Sunday, August 18, 2019

Gregory Gerbrandt and Cree Carrico team up for "Broadway to Boonville"

Gregory Gerbrandt in A Streetcar Named Desire (right)

Barihunk Gregory Gerbrandt will join the charismatic soprano Cree Carrico in “From Broadway to Boonville — With Love!” accompanied by Michael Sakir at the the Missouri River Festival of the Arts in Boonville, Missiouri. The town is located halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City.

The concert will be at Thespian Hall, which opened in 1855 and is the oldest continuously running theater west of the Allegheny Mountains. The festival is in its 44th year. Tickets are available online.

Some of the Broadway songs on the program include "If I Loved You" from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, "An old Fashioned Wedding" from Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun, "The Next 10 Minute from Anna Kendrick & Jeremy Jordan's The Last Five Years and
"All I Ask of You" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera.

Cree Carrico and Gregory Gerbrandt
The three day festival is under the artistic direction of David Halen, concertmaster of the Saint Louis Symphony and Artistic Director of the Aspen Music Festival. 

The town is named after Nathan and Daniel Morgan Boone, who were the sons of the pioneer explorer Daniel Boone and who established their salt business near the community in the early 1800s, delivering their product from salt licks to St. Louis. Because of this, the town is sometimes known as Boone's Lick.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Introducing American barihunk Tim Murray

Tim Murray preparing for his Merola Grand Finale (right)
Wisconsin-born barihunk Tim Murray will perform in the Grand Finale concert at the prestigious Merola Opera Program in San Francisco tonight. He'll be performing the Act III mother-son duet  from Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet with Alice Chung. He also recently performed the role of Paul with Merola in the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s new opera If I Were You.

The concert is the final event in the Merola Opera Program's intensive summer training program for some of the world's most promising operatic talent. Tickets for the August 17th concert are available online.

In March, Murray made his debut with the Arizona Opera as William Dale in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night. He has already appeared three times with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City where he was part of their Resident Artist Program, performing Marullo in Verdi's Rigoletto, Guy in Talbot's Everest and the Captain in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.

Harve Presnell, Edward Laurenson and Thomas Hampson
Also appearing tonight will be New Zealand born baritone Edward Laurenson, who we introduced to readers back in 2014 and featured again when he took off for the Guildhall School of Music and again when he first came to San Francisco to study.

A number of the world's greatest baritones have come through Merola, including Broadway legend and film star Harve Presnell (1957), Thomas Hampson (1980), Mark Delavan (1985), David Malis (1982, 83),  John Del Carlo (1977), Lucas Meachem (2003), Allan Monk (1966), Burak Bilgili  (2001), John Chest (2009), Richard Paul Fink (1983, 84), Ao Li (2010), Daniel Okulitch (2002), John Relyea (1995), Philippe Sly (2011) and Hadleigh Adams (2012).  

Friday, August 16, 2019

Andrew Potter Makes a Splash as Vodnik

Andrew Potter as Vodnik
Bass-barihunk Andrew Potter is making his role debut as the water nymph Vodnik in Antonín Dvořák's Rusalka at Opera Steamboat in Colorado's beautiful Yampa Valley. From the look of his costumes, he'll be making quite a SPLASH

For those unfamiliar with Dvořák's opera, Vodník is the frog king and father of all the water, who can be both terrifying and playful.

Rusalka is based on the fairy tales of Karel Jaromír Erben and Božena Němcová. A rusalka is a water sprite from Slavic mythology, usually inhabiting a lake or river. The plot contains elements which also appear in The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen and in Undine by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué, which also became an opera by the German composer Albert Lortzing.

Andrew Potter as Vodnik
The opera was first performed in Prague on March 31, 1901 and along with Janáček's Jenůfa has become the most popular Czech opera worldwide. 

The remainder of the Opera Steamboat cast includes former Miss America contestant Christie Conover in the title role, Renée Rapier as Ježibaba, Ben Gulley as the Prince and Lauren Frey as the Princess. There is one remaining performance on Saturday August 17, 2019 and tickets are available online.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Teddy Tahu Rhodes to tour "From Broadway to La Scala"

Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Méphistophélès and in The King and I
Australia's popular show "From Broadway to La Scala" is back and hitting the road with Kiwi barihunk Teddy Tahu Rhodes in the cast. The national tour, which runs from September 14-28, will stop in Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne before culminating at the Sydney Opera House.

Rhodes will be heard in selections from Carousel, The Sound of Music, The Pearl Fishers, Sweeney Todd, Fiddler of the Roof, Carmen and West Side Story. He'll be joined by hunkentenors Alexander Lewis and David Hobson, soprano Emma Matthews, Caroline O'Connor and Genevieve Kingsford.

Tickets are available online.


After the tour, Rhodes can be seen as Lord Sidney in Rossini's Il viaggio a Reims and Méphistophélès in Gounod's Faust at Opera Australia.

Rhodes is the recipient of several major awards. In 2004, he received an ARIA award for Best Classical Recording for his CD The Voice, and in 2006 he was the winner of the Limelight Award for Best Performance by a Soloist with an Orchestra for his Australian tour with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. In 2008 he won a Helpmann Award for Best Male Performer in an Opera for his role in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking and the Laureate Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand.


Friday, August 9, 2019

Veritable feast of barihunks in San Francisco Opera's Billy Budd

John Chest as Billy Budd at the Deutsche Oper Berlin (Photo: Marcus Lieberenz)
In celebration of Herman Melville's bicentennial and the 100th anniversary of the posthumous discovery of the author's unfinished manuscript of Billy Budd, the San Francisco Opera will present Benjamin Britten's operatic version from September 7-22.

This will be only the fourth time that the opera has been performed in the company's history. It was last performed during the 2004-05 season with barihunks Nathan Gunn as Billy Budd, Philip Skinner as Mr. Ratcliff, Mel Ulrich as Donald, Daniel Okulitch as the Gunner's mate, Lucas Meachem as the Novice's Friend, Troy Cook as Mr. Flint and Joshua Bloom as the First Mate.   

Nathan Gunn  as Billy Budd at the SF Opera (Photo: Merkle)
The all-male cast of 75 principle artists and choristers, will be led by barihunk John Chest in the title role. Chest returns to San Francisco, where he was a member of the Merola Opera Program. Chest has performed the role twice with the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2014 and 2017.

The cast also include a veritable feast of barihunks and bass-barihunks, including Christian van Horn as the evil John Claggart, Hadleigh Adams as Arthur Jones, Christian Pursell as Lieutenant Ratcliffe, Wayne Tigges as Mr. Flint, John Brancy as Donald, Edward Nelson as Bosun, Sidney Outlaw as First Mate, Kenneth Overton as Second Mate, Eugene Villanueva as the Novice's Friend and Philip Skinner as Dansker. The critical role of Captain Vere will be sung by tenor William Burden.   

The production will be by Tony Award-winning director Michael Grandage, who unveiled this staging at the 2010 Glyndebourne Festival and revived it at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music  in 2014. 

Tickets and additional cast information is available online.

No Barihunks on CBC's list of "30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians," so we added two

The CBC recently ran a feature called "30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30." They surveyed Canada's conservatories, music competitions and professional training programs to come up with their list. Although we at Barihunks take the word "HOT" to mean sexy, it appears that they are going for a double meaning, with "HOT" also meaning "musicians with talent to keep an eye on."

This year they didn't manage to come up with a single barihunk, despite having included them in past years, including Philippe Sly and Gordon Bintner. So we decided to add two to the list.

Micah Schroeder
Canadian-American baritone Micah Schroeder will be appearing as Harlekin in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos with the Highlands Opera Studio in Haliburton, Ontario on August 24 an 26. He is a 2018 graduate of the Vancouver Opera Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program and an alumni of the Aspen Opera Centre, as well as The Banff Centre of Arts and Creativity. He recently completed a Diploma in Operatic Performance from the University of Toronto and holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Opera from the University of British Columbia.
Dimitri Katotakis
Toronto native Dimitri Katotakis studied at McGill University and Juilliard, before being accepted into the prestigious Merola Opera Program in San Francisco. Last year, he was part of Steven Blier's New York Festival of Song concert "Protest." He was the Second Prize winner at the Canadian Opera Company's vocal competition.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Watch Björn Bürger live in Glyndebourne's Die zauberflöte

Björn Bürger as Papageno and Sofia Fomina as Pamina

You can watch German barihunk Björn Bürger online in the Glyndebourne Festival Opera’s new production of Mozart's Die zauberflöte on the The Telegraph's website. You can watch it live on Sunday, August 4 at 5.35 PM BST/12:35 PM EST/9:35 AM PST and then on demand for seven days until Monday, August 12 at 9.30 AM BST/4:30 AM EST/1:30 AM PST.

Björn Bürger in trailer for Die zauberflöte:

Björn Bürger was previously featured in Glyndebourne's streaming video of Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

There are eleven performances at Glyndebourne remaining running through August 24, with an additional performance at the BBC Proms on August 27.