Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Barihunks "Best of 2015"

It's time for our annual year-end wrap up with our "Best of 2015" feature where we highlight our favorite posts. Many of these were actually chosen by our readers, as we closely followed how much traffic each of our posts were receiving.

Jason Duika
 
Iosu Yeregui

BEST NEWCOMERS: Jason Duika was new to our site this year and his beach photos proved so popular that we invited him to appear in our 2016 Barihunks Charity Calendar, where he proved just as popular. He was a finalist last year in the James Toland Vocal Competition and is currently a young artist with the Palm Beach Opera where he will sing Dancairo, cover Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen, sing the family performance and cover Dr. Malatesta in Donizettis Don Pasquale, sing Paquiro in Granados' Goyescas, and sing the Wigmaker in Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos.

These are some photos of Iosu Yeregui that didn't make it into the calendar, as they were not of high enough resolution, so we thought we'd share them now. The singer was born in San Sebastian, where he studied contemporary dance, flute and humanities for business. On stage, he's performed Sarastro in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Masetto in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Colas in Mozart's Bastien und Bastienne and, most recently, Lodovico in Verdi's Otello with Opera de la ABAO in Bilbao, Spain.

Brandon Coleman
BEST READER SUBMISSION: Brandon Coleman was suggested to us by more than one reader and these pictures we haven't previously posted. Upcoming performances include Bartolo in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro with Kentucky Opera from May 20-24, 2016 and Ferrando in Verdi's Il Trovatore with the Hawaii Opera Theatre.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky at The Met
BEST COMEBACK: Dmitri Hvorostovsky made a triumphant return to the stage on September 25th in the Met's Il Trovatore after being treated for brain cancer in London. The New York audience greeting him with rollicking applause. He was joined by Anna Netrebko as the heroine Leonora, Dolora Zajick as the gypsy Azucena, Yonghoon Lee as Manrico and Štefan Kocán as Ferrando. Unfortunately, we recently learned that he's returning to London for additional treatments.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also bestowed the Order of Alexander Nevsky on Hvorostovsky, which is given for exceptional artistry over a period of 20 years or more.

 
Clint Borzoni & Michael Weyandt

BEST NEW SONG PERFORMANCE: We can't imagine a better new song in the lieder repertory than one about our favorite topic. Michael Weyandt premiered Clint Borzoni's "The Barihunk Song" at the National Opera Center in New York in March. The composer and blond barihunk also teamed up at operamission for "When Adonis Calls" with a libretto by John De Los Santos based on erotic poetry by Gavin Geoffrey Dillard.  Borzoni will premiering two new songs On January 22 and 24 with barihunk Marco Vassalli and Musica Marin written for String Quartet and Baritone.

Soloman Howard
HOTTEST PORTRAYAL OF A REAL PERSON: These pictures of bass-barihunk Soloman Howard's portrayal of boxing legend  Muhammad Ali proved extremely popular with our readers. He performed DJ Sparr's Approaching Ali with bothe the North Carolina Opera and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.  He'll be performing Prince Gremin in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin in January with the North Carolina Opera and Fafner in Wagner's Das Rheingold with the Wshington National Opera in April/May 2016.

Brad Baron
BEST TWITTER DISCOVERY: We'd been following bass-barihunk Brad Baron on Twitter for some time, but when he hit the gym we realized it was time to add him to the site. He's currently pursuing his Masters of Music at LSU and is one of the most entertaining singers on Twitter. You can follow him @BaronAsInRed.

Dan Kempson in Streetcar Named Desire (with honorary barihunk Carrie Hennessey)
 
Seth Carico in ORESTEIA
HOTTEST PHOTOS: Dan Kempson
created a sensation with his performance of Stanley in André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire, which was done in collaboration between the Fresno Grand Opera and Townsend Opera in Modesto. The opera played to enthusiastic crowds and his photos were the second most viewed on the site this year. Sadly, Kempson has announced his premature retirement from opera to pursue an advanced degree in opera/music administration. We wish him the best of luck. (Barihunks Liam Bonner and Jason Hardy have also announced their early retirements).

American barihunk Seth Mease Carico's pictures as Kassandra in Iannis Xenakis' ORESTEIA with Deutsche Oper Berlin received more views than any other photo this year.  His performance was nominated for Best Singing Performer in a Musical Production by the Deutsche Theaterpreis DER FAUST. (The winner was Barbara Hannigan for her portrayal of Marie in "Die Soldaten" as the Bayerische Staatsoper). You might also want to check out his amazing photo from Don Giovanni.

Carico also provided us with one of our favorite quotes this year; "I want to talk more about the real issue of fitness in our opera world. There is too much fighting going on about the effects of fitness in our business, and I wish we could move past it and focus on what’s important about this issue: health."
 
Zachary Luchetti

BEST SINGER BIO: One of our most popular posts of the entire year was Pennsylvania native Zachary Luchetti's spoof of singer biographies. His biography was not only the funniest singer bios that we'd ever read, but it perfectly lampooned the beefed up biographies that many performers post on their websites. A sample: "While he isn’t exactly sought after, he has amassed an impressive resume of over 70 roles in his short career."

Philipp Hochmair in "Der Ring: Siegfried/Götterdämmerung"
Christopher Maltman in Iphigénie en Tauride
HOTTEST NUDE SCENES: Philipp Hochmair's performance in "Der Ring: Siegfried/Götterdämmerung"isn't technically opera, as it was a theater piece based on The Ring with music by Wagner. But who could argue with Hochmair's full frontal assault in the role of Siegfried as the innocent forest child, which is true to the original story as the hero bathes in the blood of the freshly slain dragon to become invincible.

For a performance in an actual opera, one couldn't beat Christopher Maltman's full monty in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride at the Whitsun Festival at Salzburg. The British singer is no stranger to nudity, having appeared in the buff in the Kasper Holten's movie Juan and in Mozart's Don Giovanni in Salzburg.

Marco Vassalli & Malte Roesner

Marco Vassalli & Malte Roesner
BEST CALENDAR MODELS: Marco Vassalli and Malte Roesner joined us in Montreuil-Bellay in the heart of France's Loire Valley for this year's Barihunk Calendar shoot and did the camera ever love these two German singers!

Roesner is the most featured calendar model this year, appearing on our cover, as well as in January, June and December. The singer has modeled in the past and was featured in an ad campaign for the opera company in Braunschweig. He's also one of the most intelligent singers who we've ever encountered and has translated librettos into German, including Jake Heggie's For a Look or a Touch and Jonathan Dove's Mansfield Park.

Vassalli took so many sexy photos that we helped him put together a separate calendar, where $10 of each purchase will go to fund his upcoming US debut with Musica Marin on January 22 and 24. You can purchase your own copy HERE or buy tickets to his concert HERE. Vassalli is also well read and chose the poems for his upcoming program, which were set to music by composer Clint Borzoni. He selected Hilde Domin's Margere Kost and Hermann Hesse's Stufen.
Edwin David Vargas

BEST BARI-CHUNK TO BARI-HUNK: Nothing generates more traffic on our site than our "bari-chunk to bari-hunk" features. Our post of Michael Mayes and Kasey Yeargain remain some of our most popular post of all-time and Edwin David Vargas' transformation proved to be just as inspirational. He's currently completing his Masters degree at the Brooklyn College CUNY.

Photos from Hadleigh Adams' new website.
BEST NEW WEBSITE: Few singers have had more enduring popularity on Barihunks than Hadleigh Adams and this year was no exception. Photos from his performances in the title role of Vivaldi's Bajazet with Pinchguy Opera, Orlando in RB Schlather provocative production at Whitebox in NYC and his biographical cabaret in San Francisco proved to be particularly popular. His website is available at http://www.hadleighadams.com.

He will be Falke in Cincinnati Opera's upcoming production of Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus.


BEST COMPETITION WINNERS: Low male voices swept the 2015 Wigmore/Kohn International Song Competition as Milan Siljanov took 1st Prize, Samuel Hasselhorn took 2nd Prize and James Newby took 3rd Prize. Newby added to the sweep by also winning the Richard Tauber Prize given for the best interpretation of Schubert. His program included Finzi's Let us garlands bring and Schubert's An Sylvia?

Waltteri Torikka
BEST REALITY TV PERFORMANCE: Finnish barihunk Waltteri Torikka won MTV's singing competition Tähdet, Tähdet (Stars, Stars) garnering 58% of the vote and bringing the audience to its feet with his own hip swinging rendition of Ricky Martin's Livin' La Vida Loca.  His victory culminated a two month journey that included performances of Whitesnake's Still of Night, a country version of "Ring of Fire," the punk rock song "Hei hei mitä kuuluu," a Finnish tango, and even an Ozzy Osbourne-esque version of Scarpia from Tosca!

Torikka was subsequently voted as the "Sexiest Man in Finland" by the readers of the women's magazine Eeva (Eve).

The cast of La Fanciulla del West in Des Moines
BEST GROUP PHOTO: Michael Yeshion, who has photographed many of our calendar models, took these group photos at the Des Moines Metro Opera, during a break in rehearsals for their production of Puccini's La Fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West). The barihunk rich cast included Alex Soare, Andrew Potter, Cesar Mendez Silvagnoli, Christopher Job, Geoffrey Penar, Joshua Jeremiah, Harry Greenleaf, Jonathan Harris, Trevor Martin, Tyler Alessi and Zach Owen.


Thomas Tatzl as Papageno
BEST PHOTO IN DRAG: Even with regietheater all the rage in European, it's tough to top Austrian barihunk Thomas Tatzl performing Papageno topless in a dress with a chorus of transsexual nuns! He's currently singing the role in Mozart's Die  Zauberflöte at the Theater Basel.
 
Keith Miller in Florencia en al Amazonas

BEST BLUE  BARIHUNK: Keith Miller's shirtless picture covered in blue body paint as Riolobo in Daniel Catán's Florencia en al Amazonas with the Nashville Opera was pretty hot. Director John Hoomes said the costume was "...inspired by the male costumes from Trinidad Carnival."

If you want to keep Barihunks up and running in 2016, you can support us by purchasing our Charity Calendar! It features 18 of the sexiest men in opera and all of the proceeds go to supporting young artists. ORDER TODAY by clicking HERE (you won't regret it!).

 

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