Saturday, June 23, 2018

Barihunks prominent in Boston Lyric Opera's new season

Duncan Rock as Tarquinius
The Boston Lyric Opera has announced their 2018-2019, which focuses on operas about strong women, inspired by stories of women, and led by women directors. They also add a few barihunks to the mix!

The season kicks off from October 12-21 with Rossini's classic opera The Barber of Seville, directed by Rosetta Cucchi and starring barihunk Matthew Worth in the title role alongside the amazing mezzo-soprano Daniela Mack as Rosina. The cast is rounded out by Jesus Garcia as Almaviva and David Crawford as Basilio.

Next up is the world premiere of Tod Machover’s and Simon Robson’s Schoenberg in Hollywood, part of the company's New Works commissioning series. The opera is about the composer’s struggle to assimilate into American culture after fleeing Nazi Europe and maintaining his artistic integrity amidst the lure of celebrity.

Brandon Cedel and David Cushing
That will be followed by Benjamin Britten's The Rape of Lucretia, a timely opera for the #MeToo era, as rape and issues about male sexual aggression were not discussed when the composer wrote the piece. For that reason, the opera’s sensitivity to Lucretia’s experience, and her husband’s response is both prescient and uncomfortably familiar. The opera will feature the barihunk trio of Duncan Rock as Tarquinius, Brandon Cedel as Collatinus, and David McFerrin as Junius. They'll be joined by Kelley O’Connor as Lucretia, Nancy Maultsby as Bianca and Jesse Darden and Antonia Tamer as the Male Chorus and Female Chorus. Performances run from March 11-17, 2019.

Duncan Rock sings Tarquinius' aria from The Rape of Lucretia:

The season ends with Poul Ruders and Paul Bentley adaptation of Margaret Atwood's novel The Handmaid’s Tale directed by Anne Bogart and with new orchestrations. The story centers around Offred, one woman out of many who were stripped of her name, identity, and personhood by a cruel and oppressive government regime. The seem also seems prescient for today's political climate.

The piece features bass-barihunk David Cushing, along with Jennifer Johnson Cano as Offred, Caroline Worra as Aunt Lydia, Maria Zifchak as Serena Joy and Matthew DiBattista as The Doctor.

Additional information about the season can be found at

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Levent Bakirci in revealing Il Prigioniero at Maggio Musicale

Levent Bakirci in Il Prigioniero
Levent Bakirci, who we recently featured starring in the title role of Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Teatro Municipal Santiago in Chile, just made his debut at the Festival del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Bakirci is singing the difficult title role in Luigi Dallapiccola's Il Prigioniero and spends much of the opera in little more than a pair of briefs. 

Dallapiccola's Il Prigioniero is a 7-part, 50-minute opera which was first performed on May 3, 1948 for the XIII Maggio Festival, and was considered one of the cornerstones of 20th century musical theater. It was first broadcast by the Italian radio station RAI on December 1, 1949.

The opera has two remaining performances on June 21 and 23. Tickets are available online and start at only € 10. 

Levent Bakirci in Il Prigioniero
The work is based on the short story La torture par l'espérance ("Torture by Hope") from the collection Nouveaux contes cruels by the French writer Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam and from La Légende d'Ulenspiegel et de Lamme Goedzak by Charles de Coster. Some of the musical material is based on Dallapiccola's 1938 choral work Canti di prigionia. After ruminating on the idea, he started work on the piece in 1939 at the suggestion of his wife Laura.

Bakirci, graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Middle East Technical University in Ankara before pursuing his career as a singer, including studying at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.

He has performed Don Giovanni at the Staatstheater Nürnberg, where he is an ensemble member, as well as the Theater Bremen, where he was a member of the ensemble from 2008-11. He has appeared at some of the leading opera houses of the world, including the Theatre du Caputole Toulouse, Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, Teatro Verdi in Trieste, Oper Stuttgart, as well as with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester and with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie Orchestra (NDW).

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Christopher Bolduc takes on Don Giovanni in new concept

Christopher Bolduc (right) as Don Giovanni in Wiesbaden
Christopher Bolduc continues to make his mark at the Staatstheater Wiesbaden in Germany, where he has performed Belcore in Donizetti's L’elisir d’amore, Lescaut in Massenet's Manon, Wolfram von Eschenbach in Wagner's Tannhäuser, Marcello in Puccini's La Bohème and Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte.

His latest performance will be in the title role of Mozart's Don Giovanni in Nicholas Brieger's new concept where the Don's conflict is as much with growing older, as it is with women. The current run goes from June 17-29 and includes Netta Or as Donna Anna, Ioan Hotea as Don Ottavio, Young Doo Park as the Commedatore, Heather Engebretson as Donna Elvira, Shavleg Armasi as Leporello, Benjamin Russell as Masetto and Katharina Konradi as Zerlina. The production returns later this year in September and October, as well next year from January 30-February 23. Tickets are available online.

Christopher Bolduc sings Britten's "O Waly, Waly":

Bolduc will take a break from playing Mozart's most famous seducer in November to sing the title role in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin opening on November 10th.

Regular readers will remember his recent sexy debut at the National Theatre (Národní divaldo) in Prague in the title role of Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd. The photos are worth checking out HERE.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

John Brancy wins 5 AWARDS at Concours musical international de Montréal

John Brancy
American barihunk John Brancy may need a Brinks truck to haul all of his winnings back to the United States from Canada. He took home five prizes at the prestigious Concours musical international de Montréal, including the $30,000 Léopold Simoneau’ First Prize for Art Song (along with frequent collaborator Peter Dugan, the $50000 James Norcop Career Development Grant, the $2,500 Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity Prize, the $5,000 French Mélodie Award and $2,000 for being a finalist in the Aria Division.

John Brancy appears at the 1:33:00 mark in the French Mélodie competition:

Other winners included baritone Julien van Mellaerts for the German Lied Award, mezzo Rihab Chaieb and mezzo Emily D'Angelo for Best Canadian Artist, mezzo Clara Osowski and mezzo Emily D'Angelo for the Radio-Canada People's Choice Award, tenor Mario Bahg for the Aria Division, and tenor Andrew Haji for the Oratorio Award.

This summer, John Brancy will appear as the baritone soloist at the 2018 Carmel Bach Festival, performing Carl Orff's Carmina Burana and Bach's St. Matthew's Passion. In the Fall, he will appear in the lead role of Pete in Olga Neuwirth's setting of David Lynch's movie "Lost Highway".

Monday, June 4, 2018

Listen to Simon Keenlyside's return as Don Giovanni

Michael Adams (left) and Simon Keenlyside as Don Giovanni in Genève
Simon Keenlyside fans will be thrilled to learn that they'll be able to hear his Don Giovanni from the Grand Théâtre de Genève on June 30th at 8 PM GMT/2 PM EST/11 AM PST on Espace2, the French-speaking Swiss radio station.  

The opera is the final part of director David Bösch's trio of Mozart/Da Ponte operas, which began in Amsterdam with the Marriage of Figaro in 2016 and continued at the Grand Théâtre de Genève with Così fan tutte in 2017. In his 1950s-era production Keenlyside is a hyperactive Don Giovanni who is fueled by cocaine. He takes pictures of his conquests on a Polaroid camera and gives them to his sidekick Leporello to paste into a photo album.
upcoming  performances on June 8, 11, 13, 15 and 17. Tickets are available online.

The opera also features American barihunk Michael Adams as Masetto.

After Genève, Keenlyside heads to London to sing Ford at the Royal Opera opposite Bryn Terfel's Sir John Falstaff. He will return to Don Giovanni in March 2019 at the Bavarian State Opera.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Opera isn't dying, but you can find it at Green-Wood Cemetery

Andrew Bogard and Samantha Hankey
Opera isn't dying, but it will be at the Green-Wood Cemetery starting on June 6th and making a ghostly reappearance on June 8 and 10.

The world premiere of David Hertzberg's chamber opera The Rose Elf will be presented in the catacombs of the historic cemetery, which was founded in 1838. The opera will be directed by the visionary director R. B. Schlather and features bass-barihunk Andrew Bogard, along with the amazing, award-winning mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey, as well as lyric soprano Alisa Jordheim and hunkentenor Kyle Bielfield.

The Rose Elf, which is based on Hans Christian Anderson's 1839 story The Elf of the Rose,  tells the tale of two lovers torn apart by a senseless act of violence; and of a strange and sensuous being, at once near and distant, who witnesses this tragedy and is transformed.

Andrew Bogard (left) and Kyle Bielfield (right)
When the "rural cemetery" movement started in the 1830's and burials moved from churches to park-like settings, cemeteries became gathering places for the public. They were often designed by noted landscape architects like Frederick Law Olmsted and included Victorian gardens, beautiful statues, fountains and gathering areas.

Opera companies are also seeking out more original spaces to perform operas, with West Edge Opera performing in an abandoned train station and an old pipe and steel factory, On Site Opera put on a production at Madame Tussauds Wax museum as well as the Bronx Zoo, and an interactive opera was performed at the old Los Angeles Train Station complete with headphones and unsuspecting passengers as part of the "cast".

The amazing young mezzo Samantha Hankey:

For The Rose Elf, spectators will be placed in long single rows along the sides of the central space, with a nine-piece orchestra at the far end and the singers moving up and down. The catacombs, which were built in the 1850s are normally closed to the public. Ticket information is available online.

Andrew Bogard has a Master of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School. He won first place in the 2014 Mario Lanza Scholarship Competition, second place and audience choice in the 2015 Cooper-Bing Opera Columbus Competition, and was a Mid-Atlantic regional finalist and encouragement award recipient in the 2015 MET Competition. Last season he joined the Washington National Opera's Young Artist Program, where he sang the title role in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and Leporello in Don Giovanni.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Hadleigh Adams to star in Fellow Travelers at Minnesota Opera

Hadleigh Adams
New Zealand-born barihunk Hadleigh will take on the role of Hawkins Fuller in Gregory Spears' Fellow Travelers at the Minnesota Opera opposite hunkentenor Andres Acosta.

Fellow Travelers, which was written in collaboration with librettist Greg Pierce and director Kevin Newbury, was developed in a 2013 Opera Fusion workshop. Barihunk Joseph Lattanzi sang the world premiere in Cincinnati in 2016 and reprised the role in Chicago.  

The opera is set in Washington D.C. against the backdrop of the McCarthy-era "lavender scare" and tells the story of Timothy “Skippy” Laughlin, an aspiring young journalist, and Hawkins “Hawk” Fuller, a handsome, profligate State Department official. A chance encounter with Hawk leads to Tim's first job in the Nation's capital, and his first love affair. As his involvement deepens, Skippy struggles to reconcile his political convictions, his religious beliefs, and his love for Fuller – an entanglement that will end in a stunning act of betrayal. The libretto is based on the novel by American novelist, essayist and critic Thomas Mallon.

Performances will run from June 16-26 and tickets and additional cast information is available online. The gay-themed opera will overlap with Twin Cities Pride, which takes place June 23-24.

Later this summer, Hadleigh Adams can be seen at West Edge Opera as Vicomte de Valmont in Francesconi's Quartett. He then heads to the mainstage of the San Francisco Opera for Angelotti in Puccini's Tosca.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Hubert Zapiór wins Giulio Gari Voice Competition

Polish barihunk Hubert Zapiór has won the 2018 Giulio Gari Foundation International Voice Competition in New York City. The award follows him recently winning the 2018 Career Bridges Award and First Prize at the 2018 Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition in New York.

In the 2015 competition, three barihunks won the trifecta, as Takaoki Onishi took 1st Prize (shared with tenor Andrew Stenson), while Andre Courville took 2nd Prize and Michael Adams took 3rd Prize.

Hubert Zapiór sings an aria from Moniuszko's "The Haunted Manor":

Giulio Gari  was a tenor who sang throughout the US, Europe and Central America. He was invited to sing at the Metropolitan Opera by Sir Rudolf Bing, where he debuted as Lt. Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly alongside the legendary soprano Licia Albanese. He was a leading tenor at the old New York City Opera for eight seasons.

Zapiór graduated from Fryderyk Chopin University of Music and Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw, Poland and currently studies at Juilliard. This season he made his debut at the Teatr Wielki as Papageno in the Barrie Kosky’s production of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and as Herr Fluth in Nicolai's Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor at the Juilliard Opera.

On June 1st, he will appear as the Beast in Beauty and the Beast at the Tauron Arena in Kraków, Poland. Tickets are available online.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Ildar Abdrazakov to open La Scala season as Attila

Ildar Abdrazakov as Attila (left)
Bass-barihunk Ildar Abdrazakov will open the 2018-19 La Scala opera season in Milan in the title role of Verdi's Attila. This will be the company's second opening night dedicated to the early works of the great Italian composer, following Giovanna d'Arco in 2015, starring Anna Netrebko and Carlos Álvarez. Attila will be conducted by Riccardo Chailly and directed by Davide Livermore in a new production.

The opera is based on the play Attila, King of the Huns by Friedrich Ludwig Zacharias Werner, and it premiered on March 17, 1846 at the La Fenice in Venice. It is is the ninth of the Verdi's 28 operas, following Ernani and preceding Macbeth.

In 1812, Ludwig van Beethoven conceived the idea of writing an opera about Attila and approached August von Kotzebue to write the libretto. Obviously, it was never written, as Fidelio was his only full opera.

Ildar Abdrazakov and Quinn Kelsey sing the Attila/Ezio duet:

Verdi's opera is set in mid-5th century Rome and tells the story of Attila the Hun and his eventual downfall.

The opera includes a number of popular pieces for both baritones and basses, including Ezio's cabaletta "È gettata la mia sorte," which roused the Italian people around the the adoption of a liberal constitution by Ferdinand II. Atilla's best known aria is "Mentre gonfiarsi l'anima parea," where he awakes and tells Uldino of a dream in which an old man stopped him at the gates of Rome and warned him to turn back. The aria was made famous in recent times by the great American bass Samuel Ramey. The opera's prologue also includes one of the great duets for two low male voices, "Tardo per gli anni," where Ezio offers Attila the entire Roman empire if Italy can be left unharmed.

The opera opens on December 7th and additional information can be found online.  

Monday, May 28, 2018

Morgan Pearse joins husband and wife team for Elixir of Love

Morgan Pearse
Australian barihunk Morgan Pearse will be joining the New Zealand husband and wife team of Pene Pati and Amina Adris as Belcore in a run of Donizetti's The Elixir of Love. The all-Antipodes cast will perform the opera in Auckland on May 31, June 2, 7 and 9, and in Wellington on June 23, 26, 28 and 30. This will be Pearse's first time ever singing in a Donizetti opera.

Pearse recently made his solo Wigmore Hall recital, where he sang Six Songs by Johannes Brahms, Richard Strauss' Vier Lieder, Opus 27 and Samuel Barber's settings of James Joyce's poetry.

Pene Pati has become a best-selling classical music artist as part of the group Sol3 Mio. He met his wife while singing across the globe at San Francisco's prestigious Merola Opera Program. He has made Nemorino's aria "Una furtiva lagrima" a bit of a calling card.

Morgan Pearse sings the serenade from Handel's "Aci, Galatea e Polifemo":

Pearse's character of Belcore is a cocky Army sergeant, who takes an immediate liking to Adina. He puts his charms into high gear and quickly asks Adina if she’ll marry him, only to have the wedding delayed when military service beckons.

Donizetti wrote some 70 operas during his career, ranging from comedies like Elixir to tragedies, including the famous "Tudor Trilogy" of Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda and Roberto Devereux.  In 1832, Donizetti set to work with librettist Felice Romani on his latest commission based on an existing French text about a love potion, Le philtre (The Potion) by Eugène Scribe for this new opera’s libretto. Le philtre had already been set to music by Daniel-François-Esprit Auber, but multiple uses of the same text was common at the time.

The story of the opera reflects Donizetti's own life, in that the composer’s military service was bought by a rich woman, like Nemorino, so that he did not have to serve in the army.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

A birthday tribute to composer Clint Borzoni

Composer Clint Borzoni
There are a number of composers who have had an amazing gift for writing for the baritone voice. In an earlier era, Verdi, Wagner, Poulenc and Carl Loewe all wrote timeless music for baritones. In contemporary times, Jake Heggie, Ricky Ian Gordon and Clint Borzoni have kept the tradition alive, with all three writing baritone leads for almost every new opera.

Borzoni's latest opera, When Adonis Calls," which debuted on May 11, 2018 at the Asheville Lyric Opera is written for for bass-baritone and baritone, string quartet, percussion and two dancers. The opera already has second performance scheduled in Chicago with the Thompson Street Opera Company this Fall and discussions are underway for a West Coast premiere next year.

Marco Vassalli sings Clint Borzoni's "Stüfen" with Musica Marin:

Borzoni, who is the Composer-in-Residence at Musica Marin, has written highly acclaimed music low male voice. For those on the West Coast, you'll be able to enjoy his latest song cycle "The Hidden Singer," written for German bass Malte Roesner and string quartet. The cycle revolves around seven poems by Wendell Berry all associated with birds, which are normally correlated with high soprano voices. The piece will debut on June 3, 2018 with Musica Marin at the historic Ansel Adams home in San Francisco. Tickets are available online. The song cycle will be paired with Mendelssohn's String Quartet in A minor.

Randal Turner sings Clint Borzoni's "I Dream'd in a Dream"

Borzoni has written another song cycle for bass-baritone Tim Hill, several songs for bass-baritone Randal Turner (based on Walt Whitman's poetry) and penned two pieces for String Quartet and baritone for Marco Vassalli based on German settings. He also wrote the two-act opera “Antinous and Hadrian,” which features a baritone lead. His opera The Copper Queen,  won Arizona Opera's Sparks Competition for new works, and is based on a true story about the alleged ghost of a prostitute haunting a historic hotel in Bisbee, Arizona. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Devon Tines and Rod Gilfry reprise "Crossing" at L.A. Opera

Devon Tines and Rod Gilfry
The Los Angeles Opera will be presenting to concert-version performance of composer-in-residence Matthew Aucoin's opera Crossing at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts  in Beverly Hills. There will be performances on May 25 and 26, featuring barihunks Rod Gilfry as Walt Whitman and Devon Tines as the escaped slave Freddie Stowers.

The opera had its world premiere in May 25 at the Shubert Theatre in Boston with Gilfry and Tines in the cast. It has subsequently been performed at the National Opera Center in New York City and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music

The opera was inspired by the diary that poet Walt Whitman kept as a nurse during the Civil War. Crossing explores how the individual experiences of soldiers are remembered and told. As Whitman listens to wounded veterans share their memories and messages, he forges a bond with a soldier who forces him to examine his own role as writer and poet.

Tickets are available online.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Watch sexy Evan Hughes in Komische's "Semele"

Evan Hughes and Nicole Chevalier (left) and Nora Friedrichs (right)
American bass-barihunk had a breakout performance as the somnolent god Somnus in Handel's Semele at the Komische Oper in Berlin. He also elevated his status as an operatic sex symbol showing off both his luscious physique and resonant voice in his scene-stealing small role.

Fortunately, the opera is available online at OperaVision and is available for viewing HERE until November 11th. There are remaining live performances on May 26, June 3 and 15, and July 10. Tickets are available online.

Nora Friedrichs and Evan Hughes
The production got off to a rocky start when director Laura Scozzi fell ill shortly after rehearsals began, forcing the Komische Oper's intendant Barrie Kosky to take over the production. Kosky is one of opera's most original and entertaining directors, so the show went on, with the story being told in a flashback set in a burnt-out Baroque hall.

Evan Hughes and Nicole Chevalier (left) and Nora Friedrichs (right)

Semele was written in 1743 and tells the story of clashing gods and mortals, the folly of vanity, and the fatal consequences of forbidden passion.

The plot centers around the cautionary tale of the delectable Semele and the god Jupiter, who tempt fate with a dangerously imprudent love affair. The ambitious Semele craves immortality, but also holds a secret, while Juno, plots a fiery finish to the affair.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Barihunks take top honors at Opera Birmingham Vocal Competition

Emmett O'Hanlon and Brent Michael Smith
Two American barihunks took away three of the top four prizes at the 40th Opera Birmingham Vocal Competition yesterday.

Emmett O'Hanlon took the top prize, as well as the Audience favorite prize. He performed the Tower Scene from Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande and "Largo al factotum" from Rossini's The Barber of Seville for the semi-finals, and Korngold's Tanzlied and the "Largo al factotum" for the final round.

Bass-barihunk Brent Michael Smith took 3rd Prize,  singing Purcell's "Arise, Ye Subterranean Winds" and "Vi ravviso, o luoghi ameni" from Bellini's La sonnambula. Mezzo-soprano Lindsay Metzger taking 2nd Prize. The winner also gets a chance to star in an Opera Birmingham production. The company's upcoming season includes Puccini's Tosca and Tom Cipullo's Glory Denied.

The winners were chosen from a group of twenty singers from around the country, which was whittled down to five for the semi-finals.

Emmett O'Hanlon is currently a member of the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago. where his roles include Wagner in Gounod's Faust (and covering Valentin),  Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte and Marullo in Verdi'ds Rigoletto.

Brent will become an Apprentice Artist at the Santa Fe Opera this season, where  he will also make his mainstage debut as Lakai in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos. He recently completed a stint as a Resident Artist at the Michigan Opera Theatre.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Brokeback Mountain gets U.S. debut a decade late at NYCO

Tom Randle, Daniel Okulitch and Glenn Seven Allen (L to R)
Charles Wuorinen's operatic adaptation of Brokeback Mountain is finally getting its U.S. premiere ten years after it was commissioned by Gerard Mortier while he was heading the New York City Opera. The company has since gone through some major changes before emerging as a radically different company.

The production will be New York City Opera’s second production in their LGBT Pride series, which kicked off with the New York premiere of Eötvös’s Angels in America in June 2017. Performances will be on May 31 and June 2, 3 and 4 at the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center and tickets are available online.

Barihunk Daniel Okulitch will return as Ennis Del Mar, the role he created a decade ago, and hunkentenor Glenn Seven Allen will take on the role of his love interest Jack Twist.

After Mortier left New York City Opera, Brokeback Mountain went on to have its premiere at Madrid’s Teatro Real in 2014 with Daniel Okulitch as Ennis Del Mar and tenor Tom Randle as Jack Twist. The opera was inspired by the 2005 film directed by Ang Lee and came to life after American composer Charles Wuorinen approached Annie Proulx to adapt  her story into the libretto for Brokeback Mountain. The book most notably was adapted into a 2005 Academy Award-nominated movie with Heath Ledger as Ennis Del Mar and Jake Gyllenhaal as Jack Twist.

The work has been highly successful in Europe, where it's been seen in Aachen and Salzburg, in addition to Madrid.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Barihunk Samuel Hasselhorn wins Queen Elizabeth Competition

Samuel Hasselhorn at the Queen Elizabeth Competition
German barihunk Samuel Hasselhorn has won the 2018 International Queen Elisabeth Grand Prize. he will receive 25,000 EUR and guaranteed concerts in Belgium and abroad. In the last two rounds, he performed music by Schumann, Wolf, Schubert, Brahms, Mahler, Mendelssohn as well as "Carlos écoute...Ah, je meurs" from Verdi's Don Carlos.

You can listen to Hasselhorn's final round performance HERE.

Second Prize went to French mezzo Eva Zaïcik and Third Prize went to Chinese bass Ao Li.

Hasselhorn is no stranger to walking away with top honors, as he has previously won the 2018 Emmerich Smola Prize, 2017 Das Lied International Song Competition in Heidelberg,  2015 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, 2013 International Schubert Competition and the “Prix de Lied“ at the 2013 Nadia and Lili Boulanger Competition in Paris.

He has upcoming recitals in Hannover, Germany on May 17th and June 11th. Fans in the U.K. can catch him at Wigmore Hall on June 24th in a program of Beethoven, Schubert, Wolf, Brahms, and Poulenc.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

RuPaul Drag Race Contestant Monet X Change has operatic past

Kevin Bertin aka Monet X Change
RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Monet X Change has a degree in opera performance and has appeared professionally as a bass. His real name is Kevin Bertin and he was born in Saint Lucia and raised in the Caribbean until the age of eleven. Since then, Bertin has lived in New York City. 

A graduate of the Westminster Choir College, he made his debut with the Westminster Opera Theater in Mozart's Cosí Fan Tutte and later performed Sarastro in the composer's Die Zauberflöte. He became a featured soloist with the Westminster Choir on their California and Florida tours, performing in Bach's Magnificat, Brahms' Requiem, and Bruckner's Te Deum.

He also appeared as Sarastro at the Portland Opera for the Education and Outreach Program, and also sang Colline in Puccini's La bohème

As a drag performer, he was mentored by Season 8 winner Bob the Drag Queen, who taught him how to sew, as well as some performance tips. Monet's drag mother is Honey Davenport, who appeared on Season 5 of the show.

So far on Season 10, Monet has won two mini-challenges and also landed in the bottom two twice, where she had to lip synch for her life. Her opening line on the show was, ""Oh, don't mind me girl. I just came here to sweep up the competition."

Sexy Barihunk trio coming to Carnegie Hall

Jarrett Ott, Steven LaBrie and Tobias Greenhalgh
Three of the greatest young singers and hottest barihunks singing today will be performing in the "Three Baritones" concert together at Carnegie Hall on May 22nd.

Tobias Greenhalgh will perform Glen Roven's Four Surreal Songs with poetry by Paul Éluard, Steven LaBrie will sing Benjamin C. S. Boyle's Le passage des rêves with poetry by Paul Valéry and Lori Laitman's The Joy of Uncreating, and Jarrett Ott will perform Jake Heggie's Of Laughter and Farewell and Jennifer Higdon's Lilac with poetry by Walt Whitman.

The trio will also join forces for a medley of baritone aria greatest hits arranged by Glen Roven.

Tickets are on sale online. Barihunks readers can use the discount code RRR41517.

Sexy photos from world premiere of "When Adonis Calls"; Upcoming West Coast premiere of "The Hidden Singer"

Joshua Jeremiah and Trevor Martin (photo: Frank Zipperer)
The Asheville Lyric Opera has a huge success on its hands and bragging rights for landing the highly anticipated world premiere of composer Clint Borzoni and librettist John de los Santos' "When Adonis Calls," which debuted on May 11th. There are additional performances on May 12 and 13. Asheville is also the home of Gavin Geoffrey Dillard, whose poetry was refashioned into the libretto. Tickets are available online.

Joshua Jeremiah and Trevor Martin (photo: Frank Zipperer)
The opera, which was work-shopped at the Fort Worth Opera Festival's Frontiers series of new works in 2015, chronicles the tale of a distant relationship between an accomplished, if aging and discouraged Poet an a young, inspired, and impetuous Muse. Two male dancers create the emotional subtext as the poets banter back and forth of their loves, their animosities, their jealousies, and their creative furies.

Trevor Martin (photo: Frank Zipperer)
The piece is scored for two baritones, string quartet, percussionist and two dancers (and comes with an adult content warning). When Adonis Calls features a low and high baritone, and Asheville Lyric Opera featured two amazing performers in Trevor Martin and Joshua Jeremiah, as well as two local dancers.

Joshua Jeremiah and Trevor Martin and dancers (photo: Frank Zipperer)
"When Adonis Calls" already has a second performance scheduled in Chicago with the Thompson Street Opera Company this Fall. Details are forthcoming. Our site has also learned that discussions are underway for a West Coast premiere.

Malte Roesner (Photo: Jack Michaels)
For those on the West Coast, you'll have an opportunity to experience another world premiere from Clint Borzoni, when German bass Malte Roesner premieres the song cycle "The Hidden Singer, " based on the poetry of Wendell Berry. The cycle revolves around seven poems all associated with birds, which are normally correlated with high soprano voices. The song cycle is scored for string quartet, but opens with an a cappella setting.

The concert will be held at Ansel Adams' former home in San Francisco and tickets include a generous supply of wine and food, in keeping with Musica Marin's tradition to present chamber music in the original intimate, salon setting of a home. The song cycle will be paired with Mendelssohn's String Quartet in A minor. Tickets for the June 3rd concert are available online

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Duncan Rock to be featured at Petworth Festival in WW I program

Duncan Rock
Australian barihunk Duncan Rock will be featured at this year's Petworth Festival in the U.K., performing music related to WWI.  The centerpiece of the concert will be George Butterworth's setting of A.E. Houseman’s A Shropshire Lad, which comprise eleven settings from the original sixty-three poems. The concert also includes music by Gerald Finzi and Ned Rorem. Tickets are available online.

Butterworth was killed in the Battle of the Somme and was posthumously awarded the Military Cross. His brigade commander, Brigadier General Page Croft, only learned after Butterworth's death that he was one of England's most promising young composers. Butterworth's body was never recovered and his name appears on the Thiepval Memorial, honoring the 72,246 British and South African soldiers missing in action during WWI.

John Brancy sings Butterworth's "The lads in their hundreds":

Petworth was also impacted by war, having suffered a horrible tragedy in World War II a generation later.  On September 29, 1942, a lone German Heinkel 111, approaching from the south over Hoes Farm, aimed three bombs at Petworth House, the stately 17th century home of Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset. The bombs missed the house, but one bounced off a tree and landed on the Petworth Boys' School killing 28 boys, the headmaster and an assistant teacher.

American barihunk John Brancy also has toured with a popular program of WWI songs with pianist Peter Dugan. The recital. "A Silent Night: A WWI Memorial in Song," is also available on CD.

Barihunks galore in Rome's "Billy Budd" led by Phillip Addis

Phillip Addis as Billy Budd in Rome
Benjamin Britten's opera Billy Budd has long been a favorite of readers of this site. After all, who wouldn't like an opera that features a cast of sailors with some homoerotic undertones? The Teatro dell’Opera di Roma is opening a run of the opera tonight laden with barihunks, starting with Phillip Addis in the title role. Also in the cast is John Relyea as the evil John Claggart, Thomas Oliemans as Mr. Redburn, Zach Altman as Mr. Flint and Jonathan Michie as Donald.

Performances will run through May 15th and tickets and additional cast information is available online.

Phillip Addis made his debut in the title role in 2015 at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa. John Relyea will return to the role in January at Den Norske Opera with Jacques Imbrailo in the title role.

Phillip Addis as Billy Budd in Rome
Billy Budd had its world premier at London’s Royal Opera House on December 1, 1951 conducted by the composer with the role of Captain Vere sung by Britten’s partner Peter Pears. In 1966, in preparation for a television broadcast, Britten cut the score from four acts to two with a prologue and epilogue, which has become the standard version for the opera. 

The libretto was written by the English novelist E. M. Forster and Eric Crozier, and is based on the short novel Billy Budd by Herman Melville. The book was first published posthumously in London in 1924. Melville began writing the work in November 1888, but left it unfinished at his death in 1891. The novella was discovered in manuscript form in 1919 by Raymond M. Weaver, who was studying Melville's papers as his first biographer.

The first production of the opera Billy Budd in Russia occurred 100 years after the birth of Britten at St. Petersburg’s Mikhailovsky Theatre in 2013. Billy Budd received its United States premiere in 1952 at the Indiana University Opera Company with Jack Gillaspy in the title role.

Phillip Addis as Billy Budd in Rome
Britten originally intended the title role for Sir Geraint Evans, but he felt that the role sat to high for his voice, so he switched to the role of Mr. Flint. Britten then opted for barihunk Theodor Uppman to replace Evans in the title role.

The performance launched Uppman's international career and he went on to become one of the definitive Billy Budd's off all-time. Uppman sang in an acclaimed performance in 1970 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, which included Sir Geraint Evans as Claggart and Richard Lewis as Vere. 

A number of famous barihunks have sung the role of Billy Budd, who many believe was secretly desired by the evil Claggart. Famous barihunk Billy Budd's include John Chest, Simon Keenlyside, Richard Stilwell, Nathan Gunn, Rod Gilfry, Bo Skovhus, Thomas Hampson, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Peter Mattei, Lauri Vasar, Lucas Meachem, Jacques Imbrailo, Daniel Belcher, Roderick Williams, Iurii Samoilov and Liam Bonner.

German barihunk Björn Bürger will add his name to the roster, when he takes on the title role beginning May 19th at the Frankfurt Oper.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Barihunk Trio in George Benjamin's new opera about Edward II

Stéphane Degout prepares for Lessons in Love and Violence
The Royal Opera will present the world premiere of George Benjamin's Lessons in Love and Violence from May 10-26 at the Royal Opera House's mainstage in London. Benjamin's second opera is a co-production with six other opera houses and includes the team behind his highly successful Written on Skin.

Written on Skin has become the second most performed new opera in the 21st century. 

The cast for Lessons in Love and Violence will feature French barihunk Stéphane Degout as the King, Hungarian-Romanian barihunk Gyula Orendt as his lover Gaveston and Icelandic barihunk Andri Björn Róbertsson as a Madman. The remainder of the cast includes Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan as Isabel, British tenor Peter Hoare Mortimer and British tenor Samuel Boden as the Young King.

The project began two years ago, when the Royal Opera House commissioned George Benjamin and librettist Martin Crimp to write a new work, following the huge success of Written on Skin, a medieval-set story in which the creation of an illuminated manuscript leads to adultery, murder and cannibalism.

Lessons in Love and Violence is a re-imagining of the life of Edward II and his doomed relationship with Piers Gaveston, the first Earl of Cornwall, and is presented as seven lessons seen through the eyes of the monarch’s two children. This is the second opera to be written in recent years based on the same topic, as Swiss composer Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini premiered his new opera about Edward II at the Deutsche Oper Berlin last year.

Lessons in Love and Violence will be performed at the Dutch National Opera in June 2018, Hamburg State Opera in April 2019 and at Opéra de Lyon in May 2019.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Barihunk Ken Mattice in German premiere of Everest

Ken Mattice
Barihunk Ken Mattice, who appears in our calendar and photo book this year, will star in the German premiere of Joby Talbot's Everest at Theater Hagen. The piece was commissioned by the Dallas Opera, where it debuted in 2015 starring barihunk Craig Verm, who is an actual climber. The opera at Theater Hagen runs through July 1st and tickets and cast information is available online.

The opera confronts the tragic events surrounding an ill-fated Everest expedition. Librettist Gene Scheer was fascinated by the infamous 1996 expeditions of the mountain. He wrote the libretto for Everest after traveling around the world to interview survivors of that doomed climb. Talbot told NPR that he was especially eager to create a sound world around the peak.

Everest was British composer Joby Talbot's first opera, after a career that has has included writing for film, television and ballet. The opera is also slated to receive it's Canadian premiere in February 2019. 

This summer, Mattice will be singing Fred Graham and Petrucchio in Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate at Theater Hagen. 

Introducing British barihunk Huw Montague Rendall

Huw Montague Rendall
We learned about British barihunk Huw Montague Rendall in a unique manner, having seen him as response to our question on Twitter and Facebook: "Name a parent and their child who both sang opera professionally."

It turns out that Huw Montague Rendell comes from operatic royalty, being the son of British mezzo-soprano Diana Montague and tenor David Rendall, who also was one of his voice teachers.

Montague Rendall graduated from the Royal College of Music and was as a 2016 Jerwood Young Artist with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. At Glyndebourne he sang the role of Fiorello in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia, for which he was awarded the John Christie Award. The following summer he joined the prestigious Young Artist Programme at the Salzburg Festspiele where he made his debut in the role of Second Apprentice in Berg's Wozzeck. He is currently a member of the International Opera Studio Zürich with fellow barihunk Cody Quattlebaum. 

Huw Montague Rendall sings "Avant de quitter ces lieux" from Gounod's Faust: 

On July 4th, he'll make his debut as Harlequin in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in a cast that includes Lise Davidsen as Ariadne, Eric Cutler as Bacchus, Sabine Devieilhe as Zerbinetta and Angela Brower as The Composer. He will also be making house debuts this season wit the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Komische Oper Berlin and Garsington Opera. In Zürich his roles include the Nazarene in Richard Strauss' Salome with Catherine Naglestad in the title role, Yamadori in Puccini's Madama Butterfly with Saimir Pirgu as Pinkerton and Svetlana Aksenova as Cio-Cio San, and Nardo in Mozart's La finta giardiniera, which runs from May 5-18.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Malte Roesner to premiere new Clint Borzoni song cycle

Clint Borzoni (left) and Malte Roesner (right)
German bass Malte Roesner, who was born in the United States, will be premiering a quintessentially American song cycle by Clint Borzoni, based on the poetry of Wendell Berry. The cycle, which is entitled "The Hidden Singer" revolves around seven poems all associated with birds, which are normally correlated with high soprano voices. The low, male voice works well with Berry's settings, who has been dubbed the "conservationist poet," and Borzoni's music grounds these works solidly in nature and the Earth around us. The song cycle is scored for string quartet, but opens with an a cappella setting.

Randal Turner sings Borzoni's "That shadow, my likeness":

The concert will be held at Ansel Adams' former home in San Francisco and tickets include a generous supply of wine and food, in keeping with Musica Marin's tradition to present chamber music in the original intimate, salon setting of a home. The song cycle will be paired with Mendelssohn's String Quartet in A minor. Tickets for the June 3rd concert are available online

The song cycle was commissioned specifically for Roesner, and Borzoni said that he learned a lot from working directly with the singer, who is also a musicologist and recently transitioned to a lower voice range.

We asked Malte Roesner to tell us about this song cycle and here's what he had to say:
"Artistic expression can speak to us on many different levels. It can be emotionally beguiling or intellectually stimulating or aesthetically pleasing. Only exceptional art has the ability to reach us on all of them simultaneously. The same way that multi-sensory learning is the most effective way of understanding or memorizing something, I think that this multi-level impact is what makes art captivating. 

The poems by Wendell Berry do have this quality. They are modern poems, but they are also timeless through their imagery of nature and metaphor and in their deeply spiritual sense of connectedness. 

We are very lucky that in this song cycle Clint was not only able to capture these qualities and feelings, but augment them by adding his own artistic depth.  Either this is just a very lucky pairing or Clint has shown an exceptional sensibility when writing this music (probably both), because I feel that his composition possesses the same timelessness and captivating visceral quality as the poems.  

There is an earthy and "woody" feeling to the music, yet it washes over you like water. At other times there are almost folkish elements that dance with an aerial lightness. And I am sure I could also describe a fiery quality in order to cover ALL the alchemistic elements...There is not a lot of art song literature written specifically for the bass voice, maybe because this voice type functions a little bit differently than high voices or because it feels as if it only lends itself for very specific topics. I feel that this song cycle is a truly special and important addition to the bass song repertory, because it just... works... and then gets you in the feels."
Borzoni, who is the Composer-in-Residence at Musica Marin, has become associated for writing for low male voice. He has written a song cycle for bass-baritone Tim Hill, several songs for bass-baritone Randal Turner (based on Walt Whitman's poetry) and penned two pieces for String Quartet and baritone for Marco Vassalli based on German settings. His opera "When Adonis Calls," which is scored for baritone and bass-baritone, is receiving performances in both Asheville and Chicago this year. He also wrote the two-act opera “Antinous and Hadrian,” which features a baritone lead. His opera The Copper Queen,  won Arizona Opera's Sparks Competition for new works, and is based on a true story about the alleged ghost of a prostitute haunting a historic hotel in Bisbee, Arizona.

Marco Vassalli sings Borzoni's "Stufen":

Roesner made his highly-acclaimed U.S. stage debut last year with West Edge Opera in Soler's The Chastity Tree, as well as his recital debut performing music by Soler and Süßmayr. He recently performed the Devil in Weinberger's Schwanda, der Dudelsackpfeifer (Schwanda, the Bagpiper) at the Stadttheater Gießen in Germany.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Watch Mattia Olivieri in La Favorite

Mattia Olivieri as Alphonse XI (right)
You can watch Italian barihunk Mattia Olivieri as Alphonse XI in Donizetti's La Favorite from the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, which was taped earlier this year. Click HERE to watch it on OperaVision. The performance is of the French version rather than the more commonly performed Italian version La Favorita, which differs in various melodic parts and has a revised finale.

La Favorite, which premiered at the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris on December 2, 1840 is one of the most important works in Donizetti’s French period. The opera is the second work in the genre composed after Les Martyrs and before Dom Sébastien, roi de Portugal, and was a huge success with Paris audiences. 

The story revolves around a love triangle involving the King of Castile, Alfonso XI, his mistress ('the favorite') Leonora, and her lover Fernando. The story unfolds against the background of the Moorish invasions of Spain and power struggles between church and state.

Olivieri will return to the role in July, when he alternates the role with fellow barihunk Markus Werba at the Liceu Opera House in Barcelona. Additional information is available online.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

John Brancy takes top honors at Lotte Lenya Competition

John Brancy performing at the Lotte Lenya Competition (left)
American barihunk John Brancy, along with sopranos Caroline Hewitt and Laura Corina Sanders, took top honors and $15,000 in prize money at this year's Lotte Lenya Competition. This was Brancy's second appearance at the Competition, having originally competed in 2008 when he won the Lys Symonette Award for Outstanding Performance of an Individual Number. The competition is open to singers born after April 15, 1985.

Brancy performed “Uzhel ta samaja Tatiana” from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, “This is New” from Kurt Weill's Lady in the Dark, “Awaiting You” from Guettel's Myths and Hymns and “Soliloquy” from Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel.

John Brancy performs at the Lotte Lenya Competition:

A number of baritones have won top prizes at the Lotte Lenya Competition, including Bradley Smoak in 2017, Brian Vu in 2016, Ben Edquist in 2014, Douglas Carpenter in 2013 and Justin Hopkins in 2012.

Brancy has previously won 2nd Prize at the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition in London and the Media Prize in the Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Moscow. This fall, he returns to Oper Frankfurt for a new production of Olga Neuwirth's Lost Highway directed by Yuval Sharon. This summer, Brancy will perform at the Carmel Bach Festival, where he's slated to sing in Orff's Carmina Burana and Bach's St. Matthew's Passion.

Craig Verm to take over remaining Don Giovanni's from Mariusz Kwiecien

Craig Verm as Don Giovanni
The Dallas Opera has announced that American barihunk Craig Verm will take over the title role in the remaining performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, after having replaced Mariusz Kwiecien to great acclaim on opening night. Verm will sing the final three performances, beginning with today's performance and running through April 29. Tickets are available online.  
Verm was originally scheduled to sing the role of Masetto, which will be sung by barihunk André Courville, who is making his Dallas Opera debut. Leporello will be sung by Kyle Ketelsen, who has made the role of Don Giovanni's sidekick a signature role.

Kyle Ketelsen in concert in Russia:

The all-star cast also includes Laura Claycomb, Katie Van Kooten, David Portillo, and Virginie Verrez with Emmanuel Villaume conducting.

Upcoming performances for Verm this year include Haly in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri at the Santa Fe Opera, Lieutenant Gordon in Kevin Puts' Silent Night with the Austin Lyric Opera and Marcello in Puccini's La bohème at the Pittsburgh Opera.

In October, Kyle Ketelsen will sing another signature role, when he reprises his highly acclaimed portrayal of Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Christian Pursell wins Partners for the Arts Vocal Competition

Christian Pursell at the Partners for the Vocal Arts Vocal Competition
American barihunk Christian Pursell won the 6th Annual Partners for the Arts Vocal Competition today in Alexandria, Virginia. Second Place went to tenor Brandon Scott Russell and Third Place to soprano Robin Steitz.

The 2016 Metropolitan Opera semi-finalist performed "Aprite un po queli' occhi" from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro and "O du mein holder abendstern" from Wagner's Tannhauser

Pursell is a first year Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera. This season he'll be performing a number of roles with the company, including Walter Raleigh in Donizetti's Roberto Devereux, the Jailer in Puccini's Tosca, Count Lamoral in Richard Strauss' Arabella, and a fourth of the Angel Quartet in Jake Heggie's It's a Wonderful Life.

Craig Verm makes unexpected and stunning role debut as Don Giovanni

Craig Verm as Don Giovanni at Dallas Opera (Photo: Karen Almond)
Craig Verm, who was slated to sing Masetto in the current run of Mozart's classic opera Don Giovanni at the Dallas Opera, stepped in for an ailing Mariusz Kwiecien to make his role debut as the title character. Verm was replaced by fellow barihunk Andre Courville as Masetto and fellow barihunk, Kyle Ketelsen, sang Leporello.

Kyle Ketelsen and Craig Verm (Photo: Karen Almond)
The all-star cast also included Morris Robinson as the Commendatore, David Portillo as Don Ottavio, Laura Claycomb as Donna Anna, Katie van Kooten as Donna Elvira and Virginie Verrez as Zerlina. Performances run through April 29th.

Morgan Pearse to make solo Wigmore Hall debut

Morgan Pearse
Australian barihunk Morgan Pearse will make his Wigmore Hall solo debut on May 13th accompanied by Simon Lepper on the piano.

Pearse will perform six songs by Johannes Brahms, Richard Strauss' Vier Lieder, Opus 27 and Samuel Barber's settings of James Joyce's poetry.

This isn't the first time that Pearse has performed at Wigmore Hall, but it does mark his solo recital debut. In 2013, he joined the Françoise-Green Piano Duo for Schumann's Liederkreis Op. 39 and Vaughan Williams Songs of Travel.

On April 21st, Pearse can be heard as Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Badisches Staatsoper in Karlsruhe. He then heads to Opera New Zealand for a run as Belcore in Donizetti's comic masterpiece The Elixir of Love

Monday, April 9, 2018

Christian Van Horn wins 2018 Richard Tucker Award

Christian van Horn
The Richard Tucker Foundation as announced that bass-barihunk Christian Van Horn is the winner of the 2018 Richard Tucker Award. He is the first bass-baritone to be win the award since John Relyea in 2003 and only the third in the award's 40-year history. He receives $50,000 for winning the award.

Past winners include Stephanie Blythe, Lawrence Brownlee, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Christine Goerke, and Matthew Polenzani. 

Van Horn, who just finished a run as Mephistopheles in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's production of Faust, can next he heard as Enrico in Donizetti's Anna Bolena at the Canadian Opera Company from April 28th-May 26th. In September, he will perform Raimondo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor at Opera Philadelphia, followed by Mefistofele and Colline at the Metropolitan Opera.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Barihunk trio in Santiago's "Don Giovanni"

Edwin Crossley-Mercer & Soloman Howard
The Teatro Municipal Santiago in Chile has assembled an impressive trio of barihunks for their upcoming performances of Mozart's Don Giovanni. The company is presenting dual casts in seven performances from April 16-27.

The first cast includes the barihunk trio of Levent Bakirci in the title role, Edwin Crossley-Mercer as Leporello and Soloman Howard as the Commendatore. To top things off, hunkentenor Joel Prieto is singing Don Ottavio. The second cast includes barihunk Daniel Miroslaw in the title role, joined by Sergio Gallardo as Leporello and Soloman Howard as the Commendatore. Tickets and additional cast information is available online.

Daniel Miroslaw and Levent Bakirci alternate as Don Giovanni
Bakirci, who is new to this site, graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Middle East Technical University in Ankara before pursuing his career as a singer. He has performed Don Giovanni at the Staatstheater Nürnberg, where he is an ensemble member, as well as the Theater Bremen, where he was a member of the ensemble from 2008-11.

Edwin Crossley-Mercer made his U.K. debut in the role of Leporello at the 2014 Glyndebourne Festival. After wrapping up Don Giovanni, Crossley-Mercer heads to Tokyo to perform Schubert's Winterreise on May 3rd and a set of Hollywood standards on May 5th. He then joins the legendary Bryn Terfel for performances of Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust in Dresden, Antwerp, Amsterdam and Hamburg.

Soloman Howard will head to Santa Fe this summer to perform the Bonze in Puccini's Madama Butterfly

Daniel Miroslaw can next be seen at the Oper Frankfurt, where he is an ensemble member, as Quinault in Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur.