes at other vocal competitions, as well. You can catch him as Frank in Strauss' Die Fledermaus with the Edmonton Opera from January 31- February 6.

Luis Alejandro Orozco

Mexican-American barihunk Luis Alejandro Orozco has appeared on this site before. He was a winner of the District Council's competition in Indiana. Orozco is as graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and he has performed with the Lake George Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera,  El Paso Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Lexington Philharmonic, Florida Grand Opera and Opera Theater of St Louis. You can catch him reprise his sexy performance as El Payador in Piazzolla's Maria de Buenos Aires with the Syracuse Opera, from January 31-February 9.

Robert Balonek

Robert Balonek was one of the winners of the Eastern District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He attended SUNY Purchase College and the Mannes School of Music where he performed with the Mannes Baroque Ensemble. In March, you can catch Balonek in a semi-staged performance of Handel's Alceste with the American Classical Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall.

Other low voice coming out of the Eastern District Auditions were Takaoki Onishi, Kyle Oliver, Scott Russell and Brian Vu.

Iain MacNeil
 Iain MacNeil sings Debussy's "Ballade des femmes de Paris:

Iain MacNeil was one of the winners at the Great Lakes Region auditions. He was born and raised in Brockville, Ontario and was introduced to opera during his first year at Dalhousie University. MacNeil is currently at the University of Toronto, where he is currently completing an opera diploma. In 2013, he participated in the Young Singers Project at the Salzburg Festival.

Andrew Bogard
We introduced Mid-Atlantic Region winner a little over a year ago. Bogard received his undergraduate degree in vocal performance from the Julliard School, where he performed the roles of Peter Quince in Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cousin Brandon in Hindemith’s Long Christmas Dinner. Bogard won first place in the 2014 Mario Lanza Scholarship Competition.  Upcoming performances include the Maestro in Golijov''s Ainadamar at Opera Philadelphia and Alidoro in La Cenerentola at Curtis Institute of Music.

Jarrett Ott
Also advancing from the Mid-Atlantic Region is Jarrett Ott. He is finishing up his Master’s degree at the Curtis Institute of Music where he has performed  Argante in Handel’s Rinaldo, Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Gregor Mittenhoffer in Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers, Valentin in Gounod’s Faust, Harašta in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, and Le Mari in Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias. This season he will also perform Ned Rorem’s Evidence of Things Not Seen with Mikael Eliasen at various venues, as well as perform Ralph Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony with the Riverside Symphonia. At Curtis he will sing roles in Poulenc's Dialogues des carmélites and Rossini's La Cenerentola. You can listen to some sound clip HERE.

Samuel James Dewese

Samuel James Dewese advanced in the Midwest Region. Dewese is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he performed Mercurio in Cavalli's La Calisto, Anselmo in Man of La Mancha, and Mr. Gedge in Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring. In July of 2011,  Dewese originated the role of Jackson the Slave in 1787: We the People with Creative Dramatics Workshop. He was named the Joann Damman Memorial Scholarship winner by the Bel Canto Foundation of Chicago in April 2010 and April 2011, as well as the recipient of the Golden Lyre Foundation Award from the University of Illinois School of Music in May 2011.

Steven Eddy
Indiana University graduate Steven Eddy advanced in Northwest Region Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions. Eddy attended one of our Barihunks lunches while performing in Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos at the Fort Worth Opera Festival (which is where he got that great shirt!). He returns to the Festival this year singing the role of Ponchel in Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer-Prize winning opera Silent Night.

Andrew Craig Brown

Andrew Craig Brown advanced in the Western Regionals in Los Angeles. He graduated from the Yale School of Music where he performed in productions of Mozart's Don Giovanni, Stravinsky's Le Rossignol, Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and Cosi fan Tutte. He has recorded the role of Il Duca Ramiro in Donizetti's Maria Padilla with the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Patrick Murray
Patrick Murray also advanced at the Western Regionals in Los Angeles. Murray graduated from the University of Southern California before being a granted a Fulbright Scholarship, which allowed him to study in Vienna, Austria. He recently spent the winter as a Studio Artist with the Sarasota Opera and is being mentored by fellow barihunk Luca Pisaroni. You can listen to him sing HERE.

Jeff Williams

Pennsylvania native Jeffrey Williams, was one of our reader submissions last year, and he just advanced in the Nashville Auditions. Following a summer at the Russian Opera Workshop at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia he sworked with fellow barihunk Tom Krause at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and in Sachrang, Germany. Williams has portrayed Lord Ruthven in Marschner’s Der Vampyr, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, Prince Yeletsky in Pique Dame, the title role in Rachmaninoff’s Aleko, the title role in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Rabonnier (La rondine), Le Commissaire (Orphée), Jack Point (Yeomen of the Guard), Superintendent Budd (Albert Herring), Strephon (Iolanthe) and Marchese d’Obigny (La Traviata), as well as opera chorus work with the Washington National Opera, the Baltimore Opera, and Florida Grand Opera.

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