Sunday, August 30, 2009

Where Chest Voice Comes From



At Barihunks we're not interested in academic arguments involving glottal cycles, laryngeal cartilage and anything else involving where the voice comes from. John Chest (his real name), got us thinking about barihunks with great chests, not great chest voices. Many of the more established singers with great chests were featured in our recent hottest Billy Budd contest.

There are two younger singers who we think have great chests: Eric T. Dubin and Brian Leerhuber. We'll leave the chest voice question to the vocal experts.

Eric Dubin was suggested to us via email by somebody with a very funny email nom de plume. He's a graduate of The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, whose graduates seem to send us more suggestions than anyone else. [Keep them coming!]

He's already performed in the Barihunk standard, Britten’s Rape of Lucretia, and we hope that he showed off his chest (and chest voice).

Brian Leerhuber has been on our list of potential barihunks forever and we've just been waiting for the opportunity to post him shirtless. The problem has been that he's been cast in some pretty unsexy roles, an obvious waste of his non-singing talents. Can you get any unsexier than Robert E. Lee, Schaunard, Dandini and Marco in Gianni Schicchi?

We're really, really, really hoping that someone at a major opera house sees this and says, "That's the guy we need to cast shirtless opposite Angela Gheorgiu." If anyone at San Francisco Opera is reading this, keep casting him but spice it up from Marcello and a Civil War general!

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Keith Phares Correction

Keith Phares left the following message in the comments section. Keith, thanks for the clarification and it gives us an excuse to post another picture of you.

Hey guys! ...Keith Phares here. That is, in fact, my college ring (from the University of Richmond... Go Spiders!) on my right hand. If you look closely you can see the fake Tourmaline stone. I know, ...classy. We decided to keep the ring ...with Elmer being a college man and all. My wedding ring was held safely by stage mngmt in my valuables back. ...hope this clears up the confusion. KP

Keith Phares can next be seen at Opera Hamilton performing Gabriel von Eisenstein in Fledermaus (a role where either ring might be completely appropriate).

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Keith Phares and the "Nathan Gunn Syndrome"

[The wonderful Keith Phares with the talented Jennifer Rivera at Nashville Opera]

We're huge fans of Keith Phares at Barihunks and loved him in Jake Heggie's "Three Decembers." However, he seems to be part of the Nathan Gunn school of wearing his wedding ring in roles where the character isn't married. Here he is in Robert Aldridge's adaptation of Elmer Gantry at the Nashville Opera with a wedding ring in plain site. Now, we have to confess that we haven't read Elmer Gantry since college nor have we seen the opera, but we seem to remember that he was an unmarried, womanizing preacher.

In the age of video and YouTube, little details like this can become distractions. Luckily for Phares, he is such a commanding presence on stage that we doubt many viewers would notice. Nonetheless, we hope that directors and singers pay a little more attention to those little details.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kyle Ketelsen's (Almost) Birthday Suit

We're going to celebrate Kyle Ketelsen's birthday with the closest image we have of him in his birthday suit. The world's hottest Méphistophélès will be performing the role again this fall at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He'll be sharing the stage with the amazing young tenor Joseph Kaiser and fellow barihunk Lucas Meachem as Valentin.

We're looking to many more years of Kyle Ketelsen, who is just hitting his prime as a singer.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, you hot devil.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Emerging Barihunk: John Chest

Emerging barihunk John Chest was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. He's the latest in a long line of barihunks to land at the esteemed Merola Opera program in San Francisco.

Chest is only two years removed from finishing his Bachelors in Voice Performance at Bob Jones University. He ended up in Chicago where he studied with the former baritone David Holloway at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Holloway may have played a role in the talented baritone ending up as part of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program. While in Santa Fe he began working on what will undoubtedly become his signature role, Benjamin Britten's "Billy Budd." Of course, he may end fighting for that title with Mike Nyby, a current Santa Fe Apprentice who has been featured on this site.

Chest first came to our attention when we received an email from a fellow performer at the Chicago Opera Theater, where he covered Owen Wingrave for the equally hot Matthew Worth.

Chest's first role with Merola was Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan Tutte, where he stole the show and appeared shirtless. When he wraps up in San Francisco, he'll head to Munich and join the Opernstudio at the Bayerische Staatsoper.

We're trying not to end this post with cheap jokes, like "We want more Chest" or "This baritone always sings with Chest voice." Obviously, we failed.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Birthday Barihunks

[Top photo: David Krohn; Bottom photo: Gregory Gerbrandt]

We'd like to wish a Happy Birthday to two of our emerging barihunks, Gregory Gerbrandt and David Krohn.

We've been touting Krohn as Matthew Worth's only real competition as Tarquinius in Britten's "Rape of Lucretia." The 25-year-old just finished a well-received run at the Aspen Music Festival as Tarquinius and is definitely a hunk to watch.

Gregory Gerbrandt just stole the show at the Ash Lawn Opera Festival singing the Count in the "Marriage of Figaro." His bio says that he also serves as a volunteer fireman, which sounds pretty hot.

One thing that we know for sure is that these birthday babes both look good in tee shirts.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The World's Hottest Billy Budd Ever: Simon Keenlyside

Barihunks would like to congratulate Simon Keenlyside who, had it not been for Nathan Gunn, would have run away with the title as the world's "Hottest Billy Budd" ever. Barihunks readers nominated the five candidates, which included the original Billy Budd, Theodore Uppman, who generated a lot of fan mail, but not many votes. Nathan Gunn gave Simon a good run for his money, but in the end he couldn't overcome the British barihunk.

One thing is certain, all the candidates would make for a smoking hot performance of Billy Budd.

Here are two more pictures of Simon Keenlyside from Vienna for your viewing pleasure.

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Gunn or Keenlyside?

The Hottest Billy Budd contest was even more popular than our Hottest Don Giovanni contest, won by the smoking hot Randal Turner (who has yet to sing the role in the U.S. Anyone out there casting the role?). With over 300 votes cast, Simon Keenlyside and Nathan Gunn have firmly emerged as the two favorites.

Many Keenlysiders have emailed us wondering why we didn't post the picture of their favorite barihunk swinging from the rafters as the young sailor, so here it is. Likewise, a Top Gunn fan who works in "opera administration" in Chicago wondered why we didn't post the "dreamy" shot of her favorite barihunk singing Budd in Chicago, so here it is.

We only have a few hours left, so if you haven't voted yet, cast your vote.

Oh, and did we mention that Randal Turner has yet to be cast as Don Giovanni in the United States?

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

"Hot Schrott" and "Not Hot"

The divine La Cieca over at Parterre Box alerted
us to their latest post about Erwin Schrott, which included these pictures and the following blurb:

Hot hot hot Erwin Schrott is obviously not not not allowing fatherhood and impending marriage to distract him from quality gym time. More photos of the Schrott gun show (as seen recently in the Vienna Volksoper Theater an der Wien production of Don Giovanni) after the jump.

There is no doubt that Hot Schrott looks as good as ever in these photos. But then we noticed this picture and blurb from the same production on another opera site that we won't mention since they don't link to Barihunks!

Erwin Schrott as Don Giovanni and Hanno Mueller Brachmann as Leporello in "Don Giovanni" @ Theater an der Wien, conducted by Riccardo Frizza and directed by Keith Warner.

In this photo, Hot Schrott looks likes he's in a remake of "Back to the Future" with fellow barihunk Hanno Müller-Brachmann. The picture below from a Spanish newspaper only reaffirms the movie reference.

I guess this whole production was about how to make Shrott hot and Schrott not hot all in one night. Since this site is about promoting hunkiness in opera, here is one final picture of Schrott and Müller-Brachmann together looking quite adorable.

Don't forget to vote in our hottest Billy Budd contest to the right of this post. We still have 48 hours to go, although Simon Keenlyside seems to be breaking away from the pack.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Hottest Billy Budd Contest Becoming a 2 Man Race

[CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE: Top two photos of Simon Keenlyside; Bottom two photos of Nathan Gunn]

With over 200 votes cast, it appears that our "Hottest Billy Budd" contest is coming down to a two man race between British Barihunk Simon Keenlyside and American Barihunk Nathan Gunn. Here are a few more pictures of our leading Budds to help our undecided voters.

You can still vote for any of our candidates and we have about 72 hours of voting left. If our emails are truly representative, many of our voters wanted to vote for our historical hunk Theodore Uppman, but opted for someone more contemporary.

We couldn't find any Billy Budd's on Keenlyside upcoming schedule, but you can see Nathan Gunn perform the role in Bilbao this October and November in a cast that includes fellow barihunk Johannes Weisser as Mr. Flint.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Who is the hottest Billy Budd of all time?







It's time for our second "Who's the hottest" poll. Randal Turner won the contest for the hottest Don Giovanni in a landslide with some tough competition. Now it's time to determine who the hottest Billy Budd is of all time and the competition is tough again!

Every nominee was selected by Barihunks readers, so if your pick isn't there it's because you didn't nominate him. Barihunks thinks that the readers have picked a hot bunch of nominees.

Here are some picture to assist you in your selection:

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Was Billy Budd Married?


One of the worst trends in operas is letting singers wear their wedding rings on stage, especially when the character is single and particularly when they are in pursuit of another character (Don Giovanni was a recent example that we spotted). One character who definitely isn't married is Billy Budd in Britten's opera of the same name.

However, the Pittsburgh Opera issued this picture of barihunk Nathan Gunn for their production two years ago. Of course, Top Gunn is awfully cute, ring or no ring.

Barihunks next feature will be a poll to determine the hottest Billy Budd of all time. Send your nominations to or leave it under COMMENTS below (although we understand that it's not working for many readers).

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's HOT in Santa Fe And It's Not Just The Weather

Barihunks was partially inspired by the wonderful site Parterre Box, who entered the term into the English language. Parterre Box defined a barihunk as one who likely was an apprentice artist at Santa Fe Opera, which has undeniably produced their fair share of good looking singers.

This year is no exception, as you can see from the three barihunks features below. Another current apprentice artist, Tom Corbeil, has been featured prominently on this site.

This is Tom Forde, who has a great face and physical presence for the stage. I would hope that anyone casting the Mozart "Big 3" (Cosi, Nozze, Giovanni) would think about casting this charming young barihunk. He would be ideal. Forde has also appeared here before.

Mike Nyby also caught our eye before. He is originally from Canada and grew up in New Jersey. I can see him becoming the next great Billy Budd, as he totally looks the part. He's also be an interesting Tarquinius, which would surely guarantee a repeat appearance on this site. You can hear him sing a wonderful Escamillo excerpt on his website with the talented Kirt Pavitt on piano.

Matthew Morris is new to this site and he is absolutely adorable. He is a natural on stage, having studied some dance and already has an impressive resume outside of opera, having been a dancer in the movie "The Producers" and a performing a cameo on TV's "Law & Order." If opera doesn't work out he could easily be a star on a soap opera or a leading man on Broadway.

We're glad that Santa Fe continues to be a launching pad for barihunks.

For ticket information click here.

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Sexy New Photo of "Hot Schrott"

Barihunks is on a mini-hiatus this week, but we couldn't resist posting this new photo of Erwin Schrott.

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