Monday, October 13, 2014

Barihunk André Courville wins Giargiari Bel Canto Competition

Anush Avetisyan (far left) and André Courville
We're still mystified when we post about a singer and someone comments, "But can he sing?" Baritones (including a large percentage of barihunks) have been winning major singing competitions at a rate so high that this era has been dubbed the "Golden Age of Baritones." Composers like Ricky Ian Gordon have publicly marveled at the rich supply of amazing baritones and mezzos, while composer Jake Heggie is now writing most of his male leads for lower voices.

The latest barihunk to walk away with top honors is André Courville, who won the Giargiari Bel Canto Competition at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia last night. He sang Sorge infausta una procelia from Handel's Orlando. Other barihunks in the competition were Jared Bybee, who performed O Carlo, ascolta from Verdi's Don Carlo, and Michael Adams, who performed Ô vin, dissipe la tristesse from Thomas' Hamlet.

The Oreste A. and Arturo Giargiari Bel Canto Competition was founded by Raymond F. Giargiari in memory of his father and brother, both opera fans and AVA devotees. Originally, vocal selections from the "bel canto" repertoire were performed exclusively, but over the years the competition has grown to include Italian, French, German, and English language arias from a variety of periods. Past winners include tenors James Valenti and Stephen Costello, and soprano October Opera News cover girl Angela Meade.  AVA Master Vocal Coach Danielle Orlando prepares and accompanies the singers.

The competition concert will be broadcast online today at 4pm EST/1pm PST You can listen and vote for your favorite singer online.

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