Sunday, January 31, 2016

Reader Submission: French bass-barihunk Sévag Tachdjian

Sévag Tachdjian
A reader just spotted French bass-barihunk Sévag Tachdjian, who was peforming Alidoro in Rossini's La Cenerentola with Opéra de Tours. Tachdjian, who was born in Beirut, Lebanon is of Armenian, but grew up in Nice, France.

While studying French literature in Paris and journalism in Strasbourg, he devoted himself to singing and studied at the National School of Music in Lyon, France with the great French soprano Françoise Pollet. He subsequently joined for the Opera Studio of the Oper Köln, Germany, and the Opera studio of the Opéra national du Rhin, France, where he performed Marullo in Verdi's Rigoletto, Baron Duphol in La traviata, Sciarrone in Puccini's Tosca, the First Apprentice in Berg's Wozzeck, Spencer Coyle in Britten's Owen Wingrave, and Don Annibale in Donizetti's Il Campanello.

 Sévag Tachdjian & Carol Garcia sing 'Là del ciel nell'arcano profondo' from La Cenerentola:

In 2011 he was voted the  “Best Young Talent” by the German opera magazine Theater Pur. In 2012, he performed in Europea 3 & 4, by John Cage at the Holland Festival. In 2013, he made his Italian debut as Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen at the Montepulciano Festival. He won 2nd Prize at the 2015 “Concours international de chant de Canari” and at the “Internationaler Komitas-Wettbewerb” in Berlin.

He now heads off to sing Le Capitaine in Massenet's comic opera Don César de Bazan, which will be be performed at the Opéra de Reims, Théâtre Saint-Martin Paris and Le Théâtre de Saint-Dizier between February 27 and April 29. Don César de Bazan was the composer's first full length opera to be performed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Barihunk switch in Opera Philadelphia's Cold Mountain

Jarrett Ott
Opera Philadelphia has announced that Jarrett Ott will replace fellow barihunk Nathan Gunn as W.P. Inman for all five performances of Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain. The opera is being performed from  Februar 5-14 at the Academy of Music.

Nathan Gunn created the role in the August 2015 world premiere at The Santa Fe Opera, but had to pull out of the East Coast premiere due to a serious family illness.

Jarrett Ott, who is a popular singer on this site, is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and a member of Opera Philadelphia’s Emerging Artists Program. He has been involved with the development of Cold Mountain and the character of Inman for more than three years. He performed the role in two workshops in 2012 and 2013, sang with the full cast in March 2015 as part of a Works & Process presentation at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, and covered the role in both Santa Fe and Philadelphia. He began the 2015-2016 Season with Opera Philadelphia as Marchese D'Obigny in Verdi's La traviata.


The opera is based on Charles Frazier’s National Book Award-winning novel, Cold Mountain, which follows the American odyssey of W.P. Inman, a wounded Civil War soldier who deserts the Confederate Army at great peril to reunite with his love, Ada Monroe (which will be sung by mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard). Ada's once privileged life on Cold Mountain has become one of loneliness and deprivation. As Inman makes his way home, he wonders if the violence he has experienced has made him unworthy of love, and is forced to question just where his allegiance lies. Amidst the destruction of the American Civil War, a pivotal conflict in America’s history, the transformative journeys of Inman and Ada go to the very center of their souls.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Vittorio Prato and Anna Caterina Antonacci reunite in Liège

Vittorio Prato
Barihunks calendar model Vittorio Prato will rejoin the amazing soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci in a double-bill of Wolf-Ferrari's Il Segretto di Susanna and Poulenc's La Voix Humaine at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège, Belgium. They previously performed the double-bill together at the Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg in 2013, which you can listen to in its entirety. Tickets are available online.

The one-act opera Il Segreto di Susanna is rarely performed, probably due to modern views about glorifying smoking. A newlywed husband suspects his younger wife of infidelity because he frequently smells tobacco on her clothes. She's reluctant to admit her unlady-like habit, and much havoc ensues, but when he catches her in the act, all is resolved, and they happily agree to smoke together. 

The second opera, La Voix Humaine, is a more frequently performed and popular solo vehicle for soprano. In this one-act opera, it is the husband who is unfaithful in the face of a wife who seems willing to compromise for the sake of the relationship.

After the run of Il Segretto di Susanna, Prato heads to Palermo to sing Sgt. Sulpice in Donizetti's La fille du régiment and the title role in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia in Bologna.

Barihunk duo in Nice Côte d’Azur's Barber of Seville

Richard Rittelmann (left) and Mattia Olivieri (right)
Opéra Nice Côte d’Azur's production of Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia will feature the barihunk duo of Mattia Olivieri as Figaro and Richard Rittelmann as Fiorello. Also in the cast is Rossini specialist Daniele Zanfardino as Almaviva, Georgian mezzo Ketevan Kemoklidze as Rosina and Marco Vinco as Basilio. Performances will run from February 24-March 1 and tickets are available online.

Rittelmann who was part of our Barihunks Charity Calendar shoot in France this year, has also launched a new website (which includes a picture of him in his Barihunk t-shirt!). Upcoming performances include the Fauré Requiem in six French cities between March 16-29, Johann Strauss' Der Zigeunerbaron in Turin, Berlioz's Les Troyens in concert with Honorary Barihunk Joyce Di Donato and tenor Bryan Hymel (which will be recorded by Warner Classics) and Puccini's La bohème with San Francisco's Golden Gate Opera in May.

Upcoming performances include Marcello in Puccini's La bohème in São Paulo and Ping in Puccini's Turandot at the Bregenz Festival this summer.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Timothy McDevitt in Haydn rarity at Lincoln Center

Tim McDevitt
On February 23, Timothy McDevitt will will perform a semi-staged version of Haydn's L'isola disabitata (Desert Island) with the American Classical Orchestra. He'll be joined by soloists Sherezade Panthaki, Sarah Brailey and Owen McIntosh. The performance is at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and tickets are available online.

L'isola disabitata was Haydn's 10th opera and the only one with a libretto by popular 18th-century Italian poet Pietro Metastasio. The opera was first performed in 1779 and is an Enlightenment parable about the relationship between humanity's natural instincts and society. The opera was performed a few times during the composer’s life and rarely since, having only eight productions in recent years.

Tom Corbeil and Martijn Cornet in L'isola disabitata
You also may want to check out the sexy photos of barihunk Tom Corbeil that we posted from Gotham Chamber Opera back in 2009. 


Blond barihunk duo in Don Giovanni

Bastian Thomas Kohl
Bastian Thomas Kohl, who we introduced to readers back in September, will be performing Masetto in Mozart's Don Giovanni along with fellow barihunk John Chest at the Nantes-Angers Opera from March 4-May 8. Tickets and additional cast information is available online.

Kohl, began his musical career at the age of four and received his formal training at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Leipzig and in Vienna at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst.

His international career began at the age of nineteen as a member of the Opernchor Leipzig appearing frequently with Gewandhausorchester under the direction of Riccardo Chailly. Kohl, who has been a member of the ensemble at the Opernhaus Zürich since the 2014-15 season, will be performing Der König in Schiphorst's Die Gánsemagd, an Armored Man in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Narumov in Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades.

John Chest
Upcoming performances for John Chest include the Marchese d'Obigny in Verdi's La traviata at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Albert in Massenet's Werther at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Valentin in Gounod's Faust at the Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse with fellow barihunk Alex Esposito as Méphistophélès. He is a member of the ensemble at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

The Angers-Nantes Opéra was created in January 2003 through the merger of the opera companies of Angers and of Nantes.  The company uses a variety of performance spaces in the two cities, and across the region, but the main spaces are the 728-seat Grand Théâtre in Angers, and the 784-seat Théâtre Graslin in Nantes.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Marco Vassalli's US debut featured on KDFC radio

A shot from Marco Vassalli's recent California photo shoot
KDFC, San Francisco's premiere classical music station, did a great feature on Marco Vassalli's US debut this weekend with Musica Marin in San Francisco, which you can listen to HERE. They attended a rehearsal of the world premiere of the new Clint Borzoni songs for String Quartet & Baritone that the German-Italian singer is performing in a salon-like in the former home of Ansel Adams near the Golden Gate Bridge. Vassalli chose Hermann Hesse's Stufen and Hilde Domin's Margere Kost, making these the first German language texts set by the composer.

Vassalli will also be performing lieder by Schubert and Richard Strauss, Italian songs by Tosti and Samuel Barber's Dover Beach, which is also scored for string quartet and baritone. He'll be joined in the lieder/song sets by Ronny Michael Goldberg, an accompanist and coach with the San Francisco Opera's Adler Fellow Program.

There are a limited number of tickets remaining on the Musica Marin website.

Marco Vassalli rehearsing Clint Borzoni's Stufen with Musica Marin
Borzoni, one of the most talented of many gifted American composers on the scene, recently completed his fourth opera, When Adonis Calls, based on the poetry of Gavin Dillard and arranged by John de los Santos. The opera was presented at Fort Worth Opera’s 2015 Frontiers Showcase. He is currently working on his fifth opera, The Copper Queen, also with librettist John de los Santos for Arizona Opera’s program, Arizona Spark.

Vassalli just wrapped up a performance of Leonard Bernstein's Candide at the Staatsoper Hannover. He grew up on Lake Constance and began his studies at the Hochschule fur Musik in Cologne, where he studied with the famed soprano Edda Moser.

Michael Mayes featured in Huffington Post

Michael Mayes

Barihunk Michael Mayes, who has emerged as one of the most compelling performers in opera, was recently featured in the Huffington Post. He talks about his love for performing contemporary opera (especially the works of Jake Heggie), his career and his desire to sing more Verdi.

Mayes was our original Bari-Chunk to Bari-Hunk feature and it inspired numerous singers to hit the gym, improve their stamina, boost their self-esteem, improve their performances and therefore benefit their careers. The impact he's had on singers and the art form is immeasurable. A Michael Mayes performance is an event. He's a singer who gives a 110% every night and redefined the role of Joseph de Rocher in Heggie's Dead Man Walking. 

He's not only a regular feature on our site, but he's also appeared in our charity calendar, helping us raise money to support other young artists. You can read the entire Huffington Post piece HERE

Mayes can next be seen as Jack Rance in Puccini's La fanciulla del West at Opera Omaha on February 12 and 14, and then in his signature role as Joseph De Rocher in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking  with New Orleans Opera on March 4 and 6.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Another barihunk takes helm of U.S. opera company

Gabriel Preisser
(Photo courtesy of veramarinerstudio)
It seems like it's becoming a regular occurrence, as yet another barihunk is taking over the helm of an American opera company. Gabriel Preisser will take over the revamped and resurrected Opera Orlando as its new executive and artistic director. Vincent Connor will serve as the new general director.

The opera company, which was previously known as the Florida Opera Theatre, was one of a number of U.S. opera companies that collapsed after the recent financial crisis, closing its doors in 2009. They will kick off their new season with a double-bill of Mozart's Impresario and Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tiresias on April 22, 23 and 24.

Gabriel Preisser takes his first fundraising pitch online with a matching grant challenge:


Preisser plans on creating site-specific productions in unconventional spaces and developing special programs for children and young professionals, as well as tour shows to neighboring communities.

Preisser's successful singing career includes over forty operatic and musical theater roles, including creating the role of Lt. Gordon in Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize winning Silent Night at Minnesota Opera. You can still catch Preisser on stage, as he has a number of performances coming up with Opera Tampa, including Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, the Marquis in Verdi's La traviata and Masetto in Mozart's Don Giovanni.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Régis Mengus in Les Mamelles de Tirésias with notorious nude scene

Régis Mengus and Céline Mellon
33-year-old Régis Mengus opened today in Opèra de Lausanne's production of Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tirésias. The production with sets by Ricardo Sánchez Cuerda and directed by Emilio Sagi is the same one in which barihunk Gabriel Bermúdez appeared nude at the Gran Teatre del Liceu (our most popular post of all-time). From all accounts Mengus also appears nude in the current production. We'll keep an eye out for photos and video! Tickets are available online.

Mengus was a childhood internet sensation long before he became known in the world opera. A few years ago, a video of him with fellow boy soprano Hyacinthe de Moulins singing Rossini's Cat Duet began appearing on blogs and websites drawing millions of views. The performance was with the famed boys choir Les Petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Bois, who were presenting a concert in Seoul, Korea in 1996.

Mengus, who came from a blue collar family with little exposure to the arts, was drawn to music as a young boy. He started piano lesson at the age of six, but joined the choir two years later after realizing that singing was his true passion. Shortly after joining the group, he rose to the coveted role of soloist with the boys choir.  In October 2013, he won both the First Prize and the Audience Award at the International Competition of Singing in Vivonne. In March 2014, he won First Prize, the Audience Award, and a Special Award at the International Competition of Bordeaux.

Next up for Mengus is Karnac in Lalo's Le Roi d'Ys in March and Valentin in Gounod's Faust back in Lausanne.

Sneak preview of rehearsal for Marco Vassalli's US debut

Marco Vassalli (left) and Ronny Michael Greenberg (far right)
Rehearsals kicked off for the upcoming U.S. debut of Marco Vassalli with Musica Marin, who is performing the world premiere of the new Clint Borzoni songs for String Quartet & Baritone along with songs by Schubert, Richard Strauss and Tosti. He'll also be performing Samuel Barber's beautiful and moving Dover Beach, one of the few other pieces scored for String Quartet & Baritone.

Portions of this concert were funded by sales of the 2016 Barihunks calendar, so we would like to personally thank everyone who bought a calendar! Every year we donate proceeds to promote young artists and works written for baritone or bass. This year, we plan on funding a special baritone/bass prize at a major singing competition.

Vassalli's debut performances with Musica Marin are on Friday, January 22 and Sunday, January 24 in San Francisco. The German-Italian baritone kicked off rehearsals with accompanist Ronny Michael Greenberg, a current Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera and former participant in the Merola Opera Program. The Sunday matinee is almost sold out, but there are still tickets for the Friday night performance. Tickets for both shows are available on the Musica Marin website.

Here is a sneak preview of them rehearsing Schubert's Nacht und Träume.


Rehearsals for the Borzoni songs with texts chosen by Vassalli begin on Monday with the composer and members of the Musica Marin quartet led by Ruth Kahn. Vassalli chose Hermann Hesse's Stufen and Hilde Domin's Margere Kost, making these the first German language texts set by the composer. Our first charity calendar helped fund a performance of Borzoni's beautiful setting of Walt Whitman's "I Dream’d in a Dream" sung by Randal Turner, which you can listen to HERE.


Borzoni, one of the most talented of many gifted American composers on the scene, recently completed his fourth opera, When Adonis Calls, based on the poetry of Gavin Dillard and arranged by John de los Santos. The opera was presented at Fort Worth Opera’s 2015 Frontiers Showcase. He is currently working on his fifth opera, The Copper Queen, also with librettist John de los Santos for Arizona Opera’s program, Arizona Spark.

Vassalli just wrapped up a performance of Leonard Bernstein's Candide at the Staatsoper Hannover. He grew up on Lake Constance and began his studies at the Hochschule fur Musik in Cologne, where he studied with the famed soprano Edda Moser.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Low voices dominate Met Opera Regionals

Alaysha Fox, Anna Dugan, Joshua Arky, Katrina Galka, Sol Jin, Daniel Miroslaw and Theo Hoffman (L-R)
Two baritones and a bass walked away with the top prizes at the Metropolitan Opera Eastern Regional Finals this week. First place winners who are moving on to the semi-finals are bass Daniel Miroslaw, baritone Sol Jin and baritone Theo Hoffman (a regular feature on this site!). Second place went to soprano Katrina Galka, while bass Joshua Arky walked away with the Rohatyn Great Promise Award. Encouragement Awards were presented to sopranos Alaysha Fox and Anna Dugan.

The regional semi-finals will be held on March 6 from noon-5 PM followed by the Grand Finals on March 13 from 3-6 PM. The Grand Finals will be open to the public and tickets will be available online once they are made available.

Theo Hoffman sings "Dormo ancora" from Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria


Joshua Arky will perform in Beethoven's 9th Symphony on April 16th with the Binghampton Symphony and the Sargeant in Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance with Opera Louisiane on May 14 & 15.

This season, Theo Hoffman made his debut with Atlanta Opera as Schaunard in Puccini's La bohème and is returning to the Opera Theatre of St. Louis in 2017 where he previously covered Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. This season he will sing Papagano at Juilliard from April 19-23.

Daniel Mirosław is joining the Oper Frankfurt’s ensemble for their upcoming season. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Ryan Taylor takes over Minnesota Opera; Leaves great legacy in Arizona

Ryan Taylor now and in his singing days
Former baritone Ryan Taylor is taking over the Minnesota Opera, after he successfully revived the Arizona Opera. Taylor certainly would have been a candidate for barihunks during his singing days, but he was winding down his career as we were revving up the site. Taylor takes over on May 1 and you can read more on the Star Tribune website. We recently posted about another barihunk, Jason Hardy, who took over the reigns of OperaDelaware.

His current programming at Arizona Opera includes Bizet's Carmen in February with the barihunk trio of Ryan Kuster as Escamillo, Joseph Lattanzi as Morales and Calvin Griffin as Zuniga (and the sensational Daniella Mack as Carmen). That will be followed later in the month by Mozart's Don Giovanni with barihunks Morgan Smith and Joseph Lattanzi rotating the title role and Ryan Kuster singing Masetto.

Another of his great legacies will be Arizona Spark, which workshops new compositions. Our personal favorite is Clint Borzoni's Copper Queen, with a libretto by John De Los Santos. The opera tells the story of Julia Lowell, the ghost that haunts a famed hotel in Bisbee, Arizona, once prominent as a mining town for both copper and “Bisbee-blue” turquoise. You can hear sound clips HERE. The Minnesota Opera also has a long tradition of presenting new works, including composer Kevin Puts' Silent Night, which won the Pulitzer Prize.

Borzoni will be presenting two new works in San Francisco next week for String Quartet and Baritone with barihunk Marco Vassalli. Tickets are available online.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Baritones/Basses dominate Met Eastern Finals

Joshua Arky, Theo Hoffman and Daniel Miroslaw
The Region Finals for the MetOpera National Council Eastern Region will be held on Thursday, January 14th and half of the finalists are baritones or basses. Three baritones include Sol Jin, Theo Hoffman and Michael Gracco, and the three basses are Daniel Miroslaw, Joshua Arky and Onay Kose.

Onay Kose, Sol Jin and Michael Gracco
Joshua Arky was a 2014 Regional Finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Eastern Region and won an Encouragement Award at the 2013 Auditions. He is a Master of Music candidate at the Manhattan School of Music, where he is a recipient of the President’s Award. He recently performed the roles of Sarastro in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Colline in Puccini's La bohéme, and un vieillard in Bloch’s Macbeth all with the Manhattan School of Music. At the Central City Opera he performed Doctor Grenvil and Il Commissario in Verdi's La traviata, Merlin in Boismortier’s Don Quixote and the Duchess, and the Captain of the Inquisition in Man of La Mancha. In the Spring of 2016, he'll perform in Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the Binghampton Symphony and the Sargeant in Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance with Opera Louisiane.

Theo Hoffman
Theo Hoffman has become a popular singer on this site, having first featured him during his early years at Juilliard in 2013. We also featured a wonderful and candid Q&A with him in 2014. This season he made his debut with Atlanta Opera as Schaunard in Puccini's La bohème and is returning to the Opera Theatre of St. Louis in 2017 where he previously covered Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. This season he will sing Papagano at Juilliard, where he previously performed Le Directeur in Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tiresias.

He is his statement for the Met Audiions: “I was born and raised in the heart of Downtown Manhattan. My parents are chefs, and they taught me to create and experiment. I sing because I believe there is nothing more visceral and truthful than music produced by the naked human voice. What this broken world needs right now is truth.”

Daniel Miroslaw in Il Turco in Italia (Photo: Ken Howard)
Daniel Mirosław is an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies student at The Juilliard School. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from the Lodz Academy of Music in Poland and a Master’s degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He also studied at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Mannheim. His Juilliard performances have included Don Geronio in Rossini's Il Turco in Italia and Collatinus in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in May 2015 singing Don Fernando in Beethoven's Fidelio and the bass solo in the composer’s Mass in C major. In 2016 Mr. Mirosław will join the Oper Frankfurt’s ensemble.

Daniel Miroslaw sings Leporello's Catalog Aria:

The auditions on January 14th from noon to 5 PM and are open to the public, and are followed by a reception which all the singers are attending. More information and tickets can be found online

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Barihunk duo in Opera Danube's Orpheus in the Underworld

Jan Capiński (Photo: Ash Mills) and Matt Buswell (Photo: Chris Christodoulou)
Once again Twitter provided us a path to our latest post when Jake Arditti responded to a tweet from Opera Danube introducing the men of their cast for their upcoming performance of Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld. He correctly predicted that we'd be onto them in no time. For the record, if we ever start a site dedicated to hunky countertenors Arditti will be our first post.

Performing in the cast are barihunks Jan Capiński and Matt Buswell, the latter who is new to the site. Opera Danube was founded in 2013 to provide emerging artists a showcase for their talents with full orchestra. As the name implies, their primary focus is operetta and in prior years they have performed Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus and Franz Lèhar's The Merry Widow. Performances of Orpheus will be on January 29, 30 and 31 at St. John's, Smith Square and additional cast and ticket information is available online.

The "Oracle of Arditti" speaks!
We introduced Jan Capiński a year ago when it was announced that he was singing Armando in Donizetti's The Siege of Calais with the English Touring Opera. The Polish native studied at the Academy of Music and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. He went on to train at the ENO Opera Works professional development program and is a recipient of the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, as well as the Garsington Opera Simon Sandbach Award. He recently completed two tours of the U.K. with Mid Wales Opera and English Touring Opera as Moralès in Jonathan Miller's new production of Carmen. According to his website, Capiński stays in shape by white-water kayaking, stand-up-paddleboarding and hiking.

Offenbach's Can Can at Opera Danube's gala:


Bass-barihunk Matt Buswell trained at the Royal College of Music where he graduated with honours. Upcoming performances include performances with with the Brandenberg Choral Festival in Mozart's Requiem and Solemn Vespers. He has previously performed Cadmus and Somnus in Handel's Semele with the London Early Opera, Il Sonno in Handel's Arianna in Creta and Licaone in Handel's Giove in Argo at the Royal College of Music International Opera School & London Handel Festival, Wilfred in Gilbert & Sullivan's The Yeomen of the Guard with Portsmouth Guildhall, Calmon in Jonathan Dove's The Little Green Swallow with the British Youth Opera and  Figaro in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro with the Mid-Wales Opera Young Artist Program. When not performing, he also teaches voice.

You can follow Jan Capiński on Twitter @jancapinski, Matt Buswell at @MattBuswell,  Jake Arditti at @JakeArditti and Opera Danube at @OperaDanube.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Peter Brathwaite reprising show of "Degenerate Music"

Peter Brathwaite and poster for "Degenerate Music"
We've posted about British barihunk's innovate and educational program of "Degenerate Music," which was banned by the Nazis, when he performed it at the London Song Festival and at the Alderney Performing Arts Festival. He's now reprising the show at the Manchester Jewish Museum on Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27 and repeating the show on January 28. The date marks the liberation of Aushwitz-Birkenau and honors the 6 million Jews and others who perished in the Holocaust at the hands of the Nazis.
Auschwitz-Birkenau
marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. - See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/page/about-hmd-and-hmdt#sthash.FnJa42Tm.dpuf
marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. - See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/page/about-hmd-and-hmdt#sthash.FnJa42Tm.dpuf
marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. - See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/page/about-hmd-and-hmdt#sthash.FnJa42Tm.dpuf
marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. - See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/page/about-hmd-and-hmdt#sthash.FnJa42Tm.dpuf
marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. - See more at: http://hmd.org.uk/page/about-hmd-and-hmdt#sthash.FnJa42Tm.dpuf

The program, which was devised by Brathwaite, is a reconstruction of the infamous Entartete Musik (Degenerate Music) exhibition of 1938, intended by the Nazi government to alert the German public to “inferior and ultimately dangerous” forms of music, particularly jazz and Jewish music.

A recording of Hanns Eisler's music:

The program includes songs by Kurt Weill, a selection of Hanns Eisler’s Protest Songs, and works by Friedrich Hollander and Ernst Krenek, including excerpts from his opera Jonny Spielt Auf. This program was written to create a moving testimony to the power of music to overcome adversity, and reminds us that the atrocities of war and oppression are not confined to the battlefield. The songs are interspersed with spoken excerpts from the Entartete Musik exhibition pamphlet and include video projections created by James Symonds showing scenes of everyday life during the days of the Weimar Republic.

You can read more in this article from Mancunian Matters

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Chris Herbert & Philippe Sly available online from Trinity Wall Street

Christopher Dylan Herbert (photo: Laura Rose) and Philippe Sly
Trinity Wall Street in New York City continues to live stream some of the best music available on the web. The last few weeks were rich with music and two of our favorite barihunks performed, Christopher Dylan Herbert in Schubert's Winterreise and Philippe Sly in Handel's Messiah. Fortunately, both are available online or on our site.

We recently posted about Christopher Dylan Herbert's participatory version of Schubert's popular 1828 song cycle dubbed Winterize, which was performed with hats, scarves and mittens in New York's Central Park.

Herbert will be singing lead roles in Stewart Copeland and Robert Paterson's Dixon Place with the American Modern Ensemble on January 16-19. The piece is based on Edgar Allen Poe's The Cask of the Amontillado and tickets are available online.


Handel's Messiah and Trinity have a long history, as the church presented one of the first performances of the work in North America in 1770.


Philippe Sly has a few more performances of sacred music coming up, with a Mozart Requiem with the Toronto Symphony later this month and a St. Matthew Passion with the Hamburg State Opera in April.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Kristian Lindroos takes top prize at Lappeenrannan Singing Competition

Kristian Lindroos
25-year-old barihunk Kristian Lindroos took the top men's prize tonight at the 2016 Lappeenrannan Voice Competition and soprano Suvi Väyrynen took the top women's prize. All of the male finalists were baritones, including second place winner 28-year-old Jussi Juola and third place winner 28-year-old Joonas Askiainen. The other finalists were 24-year-old Tomi Punkeri and 27-year-old Samuli Taskinen.

The finalists performed with the Lappeenranta City Orchestra under the baton of Tibor Bogányi. The judges included opera superstars Soile Isokoski and Matti Salminen. You can listen to Lindroos' prize winning performance HERE.

Peter Lindroos sings Puccini's E lucevan le stelle:

Lindroos studied at the Sibelius Academy and is the grandson of the great Finnish tenor Peter Lindroos and son of the bass Petri Landroos.

The great Finnish baritone Jorma Hynninen won the Lappeenranta Voice Competition in 1969 and went on to make his debut with the Finnish National Opera as Silvio in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci.


Barihunk switcheroo in Vienna's Barber

Christopher Maltman & Alessio Arduini
British barihunk Christopher Maltman, who performed the title role in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin in Vienna last Fall, unexpectedly returned to the company last night. He replaced fellow barihunk Alessio Arduini in the title role of Rossini's Barber of Seville after the young Italian withdrew from the final two performances. Maltman will perform again on Friday, January 8th. Tickets and additional cast information is available online.

Maltman next heads to the Teatro Real in Madrid where he'll rotate the role of Friedrich in Wagner's Das Liebesverbot with James Rutherford. Performances run from February 19-March 15. In the Spring, he returns to the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni with the Dutch National Opera alongside fellow barihunk Fernando Radó as Masetto.

Christopher Maltman in The Met's Barber of Seville:

Arduini is expected to return to the Vienna State Opera to perform Marcello in Franco Zeferelli's production of Puccini's La bohème on March 19, 22 and 26, as well as Figaro opposite Luca Pisaroni's Count in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro on June 22, 25 and 28.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Mariusz Kwiecien and Barihunks in Wall Street Journal

Mariusz Kwiecien in The Met's Pearl Fishers
Barihunks made it into the Wall Street Journal's review of the Metropolitan Opera's Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) starring Mariusz Kwiecien as Zurga, Diana Damrau as Leïla, Nicolas Testé as Nourabad and Matthew Polenzani as Nadir. They wrote:
The Pearl Fishers” contains plenty of spectacle. There are roiling waves and ominous, inky skies, and, briefly, the bared torso of Mr. Kwiecien, a dashing baritone who has been dubbed an “über-barihunk” by the opera blog Barihunks.
You know, when I was 25, nobody asked me take my shirt off,” the singer said, adding that he was relieved to be done with the stress of opening night. “Now I am almost 45, and people ask me to do it.
 Mariusz Kwiecien & Matthew Polenzani sing"Au fond du temple saint":

Before the 2015–16 season, Les Pêcheurs de Perles had only received four performances at the Met. Three of them, in 1916, starred Enrico Caruso and Giuseppe De Luca. The opera will be broadcast to theaters across the country on January 16th and performances run through February 4th. Tickets are available online.