Wednesday, November 22, 2017

DMITRI HVOROSTOVSKY (OCTOBER 6, 1962-NOVEMBER 22, 2017)


Philip Cutlip to perform Handel rarity Joseph and his Brethren

Philip Cutlip
Barihunk Philip Cutlip will join the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra for Handel's rarely performed oratorio Joseph and his Brethren. He will be joined by tenor Nicholas Phan, mezzo-sopranos Abigail Levis and Diana Moore, and sopranos Sherezade Panthaki and Gabrielle Haigh.

The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra has performed just about everything Handel ever wrote,  except the composer’s 1743 oratorio Joseph and His Brethren. This Baroque rarity recounts Joseph’s reconciliation with his Jewish family in Egypt. The oratorio gave Handel the opportunity to depict the grandeur of the Pharaoh’s court and the faith of Joseph’s estranged brothers in a plot of intrigue and mistaken identity.

Sandrine Piau sings "Prophetic Raptures" from  Joseph and his Brethren:

Performances are on December 14th in San Francisco, December 15th in Palo Alto, and December 16th and 17th in Berkeley. Tickets are available online

Cutlip will also be performing the much more familiar Messiah with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra from December 8-10 in San Francisco, Berkeley and Rohnert Park. Tickets are available online.



Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think! 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Barihunk duo to reprise JFK in Canadian premiere

Daniel Okulitch and Matthew Worth
Opéra de Montréal will present the Canadian premiere of composer David T. Little and Alberta-born librettist Royce Vavrek's “JFK". The opera will star two of the world's most popular barihunks in the lead roles: Matthew Worth, who takes on JFK and Daniel Okulitch, who portrays LBJ. Worth shares both the good looks and New England charm of our 35th President, while Okulitch matches the Vice President's imposing 6' 4" frame.

The duo premiered the piece at the Fort Worth Opera Festival in April 2016 to great acclaim. They'll be joined by many of the same cast members, including mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack as Jackie Kennedy, soprano Talise Trevigne as the housekeeper Clara Harris and the agent of fate Clotho, tenor Sean Panikkar as the secret service agent Henry Rathbone and the agent of fate Lachesis and Cree Carrico as Rosemary Kennedy.

Musical excerpts from JFK:

JFK delves into the hours President John F. Kennedy spent in Fort Worth, Texas immediately before his assassination in Dallas. The opera explores the subconscious of this complicated couple, examining their physical and emotional pain, their joy and love, and their metamorphosis into American myth.

Opéra de Montréal co-commissioned the piece with the Fort Worth Opera and the American Lyric Theater. The opera opens on January 27, 2018 and runs through February 3, 2018. Tickets are available online.





Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Alex Esposito to make role debut as Méphistophélès

Alex Esposito
Italian Bass-barihunk Alex Esposito will be making his role debut as Méphistophélès in Hector Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust at the Rome Opera. He'll be joined by soprano Veronica Simeoni as Marguerite, tenor Pavel Černoch as Faust and bass Goran Jurić as Brander.

Berlioz, who was inspired to compose the piece after reading Goethe's dramatic poem Faust, referred to the piece as a "légende dramatique" (dramatic legend), rather than an opera. The piece is often performed in symphony halls rather than opera houses, due to its structure as a hybrid between an opera and a cantata.

In addition to Méphistophélès' serenade "Devant la maison," "Une puce gentile" and "Voici des roses," the piece is known for Marguerite's dramatic aria "D'amour l'ardente flamme" and Faust's rapturous "Nature immense."

Performances run from December 12-23 and tickets are available online

Barihunks Photo book
Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Joa Helgesson truly suffers for his art in L'Orfeo

Joa Helgesson in L'Orfeo
No singer will ever be claim the statement "I really suffer for my art" after barihunk Joa Helgesson's performance of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo at the Malzfabrik in Berlin. The production was part of the Body Suspension Symposium, which focuses on the practice as an artform.

Berlin's symposium was the third one, following one in Oslo in 2012 and New York in 2015, all of which a co-production with Anchors Aweigh/SKIN.
"The inexpressible depth of music, so easy to understand and yet so inexplicable, is due to the fact that it reproduces all the emotions of our innermost being, but entirely without reality and remote from its pain... Music expresses only the quintessence of life and of its events, never these themselves." - Arthur Schopenhauer
A suspension is the act of suspending a human body from hooks that have been put through body piercings. These piercings are temporary and are performed just prior to the actual suspension. Body suspension is frequently used for spiritual purposes or for entertainment, most famously by the magician and illusionist Criss Angel.

Helgesson also appears in our 2018 Barihunks Calendar and Photo Book, but without the hooks!
Joa Helgesson and Derek Chester from 2018 Barihunks Calendar and Photo Book
Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!


Listen to Mariusz Kwiecien's Zurga live from Chicago

Mariusz Kwiecien as Zurga (Photo: Todd Rosenberg)
Mariusz Kwiecien, who was one of the inspirations for his site, will open as Zurga at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Sunday, November 19th. He'll be joined by tenor Matthew Polenzani as his friend Nadir, the booming bass Andrea Silvestrelli as Nourabad and soprano Marina Rebeka as Leïla.


Kwiecien last appeared in the role with the Met in January 2016, which also featured Polenzani, as well as German soprano Diana Damrau. 

There will be seven performances running through December 10 and tickets are available online.

However, if you can't make it to Chicago (where it's cold and rainy right now), you can listen to the opening performance of The Pearl Fishers can be heard live on 98.7WFMT beginning at 1:45pm CST/11:45 AM PST/2:45 EST.

Upcoming performances for Kwiecien included Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale at Opera Krakowska in March, the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni in Dallas and London, and Enrico in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor in Munich. 

Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Björn Bürger stars in world premiere of Herrmann's Der Mieter

Björn Bürger as Georg in Der Mieter
Composer Arnulf Herrmann’s Der Mieter, premiered on November 12th at the Frankfurt Opera with a riveting performance by barihunk Björn Bürger as the suicidal main character Georg.

Arnulf Herrmann's opera is based on Roland Topor's Kafka-esque novel Le locataire chimérique which was made into The Tenant, a psychodrama/thriller movie by Roman Polanski. Unlike the book and film the opera concentrates on being forced to conform to norms by society. The opera's libretto, written by Händl Klaus, delves into the darkest regions of the human psyche probing issues of guilt, paranoia, and sexual obsession. 

Herrmann created a haunting soundscape with shattering glass in slow motion, creaking doors, sinking trees, crawling cockroaches and other sounds emanating from forty loud speakers. Bürger's vocal part calls for a wide dramatic range spanning a cappella murmurs to screams of despair.

The opera also features barihunk Sebastian Geyer in two small roles. Additional performances run from November 16-December 7th.

Derek Chester and Marco Vassalli
Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Barihunk trio in San Francisco world premiere of John Adams opera

Davóne Tines, Ryan McKinny and Elliot Madore
On November 21, San Francisco Opera will present the world premiere of American composer John Adams' Girls of the Golden West, which will feature the barihunk trio of Davóne Tines as the fugitive slave Ned Peters, Elliot Madore as Ramón and Ryan McKinny as Clarence. The opera will run from November 21-December 10 and ticket and additional cast information is available online.

Bass-barihunk Davóne Tines, who is new to this site, makes his first local appearance in a fully staged opera as Ned Peters, an African-American cowboy and fugitive slave who is drawn to the promise of the frontier. At age 30, Tines has had three operas composed with his voice in mind: Matthew Aucoin's Crossing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music,  Kaija Saariaho's Only the Sound Remains at the Dutch National Opera, as well as Adams' Girls of the Golden West. Last year, he performed John Adams' El Niño at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Davóne Tines sings 'True Fire" by Kaija Saariaho:


This is Ryan McKinny's debut with the San Francisco Opera. He recently performed the role of Richard Nixon in Adams’ Nixon in China with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Elliot Madore returns after his successful debut with the San Francisco Opera as Anthony Hope in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in 2015.

With a libretto drawn from historical sources by director Peter Sellars, Girls of the Golden West explores the true stories of pioneers on California's Gold Rush frontier during the 1850s. The collaboration between San Francisco Opera and John Adams began with the 1992 West Coast premiere of The Death of Klinghoffer, followed by the acclaimed world premiere of Doctor Atomic in 2005.

Part of the cast of Girls of the Golden West
Girls of the Golden West takes place in the historic mining camps of Rich Bar and Downieville during California's transition from territory to American statehood, a period which coincided with the Gold Rush and its unprecedented migration of people from around the world attracted by the prospect of striking it rich in the region's gold fields.

Sellars' libretto draws from sources illuminating multiple perspectives of this global event, including the California history classic The Shirley Letters, a collection of 23 letters by Louise Clappe penned under the name "Dame Shirley" describing the rugged conditions and clash of cultures in the gold mining camps from 1851 to 1852; the diary of Chilean miner Ramón Gil Navarro; memoirs of fugitive slaves; poems of Chinese immigrants; the Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni; Frederick Douglass' speech "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?"; gold miner songs; and Mark Twain's Roughing It.

2018 Barihunks Calendar/Photo Book
Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Mariano Gladic turns a swamp frog into a sexy prince

Mariano Gladic as Vodnik
Bass-barihunk is turning heads at the Teatro Colon with his shirtless, sexy performance of the water goblin Vodnik in Antonin Dvořák's Rusalka. The opera is best known for the soprano aria
"Song to the Moon" sung by the title character, which is being shared by Ana María Martínez and Daniela Tabernig in Buenos Aires. Performances run through November 14th and tickets are available http://www.teatrocolon.org.ar/en/2017/opera/rusalka

Gladic's sexy portrayal of Vodnik is an impressive transformation, because in Slavic mythology the character appears as an old man with a frog-like face, greenish beard, long hair, with his body covered in algae, muck, and covered in black fish scales. He has webbed paws instead of hands, a fish's tail, and eyes that burn like red-hot coals.

Although it has become popular in recent years, with Renee Fleming and Gabriela Beňačková having great success as Rusalka, the Czech opera was not performed in the U.S. until 1975, when it was produced by the San Diego Opera. It didn't make its way to the Metropolitan Opera until 1993 and the San Francisco Opera until 1995. 

Mariano Gladic as Vodnik
Mariano Gladic was born in Mar del Plata on the Atlantic coast of Argentina, where he started his musical studies at the conservatory. He continued his studies in Buenos Aires, where he got immersed in acting, working with Héctor Bidonde, Helena Tritek, and Rubén Szuchmacher. He was a member of the company Futuro Anterior directed by Silvio Lang. Gladic has extensive experience as an actor and performed in the International Acting Festival in Havana, receiving a nomination for the A.C.E. awards and the Teatro del Mundo awards. 

Gladic was a member of Periferia Vocal and Orfeon de Buenos Aires. His opera roles include Handel’s Ariodante, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, Così fan tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, Rigoletto, and La bohème. He was one of the winners of the 8th Concurso Alejandro Cordero at the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón.



Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Barihunk Luis Alejandro Orozco makes his Nashville debut

Luis Alejandro Orozco
Barihunk Luis Alejandro Orozco, who has made El Payador in Piazzolla's Maria de Buenos Aires his signature role, will return to the role for what he estimates to be the fifteenth time. The Mexican-American barihunk will make his company debut with the role at the Nashville Opera from November 10-12.

Despite its reputation as the Capital of Country Music, it appears that this night of Argentinian opera and dance is the hottest ticket in town, as all three performances are sold out. However, there is a wait list that you can get on.

The production will be directed by John Hoomes and will feature Argentine dancers Mariela Barufaldi and Jeremías Massera (founders of Miami's Tango Axis Argentine Tango School) along with bandoneón player Rodolfo Zanetti and soprano Cassandra Zoe Velasco as Maria.

The opera has become popular in Germany, where is has been performed in apparently every city that starts with the letter "B": Berlin, Bonn, Braunschweig, Biel and Bremen. The opera can next be seen at the San Diego Opera with barihunk Paul La Rosa as El Payador from January 26-28 and then at the Fort Worth Opera Festival on April 27 and May 5 (performers have not been announced, but we've learned that it will be Luis Alejandro Orozco). Both productions are directed by John de los Santos.

Malte Roesner, 2018 Barihunks Calendar/Photo Book
Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

"Little Women" features barihunk duo

Alexander Elliott, Rachel Arky, Sarah Mesko, Claudia Rosenthal, Ariana Wehr and Ethan Greene (Clockwise)   (Photo courtesy of the Annapolis Opera)
We love the idea that an opera named "Little Women" features two beautiful barihunks! The Annapolis Opera's production of the Mark Adamo classic stars Alexander Elliott as Meg's soon-to-be-husband John Brooke, while bass Ethan Greene as Jo March's husband Friedrich Bhaer. They are joined by Sarah Mesko as Jo March, Rachel Arky as Meg March, Claudia Rosenthal and Ariana Wehr as Amy March. 

There is one remaining performance at 3 PM on Sunday, November 5th and tickets are available online.

Ethan Greene, who is new to this site, is a 2017 Bonfils Stanton Foundation Studio Artist at the Central City Opera and was a Des Moines Metro Opera Apprentice Artist. 

Alexander Elliott can next be seen in Haydn's Creation with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on December 1st and 3rd, as well as Handel's Messiah on December 2nd. He returns to the opera stage next Spring as Figaro in Rossini's The Barber of Seville with Opera Santa Barbara.


Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

Christiaan Smith to make Carnegie Hall debut

Christiaan Smith
American barihunk Christiaan Smith (he dropped the Kotlarek from his name), will make his Carnegie Hall debut with “Songs We Know" on Saturday, November 18 at Weill Recital Hall. Smith will perform the music of The Beatles, Maroon 5, Adele, John Legend, John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, Simon & Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. Tickets are available online.

Smith co-wrote his first solo album "All The Way" with British songwriter Chris Eaton, which will be released later this year.  Eaton has written for Janet Jackson, Keith Urban and Amy Grant. The album’s title song was the first single from the album and was released last month.

Christiaan Smith sings "All The Way" from his new album:

Christiaan Smith recently starred as Gaston in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast National Tour. His songwriting was featured when he opened for one of President Obama’s campaign speeches after being spotted singing in a martini bar in Madison, Wisconsin.

His opera roles have included Schaunard in Puccini's La Bohème, Joseph DeRocher in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking and as Charlie in the composer's Three Decembers, Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, and Dancaïre in Bizet's Carmen.

Derek Chester and Marco Vassalli from the 2018 Calendar/Photo Book
Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A birthday tribute to Mariusz Kwiecien

Mariusz Kwiecien as King Roger (left) and Don Giovanni
Few singers are more popular on this site than Polish barihunk Mariusz Kwiecien. He was also one of the early inspirations for creating this site along with Dmitri Hvorostovsky. He's developed a cult following with opera fans around the world and today we're celebrating his 45th birthday. Like Simon Keenlyside, Rod Gilfry and Thomas Hampson, he seems to get better with every passing year. As regular readers of this site know, we've dubbed him "The Hot Pole."

Kwiecien was born in Kraków, Poland in 1972, but has a long history with New York, beginning with his participation in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and then becoming one of the biggest box office draws at the Metropolitan Opera. He made his debut with the company in 1999 as Kuligin in Janáček's Káťa Kabanová. During the 2011/12  Met season, he amazed everyone with his resilience when he returned to take on the demanding title role of  Don Giovanni after injuring his back in rehearsals. The performance was also broadcast live in HD worldwide. 

He is next slated to appear as Zurga in Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers) at the Lyric Opera of Chicago from November 19-December 10. He returns to The Met on December 29th for a run as Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro opposite Ildar Abdrazakov in the title role.  

Mariusz Kwiecien sings "Deh, vieni alla finestra" from Don Giovanni:


Kwiecien is probably best known for his sensuous and sexually charged portrayal of Don Giovanni. In this golden age of baritones, he's considered one of the two or three best exponents of the role. He is slated to sing Don Giovanni as the Dallas Opera from April 13-29, 2018 and then at the Royal Opera House in London from June 30-July 17, 2018

He's also made his mark in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, as Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale, Riccardo in Bellini's I puritani, Belcore in Donizetti's L’elisir d’amore, Marcello in Puccini's La bohème and the title role in Szymanowski's King Roger.

Many of his performances have been preserved on DVD including his stunning Eugene Onegin from the Bolshoi Opera and Met broadcasts of Donizetti's L’elisir d’amore and Lucia di Lammermoor. His recording of “Slavic Heroes” is arguably one of the best recordings of Eastern European arias on CD.  



Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Michael Mayes and the Atlanta Opera go a little bit country

Michael Mayes' poster for his former podcast
Barihunk Michael Mayes and the Atlanta Opera are teaming up for “From Opera to Opry: Liquor, Love, and the Lord," which will mix music from Puccini, Verdi and Mozart with Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and George Jones. The December 5th concert will be at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse in Atlanta.

Also featured on the program will be soprano Leah Partridge, barihunk Corey Crider (who will also play bass guitar), and tenor Jonathan Burton. The performance will be accompanied by Rolando Salazar, who is Assistant Conductor, Interim Chorus Master, and the Music Administrator for The Atlanta Opera. The promo asks whether “I loved her and she left me" is a line from a country song or an aria. 

Corey Crider and Cletus McHatfield and the McHatfield Fambly Singers (who mysteriously look like Crider, Salazar, Mayes, Partridge and Burton)
The program was previously performed in December 2016 and from all accounts was hilarious. It features the country stylings of Cletus McHatfield and the McHatfield Fambly Singers.

Dinner and drinks are available for the performance and tickets are available online.

Michael Mayes will return to the Atlanta Opera on June 12, 2018 in the title role of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, which also features fellow barihunk Joseph Lattanzi as Anthony Hope.

2018 Barihunks Calendar

Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!