Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hot as Hell in Minnesota

[Pictures courtesy of Minnesota Opera; Center photo includes Lucas Meachem]

As I write this, it's 37°F in Minnesota. Nonetheless, it's hot as hell at the Minnesota Opera as barihunk Kyle Ketelsen burns up yet another stage. Ketelsen already has the opera world abuzz with his portrayal of Leporello at the Gran Teatro del Liceo with barihunks Simon Keenlyside and Gunther Groissboeck (check out the video on this site]. Ketelsen joins two other barihunks in this production, as well, joining Lucas Meachem and John David Boehr.

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Randal Turner Feeling Blue

I'm always shocked at what some directors will do to an opera. This performance of Rossini's Mose in Egitto is no exception. If one were tasked with rubbing down Randal Turner, it wouldn't be with blue body paint! Of course, the ever-popular barihunk still looks incredibly sexy. Tenor Pablo Cameselle, who is actually quite cute looks like Alberto Gonzalez on Halloween in this production(check him out at singing an almost campy "O mes amis").

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Barihunks Mentioned On "Sign On San Diego" with Greer Grimsley

[Photo of Greer Grimsley as Orestes from]

Wow, Greer Grimsley's speaking voice is as sexy as his singing voice and as dominating as his stage presence! Here he is being interviewed by Keli Dailey on the Sign On San Diego blog, which is part of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Keli asks him about Facebook and Barihunks.

For her complete post, click here:

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A few more Ercole shots

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hunky Hercules

[Photos courtesy of Ruth Walz, Netherlands Opera]

There is something about the story of Ercole (Hercules) that just seems like it was made for Barihunks. Unfortunately, Vivaldi's version, Ercole su'l Termodonte, was written for a tenor. The performances from Italy are already legendary because of hunkentenor Zachary Stains protracted periods of full-frontal nudity. (It's on video). We have no objection to hunky Zachary, but there are just so many more barihunks who could do this role justice!

Now the Netherlands Opera has produced Cavalli's version, Ercole amante, and it looks like a riot. It may be the one production that I regret missing this year and I hope that Cavalli's version joins the Vivaldi version on DVD. Don't miss the teaser video that I posted, as it is quite entertaining.

Barihunk Luca Pisaroni plays Hercules to its campiest extreme. The review from Opera Today, described the performance brilliantly:

I had never personally imagined mythical Hercules as a WWF Wrestler-cum-Caveman but damn if Dutch National Opera's staging of Francesco Cavalli's Ercole Amante didn't almost persuade me it could be so.

For shortly into their thoroughly entertaining mounting of this 17th Century rarity, our leading bass-baritone morphed from a Louis Quatorze persona into a quasi-cartoonish hero by strapping on muscled legs, arms and torso (think: comic Ninja Warrior padded outfits), stringy blond wig, and knee high black platform boots. Oh, yeah, and brandished a Flintstone style club.

Luca Pisaroni gave a consistently animated impersonation as Ercole (Hercules), narcissistically mugging, and grimacing orgasmically enough that he may have a future in porn should his skyrocketing international opera career stall. He clearly relished the goof on contemporary hero worship, and all the while sang most mellifluously and, when required, forcefully.

Maybe Jake Heggie and Terence McNally can team up for a modern version of Hercules. Then again, Heggie is working on an opera called "Moby Dick," which depending on the subject matter could be a lot more interesting. If it's not about the whale, Barihunks suggests casting Mariusz "The Hot Pole" Kwiecien. See our
"Guess the crotch" feature:

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tom Corbeil: Another Merola Hottie

[Top three photos of Tom Corbeil courtesy of Gotham Opera, with soprano Takesha Meshé Kizart; bottom photo courtesy of SF Opera]

The most common email that I get is someone pitching a barihunk. Nine out of ten times, it's a non-starter and usually someone who belongs on BariChunks, not BariHunks.

So imagine my joy in finding Tom Corbeil in my inbox. It didn't take long for me to realize that I'd already seen him as part of San Francisco Opera's young artist program, Merola. With apologies to La Cieca and her definition of a barihunk that appears at the bottom of this blog, the Merola program seems to be pumping out more barihunks than anyone and they can actually sing! Other Merolinis on this site include fan favorite Daniel Okulitch, Lee Poulis, Ben Wager, Eugene Brancoveanu and emerging superstar John Relyea.

Tom Corbeil was not only a standout at Merola, but he has also won awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council and Musical Merit Foundation. He also studied with the great Virginia Zeani.

His current gig is with the Gotham Chamber Opera in Joseph Haydn’s "L’isola disabitata (Desert Island)." Perhaps the title explains the lusciously revealing outfit (it can't always be Pearl Fishers). The performance is staged by Mark Morris and will run from February 18-28 at John Jay College in New York City. For more information, visit

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Randal Turner is one HOT Escamillo

Check out Randal Turner, who is HOT just whipping off his cape.

I've also added an old photo of him from a production of Rossini's "Moise."

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Hot as Hell in San Francisco

[From top to bottom: John Relyea, Austin Kness, Brian Mulligan, Marco Vratogna, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Greer Grimsley]

The San Francisco Opera announced its 2009-10 season today and hell is going to be really hot. They are performing Gounod's Faust with three barihunks on the stage in the same night! This may be a Barihunks first. The barihunk with the prettiest eyes in all of opera, John Relyea, will be singing Méphistophélès, Brian Mulligan will be singing the Valentin, and Austin Kness (who was a sexy Don Giovanni) will be singing Wagner.

Also burning up the stage in San Francisco will be Dmitri Hvorostovsky in Il Trovatore, Greer Grimsley in Salome and the devilishly hot Marco Vratogna as the evil Iago in Verdi's Otello.

San Francisco under David Gockley always has ravishingly beautiful sopranos, so it's nice to see some barihunks in his casts. We all know that they love hot guys in San Francisco, so the seats should be full and the opera glass rentals sold out.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jean-Luc Ballestra sings "Quand la flamme de l'amour" from La Jolie Fille De Perth

Jean-Luc Ballestra was born in 1976 in Nice, France. He took lessons from Eliane Manchet, Jean-Pierre Blivet, Alain Fondary and Gabriel Bacquier.

In 2004, he made debuts with the Opéra National de Paris, Festival du Château de Sedières and in Nice.

In June 2005, he recorded the role of Morales, Carmen, for Decca with the Orchestre National de France, under the direction of Chung Myung-Whun.

So far, Escamillo seems to be his main barihunk role.

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Nmon Ford SIngs First "Emperor Jones" in Italy in 50 Years

Nmon Ford opened in Louis Gruenberg's "Emperor Jones" last night in Ancona. There will be one more performance on Sunday. Click here for details:

The opera was a huge success at The Met in 1933 and baritone Lawrence Tibbett received 37 curtain calls. I believe that this is the first performance of the opera in Italy since 1952 in Rome. According to Italian news reports, Nmon Ford sang in "American black slang" and eliminated the N-word from the score. AGI News in Italy said that Ford was a "great protagonist."

To view the earlier post on "Emperor Jones" click here:

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Last 30 Days: Our Three Most Viewed Barihunks

[Photos from top to bottom: Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Chris Herbert and Randal Turner]

I just checked my Google Analytics and FeedBurner stats. It's always fun to see what readers are enjoying and once again Teddy Tahu Rhodes is off the charts. He received 20 times more hits than our next closest barihunk. Also, perennial favorites Erwin Schrott and Nathan Gunn fell out of the top three, which is always a bit of a surprise.

Chris Herbert was the second most viewed barihunk and his photo shows why. Chris is as smart as he is sexy and he's destined to be a great lieder singer a la the other Christopher, the divine Mr. Maltman.

Joining the top three is Randal Turner, who is as sweet as he his cute. I'm glad that readers are viewing his posts. You can enjoy his beautiful singing at

For anyone reading barihunks who has a blog or website, please add a link to your site. It is greatly appreciated. The #1 site sending visitors to Barihunks is La Cieca's Parterre Box, which should be in your favorites list. View the site at:

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Taddy Bare's Triumph as Cleo's Lover

[Top photo courtesy of Carnegie Hall; Bottom photo by Rachel Papo for The New York Times]

New York has been a crazy place of late: planes landing in rivers, fights over who will replace Hillary Clinton, Wall Street shenanigans, Bernie Madoff, Broadway shows shutting down and tax payers tossing out subsidies to the New York Yankees.

Amazingly, the most stable news this week came from the New York City Opera, which has been plagued with problems ever since construction began at Lincoln Center. If you want to read about it, visit La Cieca at So it was fascinating that the best news out of New York this week emanated from the "people's opera." They hired Dallas Opera's highly talented George Steel after only three months on the job. Then they scored a major success with only the third major revival of Samuel Barber's luscious Antony and Cleopatra.

Carnegie Hall was full of Barihunks fans to see Teddy Tahu Rhodes melt hearts as Cleopatra's lover. My favorite email this morning was from DCHU, who wrote:

"When Teddy walked out on stage - all 6' 5" of kiwi pulchritude - my heart stopped. A man hasn't looked this hot in a tux since James Bond. I kept thinking, 'Why do they keep singing about Romans, when all I'm thinking about are Trojans.'"

Teddy Bare fans will be thrilled to learn that he's scheduled to sing two certifiable barihunk roles in 2009: Escamillo in Bilbao next month and his signature hunk role Stanley in Streetcar Named Desire in Sydney this December.

By the way, for all of you who keep writing to me complaining that we never mention voices, this site really isn't about singing as much as it is about hunkiness. However, both the AP and the NY Times reported that Teddy Tahu Rhodes sang well. There are some amazing singers who are also barihunks and Teddy Bare is one (check out Vagabond and the DVD of Peter Grimes). If you're looking for great singing from a barihunk, I would recommend Christopher Maltman's recital disc from Wigmore Hall and Hanno Muller-Brachmann's new Schubert disc. I have been listening to both of these non-stop for the last few weeks. (There is a convenient Christopher Maltman Amazon widget to the right).

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Teddy Bare Days Away From "Barber" Debut

[Photo from NY City Opera]

Rehearsals are underway for Teddy Tahu Rhode's debut in Samuel Barber's glorious Antony and Cleopatra. Here is a photo Teddy Bare hot as ever in a tee shirt during rehearsals.

Playbill describes him as the "...strapping 6-foot-5 baritone from New Zealand," while the City Opera website describes him as, "...a striking baritone from New Zealand." Clearly, we're not the only ones who find it tough to write about Teddy Bare without talking about his stunning good looks. Of course, this is a concert performance, so Barihunks fans will have to focus on the music. If you haven't heard this opera before, it is absolutely ravishing. Here are the words to the duet between Cleopatra and Antony. Cleopatra will be portrayed by the dramatically intense Lauren Flanigan. This should be a highlight of the night.

Antony and Cleopatra

Oh take, oh take, those lips away
That so sweetly were forsworn


And those eyes, like break of day.
Oh lights that do mislead the morn.
But my kisses bring again.
Seals of love, though seal'd in vain.


Hide, oh hide, those hills of snow,
Which they frozen blossom bears,
On whose tops the pinks that grow
Are those that April wears.
But first set my poor heart free.
Bound in those ivy chains be thee.

For ticket information, click here:

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

QUIZ answer

The answer to our first ever "Guess the Barihunk" quiz is Erwin Shrott. I have added a more flattering picture of our beloved Hot Shrott, so nobody thinks that he came down with a bad case of the uglies.

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Washington D.C. Abuzz; L.A. Disappointed

[Photos from top to bottom: Markus Werba, Nathan Gunn and Teddy Tahu Rhodes]

Washington D.C. is absolutely abuzz and the excitement is palpable. No, I'm not talking about the January 20th Presidential Inauguration. Washington D.C. was a bit gloomy when they learned that budget realities were forcing the cancellation of the planned Ring Cycle. But opera fanatics cheered up when it was announced that barihunk Teddy Tahu Rhodes would be singing Le Nozze di Figaro as the Count. Even the heralded Washington Post led with the tidbit in their article about the 2009-2010 season.

On the other coast, our Barihunks readers are not too thrilled about the LA Opera's revival of Zauberflote. Barihunks was playing up the fact that this opera was loaded with hunk talent, even on the tenor side. Here is a report from one of readers:

"Nathan Gunn looked like Cyndi Lauper gone mad, with a big blonde wig and a pair of tights that wouldn't have looked good on a ballet dancer. Gunther Groissboeck came out completely unrecognizable in a giant triangle (or whatever). He looked like a reject from the movie "Death to Smoochy." Matthew Polenzani looked like Heath Ledger as the Joker. What a disaster and the second act plodded along FOREVER!"

Then I got this delivered late last night from another reader:

"Is the Los Angeles Opera trying to go out of business? First Rasputin, which was the worst opera I ever saw until LA Opera's The Fly. Now they destroy the standard repertoire with a ridiculous and sometimes ghoulish Magic Flute. If Markus Werba is a barihunk the folks in LA sure didn't want you to know it. I can't wait for the Kenneth Branagh film of the opera so I can see what [tenor] Joe Kaiser really looks like. He was washed in kabuki makeup! DISASTER!"


I was planning to make the quick trek to La La Land for this production, but was sidelined with the flu. Sounds like the flu was more bearable than the opera.

I try to keep this site positive, so if anyone saw this production who liked it, I'd love to hear from you.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

The Only Onegin as Hot as Hvorostovsky

[Top photo of Onegin at Lyric Opera of Chicago by Dan Rest; bottom photo from Paris Opera from French TV]

I don't know about you, but whenever I see a production of Eugene Onegin with a baritone as hot as Mariusz Kwiecien or Dmitri Hvorostovsky I can't understand at the end why Tatiana doesn't take him back. Take a look at those photos of Mariusz "Hot Pole" Kwiecien and tell me that you wouldn't run out of the palace with him!

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

VOTE for Christopher Herbert and Win Opera Tickets

OK, the Presidential election is over and the good guy won. We all learned about the importance of voting since the Bush-Gore debacle in 2000. We're probably all a little sick of politics after two years of non-stop campaigning, so why not turn to opera.

Now we can vote online for one of our most popular barihunks, Christopher Herbert, who is competing in the "Grand Concours de Chant 2009." The competition is to determine the next great singer of the French baritone repertoire. The competition is a tribute to the magnificent French baritone Gerard Souzay.

If you sign up and vote online you have the chance to win two tickets to the opera house of your choice. You must vote by February 28, 2009 at You also have to vote for three contestants and they've added wonderful sound clips. An international panel of judges will determine the winner, but the tie-breaker will be the public vote.

If Christopher Herbert wins, Barihunks will have to post more pictures. How's that for an incentive?

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David Adam Moore's Bare-Chested Pearl

[Photos by Rozarii Lynch]

This is the long-awaited week that David Adam Moore begins his run in the Pearl Fishers as Zurga opposite hunkentenor Brian Stucki's Nadir at the Seattle Opera. The two hunks will be performing on January 11, 18 and 23. Tickets are available at

From the looks of the rehearsal pictures, this is worth a trip to Seattle.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

QUIZ: Name the Barihunk

I have to admit that I didn't recognize this barihunk when I first saw this picture of him portraying Escamillo? I guess all of the clothes confused me. Can you name him?

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Martin Achrainer Looks Good In Anything

[La Calisto photo by Norbert Artner]

If you can wear a gold lamme jacket and a frilly shirt and still look good, then you know that you're a certifiable barihunk. Martin Achrainer seems to be checking out his threads, but this is actually from a December 2008 production of La Calisto in Linz.

The Tyrolian barihunk's career continues to receive great acclaim and he's next scheduled to sing Mozart's Count Almaviva in Linz next month.

Although, we preferred him stripped to his birthday suit in Don Giovanni last year, we think he looks hot in anything.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Gunther Groissboeck as Il Commendatore

I've received a few emails asking me what role Gunther Groissboeck is portraying in the photo from the previous post. He's playing Il Commendatore from the Liceu's production of Don Giovanni with fellow barihunks Simon Keenlyside and Kyle Ketelsen (which previously appeared on this site).

Here is the video of the final scene with the first bare chested Commendatore I've ever seen.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

LA Times: Beefcake goes baritone and tenor too

[Photo of Gunn and Kaiser from LA Times; photo of Gunther Groissboeck from]

The LA Times has run a piece on the pretty boys performing in the Magic Flute at the LA Opera. Although they focus on Nathan Gunn and Joseph Kaiser, Barihunks readers will be thrilled to know that Gunther Groissboeck plays Sarastro and barihunk Markus Werba takes over for Gunn in four performances. Amazingly, the LA Times fails to mention both Werba and Groissboeck (who arguably is the hottest guy in the cast - see photo!).

It's nice to see how unapologetically Gunn relishes being a barihunk. Here's part of what he says:

Gunn has become an expert when it comes to visual distractions: “Every opera where there’s a love scene or where I am semi-dressed, like the bathing scene in ‘Billy Budd,’ there’s this attention about ‘Is Nathan Gunn getting naked again?’”

It all started with a 1997 production of Gluck’s “Iphigénie en Tauride” at Glimmerglass Opera in upstate New York. Gunn and tenor William Burden were told to hit the gym for the production envisioned by director Francesca Zambello. “It worked,” he says with a laugh. “The theater was selling out opera glasses.”

More important, as the New York Times noted of Gunn and Burden: “When they are thrown into the temple, bruised, stripped down to loincloths and chained together, they create a kind of intensity rare in the opera house. Their physicality might have been distracting had their singing not been so ardent and intelligent.”

If buzz about his shirtless scenes attracts newcomers, that’s fine, says Gunn, as long as they — as well as worried purists — realize that opera’s traditional reverence for the voice isn’t diminished just because “you make it believable for an audience by having characters who can sing and act and look the way they should.”

To read the entire article, click here:

To buy tickets or to get more information, click here:

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Teddy Bare's Wedding Picture

[Photo by Jared Slater of J & J Photography]

This is going to break some hearts, but here is the wedding photo of mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard and Barihunks favorite, Teddy Tahu Rhodes.

Barihunks would like to congratulate the couple and wish them the best. You both look great!

On January 15 and 16, Teddy Bare will be performing Barber's "Antony and Cleopatra" at Carnegie Hall. For more information, please click here:

Also, the New York City Opera has offered Barihunks readers a group discount if a bunch of you want to go see what promises to be a great performance, especially with the amazing Lauren Flanigan portraying Cleopatra. For more information concerning group packages, please contact Michelle Levengood by phone (212) 870-4259 or e-mail

No word if Antony sings without his shirt.

Hopefully, the Leonard/Rhodes marriage ends better than the Cleopatra/Antony affair.

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Giorgio Caoduro Shakes His Booty to Rossini

Italian barihunk Giorgio Caoduro sings Gaudenzio's aria "Nel teatro del gran mondo" from Il Signor Bruschino by Rossini. Make sure to watch him shake, shake, shake his booty around the 5:00 mark of the video.

He is next scheduled to shake his booty in Athens as Riccardo in I Puritani followed by his Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro in Bologna.

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Barihunk-Hunkentenor CD Coming Soon

Hunkentenor David Hobson and barihunk Teddy Tahu Rhodes have just recorded an album of duets, which is due out shortly. They are taking their show on the road throughout Australia. Unfortuantely, there are no plans for a U.S. or European tour.

Shouldn't this be out on DVD, not CD?

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