Sunday, November 4, 2007

Historical Hunk: Theodore Uppman

Benjamin's Britten's "Billy Budd" is one of the classic barihunk roles in opera. The opera is often staged with a shirtless Billy Budd and occassionally it is directed with S&M overtones (particularly by German directors). Britten's personal choice for the debut of Billy Budd was Theodore Uppman, who became one of the first barihunks with his curly, blond hair and good looks.

Uppman went on to have a successful career singing Billy Budd and a number of Mozart roles, as well as becoming a leading recitalist. After his career ended, Uppman went on to have a distinguished career as professor of vocal studies. His good looks led him to be one of the first singers to appear on the nascent medium of television in the 1950s.

Uppman passed away on March 17, 2005.

Nickname: Tab (as in Tab Hunter)

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