Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Castleton West" A Critical Success

Michael Weyandt & Matthew Worth
Loren Maazel took his Castleton Festival west to California from Virginia, where it was met with the same critical acclaim that it received back East. Many of the same singers returned to reprise their roles, but we found a new addition to the barihunk family in Michael Weyandt, who was a sexy Junius. Cal Performance in Berkeley mounted both the "Rape of Lucretia" and "Albert Herring."

Joshua Kosman, the respected and brutally honest reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle, gave "The Rape of Lucretia" a great review, saying this about the trio of barihunks:

Tarquinius was embodied with sonorous menace by baritone Matthew Worth, and bass-baritone Michael Rice brought a gorgeous warmth of tone to the role of Collatinus, Lucretia's ostentatiously virtuous husband. Michael Weyandt did a muscular turn as the ambitious Junius...

We learned during the performance run that Michael Rice plans on making this his final performance on the opera stage. Luckily, we'll still be able to enjoy him on his wonderful OperaNow! podcast, one of the most enjoyable shows about classical music around. We wish him well in his future endeavors. He's one of our favorite people in opera!

Michael Rice Sailing Off Into the Operatic Sunset
"Albert Herring" featured barihunk Adrian Kramer, who stole the show in the critical role of Sid. You can listen to this talented young Canadian at InstantEncore performing songs by Rorem, Barber and Danielpour.
The opera world should be grateful to Loren Maazel, whose Castleton Festival has reintroduced important operas to the repertory as well as talented young singers.
Adrian Kramer

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