Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Babatunde Akinboboye mixes Rossini and Kendrick Lamar

Bobby Akinboboye
Check out Nigerian-American barihunk Babatunde "Bobby" Akinboboye as he mixes Rossini's Largo al factotum with some Kendrick Lamar.

Akinboboye has performed with the Los Angeles Opera, Opera San Jose, Opera Santa Barbara, Long Beach Opera and Center Stage Opera.

He is an advocate for art songs and operatic works written by African, and African-American composers. He performed a fusion of opera and traditional African music with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry and has performed at both the National Association of Negro Musicians Annual Conference, as well as the African American Art Song Alliance Conference.  

Akinboboye has been a Regional Finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the International Eisteddfod Vocal Solo Competition in Llangollen, Wales.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Every GRAMMY nominee for "Best Opera Recording" featiures a barihunk

Edwin Crossley-Mercer, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Günther Groissböck, Edward Parks & Aubrey Allicock
Every GRAMMY nominee for  "Best Opera Recording" featiures a barihunk this year.

The nominees, which were announced today, are as follow:
  • John Adams, Doctor Atomic, featuring barihunk Aubrey Allicock, Gerald Finley, Julia Bullock and Brindley Sherratt. 
  • Mason Bates, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, featuring barihunk Edward Parks, Sasha Cooke, Jessice E. Jones, Wei Wu and Garrett Sorenson. 
  • Jean-Baptiste Lully, Alceste, featuring barihunks Edwin Crossley-Mercer and Douglas Williams, Emiliano Gonzalez, Toro and Judith Van Wanroij. 
  • Richard Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier, featuring Günther Groissböck, Elīna Garanča and Erin Morley. 
  • Giuseppe Verdi, Rigoletto, featuring the late barihunk Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Nadine Sierra. 
Bate's The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs was also nominated for "Best Contemporary Classical Composition" along with Jake Heggie's Great Scott, which features the ageless barihunk Nathan Gunn.  Other nominees in the category are Du Yun's Air Glow, Kernis' Violin Concerto and Mazzoli's Vespers for Violin.

Ryan Speedo Green to be featured on "60 Minutes"

Ryan Speedo Green
Ryan Speedo Green will be featured this Sunday, December 9th on "60 Minutes" on CBS. Scott Pelley interviews the American singer about his journey from juvenile detention at age 12, after threatening to stab his mother and brother, to being a member of the ensemble at the Vienna State Opera. 

Green was one of the five winners of the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, winner of the 2014 George London Foundation Award, and first prize recipient at the Gerda Lissner Foundation vocal awards.

In 2016, he released a book about his life, Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family.

David Adam Moore to reprise sexy Stanley Kowalski

David Adam Moore as Stanley Kowalski (Photo @dabva)
The Teatro Colón has announced its 2019 season, which will include barihunk David Adam Moore as Stanley Kowalski in Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, in what will be the South American premiere of the opera. Moore has had great success with the role at both the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Virginia Opera.

The opera is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tennessee Williams and has become a showcase for barihunks, including Gregory Gerbrandt, Dan Kempson, Rod Gilfry, Ryan McKinny, Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Jordan Shanahan.

A Streetcar Named Desire was premiered at the San Francisco Opera in 1998 with Rod Gilfry as Stanley and its become one of the most popular contemporary American operas in the repertory. It has gone on to see performances in New Orleans, Kentucky, Carnegie Hall in New York San Diego, Washington D.C., San Francisco (Merola Opera), Cleveland, Chicago, Santa Barbara, Honolulu and Virginia Opera. It had it European premiere in Strasbourg in 2001 and its U.K. premiere in 2003, with subsequent performances throughout Europe and in Tokyo.

The Teatro Colón cast will also include Sarah Jane McMahon, Eric Fennell, and Victoria Livengood. Performances run from May 7-14, 2019

Dmitri Hvorostovsky's hometown to rename airport in his honor

Dmitri Hvorostosky and the Krasnoyarsk airport
Dmitri Hvorostosky's hometown of Krasnoyarsk in Eastern Siberia has announced that they will honor the Russian singer by renaming the local airport after him.

After being diagnosed with a brain tumor in June 2015, Hvorostovsky died on November 22, 2017 in London. Hvorostosky sang a  farewell concert in Krasnoyarsk in June 2017.

In his will, Hvorostovsky asked that half of his ashes be buried in Moscow’s Novodevichy Cemetery and the other half in Krasnoyarsk.

There were few baritones as compelling on stage as Dmitri Hvorostovsky and only a few in history who matched his box office draw. He will forever be remembered for his seamless legato and movie star good looks.

He was born on October 16, 1962 and shot to fame in 1989 when he won the Cardiff Singer of the World competition in a legendary showdown with Bryn Terfel. The late, great soprano Elizabeth Soderström, who was one of the judges in 1989, famously marked a series of exclamation marks on her scorecard as she listened to Hvorostovsky sing.

His extensive discography includes 30 recitals, numerous complete operas on CD and DVD, and the award-winning film "Don Giovanni Unmasked" where he performed the dual roles of Don Giovanni and Leporello. On November 10, 2017, he released his first recording of Verdi's Rigoletto, on which he sings the title role.

Björn Bürger doing double duty in Germany & Switzerland

Björn Bürger
German barihunk Björn Bürger is wrapping up 2018 with a busy schedule, as he's singing back-to-back-to-back performances in Switzerland in Germany.

He is opening a run as Dr. Falke in Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus (La Chauve-Souris in French) in Lausanne on December 13th, with performances running through New Year's Eve. Meanwhile, he's wrapping up performances as Figaro in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Staatsoper Stuttgart. That means he'll be singing in Lausanne on the 28th, a matinee in Stuttgart on the 29th and back in Lausanne on the 30th.

The cast of the Die Fledermaus also includes Stephan Genz as Gabriel von Eisenstein and Eleonore Marguerre as Rosalinda.

The cast of Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Staatsoper Stuttgart also includes the always entertaining bass Matthew Anchel as Bartolo, Mert Süngü as Almaviva and Stephanie Lauricella as Rosina. There is an evening performance of the same opera that features fellow barihunk Jarrett Ott as Figaro.

Lausanne and Stuttgart are about 438 km (272 miles) apart. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Barihunk duo in premiere of Dear Erich at NY City Opera

Peter Kendal Clark and Brian James Myer
The New York City Opera will premiere Ted Rosenthal's Holocaust themed opera Dear Erich  on January 9th, with performances running through January 13th.  The opera was inspired by 200 recently discovered letters written in Germany between 1938 and 1941 by Herta Rosenthal to her son Erich, the composer's father.

Barihunk Brian James Myer will be making his company debut as Young Erich, in a cast that also includes fellow barihunk Peter Kendall Clark as the Older Erich, hunkentenor Glenn Seven Allen as Freddy, Jessica Tyler Wright as Herta and Rachel Zatcoff as Lili. Tickets are available online.

Glenn Seven Allen (photo as honorary tenor in Barihunks calendar)
The title character was a Jewish academic who escaped Nazi Germany to the U.S. shortly before Kristallnacht. The opera tells the story of his family's dual fates, including Erich's journey to a new life in the new world - his studies, jazz and love -  while the situation deteriorates in Germany and his family ultimately meets their cruel demise at the hands of the Nazis. Frustrated and powerless to help them emigrate, Erich must live with deep survivor guilt which affects him in his relationships with his wife and children.

The opera has had workshops at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, New York City Opera and the Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts.