Chris Herbert just finished performing Glen Roven's translation of Mahler's Kindertodenlieder with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra. Thanks to hand held video cameras we have this video, which shows the incredible artistry of this gifted young singer. Herbert can be seen on the upcoming New York Polyphony tour, which travels to Denver, La Jolla, Omaha, Oklahoma City, Topeka and Dallas. Visit their website for concert details.
New York Polyphony
Roven just had a huge success at the New York Musical Theater Festival with his new musical Pandora's Box, which was completely sold out. Barihunk Randal Turner will perform Roven's "Four Melancholy Songs by William Butler Yeats" in San Francisco on December 6th.
Brits were greatly disappointed last April when Iceland's ash cloud caused the cancellation of Austrian barihunk Markus Werba's Wigmore Hall BBC Radio 3Lunchtime Concert. The program of Schubert and Brahms lieder with accompanist Gary Matthewman finally was heard the other night and is now available for free on BBC radio for Werba fans across the globe to hear.
You can click HERE to listen to the recital, which starts at about the 3:00 mark.
We feature a lot of Mozart on this site and it tends to be the "Big 4": Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflote, Le Nozze di Figaro and Cosi fan tutte. Mozart buffs are always on the lookout for his lesser performed works. Well, they are in luck, as the suberb Mozart conductor Rene Jacobs will be leading a performance of "La finta giardiniera" at the Theater an der Wien running from November 12-22.
Jacobs has assembled and all-star team for the production that includes barihunk Michael Nagy, director David Alden, soprano Alexandrina Pendatchanska and the wonderful tenor Topi Lehtipuu. Word has it that Nagy actually appears in the production wearing a skirt, which should be worth the price of admission.
Nagy, Jacobs and the cast from Vienna will also perform the opera at Madrid's Teatro Real opening on December 4th. You can also click HERE to view our most viewed barihunk ever, Gabriel Bermudez, performing La finta giardiniera in 2006 in Madrid.
Nagy fans will be delighted to know that he is scheduled to sing Wolfram in the new production of Tannhäuser at Bayreuth this summer. Complete cast lists have not been posted on the Bayreuth site yet.
Nathan Gunn & Nicolas Teste coming to Vienna
Theater an der Wien will also be featuring two other barihunks this season. Nicolas Testé will perform Jupiter in Rameau's "Castor and Pollux" opening on January 20, 2011 followed by Nathan Gunn as Tarquinius in Britten's "Rape of Lucretia." If you've been planning a trip to France, this would be the time to go.
I guess one way to get onto this site is to use the profile name Barihunk on Twitter, which is what Michael Adair did. Of course, one would still have to be a baritone and a hunk. We think he qualifies and he joins our long roster of Canadian barihunks.
Adair was born in Canada and studied at the University of Toronto Opera School, the Banff Centre for the Arts and Opera NUOVA and also did three tours with the Festival Ensemble in Stuttgart under the direction of Helmuth Rilling.
In 2006 Michael accepted a two-year contract with the International Opera Studio at the Opernhaus Zürich where he performed roles in Andrea Chenier, Cavalli’s La Didone, The Beggar’s Opera, L’Etoile, Gianni Schicchi, and Don Carlo and worked with conductors Nello Santi, Sir John Elliot Gardiner and Carlo Rizzi.
As a recitalist, Michael has appeared with the Aldeburgh Connection singing Finzi’s To A Poet and Schumann’s Op.40. He has also partnered with Canadian baritone Russell Braun and the Elora Festival Singers to perform a program of folksongs at the 2007 Elora Festival. Michael also gave a performance of Strauss and Wolf lieder at an Opernhaus Zürich Lieder matinee.
Later this season Michael will be making his debut at the Berliner Philharmonie singing Weihnachts Oratorium with the Berliner Oratorien Chor. He will also be revisiting Israel in Egypt with Bachchor Wiesbaden, Messiah with Kantorei Michaels Ottobrunn and a debut of Bach’s B Minor Mass at Carnegie Hall.
Residents of the Los Angeles area are in luck, as they will have two opportunities to see the rising young barihunk Doug Carpenter in performance. On Saturday, October 30th, he will be performing in a Rodgers and Hammerstein Concert with full orchestra in Downey, CA. He'll be performing such classics as "Younger than Springtime," "Climb Every Mountain," and "Soliloquy."
For information and tickets visit the Chorale Bel Canto website. Carpenter is incorrectly listed on their website as a tenor, but we can assure you that he is still a baritone.
On Wednesday, November 3, Carpenter will be performing in Kritzerland at the Gardenia in West Hollywood. He will be performing music written for television by such composers as Stephen Sondheim and Cole Porter. Call (323) 467-7444 for ticket information.
You can hear this gifted young singer by visiting his website.
One of our favorite singers, Matt Worth, is singing the Barber of Seville with the Connecticut Concert Opera company. The performance is a bit of a homecoming for the rising star, as he was raised in West Hartford.
The role should also be fresh in his mind, as he just wrapped up a successful run in the same role at the Pittsburgh Opera. There will be one performance on October 30th at 8 PM and you can purchase tickets by visiting the Connecticut Concert Opera website.
A week ago, we ran a post about barihunk Eugene Brancoveanu playing Dracula in the straight theater. Here is a video of him discussing the role and even providing us with a preview of the famous line, "Velcome to my house..." Brancoveanu was cast after he was seen in a very "carnal" production of Don Giovanni at the Berkeley Opera.
The production is currently running at the Center Repertory Company through November 20 at the Lesher Center for the Performing Arts in Walnut Creek, California (a short drive from San Francisco).
Here are the latest production shots from the Dallas Opera's production of Don Giovanni. The cast has three barihunks, Paulo Szot, Mirco Palazzi and Ben Wager. It's also the wonderful John Pascoe production of the opera. There are performance left on October 27 and 30, and November 5 and 7. Visit the Dallas Opera website for tickets and cast information.
Barihunk Nmon Ford is wrapping up a run of three performances as Escamillo today. His swaggering torreador as been a hit at the Teatro Verdi in Padova, where the big news has been a Rigoletto that's opening on Tuesday with onstage nudity.
Rigoletto with some extra skin
The Panamanian-American singer will reprise the role of Escamillo on November 27 and 29 at the Operaestate Festival Veneto in Bassano, Italy.
American fans of the singer will have to wait until March 2011 to see the singer, when he perform Mahler's 8th Symphony with the Detroit Symphony under the baton of Leonard Slatkin.
Our favorite French barihunk Nicolas Courjal will be appearing at Opéra d’Avignon as Don Alfonso in Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte." Unfortunately, you wouldn't know this from visiting Opéra d’Avignon online. Their website would win the award for the world's worst arts related website, since there is no cast list and no bios. Fortunately, one of our readers and a dedicated Courjal fan alerted us to the upcoming performance.
There will be an evening performance of November 12 and a matinee on November 14. He can next be seen in Paris portraying Don Basilio at the Théâtre du Châtelet, which opens on January 22. Fortunately, the Châtelet website has complete cast information.
If you can't make it to France, we recommend that you visit his website and enjoy some beautiful singing in his audio section.
[We try to keep this site positive, but our pet peeve is not listing casts. We took a U.S. company to task for it last year and they instantly put up a cast list. It is insulting to singers who toil long hours to learn their roles to be rendered invisible. It is also bad business practice, as numerous fans scour cast lists and follow their favorite singers around the world. We hope that this shameful practice ceases at Avignon.]
The gifted singer and performer Randal Turner celebrates his birthday today and Barihunks would like to send him birthday greeting on behalf of his fans. Turner has consistently remained one of the more popular singers on this site since its inception.
The American-born, Swiss-based singer is currently working at the New York City Opera. On December 6th, he will make his West Coast recital debut in a program of songs and arias by living American composers. One of the songs by composer Clint Borzoni is dedicated to the young gay men who have recently committed suicide. We've been told that the song is absolutely beautiful. The program also includes songs by Emmy-award winning composer Glen Roven, Ricky Ian Gordon, Jake Heggie and the world premiere of "Don Juan at 40" by Julia Schwartz. Tickets are available HERE.
On December 11th, Turner can be heard in the Indianapolis Symphony's holiday concert performing selections from Bach's "Christmas Oratorio" with conductor Raymond Leppard. A week later, he will perform Handel's Messiah under the baton of Eric Stark. Click on the highlighted links for tickets.
He then returns to Switzerland and we'll be posting his schedule later this year.
Martin Achrainer is one of the most creative and compelling baritones on stage today. He's part of the ensemble at the Landestheater Linz, where he caught the eye of Philip Glass who cast him in Kepler, which we covered on this site. He is capable of mastering everything from song and dance numbers in Broadway musicals, to Mozart to contemporary music. Not surprisingly, he has become a fan favorite in Linz. Achrainer has become a younger, European version of Nathan Gunn, as he frequently performs in roles that shows of his physique.
Achrainer is once again tackling a wide array of roles this season, portraying Konrad in Meistersinger, Cornelius in Hello, Dolly!, Dandini in La Cenerentola and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly.
There are two wonderful videos below. The first is a short piece on his portrayal of Orphee in the Philip Glass opera. The latter is a wonderful biographical piece on the singer (in German). Even if you don't speak German, you can't miss the incredible charm that emanates from this 32-year-old singer.
What better news as Halloween approaches than to report that Romanian barihunk Eugene Brancoveanu has been cast as Dracula. This role is non-operatic and will introduce the dramatically intense and insightful singer to a whole new audience. Brancoveanu took the San Francisco Bay Area by storm with his edgy and original portrayal of Don Giovanni with the Berkeley Opera and the Livermore Valley Opera.
Here's a highlight from an article about the production in the Walnut Creek Patch:
At least temporarily. Butler said he has found his ideal Dracula in Brancoveanu, whom he first saw in the title role in Berkeley Opera's production of Don Giovanni.
He's one of the hunky baritones tracked on barihunks.blogspot.com.
"I'd never seen a performance like that, especially in an opera," Butler recalls. "It was like a rock star performance, wildly creative. In the Dracula rehearsals, Eugene has been fantastic. He's a maniac, fearless. He comes up with great ideas, he's very bold, and he's got the physicality to pull them off."
In the Bay Area, Brancoveanu has sung the Pilot in The Little Prince and Belcore in L'elisir d'amore for San Francisco Opera and the Count in Livermore Valley Opera's Marriage of Figaro. He also sang the role of Marcello in Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme on Broadway. And he took many leading roles with the Romanian State Opera.
"Eugene told me that as a Romanian, he just had to play Dracula," Butler recalls. "He said, 'He's our national hero!' "
Our recent post of a shirtless Dan Kempson enjoying some ice cream has proved quite popular. Here's a video of him talking about his participation in Britten's "Rape of Lucretia" during Pittsburgh Opera's 2009-2010 season.
We just learned that Kempson will be at Ft. Worth Opera's upcoming season in Philip Glass' "Hydrogen Jukebox." Performances will run from May 24 to June 5, 2011. Visit the Ft. Worth Opera website for more information.
Hydrogen Jukebox is the result of a collaboration between Beat Poet Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass. It premiered in 1990 at the Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston, SC. The original production had six members in its cast, each one representative of an American archetype. The idea was to present a portrait of America, from Ginsberg and Glass's point of view, from the 1950s to the late 1980s.
Fort Worth Opera's version of Hydrogen Jukebox will vary from its original production. It will be performed in a very small space and we are exploring ways of integrating the audience into the piece, if not physically, then mentally and emotionally. It will also include imagery of "journey" – both the journey of the poet as well as the country. It will not be a literal setting of a journey as an arc of the entire piece; rather, there will be re-occurrences of journey and/or travel as a common theme among the poems.
Barihunk Keith Phares will perform Carl Orff's popular Carmina Burana with the San Francisco Symphony. Performance run from November 3-8 and tickets can be purchased on the Symphony website. One of the four performances is already SOLD OUT, so purchase your tickets now.
Barihunk Dan Kempson just wrapped up a run of Fiorello's opposite fellow barihunk Matthew Worth in the "Barber of Seville" at the Pittsburgh Opera. Kempson also took on the title role in the student matinee performances.
Kempson is a second-year Resident Artist with Pittsburgh Opera where he returned after a successful stint with San Francisco Opera's acclaimed Merola Opera program. He can next be seen in a free concert of arias and duets with soprano Lindsay Ammann at the Pittsburgh Opera headquarters, 2425 Liberty Avenue. Kempson on October 24th. He will return to the mainstage when he portrays Argante in Handel's "Rinaldo" opening on January 29, 2011.
Barihunk Ildebrando D'Arcangelo is reprising his sexy Don Giovanni at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. The contemporary production opened on Saturday to rave reviews. The production is popular in Germany, but would probably be met with howls of protest in the United States, as director Ronald Schwab alters the ending and adds graphic scenes of sex and violence.
Visit the Berlin Opera website for ticket and cast information.
We might as well continue posting about barihunks doing good deeds in their community. This time it's bass Kenneth Kellogg who will perform at a special free concert for the Ben Holt Memorial Branch of the National Association of Negro Musicians on Sunday, October 17, 2010, 3 P. M. at Asbury United Methodist Church, located at 11 and K Streets in Washington D.C..
The concert honors Ben Holt, a baritone who sang with the Metropolitan and New York City Opera companies before succumbing to Hodgkin's disease at age 34. Holt created and recorded the title role in the opera ''X (The Life and Times of Malcolm X).
Kellogg created the role of Tobias in San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program 's world premiere of Thomas Pasatieri’s The Hotel Casablanca. He was later selected to participate in the San Francisco Opera's prestigious Adler Fellowship program. The 6'5" singer is known for his commanding stage presence and resonant voice, which has clearly caught the attention of major opera houses. After leaving the Adler program, he was booked by the Los Angeles Opera, Wolf Trap, Washington National Opera and the Atlanta Opera.
Chris Herbert with his Aunt Martha/Julie & Nathan Gunn (yes, he's married!)
There is nothing we love more at Barihunks than when singers are involved in good charities. No one does more than Chris Herbert and on Thursday night he was a key part of the "Sing for Hope" gala. The program raises awareness and need money for programs that benefit schools, hospitals and local communities.
Thursday's event also raised funds for the 2011 return of "Sing for Hope" Street Pianos, a public art installation that brought 60 upright pianos to the streets of New York, which we covered earlier this year.
Attendees included soprano Renée Fleming, Hugh Jackman, Nathan Gunn, Billie Jean King, Martha Stewart (Herbert's aunt), pianist Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen, Roger Bart, mezzo Kate Lindsey, tenors Glenn Seven Allen and Michael Slattery, and pop legend Tony Bennett.
We encourage readers of this site to support this great organization. Please visit their website and help make a difference. A gift of $25.00 provides six New York City students with an hour of dynamic arts and leadership education or brings bedside performances to five hospital-bound patients.
Paulo Szot has set thousands of hearts aflutter on both Broadway and on international opera stages. The LGBT newspaper Dallas Voice featured the barihunk in their recent issue. You can read the entire feature HERE.
In person, Szot himself is as compelling as his character, but disarmingly humble. And he’s not a womanizer at all — he and his partner have been together 10 years, sharing their home on the edge of the Brazilian rainforest with their four Weimaraners.
Mariusz "the Hot Pole" Kwiecien is teaming up with the equally hunky conductor Lukasz Borowitz for a concert of Rossini, Mozart, Verdi, Borodin, Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky. The concert is slated for November 25 at Smetana Hall in Prague
The 34-year-old conductor studied with Ivan Fischer and has led the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2007. He has not made his U.S. or U.K. debut as of this date. Click HERE to read an interview with Borowitz discussing his collaboration with the internationally acclaimed baritone.
Our favorite Escamillo is back in the bullring, this time at Lyric Opera of Chicago. The run begins on Wednesday, October 13 and runs through Sunday, March 27. As an added bonus barihunk Paul LaRosa will perform as Morales. Tickets are extremely limited and can be purchased online.
One of our favorites barihunks, Matthew Worth, is in Pittsburgh where he is being lauded for his wonderful stage presence. We fell in love with the budding young star when he rose to the difficult challenge of singing in Benjamin Britten's "Rape of Lucretia," where he practically stole the show. Worth has also scored major successes with two other Britten operas, Owen Wingrave and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Californians will get the opportunity to see him reprise his definitive portrayal as Tarquinius with fellow barihunk Michael Rice with Cal Performances in Berkeley on March 24 and 25.
Barihunk Michael Rice coming to Berkeley
Readers of this site might also recall that he created a bit of a sensation as Don Giovanni at the Virginia Opera, so it appears that he's equally adept at drama, comedy and portraying seductive rakes.
Matthew Worth: Sexy in a tee
Fans of Matthew Worth in the Pittsburgh area can see him in the Barber again tonight, Friday, October 15 or Sunday, October 17. Visit the Pittsburgh Opera website for ticket information.
One would never know that the San Francisco Opera faced budget cuts like every other opera company, as they have opened their season with critically acclaimed performances of Aida, Werther and Le Nozze di Figaro. The first cast of Nozze just wrapped up with the stunning Susanna of Danielle de Niese, barihunk Lucas Meachem as Count Almaviva and Figaro of Luca Pisaroni. The second cast looks just as promising with barihunk Kostas Smoriginas replacing Pisaroni.
The Lithuanian singer is known as the "Johnny Depp of Opera" and he promises to match, if not exceed Pisaroni's, sexy portrayal of Figaro.
Kostas Smoriginas: "Johnny Depp of Opera"
Smoriginas recently wowed audiences at Covent Garden with his Colline and debuted his searingly hot Escamillo at the Israeli Opera. Although this is his debut with the San Francisco Opera, he has previously sung Figaro in the U.S. with the Washington National Opera.
The Seattle Opera Blog has an interview with barihunk Philip Cutlip, who is singing Enrico in their production of Lucia di Lammermoor. You can read the entire interview HERE. Performances run from October 16-30 with alternating casts.
Visit the Seattle Opera website for ticket and cast information.
We recently ran a post about the U.S. premiere of Xavier Montsalvatge's opera “El Gato Con Botas” (“Puss in Boots”) at the New Victory Theater.
Here is the New York Times review. We particularly love the New York Post review by the beloved James Jorden, which describes Verm as a barihunk, defined as "a grand opera voice in a soap opera body." That's a classic line, which we can already admit will be recycled. You can read Jordan's review HERE.
Barihunk Steven Labrie will alternate performances with Craig Verm.
Russian barihunk Rodion Pogossov who has won over audiences at The Met with performances of Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, is heading off to Galway, Ireland. The striking singer will perform in the 30th Gala Concert for Music at Galway on October 16th with soprano Evelina Dobraceva.