Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dominic Barberi to represent U.K. at Cardiff Competition

Dominic Barberi
28-year-old, German-born, Scottish bass-barihunk Dominic Barberi, who just wrapped up a run as Baron Douphol in Verdi's La traviata at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden opposite Ailyn Pérez, will represent the U.K. at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition on June 18th.

Barberi is currently a member of the ensemble at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, where he has also sung Colline in Puccini's La bohème, Sarastro in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, as well as roles in Wagner's Parsifal , Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, Puccini's Manon Lescaut and Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea.

Barberi went to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he graduated with Distinction in his Performance Masters in 2014. He then moved on to the Berlin Staatsoper International Opera Studio. His big breakthrough came with Opera North where he performed in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea.

Upcoming performances include the premiere of Daniel Pacitti's Luther Oratorio with the Berlin Philharmonic and Alvise Badoero in Ponchielli's La Gioconda at the Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Barihunk Eddie Nelson to perform at historic Maybeck Studio

Maybeck Studio in Berkeley and Eddie Nelson
Barihunk Eddie Nelson will perform at the historic Bernard Maybeck Studio in a special fundraiser for the West Edge Opera. He'll be joined by accompanist Ronny Michael Greenberg, both of whom have close associations with the San Francisco, having participated in the Merola Opera Program and the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow Program.

The performance will be Sunday, May 21st at 3 p.m. with light refreshments, champagne and wine being served. The concert will include music by Duparc mélodies and excerpts from Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet, in which Nelson will sing the title role at West Edge Opera's Summer Festival. 

The historic Maybeck Studio for the Performing Arts was built in 1914 by Bernard Maybeck, the architect of San Francisco's iconic Palace of Fine Arts. Joseph R. Nixon commissioned the building as a live-in studio for his daughter Milda’s piano teacher, Alma Schmidt Kennedy. The studio boasts beautiful acoustics and a long history of hosting world-class performances and recordings. Performances have been hosted there for over 100 years. The house includes two of Maybeck's favorite architectual devices, the Gothic tracery "S" patterns along the balcony and the Japanese-like split eaves on the gables.

Admission to this event is available with a donation of $175 per person, of which $145 is tax deductible. Click HERE to reserve a seat.

Malte Roesner, who appears with the West Edge Summer Festival
In addition to Edward Nelson's Hamlet, the West Edge Opera Summer season will also include the U.S. debut of German bass-barihunk Malte Roesner in Soler's The Chastity Tree.
This is Spanish composer Vicente Martín y Soler's most famous work and is also known by its original title L'arbore di Diana.

Librettist Lorenzo da Ponte created a story from a legend that tells the tale of how Diana, the Greek god of chastity, falls in love with the shepherd Endymion. The plot —halfway between pastoral literature and erotic comedy also praises the political openness of the Archduke Joseph II of Austria.

Tickets and additional information on the West Edge Opera Summer Festival are available online. Roesner is also scheduled to sing a concert of music by Soler and his contemporaries featuring soprano Aurora Perry and tenor Samuel Levine. Details will be announced shortly.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Germán Olvera goes full frontal in Ginastera's Bomarzo

Germán Olvera in Bomarzo
Mexican baritone Germán Olvera goes full frontal in Alberto Ginastera's opera Bomarzo, which is available for viewing on The Opera Platform until June 4, 2017. The performance was recorded at the Teatro Real in Madrid, which was the first European staging of the 12-tone opera since 1976.

The piece had its premier in Washington DC in 1967 and was famously banned in Ginastera's native Argentine, where it was not performed until 1972. The current production celebrates the centenary of Ginastera's birth, who was born in Buenos Aires on April 11. 1916.   

The libretto by Manuel Mujica Lainez deals with the life of the hunchbacked Duke of Bomarzo in Sicily, who sculpted a "garden of monsters" in the 16th century. In the opera, Pier Francesco Orsini, the Duke of Bomarzo, drinks what his astrologer Silvio de Narni claims to be a magic potion that will grant the Duke immortality. However, the drink turns out to be poisoned. After the poison starts to work, Bomarzo begins to recall his life in a series of flashbacks.

Germán Olvera in Bomarzo
Olvera performs the role of Girolamo, who is a stark contrast to his brother and is seen a more  perfect human form. Girolamo goes out for a swim naked, which eventually leads to his death. 

Born in Michoacán, Mexico, Olvera has sung in a number of productions staged by the Palau de les Arts of Valencia. He made his debut in 2013 in the Palacio de Bellas Artes of Mexico City as Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen.

Upcoming performances include Ping in Puccini's Turandot with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (a role that he's recorded on DVD), Grégorio in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette at the Gran Teatre del Liceu and Eisenhardt in Zimmermann's Die Soldaten at the Teatro Real.

Dean Murphy joins ensemble at Deutsche Oper Berlin

Dean Murphy (photo: Jiyang Chen)
We first introduced American barihunk Dean Murphy to readers back in 2015 when he was singing Top in Aaron Copland's Tender Land at Opera North in Lebanon, New Hampshire. His career has clearly taken off since then, as he has now joined the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where he'll start performing as part of the ensemble in January 2018.

He'll be performing Dancairo in Bizet's Carmen, a judge in Korngold's Das Wunder der Heliane, Fiorillo in Rossini's The Barber of Seville, a mocker in Prokovfiev's The Love for Three Oranges, a Flemish Deputy in Verdi's Don Carlo, Wagner in Gounod's Faust, the sargeant in Puccini's La bohème, a singer in Ponchielli's La Gioconda, a delivery boy in Verdi's La traviata, an officer in Meyerbeer's Le Prophète and the bailiff in Verdi's Rigoletto.

Murphy holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the Hartt School of Music. He will graduate from Yale’s School of Music with a Master of Music degree in the spring of 2017. He was a resident artist with Opera Connecticut from 2013-2014 where he performed a number of roles. He has been a regular at a number of other New England companies including Salt Marsh Opera, Opera Connecticut, Connecticut Lyric Opera and Yale Opera.

Murphy can next be heard on May 20th as Mercutio in excerpts from Gounod's Roméo et Juliette with the Opera Theater of Connecticut in Clinton. Tickets are available online.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Introducing Polish Barihunk Paweł Konik in DNO's Monteverdi

Paweł Konik in Monteverdi's Madrigals (right)
Polish barihunk Pawel Konik is taking on double duty in the Dutch National Opera's produciton of Madrigals,  an amalgam of works by Monteverdi. He performs as Tancredi in the section taken from Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and on of the Infernal Spirits taken from Il ballo delle ingrate. As Tancredi he is suite in 77 pounds (35 kilos) of armor.

Only three full-length works from Monteverdi’s opera oeuvre have survived. From Arianna, only the Lamento has survived, in which the Cretan princess sings of her desire for death, as her lover Theseus has left her. Il ballo delle Ingrate and Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda are both part of Madrigals, Book 8. In these works, too, death is the central theme. In a dance, women who have died show what the living can expect if they resist the arts of Cupid. Il combattimento shows the futility of every war or battle. In a duel, Tancredi kills a supposed enemy, who turns out to be his lover Clorinda.

The show also includes hunkentenor Nicólas Maraziótis, bass-barihunk Nathanaël Tavernier as Plutone and is conducted by Christophe Rousset with his orchestra Les Talens Lyriques. You can watch the trailer for the show on YouTube.

Paweł Konik and Nicólas Maraziótis
The performances will take place in the Scenery Atelier of Dutch National Opera & Ballet in Amsterdam-Zuidoost.  The set is dominated by a steel artwork by Jannis Kounellis.There are three remaining performances on May 16, 17 and 19, and then it travels to the U.K.s Brighton Festival for a single performance on May 21.

Konik was born in Cieszyn, Poland and studied at the at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music. He made his debut in January 2013 as Shvochniev in Shostakovich's  The Gamblers, for which won "The Best Singer's Debut Award" from the Jan Kiepura’s Drama Music Awards. He is a member of the Young Artists Program at the Polish National Opera's Opera Academy at the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw.

His operatic experience includes performances of title roles in Mozart's  Le nozze di Figaro, Massenets Don Quichotte,, Bottom in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Betto in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Nikitich Pristav in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Henri Perrin in Madame Curie by Elżbieta Sikora and Zbigniew in Moniuszko’s Haunted Manor.

On May 28th, Paweł Konik returns to his hometown of Cieszyn to sing Bach’s Ich habe genug BWV 82 in a concert in memory of Polish conductor Karol Stryja.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Barihunk duo announced in San Francisco Opera cast change

Erwin Schrott & Erik Anstine
San Francisco Opera’s summer production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni just doubled its "sexiness factor" with the announcement that two barihunks will step in for Marco Vinco as Leporello. The Italian bass withdrew from the production due to health issues.

American bass-barihunk Erik Anstine will sing two performances and Uruguayan bass-barihunk Erwin Schrott will take over for the other six, which run from June 4 through June 30. Both singers are making their house debuts with the San Francisco Opera. Schrott's performances will be has last scheduled appearances in the United States for 2017.

The duo will join bass-barihunk Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, who is singing the title role, along with soprano Erin Wall as Donna Anna, soprano Ana María Martínez as Donna Elvira, tenor Stanislas de Barbeyrac as Don Ottavio, soprano Sarah Shafer as Zerlina, Michael Sumuel  as Masetto and Andrea Silvestrelli. Tickets are available online.

The June 30th performance will be part of the company's' annual Opera at the Ballpark, a free live simulcast of the opera at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. The simulcast is free, but you must register online.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Vittorio Prato as sexy Guglielmo in Geneva

Alexandra Kadurina and Vittorio Prato
Italian barihunk Vittorio Prato shows off some skin as Guglielmo in German director David Bösch's new production of Mozart's Così fan tutte at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. The cast also includes Veronika Dzhioeva as Fiordiligi, Alexandra Kadurina as Dorabella, Steve Davislim as Ferrando, Monica Bacelli as Despina and Laurent Naouri as Don Alfonso.

Bösch's vision in this production is to bring out both the dark cynicism of Da Ponte’s cruel game of lime and Mozart’s luminous music of love. He figures that if "all women are like that," then "all men are too."  The moral of this production is that if love’s a game, the it’s worth learning how to play it.

There are performances remaining on May 10 12 and 14. Tickets are available online.  

Next up for Prato is Puccini's five-part Messa a Quattro voci con orchestra, or Messa di Gloria at La Monnaie with tenor Sergey Romanovsky. There is a single performance on June 14th. Tickets are available online.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Barihunk trio in BariToned at The Green Room 42

Barihunks calendar model Edward Miskie has created a new show called "BariToned: I Hate Men." The show featured three 6'4" tall barihunks, Joe Hager, Brian Krinsky and Miskie and is directed by Broadway's Dan Pardo. 

The show includes Broadway hits like "Hey Big Spender" from Sweet Charity, "Bring On The Men" from Jekyll & Hyde, "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" from Grease all mashed up together to create songs about men and their proclivities, all delivered with some gender-bending fun. 

Miskie is a New York-based Pennsylvania native who has performed Julian Marsh in 42nd Street, Cinderella's Prince/The Wolf in Into The Woods, Fred Graham in Kiss Me Kate, Adam Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and many more. We recently posted about his book "Cancer, Musical Theatre, and Other Chronic Illnesses" which is available on Amazon and Kindle. 

Brian Krinsky also hails from Pennsylvania and was on the national tour of Anything Goes as Billy Crocker and Beauty and the Beast as the Beast/Gaston understudy. He is a regular at the White Heron Theatre Company in Nantucket where he recently portrayed Versati in "The Underpants."
Edward Miskie
Joe Hager is a New York-based Kansas native who has performed Dennis Dupree in Rock of Ages with Norwegian Cruise Lines for the last seven years. Additional credits include the National Tour of Beauty and the Beast as Gaston, the international tour of Phantom of the Opera as Monsieur Richard,  Tom MacKennle in the Seven Year Itch at the York Theatre. Additional credits include Javert in Les Miserables at the Palace Theatre, Sky Masterson in Guys & Dolls at the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, Macheath in The Three Penny Opera at the Brevard Music Center, and Marcello in La boheme at Hidden Valley Opera.

The show opens on May 26th at 8pm at The Green Room 42 on the 4th floor of YOTEL on 42nd and 10th Avenue in New York City. Tickets are $15 with no food or beverage minimums.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Michael Weyandt in New York premiere of Péter Eötvös’ "Angels in America"

Michael Weyandt
Barihunk Michael Weyandt is joinging the cast of Péter Eötvös’ opera adaptation of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic Angels in America with the New York City Opera. Weyandt will be singing the role of the closeted gay Mormon Joe Pitt in what will be the New York premiere of the opera. He joins fellow barihunk Andrew Garland, who is singing the crucial role of Prior Walter.

Angels in America received its West Coast premiere in 2013 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with barihunk David Adam Moore and Nikolas Nackley as Joe.

Andrew Garland
The opera was originally written for the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris where it premiered in 2004. The cast included barihunks Daniel Belcher and Omar Ebrahim, as well as Barbara Hendricks, Roberta Alexander, Derek Lee Ragin and and Topi Lehtipuu.

The opera is based on Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name and will be sung in English with supertitles. There will be four performances running from June 10-16.

Oddly, and distressingly, the New York City Opera did not post cast lists!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Paull-Anthony Keightley reaches semis of Australian Singing Competition

Paull-Anthony Keightley
Paull-Anthony Keightley will be a semi-finalist in the 2017 Australian Singing Competition, which has a top prize of AUD $30,000. The money can be used for to assist with a program of study and/or singing activity. Other prizes include an audition with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, a one-hour studio recording from FIne Music 102.5, a Vocal Training Course at the Guildahall School of Music, one year’s study at the Royal Northern College of Music , a AUD $2,000 scholarsip from the Royal Over-Seas League, a cash grant of AUD $8,000 to enable the recipient to study the Italian language in Italy, a scholarship of up to AUD $7,000 to fund travel and accommodation to attend the Israeli Opera Young Artist Program, a three-week program at State Opera House of Saarbrücken, and many additional prizes.
A number of barihunks who are familiar to readers have also reached the semi-finals, including Morgan Pearse, Hadleigh Adams, Sam Roberts-Smith (who won in 2009), Duncan Rock (who won in 2006) and Paul Whelan (who won in 1987). The semi-finals concert will be held on June 4 and the finals on July 15. Tickets are available online
West Australian Opera's feature on Paull-Anthony Keightley
Keightely made his principal debut with West Australian Opera in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi while he was the 2016 Wesfarmers Young Artist. He recently appeared as Sciarrone in company’s production of Puccini's Tosca while continuing as a member of the Young Artist Programme.
Keightely’s other operatic credits include Leporello in Don Giovanni, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Frank in Die Fledermaus, Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Pasquale in Orlando Paladino and Don Andronico in Don Procopio.
Paull-Anthony Keightley is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). 

Upcoming engagements include the baritone soloist in Faure’s Requiem with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, bass soloist in Bach’s Cantata BWV. 147 with the Perth Symphonic Chorus, Colline in Puccini's La Bohème with Freeze Frame Opera and Zuniga in Bizet's Carmen with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Bastiaan Everink's sexy website; Opening in Der Vampyr

Bastiaan Everink's website
Bastiaan Everink opens today as Lord Ruthven in Marschners's Der Vampyr at the Theater Koblenz, which runs through June 24. We haven't featured Everink on this site before, which is surprising, since he has some pretty sexy pictures on his website and is not shy about displaying his barihunkiness.

Everink has had an interesting path to the opera stages of the world, serving as a soldier in the  Royal Dutch Marines Corps. He was decorated for his participation in the first Gulf Gar in 1991. After being inspired by a recording of Wagner's Parsifal at a friend's house, he decided to study singing at the Conservatory in Enschede and Amsterdam and then at the The Studio of Vocal Arts with former tenor and US Marine James McCray.

Bastiaan Everink

In 2002, he made his debut in Bonn, Germany, and has joined the ensemble at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, as well as appearing with the Dutch National Opera, Frankfurt Oper, Innsbruck, Tiroler Theater, Staatstheater Nurnberg, the State Theater in Wiesbaden and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam. His roles have included the title role in Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer, Scarpia in Tosca. the title role in Verdi's Nabucco, Jago in Otello, Amonasro in Aida, Klingsor in Parsifal, Gerard in Andrea Chenier, Monterone in Rigoletto, Tonio in Pagliacci, Michele in Tabarro, Jochanaan in Salome, Wolfram in Tannhauser and the title role in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.

You can hear Everink talk about his exciting career in the military, as an opera singer and a sculptor on his Ted Talk.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Tim McDevitt joins award-winning cast in The Dreyfuss Affair

Tim McDevitt
Barihunk Timothy McDevitt is joining an all-star cast of actors as Lieutenant Georges Picquart in Eve Wolf's The Dreyfus Affair at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The cast includes Emmy Award winner Peter Scolari, as Émile Zola, Tony Award winner Max Von Essen as Alfred Dreyfus and Mark Evans as his devoted brother Mathieu Dreyfus.

Although a piece of straight theater, the play features music by César Franck, Maurice Ravel, György Ligeti, Jacques Fromental Halévy and Jean-Philippe Rameau. McDevitt is performing two arias from Halévy's La Juive, both tenor arias transposed to a baritone key.

Written by Eve Wolf and directed by Donald T. Sanders, the multi-media production tells the controversial story of the 1894 treason conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus that had a decades-long reverberation in the political landscape of France and the rest of the world. Eve Wolf told The Jewish Week that this show resonates with what's happening today with the still-precarious position of Jews in France to the wrongfully detained prisoners at Guantanamo. The Dreyfus Affair, she said, “is connected to Vichy France and to the rise of Marine Le Pen; it’s a line that never breaks.”
Lieutenant Georges Picquart and Tim McDevitt

The plot evolves around the false arrest and imprisonment of the innocent Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a highly decorated French Jewish officer. Traumatic soul-searching ensued and French society erupted into a fireball of anti-Semitism and political partisanship that called into question the very nature of French identity. Based on letters, diaries, memoirs, speeches and accounts by the historical figures involved in the Dreyfus Affair, the script includes text from Émile Zola’s newspaper article J’Accuse, unquestionably the most important piece of journalistic writing that transformed the private plight of Alfred Dreyfus into an “affair” of national & international significance.

Performances of The Dreyfus Affair run through May 7th and tickets are available online.  

After his run in The Dreyfus Affair, McDevitt will be premiering new songs by composer Georgia Shreve with the Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall on May 19th. Additional information in available online

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Luis Alejandro Orozco makes Florentine Opera debut as Barber

Luis Alejandro Orozco
Barihunk Luis Alejandro Orozco will make his Florentine Opera debut in Milwaukee as the title character in Rossini's The Barber of Seville on May 5th and 7th. He'll be joined in the cast by Taylor Stayton as Almaviva, Katrina Thurman as Berta, Peter Volpe as Basilio, Andrew Wilkowske as Bartolo and Spanish mezzo-soprano Carol Garcia making her U.S. debut as Rosina. The production will be conducted by Joseph Rescigno, who is now the longest-serving principal conductor in opera.

Tickets are available online

Orozco has racked up a number of other company debuts over the last two year, including with the Arizona Opera, Anchorage Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Michigan Opera Theater, Lyric Opera Baltimore, and Urban Arias. He previously sang the The Barber of Seville with Syracuse Opera.

He returns to his signature role of El Payador in Astor Piazzolla's Maria de Buenos Aires at the Mill City Summer Opera from July 14-20. Tickets go on sale on May 8th.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Barihunks have good night at Lotte Lenya competition

Bradley Smoak, Michael Hewitt, Tony Potts & Philip Kalmanovitch
Bass-barihunk Bradley Smoak walked away with the $20,000 Grand Prize at this year's Lotte Lenya Competition. Smoak's winning set included Kurt Weill's  “This is the Life” from Love Life, “Vi ravviso, o luoghi ameni” from Bellini's La sonnambula, “Higher Than a Hawk” from Calamity Jane, and “Me” from Beauty and the Beast.

It was a good year all around for barihunks, as Tony Potts and former barihunks calendar models Philip Kalmanovitch and Michael Hewitt also were awarded $3000 Special Prizes.

Bradley Smoak's winning set:

Contestants were required to prepare four selections: an aria from the opera or operetta repertoire; two songs from the American musical theater repertoire (one from the pre-1968 "Golden Age" and one from 1968 or later); and a theatrical selection by Kurt Weill.

Philip Kalmanovitch at the Lotte Lenya competition:

Michael Hewitt at the Lotte Lenya competition:

Tony Potts  at the Lotte Lenya competition:

Held annually by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, the Lotte Lenya Competition is an international theater singing contest that recognizes talented young singer-actors, ages 19-32, who are dramatically and musically convincing in a wide range of repertoire, and emphasizes the acting of songs and arias within a dramatic context.

Previous winners of the Lotte Lenya competition will be familiar to our readers, including barihunks Lucas Meachem, Liam Bonner and Jonathan Michie, Doug Carpenter, as well as tenor Noah Stewart.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Daniel Okulitch to reprise role in Dead Man Walking

Daniel Okulitch and J'Nai Bridges
Canadian bass-barihunk Daniel Okulitch is returning to both his native country and a familiar role this month. He'll be reprising his highly-acclaimed interpretation of accused killer Joseph De Rocher in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking at the Vancouver Opera from April 29-May 7.

He has performed the role with the Fort Worth Opera and in the Canadian premiere at the Calgary Opera. In this production, he'll be joined by J'Nai Bridges as Sister Helen Prejean, Karen Slack as Sister Rose, Judith Forst as Mrs. Patrick De Rocher and Thomas Goerz as Owen Hart. Tickets are available online.

The opera is based on the bestselling memoir by Sister Helen Prejean and chronicles the story of a convicted Louisiana murderer who is befriended by a Catholic nun seeking to understand the nature of divine forgiveness. Prejean's memoir was the basis for the award-winning 1995 film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn

You can listen to Daniel Okulitch on CBC radio talking about his career and favorite music.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Barihunk Edward Miskie pens humorous cancer survivor memoir

Edward Miskie
Barihunk calendar model Edward Miskie has authored "Cancer, Musical Theatre, & Other Chronic Illnesses,"  which he launched tonight in Chelsea.

Miskie is not only a singer, actor (and calendar model), but a survivor of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. A course of treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center provided the inspiration for the book, which was written four years after he was declared cancer free.

A chance encounter with a fellow survivor prompted him to begin writing his "as-funny-as-cancer-can-be memoir." The book touches on the farce that is cancer treatment, the circus that is the healthcare system we face, and the challenges that face you even after you are told you are cancer free all framed in the content of musicals.

It is currently published in hard copy and on Kindle and Amazon. Visit www.cancermusicaltheatrebook.com or follow @CMTBook.

Listen to Jarrett Ott sing from Pearl Fishers on WUNC

Jarrett Ott
WUNC host Frank Stasio previewed the North Carolina Opera's upcoming performance of Bizet's The Pearl Fishers with barihunk Jarrett Ott and tenor John Bellemer on his National Public Radio broadcast. The two singers joined company general director Eric Mitchko for a discussion of the production and they then joined accompanist Sahar Nouri for a live studio performance of the famous duet.

You can listen to the interview, Zurga's aria and the famous tenor/baritone duet on WUNC's website

The remainder of the cast includes soprano Talise Trevigne as Leïla and Jordan Bisch as Nourabad. There are performances on Friday, April 28 at 8 p.m. and Saturday April 30 at 3 p.m. at Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are available online.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Aaron Sørensen pitches Sparafucile on Midday Mississippi

Aaron Sørensen from the Barihunks calendar
Barihunk calendar model Aaron Sorensen appeared on Midday Mississippi on WLBT Channel 3 in Jackson along with soprano Rachel Arky. The duo were were pitching their "one night only" performance of Verdi's Rigoletto in which they perform the brother and sister duo of Sparafucile and Maddalena.

The rest of the cast includes barihunk Corey Crider, Hanna Brammer as Gilda, Cody Laun as the Duke of Mantua and Taylor Hightower as Monterone.

There is a single performance on April 22 at the Thalia Mara Hall in Jackson at 7:30 PM. You won't want to miss Sørensen's glorious Low F! Tickets are available online.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Gay-themed "Les Feluettes" gets two revivals

Étienne Dupuis and Jean-Michel Richer
Australian composer Kevin March and Quebec playwright Michel Marc Bouchard's opera Les Feluettes (Lilies), which had its world premiere last year at Opéra de Montréal, will now be presented at Pacific Opera Victoria and the Edmonton Opera.

The production opens at Pacific Opera Victoria on April 20 and runs through April 30.  Barihunk Étienne Dupuis will reprise the lead role of Young Simon Doucet and hunkentenor Jean-Michel Richer will return as the Count Vallier de Tilly, who is in love with Simon. Tickets are available online.

The opera is based on the play, which tells the story of the confession of an aging prisoner to a bishop. Through the confession we learn that the bishop and the prisoner were part of a gay love triangle and that the bishop was responsible for the death of a young man many years ago. The play was was made into a film called Lilies, which was directed by John Greyson. All of the roles in the opera, including the female roles of La Comtesse Marie-Laure de Tilly and Mademoiselle Lydie-Anne de Rozier, are sung by men as the story is told by actors in an all-male prison. 

Zachary Read (left) and Jean-Michel Richer and Etienne Dupuis (right)
The term Feluette is a Quebec expression with its root in the word fluet, (thin, frail in appearance) which, in common parlance of the time, referred to men who were weak, frail, or effeminate.

Edmonton Opera will present the piece from October 21-27 with barihunk Zachary Read as Young Simon and Jean-Michel Richer returning as the Count Vallier de Tilly.

Jonathan McGovern making two major debuts

Jonathan McGovern
Barihunk Jonathan McGovern is making a major role and house debut this season, beginning with his first performance of the title role in Monteverdi’s Orfeo at the Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao.

The opera tells the story of Orfeo's descent to Hades and his fruitless attempt to bring his dead bride Eurydice back to the living world. It was written in 1607 for a court performance during the annual Carnival at Mantua and is considered the earliest opera that is still regularly performed. Performances are on May 5th and 6th and tickets are available online.

This summer, he will make his company debut with the Garsington Opera in the title role of Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. Andrea Carroll will sing the role of Mélisande and Paul Gay is Golaud. The British singer performed the role last season with English Touring Opera. Performances run from June 16th through July 7th and tickets and additional cast information is available online.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dmitri Hvorostovsky cancels upcoming concert

The following notice appeared on the website of the National Concert Hall where barihunk Dmitri Hvorostovsky was scheduled to perform on April 29th.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky deeply regrets that he must cancel his recital due to a change in the schedule for his cancer treatments.
Information about the concert has been removed from the Hvorostovsky’s official website, but his manager says that the Russian singer still plans on performing in a gala concert in Toronto on April 25th along with soprano Anna Netrebko and her husband tenor Yusif Eyvazov.

Hvorostovsky was diagnosed with a brain tumor in the summer of 2015 and subsequently cancelled concerts in Kaliningrad, Minsk and Vienna, as well as performances in the Met's current production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. He was replaced by fellow barihunks Peter Mattei and Mariusz Kwiecien.

Richard Tucker Foundation awards barihunk John Chest career grant

John Chest
Barihunk John Chest is on a roll, having recently been named as the U.S. representative at the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in June 2017 and closing the Opera Philadelphia season opposite his wife Layla Claire in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. To top that off, he was just awarded a $10,000 2017 Richard Tucker Career Grant along with bass-baritone Nicholas Brownlee and baritone Anthony Clark Evans.

The top prize of $50,000 went to soprano Nadine Sierra. Winners of the $5,000 Sara Tucker Award went to countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, tenor Alexander McKissick, bass-baritone Christian Pursell, bass-baritone Cody Quattlebaum, mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven, tenor Jack Swanson, and soprano Vanessa Vasquez.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Rare barihunk trio in Puccini's Tosca

Alexander Tsymbalyuk, Marco Vratogna and Douglas Williams
Puccini operas aren't known for great baritone roles, like Verdi or Wagner, and certainly not a lot of great barihunk roles. Gianni Schicchi is a dying old man, Michele is an old barge operator, Jack Rance is the law and order town sheriff with his eye on the girl, Scarpia is usually played as a lecherous old police chief and The Bonze is usually a despicable old relative.

The only Puccini opera where we regularly get one and sometimes two barihunks is La bohème where the young Parisians often include a sexy Marcello and lower-voice Colline. So imagine our delight when we learned that the online broadcast of the composer's Tosca would include the barihunk trio of Marco Vratogna as Scarpia, Alexander Tsymbalyuk as Cesare Angelotti and Douglas Williams as Sciarrone. We've always liked the idea of a younger Scarpia, as it adds some sexual tension to the Act II "seduction" scene with Tosca.

The trio will join Kristine Opolais as Tosca and Marcelo Alvarez as Mario Cavaradossi for the Berlin Philharmonic's fifth visit to the Easter Festival of the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden.

The performance will be on Arte TV for free starting on April 17th.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Introducing bass-barihunk Jake Stamatis in Hydrogen Jukebox

Jake Stamatis in Trouble in Tahiti (left)
A reader alerted us to the fact that we've never posted bass-barihunk Jake Stamatis, who is opening next week in Philip Glass' Hydrogen Jukebox with Tri-Cities Opera in Binghamton, New York. He'll be joined in the cast by Stacey Geyer, Abigail Smith, Mary Beth Nelson, Jordan Schreiner and Scott Purcell.

Stamatis is a native of Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania and received his Bachelors Degree in Vocal Performance at Susquehanna University and his Masters Degree in Opera at Binghamton University. He is currently an artist-in-residence at Tri-Cities Opera where he's also sining the Marquese d’Obingy in Verdi's La traviata and Don Iñigo Gomez in Ravel's L’Heure Espagnol. He recently appeared with Opera Ithaca as Abdul in Kamala Sankaram's Thumbprint.

Other roles in his repertory include Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Frosch in Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus, Taddeo in Rossini's L’Italiana in Algeri, Sam in Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti and and Anthony in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.

Performances of Hydrogen Jukebox are on April 21, 23, 28 and 30 with performances at Savoca Hibbitt Hall in Binghamton. Tickets and additional information is available online.

This is also our first post highlighting Tri-Cities Opera, with our only mention of the company being Brandon Coleman singing Mephistopheles in their production of Gounod's Faust.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Michael Travis Risner in Le nozze di Figaro in Greeley, Colorado

Michael Travis Risner working out and backstage for Marriage of Figaro
Michael Travis Risner, who has appeared on our site in Boulder Opera's productions of Rossini's The Barber of Seville and Mozart's Don Giovanni, will be performing Figaro in the University of Northern Colorado Opera Theatre production of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro on April 15th in Greeley.

The company will be performing on both April 14 and April 15 with separate casts. He'll be joined by Alberto Beltran as the Count, Meggie Moyer as the Countess, Katie Warner as Susanna, Zecheriah Oswald as Bartolo, April Phillips as Marcellina, Margaret Siegrist as Cherubino and Sean Stephenson as Basilio.

Risner received his Masters in Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Colorado State University. He has been appearing on the stages of Colorado's Front Range for the past 20 years as a singer, actor, director, and stage combat instructor and choreographer (his resume even lists "fitness model").  He has performed the title role in Monostatos in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Dancaire in Bizet's Carmen, Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, Eddie/Dr. Scott in Rocky Horror Live!, Lancelot in Camelot, Anatoly in Chess and the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance, Footloose (Chuck).

A bit of trivia about Greeley, which was was named after Horace Greeley, editor of the New-York Tribune, who came to Colorado in the 1859 Pike's Peak Gold Rush. His trip popularized the phrase "Go West, young man"

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

¡Figaro! (90210) returns to NY after successful L.A. run

Luke Scott (left) and David Castillo (right) (Photo Maria Baranova)
After sold-out performances on both coasts, ¡Figaro! (90210) is back at The Duke on 42nd Street in New York's Times Square until April 23rd.

The opera is an updated and rewritten version of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro about class and power. The piece is set in present-day Los Angeles (with a Trump Tower gag thrown in for New York audiences) and filled with pop references,  contemporary slang and includes current topics like immigration reform and income inequality. 

David Castillo, who we recently featured in his successful run as Anthony Hope in Townsend Opera's Sweeney Todd, will reprise the role of the stoner Atzuko. (Don't miss our interview with him). He's joined by barihunk Luke Scott as Paul Conti, hunkentenor Michael Kuhn as Basel, Jose Adan Perez as Figaro, actor Christin Byrdsong as Lil B-Man, Ethan Herschenfeld as Babayan, Lori Mirabal as Donna, Sahoko Sato Timpone as Ms. Soon-Yi Nam, Emma Grimsley as Barbara Conti, Raquel Suarez-Groen  as Roxanne Conti and Samarie Alicia as Susana.

Actor Christin Byrdsong (Photo Maria Baranova)

The libretto is in English and "Spanglish" and is about the undocumented workers Figaro and Susana who can't wait to get married. On their way to the altar they have to navigate a world of lecherous bosses, Botoxed starlets, bumbling human traffickers, ambitious hip-hoppers, and pothead gardeners in a wild adventure that recasts the classic opera as a madcap comedy about citizenship in today's America. 

Tickets are available at Figaro90210.com where you can use the discount code "GOGOFIGARO."  

Castillo next appears as the Doctor and Shepherd in Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande with the Cleveland Orchestra from May 2-6 under the baton of Franz Welser-Most. Fellow barihunks Elliot Madore and Hanno Müller-Brachmann will sing the roles of Pelleas and Golaud respectively. Tickets are available online.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Barihunk Ildebrando d’Arcangelo to appear on San Francisco Giants' homefield

Ildebrando d’Arcangelo and AT&T Park
Ildebrando d’Arcangelo will appear on the Jumbotron as Don Giovanni at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team. The live telecast is part of the San Francisco Opera's successful Opera at the Ballpark series.

Up to 30,000 are expected to attend the June 30th live broadcast from the War Memorial Opera House. Audience members can picnic on the field while watching the opera or watch from the stands. The event is free, but attendees will have to register online.

Ildebrando d’Arcangelo sings Deh vieni alla finestra from Don Giovanni:

The Opera in the Ballpark experience is one of the many ways the San Francisco Opera has used to broaden the reach of opera. Ildebrando d’Arcangelo, will be joined in the cast by Erin Wall, Ana María Martinez, Stanislas de Barbeyrac and Marco Vinco. The opera will be conducted by Marc Minkowski in his San Francisco Opera debut and will be directed Jacopo Spirei in his San Francisco debut.

The San Francisco Opera summer season will also include Puccini’s La Bohème and Verdi’s Rigoletto with Quinn Kelsey in the title role.

Barihunk Thomas Tatzl to make Vienna Opera debut

Thomas Tatzl
Austrian barihunk Thomas Tatzl will be making his Vienna State Opera debut this winter as Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. He'll be joined by fellow barihunk Rene Pape as Sarastro, Jörg Schneider as Tamino, Olga Bezsmertna as Pamina and Hila Fahima as the Queen of the Night.

Performances will run from December 22-29, including a performance on Christmas Day.

You don't have to wait to see him as Papageno, as he'll be performing in Die Zauberflöte at the Teatro Regio di Torino from May 16-18 with Ekaterina Sadovnikova as Pamina, Alessandro Scotto di Luzio as Tamino and Marigona Querkezi as the Queen of the Night.

Thomas Tatzl & Caterina di Tonno sing the duet from Die Zauberflöte:

This season, he's performed Ford in Verdi's Falstaff at the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari and Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte in Ravenna, Novara and Piacenza. From September 22-October 1, he'll sing Count Almaviva in Jonathan Miller's production of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Lee Gregory in Southern California premiere of As One

Baritone Lee Gregory
Lee Gregory is the latest barihunk to take on the role of Hannah, the transgender protagonist of Laura Kaminsky's groundbreaking opera As One. Gregory will play "Hannah before" and Danielle Marcelle Bond will portray "Hannah after" in Long Beach Opera's production directed by David Schweizer. This will be the first performance in Southern California. 

Performances will be on May 13, 20 and 21 and tickets are available online. There will be a pre-opera talk with Artistic Director Andreas Mitisek one hour before each performance.

Kaminsky was inspired to write As One after reading an article in the New York Times in 2008 about a New Jersey marriage in which one of the parties transitioned from male to female, transforming the couple from straight to gay. The opera is based on the life experience of noted filmmaker Kimberly Reed.

As One provides insights into both the personal and philosophical questions at the core of how personhood is defined, as well as into the compromised civil and humans rights of transgender individuals in the broader societal framework.

Barihunk duo lead Opera Philadelphia's Marriage of Figaro

John Chest as Billy Budd in Berlin
Opera Philadelphia's season comes to a close with a new production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro starring barihunks John Chest and Brandon Cedel from April 28-May 7. This is a new co-production, which premiered last year at Lyric Opera of Kansas City and next travels to San Diego Opera and Palm Beach Opera.

John Chest will be performing with his wife soprano Layla Claire, both of whom are making their company debuts. They will be singing the bickering Count and Countess Almaviva. Joining them as Figaro is bass-barihunk Brandon Cedel, whose last appearance on the Academy of Music stage was in the East Coast premiere of Kevin Puts's award-winning Silent Night.

Brandon Cedel
Chest and Cedel will be joined by Cecelia Hall as Cherubino, Patrick Carfizzi as Dr. Bartolo, Lucy Schaufer as Marcellina, Jason Ferrante as Don Basilio, Ashly Milanese as Barbarina, Ying Fang as Susanna and Thomas Shivone as Antonio. Tickets are available online.

Chest will represent the United States at the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in June 2017.