Friday, November 11, 2011

Barihunk Trifecta: Duncan, Werba & Sly together in St. John's Passion

Philippe Sly & Markus Werba
Fans of barihunks and Bach in Montréal were in luck this week when the internationally acclaimed Austrian barihunk Markus Werba teamed up with Canadian sensation and Met Auditions winner Philippe Sly for a riveting rendition of Bach's "St. John's passion." Our source in Montréal told us that Sly's voice filled the space with "a full, lush sound that radiated to the rafters." To top things off, Canadian barihunk Tyler Duncan was also in the cast.

We've followed Sly's career since he started creating a sensation during the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions Competition. Opera aficionados are already hailing him as the next great baritone sensation. We've had the pleasure of hearing him in recital and performance and the early praise is well-deserved. He will be featured in a solo recital on June 1, 2012 at the Shenkman Arts Cenre in Ottawa. We're telling you about it now, because tickets are bound to sell fast. You can visit the Shenkman website for tickets and concert information. 

We've posted Sly's rendition of Schubert's "Der Erlkönig" before, but we think it's worth posting again, as it rivals the greatest versions that have ever been performed (and he's in his early 20's!):

Markus Werba heads to the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris this December to sing Papageno in Mozart's "Die Zauberflöte" in a cast that features the brilliant soprano Sandrine Piau as Pamina. Click HERE for tickets or additional performance information.

Here is Werba as Papageno from a 2003 production at the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari with a cast that also featured Piau:

Tyler Duncan can next be heard in an eclectic program of music inspired by water with The Jefferey Concerts in London, Ontario. Joined by soprano Martha Guth and Duncan's wife, accompanist Erika Switzer, the trio will perform works by Schubert, Fauré, Joni Mitchell and Stan Rogers. Visit their website for additional information.

Tyler Duncan

Duncan then heads off to Boston to join the Handel & Haydn Society for their annual dose of the Messiah.

Contact us at

If you're thinking about a holiday gift, don't forget to purchase our 2012 Barihunks charity calendar. All proceeds are going to benefit young artists, so buy your calendar now and support our future generation of singers.


  1. Well, Sly's German is impeccable. But does this "Erlkönig" rival the "greatest versions that have ever been performed"? Do you know the one by Charles Panzéra? That's thrilling!!!
    Boris from Berlin

  2. his versification is thrilling. diction and tone and perfection. he uses characterization to tell the story in a natural and engaging way. and by underplaying slightly, he makes it all the more chilling. this is truly great theatrical art.