Thursday, September 29, 2011

Martha Stewart at Met with her "Hot Dish" Chris Herbert

Martha Stewart with her barihunk nephew Chris Herbert
The New York Post recently photographed barihunk Chris Herbert with his equally glamorous, but slightly more famous aunt, Martha Stewart, at the Metropolitan Opera gala. Here's what they had to say:
Martha Stewart was snap-happy at the Metropolitan Opera season-opening gala at Lincoln Center Monday night. The décor doyenne was taking shots for her blog, said a spy, “and when she left she told her nephew Chris Herbert to keep taking pictures.” Actress Leelee Sobieski turned heads in sky-high, Rodarte lizard heels and a Mary Katrantzou dress -- cut “just below her pupik,” according to one patron. She arrived with her countertenor pal Anthony Roth Costanzo, but dashed from the dinner across Broadway to Café Fiorello with husband Adam Kimmel. Also at the premiere of “Anna Bolena” were Tyra Banks, Katie Couric, Barbara Walters, Henry Kissinger, Peter Gelb, Peggy Siegal, Christine Baranski and Archie Panjabi. The evening raised $5.4 million for the Met, and 5,000 fans watched simulcast outdoor screenings in Lincoln Plaza and Times Square.
You can read the entire article at the NY Post website

Contact us at

Barihunk-laden Carmen in Seattle

Donovan Singletary as Zuniga and Joseph Lattanzi as Moralès (Alan Alabastro, photo)

The Seattle Opera is going to be putting on one hot Carmen, which will be running from October 15 to October 29. Although most opera goers think of the sultry, seductive protagonist Carmen when they think of the opera, we've always thought that the toreador Escamillo was the sexiest character.

Michael Todd Simpson rehearses as Escamillo while Donovan Singletary observes (Bill Mohn, photo)
Not only has the Seattle Opera given us a sexy Escamillo in barihunk Michael Todd Simpson, but they've cast the other baritone roles with certified barihunks. Joseph Lattanzi will sing Moralès, David Krohn will sing Dancaïre and Donovan Singletary, who looks as good as anyone in a BARIHUNK tee shirt, will sing Zuniga. Simpson should have the role firmly under his belt, as he just wrapped up a run as Escamillo on the opposite coast at the Glimmerglass Festival, which is thriving under Francesca Zambello (who many credit with coining the term "barihunk"). One of the Carmen's will be Daniel Barenbom discovery Anita Rachvelishvili, who in 2009 took La Scala by storm in the role and generated an international press sensation. 

David Krohn as Dancaïre works with Director Bernard Uzan and tenor Andrew Stenson as Remendado (Alan Alabastro, photo)
You can watch a number of preview videos about Seattle's "Carmen" at the opera company's wonderful YouTube channel. Here is General Director Speight Jenkins talking about his Carmen, Don Jose and director for the production. 

Tickets and additional performance information are available at the Seattle Opera website. If you haven't visited the Seattle Opera, which has to be considered among the top tier companies in America, we highly recommend heading to the Pacific Northwest for this production, which promised to be sexy, well-sung and entertaining.

Contact us at

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In Praise of NY City Opera; Randal Turner Among Debuts

Rufus Wainwright & Randal Turner
We don't review singers or performances on this site and we try to stay positive, leaving the usual "opera queen" bitchiness to other sites. Our goal is to promote opera and opera singers. However, it was difficult for us over the last year to watch the criticism of New York City Opera and see the blogosphere, Facebook and Twitter full of venomous comments about the company that former Mayor Fiorella La Guardia called the "People's Opera."

We want to use the formal announcement of their new season as an opportunity to say a few words of long-overdue praise about New York City Opera. Like many opera companies, City Opera has faced some difficult financial challenges over the last year. Unlike many companies who cut performances by dropping anything that didn't sell like Butterfly, Boheme or Carmen, City Opera continued to take chances with repertory, singers and productions. They even took chances with the standard repertory and delivered a sexy "Don Giovanni" that was an artistic success in every way imaginable.

A lot of people were upset that City Opera decided to leave their home at Lincoln Center. The move out of Lincoln Center and into the Lynch Theater at John Jay College, El Teatro at El Museo del Barrio and the Brooklyn Academy of Music will save the company $4.5 million and bring opera back to the people, as La Guardia first imagined. It's not Lincoln Center that makes opera great, it's a company's creativity and dedication to great art that makes opera great.

The new City Opera season will feature more than twenty artist debuts, including the New York debut of Randal Turner, one of the most compelling and gifted performers in opera. As they have done throughout history with other notable debuts, they have trumped the more prestigious and better funded Metropolitan Opera in securing the Zurich-based American singer, who will be performing Philippe in Rufus Wainwright's U.S. debut of "Prima Donna."

Rod Gilfry, Daniel Teadt and Kelly Markgraf
There are a number of barihunk debuts other than Randal Turner that we're also excited about, including Rod Gilfry performing Don Alfonso in "Cosi fan tutte" and Daniel Teadt in the title role of Telemann’s "Orpheus." Cosi also includes the return of barihunk Philip Cutlip, who will be singing Guglielmo and "Orpheus" which will feature Kelly Markgraf at Pluto. Other debuts we're particularly excited about are soprano Amanda Majeski and tenor Taylor Stayton.

The 2011/12 spring season will open on Sunday, February 12 with La Traviata at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. "Prima Donna" will open on Sunday, February 19 also at BAM. For additional cast and performance information visit the NYCO website.

We're urging all of our readers to help City Opera survive and flourish by making an extra effort to attend their performances this year.

Contact us at

Monday, September 26, 2011

Italian Barihunk Barber at La Fenice

Mirco Palazzi

Teatro La Fenice in Venice is performing Rossini's comic masterpiece "Il barbiere di Siviglia" with a cast full of Italian barihunks. La Fenice is rotating casts and almost all of the low voice roles are filled by barihunks, including those that we don't generally associate with sexy singers, like Don Basilio and Bartolo. Figaro is being sung by Giorgio Caoduro, who has appeared frequently on this site, and Christian Senn will perform in the alternate cast. Don Basilio will be shared by Mirco Palazzi and Luca Dall'Amico, while Omar Montanari will be one of the Bartolos.

Luca Dall'Amico and Giorgio Caoduro
Tickets can be purchased on the La Fenice website, where you can also find additional cast and performance information. We also recommend that you visit Giorgio Caoduro's website, where you can find some wonderful sound clips, including the Barber's famous "Largo al factotum." Here is Mirco Palazzi singing Don Basilio's aria "La calunnia":

Contact us at

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Can Barihunks Sing?

Dmitri Hvorostovsky: The perfect barihunk package?

The wonderful Dutch opera site Place de l'Opera recently wondered if barihunks were just sexy guys who were getting jobs because of their looks and couldn't really sing. Basia Jaworski rated seven singers that have appeared on the site and ranked them for looks and singing ability.

In her article, Jaworski also points out that many roles in opera actually require a lot of charisma and sexuality to make the role work.  She also points out that the site appeals to more than gay men, which if our email is any indication is more than accurate. About half our mail and photo submissions come from women. What is interesting is how some singers seem to appeal to women and others to men, while others seem to have a more universal appeal.

Also, we pride ourselves in posting singers who not only look good, but who can sing. This is why we tend to highlight singers who are winning vocal competitions and are being hand-selected by composers to premiere their works. After all, we like our barihunks to be the complete package.

Here are her rankings. Feel free to share your thoughts in the COMMENTS section:

Erwin Schrott: Looks 9, Singing 6

Bo Skovhus: Looks 9, Singing 9

Rod Gilfry: Looks 9, Singing 9

Simon Keenlyside: Looks 9, Singing 10

Dmitry Hvorostovsky: Looks 10, Singing 10

Mariusz Kwiecien: Looks 8, Singing 7

Nathan Gunn: Looks 8, Singing 8

You can read Basia Jaworski's complete article on the Place de l'Opera website.

Bo Skovhus sings Robert Schumann's "Stille Tränen"

Contact us at

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Matt Worth on Minnesota Public Radio talks and sings Cosi fan tutte

Matt Worth

John Birge at the Minnesota Public Radio recently had Matt Worth on his program and his first question was about the singer's status as a barihunk. Fortunately for Worth, he didn't have to spend the whole interview talking about his looks. Fortunately for listeners, we are treated to him singing "Donna mie, la fate a tanti" from Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte," which Worth is performing at the Minnesota Opera.

You can listen to the broadcast HERE, as well as read an interview with the American singer on the Minnesota Opera's blog. The cast also includes barihunk Daniel Mobbs as Don Alfonso. Performances run through October 2nd and you click HERE for additional cast and performance information.

Contact us at

Friday, September 23, 2011


It is no secret that one of our favorite barihunks of all-time is Ettore Bastianini. We feature him whenever we have an excuse, but what's better than his birthday. Like the German tenor Fritz Wunderlich, we lost him long before his artistry was fully realized. Bastianini died of throat cancer at the age off 44, long before many baritones celebrate their greatest successes.

Bastianini was considered one of the finest Verdi and verismo voices of his day. He made his recital debut as a bass in Siena in 1945 and his stage debut later that year in Ravenna as Colline in Puccini's "La bohème." He later moved into the baritone range where he voice seemed better suited. His top notes thrilled audiences throughout his career for their ringing splendor.

He was a regular at La Scala between 1954-1963 and the Vienna State Opera between 1958-1964. In the United States, he performed regularly at Metropolitan Opera between 1954-1957 and at the Lyric Opera of Chicago between 1955-1958.  His last performance was in 1965 at the Metropolitan Opera.

Contact us at

AVA's Mock "Vanity Fair" Photo Shoot

The Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia featured a wonderful mock version of Vanity Fair's photo of sexy opera singers that included barihunks Mariusz Kwiecien, Nathan Gunn and Erwin Schrott. AVA low voices include Scott Conner and Wes Mason, who has been a regular on this site.

From left to right: Mariusz Kwiecien, Polish baritone; Maija Kovalevska, Latvian soprano; Rolando Villazón, Mexican tenor; Nathan Gunn, American baritone; Danielle de Niese, Australian-born soprano; Erwin Schrott, Uruguayan bass; Anna Netrebko, Russian soprano. Photograph by Wayne Maser; styled by Sarajane Hoare.
Just a few of the exciting artists AVA audiences can look forward to hearing this year.  (l-r) Alexandra Maximova, Scott Conner, Maria Aleida, Nelson Ebo, Wes Mason, John Viscardi, and Chrystal Williams (Photo by Paul Sirochman)
Contact us at

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Share the stage with Teddy Tahu Rhodes


Limelight magazine and AMcK Fine Entertainment are inviting one lucky singer to perform with tenor David Hobson and barihunk Teddy Tahu Rhodes during their Encore concert at the Sydney Opera House on November 4, 2011. 

If you live in Australia and want to be considered, upload a short video (no more than one minute in length) of yourself singing a short a piece of light opera, musical theatre or folksong. It can be a cappella or with accompaniment. The two singers will personally select their guest from the entrants. 
  • Entrants should briefly state their full name, location and age before singing. 
  • Please note videos must not be longer than one minute in duration and must show the singer performing. Audio recordings alone will not be accepted, and any videos deemed to be dubbed, lip-synced or sung over an existing vocal performance will not be eligible. 
  • Submit to Limelight using the online entry form or as a YouTube link sent to editors(at) with "David & Teddy" in the subject line. 
  • You must be over 18 and submit by midnight Friday October 21, 2011.
Contact us at

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Das Rheingold

Rene Pape: A rare barihunk Wotan
Richard Wagner's "Das Rheingold" premiered on this day in 1869 at Munich's National Theater. The opera is the first of the four operas that make up "Der Ring des Nibelungen" (The Ring Cycle). It was originally written as an introductory piece to the Ring, but is now considered one of the four operas that make up the cycle.

The cast of the premiere included August Kindermann as Wotan, Heinrich Vogl as Loge, Emma Seehofer as Erda, Sophie Stehle as Fricka, and Karl Fischer as Alberich. Wagner wanted this opera to be premiered as part of the entire cycle, but was forced to allow the performance at the insistence of his patron, King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The entire Ring Cycle was first performed on August 13, 1876 at the Bayreuther Festspielhaus.

George London

George London singing "Abendlich strahlt der Sonne Auge" from Das Rheingold: 

Contact us at

Happy Birthday, Gustav Holst!

Holst songs with Christopher Maltman: A must for any collection
The English composer Gustav Holst (born Gustavus Theodore von Holst) was born on this day in 1874. Most people know him from his extremely popular orchestral suite The Planets

Early in his career Holst was influenced by the works of Grieg, Wagner, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Richard Strauss. Later he was influenced by Maurice Ravel, Hindu spiritualism and English folk tunes. We’re going to highlight this period of his life with the Vedic Songs, which are a wonderful work that is not performed enough. The songs were translated from the Sanskrit text of the Rigveda by Holst himself. There is a wonderful CD with English barihunk Christopher Maltman, which we highly recommend. We found a sampling of a live performance of the songs from Thomas Allen on YouTube, which we hope you'll enjoy.

Contact us at

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ildebrando D’Arcangelo Rocks the Pavilion in L.A.!!!

With Ruxandra Dunose (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Italian barihunk has taken Los Angeles by storm with the following review in the L.A. Times that any singer would die for. You can read the entire review HERE:
“Così" begins with two overconfident youths, about to marry sisters and about to have their understanding of women tested. Ferrando sings a short line about his Dorabella, vowing that nothing could sway her faith...

Guglielmo echoes the sentiment. His Fiordiligi is honest as the day. Here Ildebrando D’Arcangelo revealed, in but seven sprightly measures of the score, an opulent bass-baritone with enough presence to rock the Pavilion.

That’s all it took to signal something special. The young cast of this “Così” is cause for celebration.
With Ruxondra Dunose and Saimir Pirgu (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

A number of audio files have been uploaded to YouTube, so you can judge the singing. We've also included some photos of the production. Tickets are available at the Los Angeles Opera website

Contact us at

Doppelgängers? Bo Skovhus & Andrew Finden

The German newspaper Badische Neueste Nachrichten wrote in a review that they thought Australian baritone Andrew Finden looked like barihunk Bo Skovhus, although they reserved artistic comparisons at such and early stage of Finden's career.

What do you think? Do you have any examples of barihunks who you think look like someone else? If so, send them to [Somewhat kiddingly we request no emails from angry exes!]

Here's what they wrote:
Zwar kann bei den Interpreten der mittleren Partien eine endgültige Beurteilung ihrer Leistungsfähigkeit erst nach weiteren – größeren – Auftritten erfolgen, doch lässt sich schon jetzt festhalten…, dass Andrew Finden als Bo-Skovhus-Doppelgänger dem Marquis d’Obigny einen grossen, noch etwas ungeschlacht eingesetzten Baritone lieh.
Finden is a graduate of the opera course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he was awarded the Harold Rosenthal Prize. Finden recently joined the ensemble of the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe.

Andrew Finden

Monday, September 19, 2011

Michael Mayes Featured

Michael Mayes: Bourbon, Horses and French Opera
We love American barihunk Michael Mayes and have always maintained that he's one of the most entertaining people in opera. His Texapolitan Opera podcast is a must for any fan of opera and it can always be accessed at the link to the right. You can also follow his musings at mazerthehazer on Twitter.

The Elvis Presley fanatic is in Louisville performing Escamillo in Bizet's "Carmen." He was recently featured in an interview by Selana Fry from Louisville. com where he talked about a number of things including this site. [For the record, the interviewer makes it sound like he has some direct involvement with this site, which he does not. Barihunks and Texapolitan Opera are enthusiastically supportive of each other's site]. You can read the entire interview HERE, but here is what he had to say about Barihunks:

The Barihunks blog is another project you're involved with. The tagline is pretty straightforward: "The Sexiest Baritone Hunks from Opera." I here there's a pin-up calendar in the works.

The guys over there are doing a great service to us. Anytime we can get someone talking about opera, regardless of the context, is an accomplishment worthy of praise.
Will you be shooting your Barihunks calendar photo in Louisville? Most importantly, will horses and/or bourbon figure into the composition?

I am doing the shoot here, though the location is to be determined. Horses might be involved, and bourbon will definitely be a factor, whether prominently featured, or administered as a fortification against my own inhibitions about public displays of partial nudity.
Mayes' Escamillo opens at the Kentucky Opera on Friday, September 23 at 8PM, with additional performances on Sunday, September 25 at 2PM and Friday, September 30 at 8PM. Tickets have been selling fast, but are still available online  or by calling 502.584.7777.

Click HERE for the Texapolitan Opera podcast

Contact us at

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Original Barihunks

Mariusz Kwiecien (Nick Heavican/Metropolitan Opera)
It's been almost four years since we started Barihunks and we've been blown away by the popularity of the site. We often get asked why we started the site. The picture of Mariusz Kwiecien featured above appeared in the Sunday, September 18, 2011 version of the New York Times. It prompted us to tell the story (which you can also hear on the Texapolitan Opera podcast featured on the right-hand column).

Mariusz Kwiecien was the original inspiration for this site. His steamy, sexy Don Giovanni at the San Francisco Opera, which was recorded and recently rebroadcast on television, prompted a discussion amongst friends about creating a tribute site. We felt that a site dedicated to one singer didn't have broad enough appeal. However, when we start thinking of other sexy singers, a slew of baritones rolled off of our tongues: Erwin Schrott, Dimitri Hvorostovsky, Nathan Gunn...

The list went on and on and on. The natural result was a site dedicated to the baritone-hunks of opera. (FYI, it's pronounced Bear-a-Hunk, not Berry-Hunk).

The original Barihunks: Erwin Schrott, Nathan Gunn & Dmitri Hvorostovsky
We believe that director Francesca Zambello coined the term to describe Nathan Gunn in her production of "Iphigénie en Tauride" at Glimmerglass  in 1997 opposite the equally sexy tenor Bill Burden.


We've been heartened by the amazing emails and support we've received about the site. We received this note from a singer today, "Thanks for showing that opera can be as sexy as anything in the movies or on TV. Your site has shaken up the world of opera for the better." It summed up our intentions perfectly!

Kwiecien: So sexy he launched an opera phenomenon
For other fans of the original barihunk, Mariusz Kwiecien, he's back as Don Giovanni at the Metropolitan Opera beginning October 13th. For those who can't be in NY, the performance will be broadcast worldwide on November 16th as part of the Met's "Live in HD." Check your local listings for performance locations.

We're glad you're enjoying the site. Feel free to email us with comments, suggestion or tips on opera performances or singers at

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Adam Plachetka Keeps Sexy Don Tradition Alive

Adam Plachetka as Don Giovanni
Eight days ago we reported that Adam Plachetka, an ensemble member of the Vienna State Opera, was stepping in for barihunk Bo Skovhus as Don Giovanni. We're happy to report that no one left the theatre disappointed that they didn't get their fill of bari-hunkiness. Here's a photo from the last act. There are still tickets for the remaining two performances.

Contact us at

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Roland Hermann!

Roland Hermann

Perhaps we might have missed the birthday of one of our "historical hunks," German Roland Hermann, had it not been that he's in the biography of Dominik Köninger, who just won the Wigmore Hall song competition. Hermann helped hone Köninger's craft at the Karlsruhe State Musikhochschule in Germany.

Born in Bochum in 1936, the baritone Roland Hermann trained in Germany, Italy and the United States with Paul Lohmann and Margarete von Winterfeld. In 1968 he joined the ensemble of the Zurich Opera and simultaneously built an international reputation as an opera and concert singer.

Hermann's repertoire included some seventy rôles in a wide range of operas. He is known for his performances of contemporary music, with premières of works by Fortner, Halffter, Höller, Kelterborn, Krenek, Willi, Zender and Mauricio Kagel. He was particular known as a fine lieder singer and peformed in over fifty recordings and some hundred broadcasts. He has taught at the Karlsruhe State Musikhochschule since 1989.

Here is Hermann in Hans Werner Henze's "Ein Landarzt" (approx. 26 minutes):

Contact us at

Jonathan Beyer takes on the other John Adams

Johnathan Beyer and the Adams Family

Composer Patricia Leonard's “My Dearest Friend,” a musical work based on the letters between John and Abigail Adams, will have its world premier at 4 p.m. Sunday, September 25th at Harvard University’s Sanders Theater. American barihunk Jonathan Beyer, will portray President Adams and soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer will portray his wife.

Beyer, you may recall, has made a name or himself with another John Adams, who is the modern day composer. The young baritone has been winning singing competition performing "News has a kind of mystery" from "Nixon in China." You can find audio samples on Beyer's website.
John and Abigail Adams exchanged more than 1,100 letters between 1762 and 1801. Their personal accounts touch on some of the most significant events in American history, but they also cover domestic life in Boston and the sacrifice Abigail made to support her husband’s  career. The music scored to the letters evokes feelings of patriotism and the quest for freedom, contrasted with the sorrows of personal family sacrifice.

The concert will also include Leonard Bernstein's “Kaddish” Symphony No. 3, dedicated to President John F. Kennedy.
Tickets are $10 and $15. For more information, call the box office at 617-496-2222.

Contact us at

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Philip Cutlip: Singer with a dancer's body

If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area and are looking for something to do this weekend, look no further than Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley. One of America's greatest dance companies is teaming up with one America's great orchestras in performing Purcell's "Dido & Aeneas." To top it off, they've brought in a barihunk who is as sexy as the dancers.

The Mark Morris Dance Company and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra with soloists Philip Cutlip and Stephanie Blythe will be performing the baroque masterpiece on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Morris, who danced the role in until 2000, will move to the conductor's podium for this performance. For dance enthusiasts, you'll be curious to note that Morris has switched up his traditional casting for this performance. Amber Star Merkens will take on the role of Dido with Domingo Estrada Jr.'s performing Aeneas. Previously, the role of Dido/Sorceress was performing by a male lead. Visit the Cal Performances website for additional cast and performance information.

Here is a clip from when Mark Morris was still performing Dido & Aeneas:

Anyone who has not experienced the intuitive magic between these two companies is in for a treat. Barihunk Philip Cutlip is a regular with the orchestra and has provided some of the most thrilling baritone solos in the orchestras history. The two organizations have also collaborated on Handel's "L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, " Henry Purcell’s "King Arthur" and Jean-Philippe Rameau’s ballet-opera "Platée."

Contact us at

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hollywood Heartthrob: Ildebrando D'Arcangelo

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo: Shirtless and performing Cosi with Aleksandra Kurzak
If you're anywhere near the West Coast you'll know that there is a lot of baritone buzz going on. Most of it is centering on Thomas Hampson's performance in the 9/11 opera "Heart of a Soldier" at San Francisco Opera and the heartthrob Ildebrando D'Arcangelo taking on Guglielmo at the Los Angeles Opera. Now that "Heart of a Soldier" has opened attention is turning to Sunday's opening of "Cosi fan tutte" at the Los Angeles Opera. The all-star cast includes Aleksandra Kurzak, Ruxandra Dunose and Saimir Pirgu under the baton of James Conlon. Performances will run through October 8th and you can get tickets and additional production information HERE.We have to believe that someone in Hollywood has their eye on this potential matinee idol.

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo's headshot and rehearsal photo from Cosi
Out West Arts recently published an interview with the Italian barihunk, which you can read HERE.

Listen to D'Arcangelo sing "Non siate ritros" from Cosi:

Contact us at

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Arnold Schoenberg!

Kevin Wetzel & Arnold Schoenberg

Less than an hour after we posted that it was a slow news day, we received an email bemoaning the fact that we weren't celebrating Arnold Schoenberg's birthday. Better yet, we got introduced to a new barihunk, Kevin Wetzel. 

Arnold Schoenberg remains one of the most controversial figures in the history of music. From the final years of the nineteenth century to the period following the World War II, Schoenberg produced music of great stylistic diversity, inspiring fanatical devotion from students, admiration from peers like Mahler, Strauss, and Busoni, riotous anger from conservative Viennese audiences, and unmitigated hatred from his many detractors.

Born in Vienna on September 13, 1874, into a family that was not particularly musical, Schoenberg was largely self-taught as a musician. Early in his career, Schoenberg took jobs orchestrating operettas, but most of his life was spent teaching, both privately and at various institutions, and composing.

The composer's early works bear the unmistakable stamp of high German Romanticism, perhaps nowhere more evident than in his first important composition, Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4 (1899). With works like the Five Orchestral Pieces (1909) and the epochal Pierrot lunaire (1912), Schoenberg embarked upon one of the most influential phases of his career. Critics reviled this "atonal" (Schoenberg preferred "pantonal") music, whose structure does not include traditional tonality.

Schoenberg fled the anti-Semitic political atmosphere of Europe in 1933 and spent the remainder of his life primarily in the United States, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1941. For Schoenberg, the dissolution of tonality was a logical and inevitable step in the evolution of Western music. Schoenberg is acknowledged as one of the most significant figures in music history. The composer, a well-known triskaidekaphobe (fear of the number 13), died in Los Angeles on July 13, 1951.
Here is Kevin Wetzel performing Schoenberg's Dank, Op. 1, No. 1:

Kevin Wetzel earned his master’s degree in 2006 and his graduate performance diploma in 2008 at The Peabody Institute. After graduating from The Peabody Institute, Kevin became a member of the Virginia Opera Association’s Spectrum Resident Artist program. Most recently, he was a resident artist with the Arizona Opera Company. He can next be seen in November with Houston's "Opera in the Heights" performing Guglielmo in Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte."

Contact us at