Friday, September 9, 2011

John Relyea: Attila the BariHUN

Two Great Attilas, Sam Ramey from opera (L) and Gerard Butler (R) from film. John Relyea (C)
We have a lot of favorite operas that aren't in the standard repertory and Verdi's "Attila" is at the top of the list. As our poll to the right shows, Verdi wrote the best music for bass and there aren't many juicier roles than Attila. Not only that, but the opera has another great baritone role, Ezio, which includes a duet with Attila. If you like crazy sopranos, few can match the crazed Odabella, who makes Lucia di Lammermoor and Ophelia look downright stable.

If you're in the Washington D.C. area tonight you might want to head over to the Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University for John Relyea's debut in the title role. You can click HERE for tickets. If you're on the West Coast, you can catch Relyea's first staged performance of Attila at the Seattle Opera with barihunk Marco Vratogna as Ezio. If you don't know the opera, we recommend that you listen to Seattle Opera general director Speight Jenkins talk about the opera by clicking HERE. Performances will run from January 14-28. Click HERE for additional cast and performance information.

One of the greatest Verdi recordings ever is of tenor Beniamino Gigli, soprano Elisabeth Rethberg and bass Ezio Pinza singing the trio "Te Sol Quest' Anima" from Attila. If you have experienced this, it's a must hear:

Later this season, Relyea will portray the Four Villains in Offenbach's "Tales of Hoffman" at both the Bayerische Staatsoper and with the Canadian Opera Company. In the Spring of 2012, he will be at the Met as Leporello in "Don Giovanni" opposite Gerald Finley.

Don't forget to submit your barihunk charity calendar submissions to us at All proceeds will go to benefit young artist programs. We need all submissions by the end of next week.

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