Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hunkentenor Jonathan Blalock & Bass-Barihunk Aaron Sorensen receive latest Barihunks Calendar Grant

Aaron Sorensen and Jonathan Blalock
Our latest grantees from the proceeds of our 2014 Barihunks Charity Calendar may be a surprise to some people. We had a lot of interesting requests for the second grant, but none struck us as original as a concert featuring a tenor and a bass! That's what hunkentenor Jonathan Blalock and bass-barihunk Aaron Sorensen suggested and we loved the idea immediately.

We can't think of many times that we've ever seen that combination in a concert hall and we wanted to help make it happen. Although a place and time has not been set of this date, the discussion around the program is quite intriguing. We also believe that the recital will be paired with some other big announcements related to the two singers. Both singers are clearly on the cusp of major careers and theaters are taking notice.

Blalock as Lazaro in Before Night Falls, Photo by Ellen Appel.
Blalock recently premiered the role of Paul in Greg Spear's critically acclaimed opera Paul's Case with Urban Arias. He is reprising the role from January 8-13 with the Prototype Festival in New York. Barihunk Keith Phares is also reprising the role of Paul's father. The opera is based on the famous short story by Willa Cather. He first caught our eye with two stunning performances at the Fort Worth Opera Festival, appearing shirtless in both Jorge Martin's Before Night Falls and Philip Glass' Hydrogen Jukebox. Last season, he was one of the many gifted young artists at the Santa Fe Opera.

We also first spotted Aaron Sorensen at the Fort Worth Opera where he appeared as Benoit and Alcindoro in La Boheme, as well as a hilarious turn as the Wigmaker in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos. Sorensen is a true bass, which is a rarity in opera these days. We have a feeling that we'll be watching this amazing talent grow into a great Verdi/Wagner bass as his career advances.

The Nebraska native honed his craft at Yale Opera Program and has gone on to sing Masetto in
Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Father Trulove in Stravinky’s The Rake’s Progress at the Wolf Trap Opera, Zuniga in Bizet's Carmen and Angelotti in Puccini's Tosca at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival, and Britten's A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Tosca, and The
Rake’s Progress with Des Moines Metro Opera.

He'll be returning to the Fort Worth Opera Festival next season as the French General in Kevin Puts' Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night.

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