Friday, July 22, 2011

Merola Concerts Tonight and Sunday (and Birthday Greetings to Jordan Shanahan)

Phillipe Sly & Mark Diamond

If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area don't miss tonight's Schwabacher Summer Concert featuring the latest class of participants. The concert will feature works by great  Italian composers, as well as a little Tchaikovsky. The concert will feature scenes from "Don Carlo," "I Capuleti e i Montecchi " "Lucia di Lammermoor," "Rigoletto" and "Eugene Onegin." The scenes concert will be directed by renowned stage director Peter Kazaras, who currently serves as Seattle Opera's Artistic Advisor and Principal Artistic Instructor of the Young Artist Development Program, and was recently appointed Director of Opera and Music Theater at UCLA.

Two Merola participants are of particular interest to us this year, as they have already created a buzz in the opera world for their amazing singing talent and barihunk good looks: Phillipe Sly and Mark Diamond. Both singers have also won major vocal competitions, with Diamond taking first place at the Eleanor McCollum Competition at the Houston Grand Opera and Sly winning the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions Competition.

Mark Diamond
Diamond has already been scooped up by the Houston Grand Opera and he'll be joining their esteemed young artist program after Merola. Houston has engaged him to perform Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Marchese d’Obigny in La Traviata. He will be studying the roles of Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia, and Rodrigue in Don Carlos. You can hear his sound clips HERE.

Phillipe Sly in performance
We've featured Phillip Sly prominently on this site since he first came to our attention. You can hear his sound clips HERE. A little trivia about Sly: he originally started out as a countertenor (like fellow barihunk Zachary Gordin). Here is Sly singing Schubert's Der Erlkönig, which we've previously posted, but we can't get enough of.

Both singers will appear in the Merola performances of Rossini's "Barber of Seville" this year. Diamond as Figaro and Sly as Bartolo. Performance are on August 4, 5, 6 and 7 and tickets can be purchased HERE. For those who can't make tonight's concert, there will be a FREE version of the concert at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Park on Sunday, July 24th at 2 PM.

Birthday boy: Jordan Shanahan
We'd also like to wish Jordan Shanahan a HAPPY BIRTHDAY today. Shanahan and his wife soprano Luna recently won the Barihunks "Favorite Opera Couple" poll. We've been trying to find a video of the popular couple singing together and we promise to post one when it becomes available.

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