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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  1. Ha! Of course, Nathan Gunn is a special case because of his constant need to bring to people's attention the fact that HE IS NOT GAY!

    I wonder about the wedding ring thing, too. A few years back, a certain ageing hunky baritenor was spotted out and about without his wedding ring; I made up some daft waffle about the wearing of the wedding ring being inappropriate to the role he was playing, that of a poet and swordsman who was unlucky in love because of his big nose.

    Of course, the more likely explanation was connected with his wife being 6000 miles away in California directing a production in an opera company closely connected with said hunky baritenor.

    And indeed subsequent appearances in the same role have been with wedding ring. Although I don't think proving he's not gay is high on his priority list.

  2. Please include Simon Keenlyside in you hottest Billy Budd contest.

  3. Hottest:

    Rodney Gilfry.

  4. I second the nomination of Rod Gilfry.

  5. Theodor Upman. Incredibly hot.

  6. GOtta have Nmon Ford on that list. I mean, c'mon.

  7. Simon Keenlyside is tops ! I saw him as Billy a couple of years ago at ENO. He looked around 20 was leaping and swinging from the ship's rigging and even singing whilst hanging upside down. He is definitely the tops but what about adding Robert Kerns ? Also a hunk some years back
    Neville in England

  8. Billy actually has the One Ring! :D And Claggart wants only the Preciousss. (A new interpretation)

    ...wait, that's another opera. :D

    Seriously, why can't he put it down for a few hours?

  9. He never seems to have a problem putting it down offstage?.....