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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  1. I was there. Not as gushy as you about the opera, but couldn't agree more about Teddy Bare.

  2. Please, more rehearsal pix!!!!!!!

  3. A) What on EARTH is Lauren Flanigan wearing?

    2) Great singing from a Barihunk? Dan Okulitch. There's a great youtube video of his Vecchia Zimarra, and a few other arias and roles (champagne aria and la ci darem among them). He has one of the best voices and techniques I've heard from a young singer in a very very very long time. I wish more young singers these days sounded so healthy, but the voice itself is a rare gem!

  4. Great singing from barihunks? How about Christopher Maltman and Simon Keenlyside? Those guys are two of the greatest singers around. Period.