Friday, January 30, 2015

Happy Birthday, Philip Glass!!!

Martin Acrainer in Orphée (left) and Spuren der Verirrten (right)
Nary a year goes by where we don't celebrate the birthday of American composer Philip Glass who turns 77 today.

Many of his 20+ operas have become staples of the standard repertory including Hydrogen Jukebox, Einstein on the Beach, Satyagraha, Akhnaten, and The Voyage. We've featured many of the more obscure operas on this site, including Kepler, Les Enfants Terribles, The Perfect American, Orphée and Galileo Galilei, which have become popular vehicles for barihunks like Martin Achrainer, Philip Cutlip, Matthew Worth, Nicholas Nelson and Timothy McDevitt.

Glass was born in Baltimore and studied at the University of Chicago, the Juilliard School and in Aspen with Darius Milhaud. Finding himself dissatisfied with much of what then passed for modern music, he moved to Europe, where he studied with the legendary pedagogue Nadia Boulanger and worked closely with the sitar virtuoso and composer Ravi Shankar. He returned to New York in 1967 and formed the Philip Glass Ensemble.

Guillaume Andrieux in Philip Glass' Les Enfants Terribles
Glass likes speak of himself as a composer of “music with repetitive structures.” Much of his early work was based on the extended reiteration of brief, elegant melodic fragments that wove in and out of an aural tapestry. Or, to put it another way, it immersed a listener in a sort of sonic weather that twists, turns, surrounds, develops.

Upcoming performances of Glass operas include The Trial, which will run at the Theater Magdeburg from April 1-May 8 with barihunk Johnny Herford as Josef K. In the U.S., Hydrogen Jukebox will play at the Long Beach Opera from May 30-June 7. Perhaps the most popular Glass opera this season is Akhnaten, which will play in Antwerp in February, Gent in March, Heidelberg in March and Maastricht in June.

John Brancy in Edmonton's Magic Flute

John Brancy returns to the role of Papageno in Edmonton Opera's The Magic Flute, which opens Saturday, January 31st and runs through February 5th.

The opera, which was created and designed in house, will be presented as a visually stunning, exotic pop-up storybook. The vibrant hues and angular set pieces hint at an exotic location without placing it in any one specific locale or time period.

Tickets available ONLINE. You can watch highlights of the production below.

Next up for Brancy is another Mozart role, when he takes on Figaro in the composer's The Marriage of Figaro at Opera Lyra Ottawa. Performances run from March 21-28th at Southam Hall at the National Arts Centre. This will be his debut with the company.   

Thomas Tatzl to star in new opera based on Lorca play

Thomas Tatzl
Austrian barihunk Thomas Tatzl will star in composer Mauricio Sotelo's new opera El Público, commissioned  by the last Gerard Mortier for the Teatro Real in Madrid. The work was adapted by Andrés Ibáñez from a 1930 piece by Federico García Lorca, which he wrote in Cuba after the transcendent trip he made to New York, in the midst of a profound emotional crisis and creative spirit.

The play, which Lorca gave to his friend Martínez Nadal on the condition that he destroy it upon his death, was premiered in Milan in 1968. Librettist Andrés Ibáñez wrote this about keeping the two essential themes of the work:
“...homosexuality and contemporary theatre. They both come united in a central theme that relates to the appearance or the mask. A mask of “love that cannot be named”, and in the end a mask that reveals itself as the essence of the human being. (...) Obscenity, cruelty, and irreverence are basic elements of Lorca’s poetic language. They have not been emphasised nor avoided. The text explores sexual desire with an honesty and complexity that defies the more or less moralist well-meaning simplifications.”
Thomas Tatzl, who we briefly featured back in 2012, studied voice at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz and the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. He was a member of the ensemble at the Zurich Opera House, and has also performed at the Salzburger Festspiele, Maggio Musicale Firenze, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, the Menuhin Festival in Gstaat, the Music Society Steiermark and the “Amici della Musica” in Padua.

The opera runs from February 24-March 13 and it will be recorded on DVD with international distribution, as well as broadcast on television and on the web.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gianluca Margheri featured as "barihunk" in I Puritani article

Italian barihunk Gianluca Margheri was featured in Forum Opera's plug for today's broadcast of Bellini's I Puritani from the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Firenze today. The broadcast was on Italian radio Rai 3 and available worldwide. Margheri was singing the role of Lord Walton (apparently with his shirt on!). Performances run through February 15th.

He next heads to Budapest, where he will sing the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni from March 20-26. The last time he performed the role he was shirtless and you can find a clip HERE.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Keith Miller's sexy Riolobo in Florencia en al Amazonas

Keith Miller as Riolobo
Keith Miller just wrapped up a 3-performance run as Riolobo in Daniel Catán's Florencia en al Amazonas with the Nashville Opera. We had to share this amazing picture of the bodybuilding barihunk, who become a regular in our annual calendar.

Back in August, director John Hoomes told us this about the production:

"As opposed to some productions of the work, our production with focus more of the magic-realistic, sensual, fever-dream aspects of the piece, with extensive dreamlike immersive HD video, and a living, writhing, singing river...As Riolobo, [Keith Miller] will sing the role of the steersman of the steamship, and he will also appear as a manifestation of a mystic Amazon River god.  His river god costume will be inspired by the male costumes from Trinidad Carnival."
In 1996, Florencia en al Amazonas was the first Spanish-language opera to be commissioned by a major American opera house. It premiered at the Houston Grand Opera, and was subsequently performed at the Los Angeles Opera and the Seattle Opera. Daniel Catán died in 2011 at age 62, shortly after the premiere of his last opera, Il Postino, based on the popular Italian film. At the time of his death, he was at work on a new piece, Meet John Doe, inspired by Frank Capra’s classic film of the same title.

The two-act opera Florencia en al Amazonas is set on the steamboat El Dorado in 1910, where the famous opera singer Florencia is traveling down the Amazon to perform in Manaus. Florencia desires to encounter her lost love, a butterfly hunter who entered the jungle and never returned. The dramas aboard the steamboat weave love, conflict, loss, a violent storm, and ultimately a cholera epidemic that keeps the passengers quarantined and Florencia’s dream apparently dashed.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Watch Ildar Abdrazakov in Richard Tucker Gala

Ildar Abdrazakov
If you missed the broadcast of the Richard Tucker Gala on PBS a few days ago, you can still watch it online. Barihunk Ildar Abdrazakov is one of the featured performers, singing “Infelice!..e tuo credevi” from Verdi's Ernani, “Là ci darem la mano” from Mozart's Don Giovanni with Ingeborg Gillebo and the sextet from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.

Also featured on the broadcast is baritone Željko Lučić, soprano Pretty Yende, soprano Angela Meade and the thrilling tenor Michael Fabiano.

If you're in New York, make sure to check out Ildar Abdrazakov's upcoming recital. Clink on his image to the right to buy tickets.

Introducing Frankfurt Opera's Iurii Samoilov

Iurii Samoilov as Masetto at Oper Frankfurt
We've been following Björn Bürger ever since we first posted him, as he was instantly a hit with our readers. When we were scouring his upcoming performances, we ran across Ukrainian Iurii Samoilov often sharing the same roles or operas with Bürger at the Frankfurt Opera.

Samoilov joined the ensemble at the Frankfurt Opera this season after having been part of their Opera Studio since 2012. This season, he performs sings Marcello in Puccini's La Bohème, the 2nd Knight of the Holy Grail in Wagne's Parsifal, Dandini in Rossini's La Cenerentola and Masetto in Mozart's Don Giovanni. His debut with the company was as the Embittered Gambler in Prokofiev's The Gambler.

 Iurii Samoilov sings Rachmaninov's Do not sing, my beauty:

Samoilov graduated from the National Music Academy of Ukraine in 2011 and in 2009 he was the youngest singer to ever reach the finals at theNeue Stimmen Competition in Germany.

Last season, he also appeared in Rossini's Il viaggio a Reims at the 2014 Rossini Opera Festival. From April 18-26, he'll be at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo to perform in Adolphe Adam's Le Toréador opposite fellow barihunk Andrea Concetti.

Björn Bürger
You can catch him as Marcello in Puccini's La Bohème at the Frankfurt Opera on March 19th, as well as alternating the roles of Masetto in Mozart's Don Giovanni and Dandini in Rossini's La Cenerentola with Björn Bürger later this season. 

Craig Irvin's shirtless Zurga at Utah Opera

Craig Irvin and soprano Andrea Carroll
Pictures have finally shown up of barihunk Craig Irvin, who has been singing shirtless in the Utah Opera production of Bizet's The Pearl Fishers, which has its final performance today. Now we hope that some audio shows up, so that we can hear his thrilling voice sing Zurga's "L'orage s'est calmé." 

If you missed him Utah, you can catch him from February 21-March 1 with the Lyric Opera Kansas City where he reprises his portrayal of Lieutenant Hortsmayer in Kevin Puts' Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night. Irvin practically own the role, having sung it at the Cincinnati Opera, Fort Worth Opera Festival and at the world premiere with the Minnesota Opera. In Kansas City, he'll be reunited with fellow barihunk Liam Bonner, who reprises his performance of Lieutenant Audebert from the initial production.

Craig Irvin and soprano Andrea Carroll
On March 14, Utah Opera will stage their next complete opera with another barihunk, when David Adam Moore takes on Guglielmo on Mozart's Così fan tutte. Performances will run from March 14-22.

In March, Craig Irvin moves into lighter fare, as he sings the Pirate King in the Pensacola Opera production of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance. Tickets are available online.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Smoldering Dan Kempson in Townsend Opera's Streetcar

Dan Kempson and Carrie Hennessey in Townsend Opera's A Streetcar Named Desire
Whenever we run a shirtless picture of Dan Kempson, the traffic to our site doubles or triples. So we were thrilled to get this picture of the 2015 Grammy Award nominee from rehearsals for this weekend's run of André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire, which opens for two performances at the Townsend Opera tonight in Modesto and then heads to the Fresno Grand Opera for a single performance on February 15th.

Although the role of Stanley Kowalski was originally sung by fellow barihunk Rod Gilfry, the role seems like it was written for Kempson. Blessed with one of the most beautiful baritone voices in opera, he also has the same smoldering sexual charisma that Marlon Brando brought to the movie role.  In a stroke of genius casting, Townsend Opera in conjunction with the Fresno Grand Opera were the first to cast him in this role, affording people in Northern California to get the first glimpse of Kempson in a role that will certainly become a signature part for him in his rising career.

Scenes from A Streetcar Named Desire at Townsend Opera
Although Modesto and Fresno are 90 minutes and 3 1/2 hours away from the Bay Area, they are rapidly becoming a key part of the Northern California music scene.  Founded in 1983, Townsend Opera has taken off under Artistic Director Matthew Buckman who launched the Opera Remix Initiative, which is bringing the art form into the 21st century by experimenting with how it can blend the musical styles of today’s world.

Rod Gilfry (left) and Marlon Brando (right)
Fresno Grand Opera, which was founded in 1999, has attracted some of the biggest names in opera, including Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Renée Fleming.  In another example of the changing economics of the opera world, the two companies have joined forces in sharing season and production costs, despite remaining separate entities with their own board of directors.

The remainder of the cast includes Carrie Hennessey as Blanche DuBois,  Kiera Duffy as Stella, James Callon as “Mitch,”  Sharmay Musacchio as Eunice Hubbel and Robert Norman as Steve Hubbel. Tickets for the January 23 and 25 performances at Townsend Opera are available online, as are tickets for the February 15th performance in Fresno.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Barihunk® Malte Roesner face of Staatstheater Braunschweig ad campaign

Malte Roesner (photo on left by Jens Bartels)
People in the Lower Saxony region of Germany were wondering who the handsome face was adorning ads for the Staatstheater Braunschweig. Reporter Alkmini Laucke figured out that it was ensemble member Malter Roesner and promptly invited him out for an interview and photo shoot with Jens Bartels from JayBe Photography.

In the interview, which you can read in German online, he reveals that his 10 year stint at the Staatstheater Braunschweig is coming to an end after this season. He'll be freelancing and moving to Vienna (any General Directors or Artistic Administrators out there should take note - this charismatic singer is available for casting!).
Malte Roesner (photos by Jens Bartels)
He also discusses partaking in martial arts and yoga to find balance in his life, and he showed up for his interview on his bicycle. Clearly, he has the barihunk routine down to an art.

The ads, it turns out, are for the Staatstheater Braunschweig's annual gala, which is themed "Ein Maskenball" (A masked ball). The two night affair will be held in Braunschweigs Burgplatz on January 30 and 31. The event will include music and dancing and tickets are available online.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ed Parks to sing Thérèse Raquin in Long Beach and Chicago

Ed Parks
Barihunk Ed Parks is singing the role of Laurent with the Long Beach Opera on January 24th and February 1. He then performs the role with the Chicago Opera Theater from February 20-28.  

Based on  French writer Émile Zola's novel, Tobias Picker's sensual score for Thérèse Raquin mirrors the lovers' turbulent affair. The Long Beach and Chicago casts both star Mary Ann Stewart as Thérèse, Matthew DiBattista as her husband Camille and Suzan Hanson as Madame Raquin.

The Long Beach Opera will offer students tickets for $15 per ticket in an effort to introduce a young audiences to opera.  There is a limit of two tickets per student.

 Mary Ann Stewart and Ed Parks in duet from Thérèse Raquin (rehearsal):

Thérèse and Camille Raquin are a married couple who are reunited with an old friend, Laurent. It soon becomes clear that Thérèse and Laurent are more than old friends as heated confessions of undying love abound between the two. The two conspire to murder the sickly Camille and succeed in dumping him into the Seine to make possible the consecration of their love. The guilty couple soon becomes the object of torment by both their own guilty consciences and the ghost of Camille.

Beginning March 30th, the former Lindemann Young Artist, returns to the Metropolitan Opera to sing the Flemish Deputy alongside fellow barihunk Simon Keenlyside in Verdi's Don Carlo

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Dmitri Hvorostovsky to make role debut in The Demon

Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who just gets sexier with every passing year, will be making his role debut in Rubinstein’s The Demon from January 30 – February 5 at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall  in Moscow. The performance will be led maestro Mikhail Tatarnikov with the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky sings music from the The Demon and Don Giovanni:

Joining him in the semi-staged production will be fellow barihunk Alexander Tsymbalyuk, soprano Asmik Grigoryan, contralto Larisa Kostyuk, countertenor Vadim Volkov, tenor Vasily Yefimov,and bass Dmitry Skorikov. Ticket information is available online.

Alexander Tsymbalyuk can currently be seen at the Bavarian State Opera in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. Hvorostovsky is singing Renato in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera at the Royal Opera House in London. He'll return to the opera in May at the Metropolitan Opera in the role of Count Anckarström.

Krešimir Stražanac heads BACH to church

Krešimir Stražanac
We originally introduced 31-year-old Croatian barihunk Krešimir Stražanac to readers after a picture of him that we posted of him working out went viral with our readers on Facebook.

Last season at the Zurich Opera, Stražanac sang Bello in Puccini's La fanciulla del West, the Second Nazarene in Richard Strauss' Salome, Fleville in Giordano's Andrea Chenier and Hermann in Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann. This season he'll be keeping his beautiful voice in shape with lots of Johann Sebastian Bach at some amazing churches and cathedrals.

On March 7th, he'll be at the famed Herkulesaal Church in Munich singing the St. John's Passion with Concerto Köln and the Bayerischen Rundfunks Chorus and tenor Julian Prégardien as the Evangelist. The concert will be repeated the next night at the Partenkirchen in Garmisch.

Krešimir Stražanac sings Frank Martin, Schubert and Wolf:

On March 14th, he'll perform Bach's "Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn, BWV 92" and "Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’r Mensch und Gott, BWV 127" with the WDR Sinfonieorchester in Cologne under  Reinhard Goebel.  

In April, he takes on St. John's Passion at the Strifskirche in Stuttgat before returning to Cologne in May for Bach's "Gott fahret auf mit Jauchzen, BWV 128."

If you want to catch him in opera, you'll have to wait until August when he sings Aeneas in Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas at the Osor Summer Festival in his native Croatia.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Gyula Orendt in live stream of Orfeo

Gyula Orendt in Orfeo
Gyula Orendt will headline a live stream performance of Monteverdi’s Orfeo in a co-production between Roundhouse Digital Productions and the Royal Opera House. The Roundhouse Theatre was a railway repair shed from 1847-1960 and now hosts performing arts productions.

The performance will be available on Wednesday, January 21st at 7.15pm GMT/10:15 AM PST/1:15. You can watch the performance at the Royal Opera House YouTube channel or on the BBC Arts website.

Joining Gyula Orendt in the cast is soprano Mary Bevan as Euridice, along with Jette Parker Young Artists James Platt as Charon and Rachel Kelly as Proserpina. Former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company Michael Boyd directs in his operatic debut, with a production that features post-graduate students of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and participants of East London Dance.

Gyula Orendt and Mary Bevan
Orfeo, which originally premiered on February 24, 1607 in Mantua, is considered the first great opera. Monteverdi incorporated existing musical forms, such as madrigals and the newly developed recitative and the result was considered revolutionary.

The eight performances are all sold out, so this may be your only chance to see the performance.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Nude Siegfried, Shirtless Wotan at Thalia Theater in Hamburg

Philipp Hochmair
Director Antú Romero Nunes has created a hybrid version of Siegfried and Götterdämmerung at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg using material from composer Richard Wagner and the 19th century German dramatist Christian Friedrich Hebbel. He's also presenting the innocent forest child Siegfried nude, which is true to the original story as the hero bathes in the blood of the freshly slain dragon to become invincible.

Philipp Hochmair and Thomas Niehaus in "Der Ring: Siegfried/Götterdämmerung"  
Alexander Simon as Wotan and Daniel Lommatzsch as Siegmund
Wagnerian purists should be warned, as this version contains far more spoken dialogue than the famed leit motifs of The Ring. There are six remaining performances and tickets are available online.

Duncan Rock in intimate Don Giovanni

Duncan Rock as Don Giovanni with the HET Sinfonieorkest
We've been so excited about Duncan Rock's American stage debut as Don Giovanni in May with the Boston Lyric Opera that we almost overlooked his current run in the opera with the HET Sinfonieorkest in The Netherlands that's going on right now. Fortunately, there are still five performances remaining between January 18-25 and tickets are available online.

Director Eva Buchmann has made the story particularly intimate in this production placing the audience on the stage and around the orchestra.

We recently shared a little bit of trivia about Duncan Rock, which was that he started his musical career playing the bagpipes. The HET Sinfonieorkest adds that he played basketball and the bass.

This summer he'll be at Glyndebourne singing Tarquinius in Fiona Shaw's production of Britten's The Rape of Lucretia.

Watch Christopher Dylan Herbert in all-star "Saul"

Christopher Dylan Herbert (far left & right) and Anthony Roth Costanzo
As part of the Twelfth Night Festival in early January, Julian Wachner and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra presented a fully-staged production of Handel’s Saul. The title role was sung by barihunk Christopher Dylan Herbert, who possesses one of the most eloquent and richly beautiful baritone voices in the business. David is sung by the stunningly gifted countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo and bass-barihunk Dashon Burton sings the role of the Ghost of Samuel. Rounding out the cast is Ryland Angel as Jonathan, Jessica Muirhead as Merab, Marie-Eve Munger,  as Michal and Molly Quinn.

Click HERE to watch the entire performance.

Christopher Dylan Herbert sining "With rage I shall burst his praises to hear!"
Saul is a dramatic oratorio taken from the First Book of Samuel in the Bible's Old Testament. The story of Saul focuses on the first king of Israel's relationship with his eventual successor, David; one which turns from admiration to envy and hatred, ultimately leading to the downfall of the eponymous monarch.

The work, which Handel composed in 1738, includes the famous "Dead March," a funeral anthem for Saul and his son Jonathan. The "Dead March" was played at the funerals of Winston Churchill and George Washington, as well as being played many times during the journey from Washington D.C. to Springfield, Illinois of the body of Abraham Lincoln after his assassination.

You can next hear Christopher Dylan Herbert on January 22nd, when he performs a recital with accompanist Christopher Reynolds at Julliard's Morse Hall. The will perform music by Liszt, Shostakovich and Rautavaara. Herbert is also part of the Grammy-nominated ensemble New York Polyphony and you can check out their schedule online.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Watch Elliot Madore in Charpentier & Rameau

Elliot Madore and Danielle de Niese in Les Sauvages
A reader wrote us to inform us that Elliot Madore's performance in excerpts from Jean-Philippe Rameau's Les Sauvages with William Christie and the Orchestre des Arts Florissants is available online. Joining him in the cast are Danielle de Niese as Zima, Marcel Beekman as Damon and Laurent Naouri as Don Alvar.

He also performs in Marc-Antoine Charpentier's Te Deum H.146 with Rachel Redmond, Katherine Watson, Marcel Beekman, Reinoud Van Mechelen,  Elliot Madore, fellow barihunk Marc Mauillon and Laurent Naouri.

The remainder of the performance includes Jean-Joseph Cassanéa de Mondonville's In exitu Israel and François-André Danican Philidor's Rondo de Bacchus.

Click HERE to watch the entire performance.

Elliot Madore performing with the Orchestre des Arts Florissants
Madore can next be seen at the Zurich Opera from February 15-March 3 when he sings Harlekin in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos. Eva-Maria Westbroek will sing Ariadne and fellow barihunk Erik Anstine will sing Truffaldin.

He next appears in the U.S. on March 15 at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio for a song recital of Poulenc, Ives, Wolf, Schumann and others. Tickets are available online.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

RIchard Rittelmann in Liszt rarity

Richard Alexandre Rittelmann as Escamillo and in the Barihunks Calendar
Richard Alexandre Rittelmann, who was one the winners of our Barihunks Charity Calendar photo contest, has some interesting concerts on the horizon.

On February 8th, he'll sing Ludwig, one of the main baritone parts in Franz Liszt's rarely performed Die Legende von der heiligen Elisabeth at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos under Arturo Tamayo. Liszt wrote the score between 1857-62, using a libretto by Otto Roquette. The story depicts the life of Hungary's Saint Elizabeth and incorporates the Catholic plainchant used on her feast day, as well as Hungarian melodies. From the plainchant, Liszt extracted a short motive, which he used as a symbol of the cross. The piece is scored for plenty of low voices, including three baritones and two basses as well as a mezzo-soprano, soprano and a chorus.

A little side note of interest, Rittlemann is part Hungarian. Tickets are available online

Eva Marton sings the prayer from Die Legende von der heiligen Elisabeth:

On February 20th, he then returns to more standard fare when he performs the torreador Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen. He sings the role opposite the gypsy Karine Ohanyan on the French Riviera at the Palais de l'Europe in Menton.

From March 6-21 he sings Sergeant Sulpice in Donizetti's La figlia del reggimento at the Teatro Nuovo in Torino

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Lee Poulis back as Oppenheimer; Don Giovanni to be broadcast

Lee Poulis gloriously shirtless onstage and off
We think the world would be a better place of American barihunk Lee Poulis would just walk around shirtless all of the time. We just learned that he's returning to a role where he'll be decked out in a suit, so we thought we'd share some of these pictures.

Poulis will be returning to the role of Robert Oppenheimer in John Adams' Doctor Atomic at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, Spain on March 13, 16 and 18. Jessica Rivera will sing the role of Kitty Oppenheimer. Poulis first sang the role in the German premiere in 2010 at the Saarländisches Staatstheater in Saarbrücken. He then reprised the role a year later at the Finnish National Opera.

Tickets and additional cast information for the Seville performances are available online.

Lee Poulis as Robert Oppenheimer in Saarbrücken
If you can't make it to Seville, Poulis will be performing Leporello opposite the Don Giovanni of fellow barihunk Christopher Burchett at the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre on January 16 and 18. The January 16th performance will be also broadcast on Iowa Public Radio at 2 PM CST. Click HERE for the broadcast. He previously sang the title role in Don Giovanni at Sarasota Opera in 2011.

Theo Hoffman in concert of "Great American Songwriting Teams"

Theo Hoffman
Barihunk Theo Hoffman will part of seven singers from Julliard joining accompanist Steven Blier for as evening of music from "Great American Songwriting Teams." The concert will feature music by George & Ira Gershwin, Comden & Green, Kander & Ebb, Bock & Harnick, Rodgers & Hart (& Hammerstein), Leiber & Stoller, and others.

Coleman & Leigh, who will be represented by a delightful number from Little Me. The program features some famous songs (“You and the Night and the Music,” “Love Potion #9”), some best known to Broadway aficionados (“Little Tin Box,” “The Wrong Note Rag”), and some that will be a delightful discovery for listeners (an unpublished Gershwin gem called “Luckiest Man in the World”).

The show is presented by the New York Festival of Song and Juilliard’s Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts on Wednesday, January 14, 2014 at 8:00 PM at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater.

Theo Hoffman sings Marc Blitzstein's "Stay in my arms":

Other singers on the program include soprano Tiffany Townsend, mezzo-sopranos Kelsey Lauritano and Hannah McDermott, and tenors James Knight, Aaron Mor and Alexander McKissick (that's A LOT of tenors!).

Tickets are $20 for the public, $10 for students, and free for Juilliard students, faculty, and staff. Tickets are available online or by calling (212) 769-7406.

On March 8th, Hoffman debuts with the Portland Symphony Orchestra as The Jailer in Poulenc's The Dialogues of the Carmelites in a cast that includes fellow barihunk Troy Cook.

John Brancy takes WWI tribute to Carnegie Hall

John Brancy & Wallis Giunta (left): Brancy as Papageno (right)
On January 13th, John Brancy will be at Carnegie Hall to perform his recital honoring the centenary of World War I that he performed last month with Vocal Arts DC. The concert is titled "Silent Night: A World War I Centenary Tribute in Song" and features songs from England, Germany, Austria, France & America. He'll be joined by Ken Noda at the piano in Weill Recital hall. The program includes music by Butterworth, Gurney, Orff, Alma Mahler, Ravel, Poulenc, Debussy, Ives and renditions of "My Buddy" and "Danny Boy"

The gifted young singer, was the winner of both the Sullivan Foundation and Marilyn Horne Song Competitions before graduating from Juilliard. Brancy has also already made solo recital debuts at both Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, and has appeared in opera in Paris, Dresden, and Frankfurt.

Tickets are available online.

If you want to see him in opera, you'll have to head to Canada where he takes on Papageno in Mozart's Magic Flute with the Edmonton Opera opening on January 31 and then Figaro in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro with Lyra Opera Ottawa opening March 21.  The latter production includes his girlfriend Wallis Giunta as Cherubino.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Barihunks galore at exciting new San Francisco Opera season

Nicolas Testé, Zachary Nelson and Greer Grimsley
There is a lot of buzz coming out of San Francisco, where the opera just announced their new season and they are embarking on a worldwide search for a new General Director to replace the legendary David Gockley. The frontrunner is rumored to be director Francesca Zambello, who regular readers know coined the phrase "Barihunk" and is revered by the operators of this site.

As for the newly announced 2015–16 season, it is loaded with barihunks! The big news is Greer Grimsley in the San Francisco premiere of David McVicar’s production of Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, co-starring hunkentenor Brandon Jovanovich and rising Wagnerian sensation Rachel Willis-Sørensen. Performances will run from November 18–December 6, 2015.

Tongues are atwitter about the US debut of opera bad boy Calixto Bieito, whose provocative version of Bizet's Carmen is being presented to the occasionally stodgy War Memorial audience with Zachary Nelson as Escamillo. The opera is infamous for a scene involving oral sex behind a car. Nelson will rotate the role with Michael Sumuel.

Mariusz Kwiecien and René Pape
If our email box is any indication, our readers seem to be most excited about the prospect of seeing two of the greatest barihunks in the world sharing the stage for Verdi's Don Carlo. Polish über-barihunk Mariusz Kwiecień will sing Rodrigo and bass-barihunk René Pape as Philip II. They will be joined by the amazing tenor Michael Fabiano making his role debut as Don Carlo, soprano Krassimira Stoyanova as Elisabetta and Nadia Krasteva is Princess Eboli. Performances are June 12-29, 2016.

Also on the docket will be Thomas Hampson in Verdi's Luisa Miller; the barihunk trio of Elliot Madore, Gerald Finley and Wayne Tigges in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd; rising superstar Philippe Sly as Papageno in Mozart's The Magic Flute; Lucas Meachem in Rossini's The Barber of Seville; and, Nicolas Testé as Raimondo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.

Other operas being performed are Leoš Janáček's Jenůfa and the American premiere of The Fall of the House of Usher—a double bill presentation of Gordon Getty’s Usher House and Robert Orledge’s reconstruction of Claude Debussy’s La Chute de la Maison Usher.

Subscriptions are on sale beginning January 12, 2015 and single tickets will go on sale beginning June 29, 2015.

Introducing Canadian Barihunk Dylan Langan

Dylan Langan
We're introducing readers to the multi-talented Canadian barihunk, composer and musician Dylan Langan. We learned about him after a reader forward a feature article from the Waterloo Region Record in Ontario, Canada, which you can read HERE.

He's currently pursuing his Honour’s Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Composition and Vocal Performance at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. He's studying voice with internationally acclaimed baritone James Westman. In addition to singing, he has studied bassoon, piano, saxophone, euphonium and guitar.

Sam Bibby plays Dylan Langan's Waltz in G Major:

As a composer, Langan has produced over 350 works of Electronic Dance Music alone. While best known classically for his Violin Concerto in D Minor, Langan has written for a variety of other instruments and ensembles. He currently studies under Jules Léger Prize winner Linda Catlin Smith and is in the process of writing a number of works.

On February 1st, Langan will be directing and performing in his operatic composition Rise of the Roaches. From February 27-March 1, he will perform Marco in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi. Both performances are at Wilfrid Laurier University. This summer, he'll be honing his skill further at the Halifax Summer Opera where he'll perform the role of Carl Oleson in Kurt Weill's Street Scene.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Laurence Meikle pulls an Opolais in Germany

Laurence Meikle in last night's La bohème in Wiemar (right)
Australian barihunk was a last minute replacement last night in Puccini's La bohème at the Deutsches Nationaltheater und Staatskapelle Weimar. The singer is no stranger to the opera having performed four roles: Marcello, Schaunard, Benoit and Alcindoro. What's amazing is that he's scheduled to sing Marullo in Verdi's Rigoletto tonight at the Theater Nordhausen.

The story is reminiscent of soprano Kristine Opolais, who stepped into the Met's La bohème a night on April 5, 2014 a night after having performed Madama Butterfly. What makes Meikle's back-to-back performances so amazing is that it's not in the same opera house, but 90 minutes down the road.

When he's done with Rigoletto, he heads back to Wiemar to take on Baron Douphol in Verdi's La traviata beginning on January 24. 

Sam Dundas in Julie Taymor's Magic Flute

Sam Dundas as Papageno and Taryn Fiebig as Pamina (right)
One of our favorite singers from Down Under, Sam Dundas, will be rotating the role of Papageno with Luke Gabbedy through January 30th at Opera Australia. The company is bringing back the whimsical, Kabuki-inspired Julie Taymor production of Mozart's The Magic Flute for their 2015 Summer Season.

With English text by J D McClatchy, this production was originally created for the Metropolitan Opera of New York and can be seen on DVD with barihunk Nathan Gunn. During the spoken text, Dundas delivers his lines with an Australian accent to give it a true local feel.

Dundas is in all of the performances except for January 3, 10, 23. Tickets are available online.

Last year he appeared with the company as Belcore in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, Ceprano in Verdi's Rigoletto and Prosdocimo in Rossini's Il Turco in Italia.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Barihunk Kevin Greenlaw proposes to girlfriend mid-duet

Kevin Greenlaw and Marjukka Tepponen
American barihunk Kevin Greenlaw pulled a quick one on his girlfriend soprano Marjukka Tepponen during a New Year's Eve gala in Jyväskylän, Finland. Tepponen walked on stage to sing  the duet "La ci darem da mano" from Mozart's Don Giovanni. On the other side of the stage, she was expecting baritone Mika Pohjonen. However, Greenlaw walked out singing the duet, pulled out a ring, knelt before her and proposed marriage (she accepted, much to the audience's delight).

Marjukka Tepponen and Kevin Greenlaw met last year while singing Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro in Turussa (Turku), Finland. The couple will perform Siblelius' fiendishly difficult Kullervo Symphony with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra on April 17th. 

Much to his delight, she accepted, making them the second operatic couple to get engaged on stage in a week after tenor Pene Pati proposed to Amina Edris during the Christmas holiday. Greenlaw isn't the first barihunk to pop the question on stage. In 2009, Jason Hardy proposed to girlfriend Carrie Kahl after a performance of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at Opera Birmingham (she also accepted).

She was about to sing La ci darem la mano from Don Giovanni when, instead of her intended duet partner coming on stage, up popped her boyfriend on bended knee.
She is Finnish soprano, Marjukka Tepponen. He is British baritone, Kevin Greenlawn.
Well, what could she say?
The pop-up happened during a New Year’s gala concert in Jyväskylä, a small Finnish town with its own opera and symphony orchestra.
- See more at:
She was about to sing La ci darem la mano from Don Giovanni when, instead of her intended duet partner coming on stage, up popped her boyfriend on bended knee.
She is Finnish soprano, Marjukka Tepponen. He is British baritone, Kevin Greenlawn.
Well, what could she say?
The pop-up happened during a New Year’s gala concert in Jyväskylä, a small Finnish town with its own opera and symphony orchestra.
- See more at:
She was about to sing La ci darem la mano from Don Giovanni when, instead of her intended duet partner coming on stage, up popped her boyfriend on bended knee.
She is Finnish soprano, Marjukka Tepponen. He is British baritone, Kevin Greenlawn.
Well, what could she say?
The pop-up happened during a New Year’s gala concert in Jyväskylä, a small Finnish town with its own opera and symphony orchestra.
- See more at:
She was about to sing La ci darem la mano from Don Giovanni when, instead of her intended duet partner coming on stage, up popped her boyfriend on bended knee.
She is Finnish soprano, Marjukka Tepponen. He is British baritone, Kevin Greenlawn.
Well, what could she say?
The pop-up happened during a New Year’s gala concert in Jyväskylä, a small Finnish town with its own opera and symphony orchestra.
- See more at:
She was about to sing La ci darem la mano from Don Giovanni when, instead of her intended duet partner coming on stage, up popped her boyfriend on bended knee.
She is Finnish soprano, Marjukka Tepponen. He is British baritone, Kevin Greenlawn.
Well, what could she say?
The pop-up happened during a New Year’s gala concert in Jyväskylä, a small Finnish town with its own opera and symphony orchestra.
- See more at:
She was about to sing La ci darem la mano from Don Giovanni when, instead of her intended duet partner coming on stage, up popped her boyfriend on bended knee.
She is Finnish soprano, Marjukka Tepponen. He is British baritone, Kevin Greenlawn.
Well, what could she say?
The pop-up happened during a New Year’s gala concert in Jyväskylä, a small Finnish town with its own opera and symphony orchestra.
- See more at:
She was about to sing La ci darem la mano from Don Giovanni when, instead of her intended duet partner coming on stage, up popped her boyfriend on bended knee.
She is Finnish soprano, Marjukka Tepponen. He is British baritone, Kevin Greenlawn.
Well, what could she say?
The pop-up happened during a New Year’s gala concert in Jyväskylä, a small Finnish town with its own opera and symphony orchestra.
- See more at:

Friday, January 2, 2015

Nicolas Courjal in solo recital in Orange

Recitals by basses are way too rare, which is why we used proceeds from last year's Barihunks calendar to present bass-barihunk Aaron Sørensen in recital with tenor Jonathan Blalock. Solo recitals are even rarer, which is why were thrilled to see the announcement from the Chorégies d'Orange summer opera festival that they will be presenting the amazing Nicolas Courjal on August 1st.

The French singer appeared at the festival last season as the High Priest of Baal in Verdi’s Nabucco and the previous year as Sam in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera.

Nicolas Courjal sings Gremin's aria from Eugene Onegin: 

With the stage to himself, he'll present a program of French melodies by Henri Duparc and Jacques Ibert and a selection of arias from Mozart’s Magic Flute, Gounod’s Queen of Sheba, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Rossini’s Barber of Seville, Massenet’s Don Quixote and Verdi’s Les Vêpres Siciliennes. He will be accompanied at the piano by José Imhof, making his first appearance at Orange.

Tickets are available online and we suspect that they will sell fast.

If you can't wait until August, you can catch the singer as Gessler in Rossini's William Tell in Monte Carlo, Paris and London, King Mark in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde in Bordeaux, and the Verdi Requiem in Marseilles. 

Seattle Opera keeps barihunk tradition alive in new era

German bass-barihunk Andreas Bauer
The Speight Jenkins era at the Seattle Opera is officially over, as incoming General Director Aidan Lang has announced his first full season, which will be presented in 2015-16. The good news is that the company's long-standing commitment to barihunks is in tact with some of the world's sexiest baritones and basses in all of their casts!

The six season opera will include a new production, a world premiere, and two of the repertory's greatest operas that have never been seen before in Seattle, Verdi's Nabucco and Donizetti's Maria Stuarda. Lang is also maintaining Seattle Opera's great Wagnerian tradition by presenting The Flying Dutchman with barihunk Greer Grimsley. He'll be alternating the role with Alfred Walker.

Nabucco will feature the Seattle debuts of barihunks Andreas Bauer and Christian Van Horn alternating the role of the High Priest Zaccaria, in a cast that also includes Gordon Hawkins in the title role and Mary Elizabeth Williams in the fiendishly difficult role of his daughter Abigaille.

Morgan Smith (left) and John Moore (right)
The company is also presenting the world premiere of Jack Perla's An American Dream, which resulted from the company's story telling initiative, the Belonging(s) Project. The World War II based libretto tells the story of strangers bound together after a Japanese American family is forcibly removed from where they live on an island in Puget Sound, and the new residents slowly piece together the history of their home. Barihunk Morgan Smith will sing the role of Jim, an American soldier married to Eva, a German Jew who has fled the Nazis and moved to the Pacific Northwest.

Morgan Smith will also alternate the role of Count Almaviva in a new production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro with fellow barihunk John Moore. The cast also includes barihunk Aubrey Allicock as Figaro, a role he will rotate with Shenyang.

Sarah Larsen with  Michael Todd Simpson, Steven LaBrie, Joseph Lattanzi, and Colin Ramsey in the Seattle Opera's The Consul modeling Barihunk tee shirts (Photo by Elise Bakketun)
Other barihunks appearing with the company are Michael Todd Simpson as Cecil in Maria Stuarda and Keith Phares and  Brett Polegato rotating the role of Zurga in Bizet's The Pearl Fishers. The production will also include the Seattle Opera debut of Jonathan Lemalu as Nourabad. The female leads in the Donizetti will be Christine Rice and Joyce El-Khoury as the doomed queen, while Mary Elizabeth Williams and Keri Alkema sing Queen Elizabeth I, her hated rival.

Tickets and additional cast information are available online

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Introducing bass-barihunk John Paul Huckle

Bass-barihunk John Paul Huckle
It's not often that Angelotti in Puccini's Tosca catches our eye, but that was the case with American bass-barihunk John Paul Huckle, who looked pretty damn sexy with his open shirt at the Teatro Carlo Fenice in Genoa, Italy. He was performing in a rotating cast opposite the Tosca of Susanna Branchini, the Scarpia of Elia Fabbian, and Rubens Pelizzari and Rudy Park alternating as Mario Cavaradossi.

Huckle hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and looks like he could play fullback for the Steelers. He studied at Boston University Opera before completing his Master of Music at the Indiana Univerisity where he studied with the legendary bass Giorgio Tozzi. At Indiana University he performed the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Pistola in Falstaff, Friar Laurence in Roméo et Juliette, Hobson in Peter Grimes, Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro and the Count Des Grieux in Manon.

He went on to hone his skills at young artist programs at the Central City Opera, Tulsa Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Opera North, Brevard Music Center, and the Sarasota Opera. While at Sarasota Opera, he received the distinguished Leo Rogers Outstanding Apprentice award.

John Paul Huckle (right) and Tosca at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa (Photo: Marcello Orselli)
In 2007, he made his professional debut as Sparafucile in Verdi's Rigoletto with the Cleveland Opera.
Since the 2010-2011 season, he has been singing in major European houses including the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro Regio di Torino, Teatro Verdi in Pisa and the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa.

John Paul Huckle sings Il lacerato spirito from Verdi's Simon Boccanegra:

He has become a regular at the Teatro Carlo Felice where he has performed Simone in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi opposite Rolando Panerai, the Second Guard in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Colline in Puccini's La bohème and Friar Laurence in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette opposite tenor Andrea Bocelli.