Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Philip Glass; Matthew Worth Excels in Glass' Orphee at Virginia Opera

Philip Glass, Martina Arroyo, Joyce DiDonato and Gerald Finley at 2009 Opera News awards. [Photo by Dario Acost]

Was there any doubt that we'd be celebrating the 75th birthday today of the great American composer Philip Glass? We regularly feature his work on this site, including the recent production of "Les Enfants Terribles" with barihunk Timothy McDevitt and soprano Jessica Cates showing off their bodies after training at the gym for the ballet/opera; Barihunks Matthew Worth and Christopher Temporelli in Orphée at the Virginia Opera (more on that below); Lots of coverage of Hydrogen Jukebox at the Ft. Worth Opera including some great shirtless pictures of barihunks Dan Kempson and Justin Hopkins; Lots of video of his operas, including the ability to watch Kepler in its entirety with Austrian barihunk Martin Achrainer.

Profile (born Jan. 31, 1937, Baltimore, Md., U.S.) American composer of innovative instrumental, vocal, and operatic music.  Glass studied flute as a boy and enrolled at age 15 at the University of Chicago, where he studied mathematics and philosophy and graduated in 1956. 

Philip Glass is a prolific and widely-respected American composer of innovative,  vocal and operatic music. He work consistently uses repetitive structures and is often minimalistic. Glass studied math and philosophy before pursuing music at the Julliard School. His opera Satyagraha (1980) tells the story of Mahatma Gandhi's life. The Metropolitan Opera commissioned The Voyage in 1992.

Barihunk Philip Cutlip recorded Orphee

His interest in atonal music drew him on to study composition at the Juilliard School of Music (M.S., 1962) in New York City and then to Paris to study under Nadia Boulanger. His acquaintance there with the Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar decisively affected Glass's compositional style, and he temporarily jettisoned such traditional formal qualities as harmony, tempo, and melody in his music. Instead he began creating ensemble pieces in a monotonous and repetitive style; these works consisted of a series of syncopated rhythms ingeniously contracted or extended within a stable diatonic structure. Such minimalist music, played by a small ensemble using electronically amplified keyboard and wind instruments, earned Glass a small but enthusiastic following in New York City by the late 1960s.

Glass's opera Einstein on the Beach (1976), composed in collaboration with Robert Wilson, earned him broader acclaim; this work showed a renewed interest in classical Western harmonic elements, though his interest in startling rhythmic and melodic changes remained the work's most dramatic feature. Glass's opera Satyagraha (1980) was a more authentically “operatic” portrayal of incidents from the early life of Mohandas K. Gandhi. In this work, the dronelike repetition of symmetrical sequences of chords attained a haunting and hypnotic power well attuned to the religio-spiritual themes of the libretto, adapted from the Hindu scripture the Bhagavadgt. The opera The Voyage (1992) had mixed reviews, but the fact that it had been commissioned by the New York Metropolitan Opera (to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas) confirmed Glass's growing acceptance by the classical-music establishment.

[Excerpted from  © Encyclopædia Britannica]

Matthew Worth (L) as Orphée at Virginia Opera; Jeffrey Lentz (R) as Heurtebise (Preston Gannaway,The Virginian-Pilot)
One of the best Glass productions that is currently running is Orphée at the Virginia Opera with American barihunks Matthew Worth and Christopher Temporelli (and the very adorable tenor Jonathan Blalock, who also appeared in the aforementioned Hydrogen Jukebox). Here is what the Virginian-Pilot had to say:

The large cast had no weaknesses. First among equals was Matthew Worth as Orphée, using a powerful and rich baritone to great effect as the tormented poet who struggles to find meaning in his life and art. His performance conveyed both the strengths and weaknesses of the character, and did so in a sympathetic manner that carried the audience along on Orphée’s journey.

Remaining Norfolk performances are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 8 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 623-1223 or 866-673-7282; www.vaopera.org

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Monday, January 30, 2012

Erwin Schrott Tries Out Some New Hairstyles on Twitter

Erwin Schrott with dreads, blue hair and looking a bit matronly
Erwin Schrott apparently passed his time during rehearsals of Don Giovanni in London by going on Twitter and testing out some new hairstyles with his fans. Maybe we're biased, but we think he's every bit as good looking as a Dame Maggie Smith type, a cartoon or Lenny Kravitz's brother.

Schrott Hair onstage and off
Of course, Schrott has been known to try out more hairstyles than Hillary Clinton when she was First Lady. We think he looks pretty damn hot with any hair. Here he is singing "Oblivion" shortly after he cropped his hair and dyed in blonde.

For those who want to check him out live, he's opening as Don Giovanni in London February 3rd opposite the equally hot Leporello of Alex Esposito. Most of 2012 will be in Europe with a heavy dose of Mozart and a series of concerts with his wife Anna Netrebko.

Why we call him "Hot Schrott"
You can follow Erwin Schrott on Twitter at @erwin_schrott.

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Get French with Barihunks Michael Weyandt, Ross Benoliel and Randal Turner

Randal Turner, Francis Poulenc & Michael Weyandt (Clockwise from top left)

We want to remind readers about the Poulenc Cabaret at 8:00 pm on Thursday, February 2 at the Gershwin Hotel, 7 East 27th Street in New York City. The concert by operamission will include Banalités, Chansons gaillardes, la Courte paille, Les Mamelles de Tirésias (from the opera), plus more settings of Guillaume Apollinaire, Louis Aragon, two cabaret-friendly songs written for Yvonne Printemps, clarinet sonata from 1962, solo piano Improvisation n° 15 and Hommage à Edith Piaf.

Simon Keenlyside sings Poulenc's Hôtel:   

In addition to barihunks Randal Turner, Ross Benoliel and Michael Weyandt, artists include clarinetist Cory Tiffin, pianists Max Midroit and Jennifer Peterson, singers Michelle Jennings, John Carlo Pierce, Marcy Richardson, Kimberly Sogioka and Nicholas Tamagna. Tickets are only $20.
The cast of NYCO's "Prima Donna"
You can also see Randal Turner at New York City Opera where he is appearing in Rufus Wainwright's "Prima Donna." Thanks to a generous gift from The Reed Foundation and The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation all remaining tickets for Prima Donna, as well as La traviata are only $25. What are you waiting for? Visit their website for tickets now. You can also buy Randal Turner's CD of "Living American Composers" by clicking the link below:

Randal Turner: Living American Composers

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Another Barihunk-laden Season at Minnesota Opera

Tenor James Valenti: Minnesota Opera, marketing hot men and not just barihunks
We love the Minnesota Opera for numerous reasons, including their commitment to new works, their innovative programming, their dedication to young artists, their high quality of artistry, their great marketing campaigns (that often feature sexy baritones AND tenors) and, of course, their constant stream of barihunks on their roster.  

Next season will mark the 50th anniversary of the Minnesota Opera and the 2012-13 season is once again packed with barihunks. The company will present four operas that are new to their repertory, including the world premiere of the operatic version of "Doubt."

John Relyea (L) & Jason Howard (R)

Opening the season from September 22-30 will be one of Verdi's most underrated works, the biblical epic "Nabucco."   The story of oppressed and exiled Jews and the king responsible for most of their troubles will feature Jason Howard in the title role and John Relyea as Zaccharia. We recently featured Relyea in another great early Verdi opera, Attila.

Kyle Ketelsen returns, but without the horns

Donizetti's "Anna Bolena" runs from November 10-18 with Minnesota Opera favorite Kyle Ketelsen as Enrico.  Regular readers will recall that Kyle Ketelson stole the show in their 2009 production as a devilishly sexy Mephistopheles in "Faust."

No "Doubt" that Matt Worth is hot

On January 26, 2013, the Minnesota Opera will continue its dedication to new operas by presenting an operatic version of "Doubt" by composer Douglas J. Cuomo. The story, which has been seen on Broadway and made into a movie with Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman, revolves around scandalous allegations and tensions at a Catholic elementary school.

Matthew Worth was recently featured on this site for his current run in Philip Glass' Orphée at Virginia Opera. He recently sang a successful run as Guglielmo in Mozart's "Così fan tutte" with Minnesota Opera. He'll be making his Fort Worth Opera debut this summer as Charlie in Jake Heggie's "Three Decembers." Performances run from May 13-June 2 and tickets and additional information can be found on the Ft. Worth Opera website.

Other operas next season include Ambroise Thomas' "Hamlet" and Puccini's "Turandot." You can call 612-333-6669 or visit their website for tickets and additional cast information.  Tickets go on sale on July 23.

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Barihunk Chart Topper; Great Gatsby in SF; Andrew Garland for Valentine's Day: Meikle Takes Marcello to Italy

David McFerrin (Top L), David Adam Moore (Bottom L) & Jesse Blumberg (R)

A little over two weeks ago we mentioned the CD release party and concert for the Five Borough Music Festival's songbook of works by twenty composers. Each song was inspired by places, themes, and poetry from every corner of New York City. We're thrilled to announce that the CD has shot up the Classical Billboard charts to #12 ahead of the Metropolitan Opera and Sir Paul McCartney. Barihunks David Adam Moore, Jesse Blumberg and David McFerrin are all featured on the CD.

Composers include Lisa Bielawa, Tom Cipullo, Mohammed Fairouz, Ricky Ian Gordon, Daron Hagen, Gabriel Kahane, Jorge Martin, Russell Platt, Matt Schickele and more. Click HERE to buy your copy today.

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone involved!

Jason Detwiler & Susannah Biller (photo by Steve DiBartolomeo)

Last February, we featured Ensemble Parallèle’s production of Philip Glass' "Orphée" with barihunks Eugene Brancoveanu and Austin Kness. The innovative young company is back with another barihunk, Jason Detwiler, in their production of John Harbison’s "The Great Gatsby." The soprano is Susannah Biller Kness who, you guessed it, is married to barihunk Austin Kness.

The Great Gatsby will run from February 10-12 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts in San Francisco.  Jason Detwiler is performing the role of Nick Carraway.  Visit the Ensemble Parallèle website for additional cast and performance information.   

Andrew Garland: Our Favorite Valentine

Back in July we mentioned the New York Festival Of Song's upcoming season and we've been following each concert throughout the season. We're particularly excited  about the February 14th concert for Valentine's Day entitled "A MODERN PERSON’S GUIDE TO HOOKING UP AND BREAKING UP." The concert will examine the full range of modern love with affection and humor through songs of Irving Berlin, Stephen Sondheim, The Bobs, Noël Coward, Jason Robert Brown, Ed Kleban, and others. Subjects range from voyeurism, S&M, and ménages à trois, to good old-fashioned heart-to-heart love. The concert also repeats on February 16 at 8:00PM at Merkin Concert Hall.

Most importantly, the concert includes our favorite Valentine's Day barihunk, Andrew Garland.  Click HERE to spent your Valentine's Day with the hottest redhead in opera.

Laurence Meikle

Laurence Meikle debuts as Marcello in Puccini’s "La Boheme" tonight at the Teatro Guiditta Pasta in Saronno, Italy. There will be an additional performance at the Teatro dell’Opera di Milano in Varese on February 4th.

Regular readers might remember Meikle from our "Hottest Aussie Barihunks" or our feature on his performance of Marcello at a Soho restaurant in London.

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

What could we possibly say about Mozart that either hasn't been said or you don't know already? Born on January 27, 1756, he was a child prodigy, who wrote his first symphony when he was eight years old and his first opera at age twelve. He went on to write some of the most important masterpieces of the Classical era, including symphonies, operas, string quartets and piano music. Of course, he has been an endless source of material for Barihunks, especially his operas Don Giovanni and Cosi fan tutte, which provide us with an ongoing stream of sexy low voices.

We think the best way to celebrate his birthday is with some music from our favorite singers:

Erwin Schrott sings "Madamina" from Don Giovanni:

Markus Werba sings "Hai già vinta la cuasa" from "Marriage of Figaro":

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo & Ruxandra Donose sing "Il core vi dono" from Cosi fan tutte:

Gérard Souzay sings "Deh vieni alla finestra"from Don Giovanni:

Simon Keenlyside sings "Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja" from the Magic Flute:

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Major Barihunk Cast Changes Announced in London, Munich and New York

There is nothing like a cast change announcement to get the online opera world abuzz. Three recent announcements involved barihunks at major houses.

Lucas Meachem (L) & Simon Keenlyside (R)

London opera bloggers seem to be taking sides in the recent announcement that American barihunk Lucas Meachem will replace British barihunk Simon Keenlyside for all performances of Le nozze di Figaro due to the latter's illness. The Brits love the ageless Simon Keenlyside and the raw sexuality and swagger he brings to his Mozart portrayals. We've seen Meachem many times and he's a very different performer, but a solid replacement.

Meachem has sung the role of Count Almaviva at Munich’s Bavarian State Opera and the San Francisco Opera. His repertoire also includes the role of Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini’s prequel to Le nozze di Figaro.  Lucas made his Royal Opera debut as Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, most recently performing in the UK as the titular character in Glyndebourne’s Don Giovanni last summer.

Luca Pisaroni: Sexy whether he's "groomed," or not

Baritone Thomas Quasthoff announced his retirement on January 11th due to unspecified health reasons. Theaters have been scrambling to replace the German singer around the globe. At New York's Lincoln Center it was announces that Italian barihunk Luca Pisaroni will step in for Quasthoff in his joint recital with tenor Michael Schade at Alice Tully Hall on March 25.

Luca Pisaroni sings Mozart, Schubert, Tosti + Interview:

Pisaroni, who is currently appearing in the Metropolitan Opera's production of The Enchanted Island, has previously performed alongside Schade on the opera stage.  Pisaroni will present selections by Schubert and Brahms. Schade and Pisaroni will also perform duets by Mendelssohn, Schumann and others.

Diogenes Randes (L) & Thorsten Grümbel (R)
At the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Diogenes Randes announced that due to health reasons, he will be unable to sing the role of Fasolt in the performances of Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold on February 4, 8 and 12, 2012. Taking his place will be Thorsten Grümbel.

Fasolt and Fafner fight in the famous Met production under James Levine:

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Elektra and La Cenerentola Both Debuted on February 25; Nelson Eddy's Connection to Elektra

Gino Quilico
Rossini's comic masterpiece "La Cenerentola" and "Elektra," Richard Strauss' bloody story of revenge couldn't be more different in mood or music. However, both debuted on this day in history almost 100 years apart. La Cenerentola debuted at the Teatro Valle in Rome in 1817 and Elektra in Dresden in 1909. We thought it would be fun highlight these two great works, despite neither being known as vehicles for barihunks.

The role of Don Magnifico is usually performed by older compramario singers, but here is barihunk Jason Hardy singing "Miei rampolli femminini"

La Cenerentola actually rivaled Rossini's "The Barber of Seville" in popularity for decades before mysteriously following out of favor. It found new life during the 1960s, as a series of great mezzos began taking on the title role. In 1899, Jules Massenet had success with his opera "Cendrillon," which is also based on the Cinderella story.

Rossini's libretto actually varies substantially from the actual story, which may have contributed to its decline in popularity. In Rossini's version, the wicked stepmother is replaced by a stepfather, Don Magnifico and the Fairy Godmother is replaced by Alidoro, a philosopher, and the Prince's tutor. Cinderella is identified not by her glass slipper but by her bracelet.

Gino Quilico sings "Come un'ape ne' giorni d'aprile" from Rossini's La Cenerentola:

In the opera, the Prince of Salerno, Don Ramiro, changes places with his valet, Dandini, and then meets the girl of his dreams - Cenerentola (Cinderella). Meanwhile, Cenerentola's stepsisters, Clorinda and Tisbe, fawn over the fake prince (Dandini). When Cenerentola is left alone, weeping, the Philosopher, Alidoro, takes her (dressed in beautiful clothing) to the palace, where she is an immediate hit with everyone - including Dandini. Confusion reigns when the identity of the real Prince is revealed.

The great ensemble "Questo è un nodo avviluppato"

Richard Strauss' "Elektra" is a one-act opera set to a German-language libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, which he adapted from his 1903 drama Elektra. The opera was the first of many collaborations between Strauss and Hofmannsthal. Elektra is musically complex and requires great stamina from the singers and orchestra. The role of Elektra is one of the most demanding in the dramatic soprano repertoire. Nevertheless, it solidly entrenched in the standard repertory and is certainly one of the most popular operas based on classical Greek mythology.

Nelson Eddy: The first Orest in the U.S.

The first United States performance of the opera in the original German was given by the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia on October 29, 1931 with Nelson Eddy as Orest. Eddy, of course, would become one of Hollywood's biggest movie stars. However, he had a succesful career in opera before being forever remembered as Jeanette McDonald's singing partner in a series of musicals. 

Nelson Eddy sings "Largo al factotum" from Rossini's Barber of Seville":

In 1924, Eddy won the top prize in a competition that included a chance to appear with the Philadelphia Opera Society. By the late 1920s, Eddy was appearing with the Philadelphia Civic Opera Company and had a repertoire of 28 operas, including Amonasro in Aida, Marcello in La bohème, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, both Tonio and Silvio in Pagliacci, and Wolfram in Tannhäuser. Eddy also performed in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas with The Savoy Company.

Leonie Rysanek as Elektra and Dietrich Fisher-Dieskau as Orest.

The plot of Elektra is based upon the great Greek tragedy of the same name by the tragedian Sophocles. The unrelenting gloom and horror that permeate the original play produce, in the hands of Hofmannsthal and Strauss, a drama whose sole theme is revenge. Klytaemnestra (Clytemnestra), helped by her paramour Aegisth (Aegisthus), has secured the murder of her husband, Agamemnon, and now is afraid that her crime will be avenged by her children, Elektra (Electra), Chrysothemis, and their banished brother Orest (Orestes). 

Eberhard Wächter was a great Oreste
Elektra, who is the personification of the passionate lust for vengeance, tries to persuade her timid sister to kill Klytaemnestra and Aegisth. Before the plan is carried out, Orest, who had been reported as dead, arrives, determined upon revenge for his father's death. He kills Klytaemnestra and Aegisth; Elektra, in an ecstatic dance of triumph, falls dead in front of her horror-stricken attendants.

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A "Don Giovanni" So Sexy It Was Banned By Google Ads

Duncan Rock (L & R) and Opera Poster Banned by Google Ads
If you think opera hasn't caught up with movies, films and the theater in terms of raw sex appeal, then you haven't heard about "Don Giovanni: The Opera." The production, which will open at London's famous nightclub Heaven on April 15 is a modern retelling of Mozart's classic tale of sexual pursuit set in the heyday of the Eighties club scene and inspired by New York's legendary Studio 54 "Don Giovanni" is still a lecherous playboy and licentious nightclub owner, who pursues men as well as women.  In this production the sopranos become tenors and baritones become mezzos (except for the Don).
This production was originally seen on the Main Stage at Trafalgar Square for London Pride in 2009 and was huge success. After the run at Heaven, the opera will be shown at the 2012 World Pride celebration. 

Barihunk Duncan Rock (photo by Daniel Swerdlow)
The production is already causing waves in London three months before their opening. First, Google Ads rejected the producers ad [see top photo], because it was deemed too racy. Then they snagged one of the hottest young talents in England (in terms of looks AND voice), the sexy strawberry blonde Duncan Rock. Tickets will be available at Ticketmaster. 

Duncan Rock sings Billy’s aria from Britten, Billy Budd:

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Met Audition Winner Update: Anthony Reed in Recital; Ricardo Rivera Advances

Aaron Rogers & Anthony Reed
With the Green Packers out of the playoffs and not heading back to the Super Bowl, the good folks of Wisconsin are looking for things to do other than shovel snow. We'd suggest trading one A.R. for another, meaning QB Aaron Rogers for bass-barihunk Anthony Reed.

On Wednesday, January 25th at 7:30 PM, Reed will be performing in a concert sponsored by the Florentine Opera. Reed will be joined by soprano Lindsay Sessing and tenor Kevin Newell. All three singers were winners in the 2011 Metropolitan Opera/Wisconsin District Auditions.  The concert will be at St. John's on the Lake, 1840 N. Prospect Avenue in Milwaukee. Call (414) 291-5700 for additional information.

Unlike a football game, we can pretty much guarantee that this will be a winner. The young bass has been impressing judges and honed his skills at the Seagle Music Colony.

Anthony Reed sings Mozart's "O Isis und Osiris" from the Magic Flute:

Anthony Reed and four other singers will now advance to the Midwest Regional Auditions to be held Feb. 4, 2012, at the Ordway Center Main Hall in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Ricardo Rivera
A reader who attended the Metropolitan Opera National Council/Eastern Region Auditions alerted us to barihunk Ricardo Rivera who won 1st Place that day and will now advance to the National Semi-Finals on the Metropolitan Opera Stage in March.

Rivera has been cleaning up in competitions, having previously won 1st Place and the Audience Prize in the 2011 NY Lyric Opera Competition, 4th Place in the 2011 Connecticut Opera Guild Competition, Encouragement Awards from the 2011 Gerda Lissner, 2011 Licia Albanese-Puccini, 2011 MONC, 2010 Opera Index, and 2010 Career Bridges Competitions, and was a recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant in 2009.

On January 29th, he'll perform Orsini in Wagner's "Rienzi" with the Opera Orchestra of NY at Avery Fisher Hall. Click HERE for tickets and additional cast information. On February 15th, he'll be the baritone Soloist in Sophia Gubaidulina's "Perception" with the Pacifica Quartet and eighth blackbird in Chicago." Click HERE for additional information.

Barihunks would like to wish both singers the best of luck!

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Sunday, January 22, 2012

NYCO "Prima Donna" Preview at Guggenheim SOLD OUT; Watch it LIVE online; $25 Seats For All Shows

Composer/Singer Rufus Wainwright & Barihunk Randal Turner
Opera fans can put to rest any concerns that New York City Opera couldn't bounce back after a contentious work stoppage. Tonight's preview performance at the Guggenheim is completely SOLD OUT. City Opera General Director George Steel will moderate a discussion with Rufus Wainwright and members of the creative team. Singers will also perform excerpts from the show, including barihunk Randal Turner.

The sudden buzz about City Opera reopening their doors is great news for anyone who believes that New York City should have two major opera companies. If you don't have tickets or don't live in New York, you have three options to enjoy the preview. Standby tickets will be made available as space allows and can be obtained by calling the box office at 212-423-3587. You can view the live broadcast of the performance and discussion by clicking HERE or you can follow the discussion on Twitter at @WorksandProcess and use the hashtag #WPlive. All three start at 7:30 PM EST/4:30 PST.

City Opera also got some good financial news when the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation bought all of the remaining seats for all performances at BAM. City Opera is now offering those seats at a special price of $25 to celebrate the upcoming season. Click HERE to buy your $25 tickets for Prima Donna, La traviata, Cosi fan tutte or Orpheus.
Prima Donna will be performed February 19–25 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The post-performance reception for this program will take place in the theater lobbies.

Watch Rufus Wainwright perform "Hallelujah." FYI, he does not sing in Prima Donna:

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Timothy McDeviitt & Jessica Cates in Sexy Philip Glass Dance-Opera "Les Enfants Terribles"

Timothy McDevitt & Jessica Cates buff up for "Les Enfants Terribles"
Philip Glass has been giving us a good dose of barihunk material in recent years, including Hydrogen Jukebox, Orphee, Galileo Galilei and even Keppler. You can now add the dance-opera "Les Enfants Terribles" to the list.

Barihunk Timohty McDevitt who we remember as a cute beanpole in Poulenc's "Les Mamelles de Tiresias" at Julliard has been working out the gym with the adorable soprano Jessica Cates. And it shows!

The two singers are performing the Glass piece with the North Carolina Opera. McDevitt and Cates play a brother and sister who engage each other in a series of "games" when Paul is confined to bed after being hit by a snowball. The singers have dancers performing the non-singing parts.

There is one performance left, which is Sunday, January 22 at 3 PM.

Here are some highlights from "Les Enfants Terribles" with the voices of barihunk Philip Cutlip and soprano Christine Arand:

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Friday, January 20, 2012

Upcoming NY concerts

There are four amazing concerts coming up in New York City that all feature barihunks.

Michael Kelly

On January 28th, Michael Kelly is part of the Cosmopolis concert at Merkin Concert Hall. The chamber concert includes works by four composers from across the globe written for strings, winds, piano and baritone. Kelly will perform Mohammed Fairouz's song cycle "Furia" written for baritone, string quartet and wind quartet. The program also includes works by Ned Rorem, Kaija Saariaho and Toru Takemitsu.

Click HERE for tickets and additional information.

Randal Turner (top) & Michael Weyandt (bottom)
On February 2, operamission will present and evening of music by Francis Poulenc at the Gershwin Hotel. The concert includes about a dozen performers including barihunks Michael Weyandt, Randal Turner and Ross Benoliel. Randal Turner will be opening in Rufus Wainwright's opera "Prima Donna" at New York City on February 19th. Click HERE for tickets.

Chris Herbert
For all of you lovers out there, New York Polyphony will be performing "A Renaissance Valentine" on February 12 at Columbia University's Miller Theater. The program, which also ventures beyond the Renaissance, includes music by Lassus, Dowland and Purcell. Barihunk Christopher Herbert is part of the ensemble and this group is not be missed. If you haven't seen them yet, grab two tickets and take your favorite valentine.

Tenor Jonas Kaufmann and barihunks Rene Pape and Boaz Daniel
Lastly, we want readers to know about a live broadcast this week of Verdi's "Don Carlo." The performance originally included Mariusz Kwiecien as Rodrigo, but he withdrew due to ongoing issues with his back that he injured during a Met rehearsal of Don Giovanni. The "Hot Pole" will be replaced by Boaz Daniel. Even without Kwiecien, this production still had quite a bit of eye candy, including tenor heartthrob Jonas Kaufman and barihunk Rene Pape.

The performance begins at 5 PM German time (11 AM EST/8 AM PST). Click HERE for the broadcast.

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Teddy Bare to Make Chicago Debut: Craig Verm Heads Barihunk Casting in Windy City

Teddy Bare aka Teddy Tahu Rhodes
The Lyric Opera of Chicago has released its 2012-13 schedule and two of the sexiest men in all of opera have been cast. Teddy Tahu Rhodes will make his Lyric debut as Stanley in a semi-staged version Andre Previn's "Streetcar Named Desire." There will be four performances, which will be made available to subscribers first before being sold individually. Renee Fleming will sing the role of Blanche Dubois. There will also be a single students-only performance with an understudy cast.

Fans of Teddy Bare will have other opportunities to see him in 2012. In the United States, he will perform Guglielmo in Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" at the Washington National Opera and will also return to the Metropolitan Opera. On the other side of the Equator, he will tackle his first Scarpia with the West Australian Opera and return in his signature role of Don Giovanni with both Opera Australia and Opera de Bordeaux.

Craig Verm as Aeneas

Craig Verm, who unquestionably has one of the nicest chests in opera, is one of the numerous barihunks cast next season. Verm, who has bared his torso as much as Teddy Bare, will be performing the unsexy role of Albert in Massenet's " Werther." However, with Verm playing Albert, we can certainly understand why Charlotte's mother wanted her to marry him and not the suicidal tenor.

For those who want to see Verm in some of his sexier fare, you'll have to travel to the Teatro Municipal de Santiago in Chile. He'll be performing in both Bizet's "Carmen" and the title role in Britten's "Billy Budd."

Ildebrando d'Arcangelo (L) & Bo Skovhus (R)
Although they've cast a good number of barihunks, none of them will be in roles that show off their non-vocal assets.  For those of you who like "more mature" barihunks, Lyric is rolling out some of the hotter over-40 singers around in some Verdi and Wagner.  

Craig Verm as Zurge and Sean Panikkar as Nadir in the famous Pearl Fishers duet:

Other barihunks appearing with Lyric next year include Bo Skovhus as Beckmesser in Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg," Thomas Hampson as the title character in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra, Ildebrando d'Arcangelo in the title role of Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" and Lucas Meachem as Marcello in Puccini's "La boheme." Visit the Lyric website for tickets and additional performance information.

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nathan Gunn: Son of God

Nathan Gunn (right) to play Yeshua (Jesus Christ)
Fans of Nathan Gunn already think he's godlike, so it only seems logical that he was destined to play the Son of God, Jesus Christ. The San Francisco Opera just announced a delightfully ambitious season that includes Mark Adamo's "The Gospel of Mary Magdalene." The opera draws on the Gnostic Gospels, the Canonical Gospels, and decades of biblical scholarship to reimagine the story of the New Testament through the eyes of its lone substantial female character.

Nathan Gunn practicing his Jesus portrayal as Billy Budd

This opera will undoubtedly stir up some controversy, as it looks at the woman who Jesus loved in a whole new light. Mary Magdalene will be played by the Nicole Kidman-esque Sasha Cooke, so we can surely expect a non-traditional Mary-Jesus narrative. We can also expect to hear from the Catholic Church, so this opera will undoubtedly create some press controversy (and opera in the mainstream press is a good thing!). Kudos to the San Francisco Opera for taking a risk and challenging opera audiences and for bringing us an exciting new work.

Speaking of exciting new works, the San Francisco Opera is also presenting Nolan Gasser's "The Secret Garden" and Jake Heggie's "Moby-Dick." David Gockley and the San Francisco Opera family deserves special praise for bringing three new American works to the public in one season during difficult economic times when most companies are reduced to producing an endless stream of lackluster old war horses.

Marco Vratogna sings "Quei due vedesti?" from Simon Boccanegra:

Of course, no opera could survive without the standard repertory and the San Francisco Opera's 2012-13 season includes some great theater. Operas include Bellini's "I Capuleti e i Montecchi," Verdi's "Rigoletto," Offenbach's "The Tales of Hoffmann," Wagner's "Lohengrin," Puccini's "Tosca," and Mozart's "Così fan tutte."

Christian Van Horn (left) and Philippe Sly (right)

A number of barihunks have also been cast, including the imposing Christian Van Horn as the four villains in "Tales of Hoffman," Marco Vratogna as Rigoletto, Morgan Smith as Starbuck in "Moby-Dick" and the exciting leading role/mainstage debut of Phillipe Sly as Guglielmo in "Così fan tutte." We've been predicting major stardom for the Met Auditions winner Philippe Sly and we're thrilled that he's been cast in a starring role on a major stage.

We're pretty sure that the San Francisco Opera is the opera hot spot for music lovers this year. Visit the San Francisco Opera website for tickets and additional information.

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Monday, January 16, 2012

Congratulations to Francesca Zambello & Faith Gay

Francesca Zambello
We consider director and Glimmerglass General Director Francesca Zambello the honorary mother of Barihunks. She is often credited with coining the term, if not bringing it into popular usage. She was the first director to truly recognize the artistic and box office appeal of barihunks. Her productions with an oft shirtless Nathan Gunn launched the term into the operatic lexicon. Click HERE to read the post at Parterre.

We recently learned from one of our favorite websites, Parterre.com, that Zambello married her partner Faith Gay on December 22. We'd like to wish the couple the best of luck and eternal happiness.

Also, if you missed Zambello's amazing Ring Cycle in San Francisco, you will get a second chance. It's being produced by the Washington Opera in 2016. Trust us, it's not to be missed. Make your travel plans today!

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Coverboy: Dmitri Hvorostovsky

Dmitri Hvorostovsky: Feb 2012 Opera News & June 2011 BBC Music

We're really loving the trend of putting barihunks on the cover of leading music magazines. We've recently seen Luca Pisaroni, Mariusz Kwiecien, Nathan Gunn, Simon Keenlyside, Greer Grimsley and Christopher Maltman all grace the covers of major periodicals. Opera News has certainly been leading the way and not just with baritones, as hunky tenors Jonas Kaufmann and Roberto Alagna, as well as San Francisco Opera conductor Nicola Luisotti.

We particularly enjoyed the recent article on Dmitri Hvorostovsky by Ousamma Zahr. Unlike many puff pieces in music magazines, Zahr covered the "Siberian Hunky's" successes, as well as his challenges, including a recent vocal crisis. Both Zahr and the singer also deftly handled the issue of Hvorostovsky's good looks. In an age of press agents, media hypes and fan sites, it always seems disingenuous when singers deny any awareness about their sex appeal. It's refreshing when a singer like Hvorostovsky completely owns it. Here's are some excerpts from the article:

With his great looks and magnetic presence, Hvorostovsky seems tailor-made for the Live in HD craze...Long before Nathan Gunn, Erwin Schrott and Mariusz Kwiecien were baring their chests for their art and their audiences, Hvorostovsky was named one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People," back in 1991.

Hvorostovsky flexing his muscles on Facebook
Hvorostovsky...is pragmatic on the subject of sex appeal. "In a way, it's part of my package - the way I look, that's the way I sound, actually. You can draw the parallel," he says. "I was working against it in the beginning, I was opposing the media approach of me as a sex symbol - red-hot, Siberian express and blahdy-blahdy-blah. I said, "Look and listen at what I'm performing! What am I singing about? And it really was a little distracting to begin with, because I was young and ambitious. Then soon I realized that you just have to get along."

It's worth noting that the one time Hvorostovsky went shirtless on the Met stage in 2007, it wasn't in Don Giovanni or some other predictable barihunk vehicle but in that jewel of a crown of a Russian opera, Eugene Onegin. [Read the remainder of the article at Opera News].

Verdi figures prominently in Hvorostovsky's 2012 schedule. He begins the year singing Don Carlo in Ernani at the Met, the title role of Simon Boccanegra at the Vienna State Opera and then Germont père in La traviata at the Met.

Hvorostovsky sings "Gran' Dio!... Oh, de'verd'anni miei" from Verdi's Ernani:

Hvorostovsky's performance of Ernani will be broadcast on the radio as well as part of a Live in HD broadcast on Saturday, February 25 at 1 PM EST/10 AM PST.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Barihunks Hot Spot in Naples - Florida, not Italy

Wes Mason (L) in "Before Night Falls" & Naples, Florida at sunset
Normally when one thinks of opera in Naples, one thinks of the Teatro di San Carlo. That beautiful theater has seen its fair share of gorgeous barihunks over the years, including the legendary Ettore Bastianini.

However, the Naples with the best current crop of barihunk is in Southern Florida on the western edge of the Everglades. The city that usually attracts tourists who come for fishing, gator watching and ecotourism, is suddenly the new hotspot for barihunk lovers.

Jason Hardy (top) and Matthew Trevino (bottom)

Opera Naples will have two performances of Mozart's "Don Giovanni" on January 20 and 22 with a trio of barihunks. Matthew Trevino will sing the title role, Wes Mason will be Masetto and Jason Hardy will be Leporello. The photo of Hardy above is from the highly acclaimed Don Giovanni at New York City Opera in 2009. When we first ran the shirtless photos of Hardy, a soprano emailed us a note that said, "Wow. Who knew?" Regular readers of the site will recognize the shirtless photo of Wes Mason from his acclaimed performance of "Before Night Falls" with the Ft. Worth Opera, a role that he'll reprise with the Orchestra Miami later this year. Matthew Trevino just finished a successful tour of Ireland as Sarastro in the "Magic Flute" and in March will sing the King in Aida with the Arizona Opera.

We think this performance is worth a trip to Southern Florida, so grab your fishing pole and your swamp waders and order your tickets HERE. Who knows, you might run into one of the many famous residents of the town, including Donald Trump, Larry Bird, Mike Ditka or Bob Seger.

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Happy Birthday, Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari

Baritone Marc Canturri has recorded the music of Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari (born Ermanno Wolf) (January 12, 1876 -- January 21, 1948) was an Italian composer and teacher. He is best known for his comic operas such as Il segreto di Susanna (1909). A number of his works were based on plays by Carlo Goldoni, including Le donne curiose (1903), I quatro rusteghi (1906) and Il campiello (1936).

Michelle Canniccioni & Ales Jenis in "Il Segreto di Susanna":

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari was born in Venice in 1876, the son of an Italian mother and a German father. Ferrari was his mother's maiden-name, which he added to his own surname in 1895. Although he studied piano from an early age, music was not the primary passion of his young life. As a teenager Wolf-Ferrari wanted to be a painter like his father; he studied intensively in Venice and Rome and traveled abroad to study in Munich. It was there that he decided to concentrate instead on music, taking lessons from Josef Rheinberger. He enrolled at the Munich conservatory and began taking counterpoint and composition classes. These initially casual music classes eventually completely eclipsed his art studies, and music took over Wolf-Ferrari's life. He wrote his first works in the 1890s.

Wolf-Ferrari - Intermezzo from Jewels of The Madonna:

At age 19, Wolf-Ferrari left the conservatory and traveled home to Venice. There he worked as a choral conductor, married, had a son called Max Winterfeld, and met both Arrigo Boito and Verdi. Just a few years later Wolf-Ferrari debuted his first opera, Cenerentola, based on the story of Cinderella. The opera was a failure in Italy, and the humiliated young composer moved back to Munich.

German audiences would prove more appreciative of his work; a revised version of Cenerentola was a hit in Bremen in 1902, while the beautiful cantata La vita nuova brought the young composer international fame.

Wolf-Ferrari now began transforming the wild and witty farces of the 18th-century Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni into comic operas. The resulting works were musically eclectic, melodic, and utterly hilarious; every single one became an international success. In fact, until the outbreak of World War I, Wolf-Ferrari's operas were among the most performed in the world.

Tito Gobbi sings "Aprile o bella" from "I gioielli della Madonna": 

World War I, however, was a nightmare for Wolf-Ferrari. The young composer, who had been dividing his time between Munich and Venice, suddenly found his two countries at war with each other. He eventually moved to safety in Zurich, but the stress and sadness of the war brought him to a complete creative standstill. It was not until after the war's end that Wolf-Ferrari moved back to Munich and began working again. A new melancholy vein appeared in his post-war work; his operas grew darker and more emotionally complex. Among these darker operas was Sly, an opera about a comic buffoon which transforms midstream into a tale of emotional torture and suicide.

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Barihunks Matthew Worth, Christopher Temporelli in Virginia Opera's "Orphée"

Matthew Worth as Orphée
We've been big proponents of Philip Glass' operas, so we were thrilled to see that the Virginia Opera will be staging his opera Orphée this month. We've posted about this opera in the past featuring barihunks Eugene Brancoveanu in San Francisco, Philip Cutlip in Portland and Martin Achrainer in Linz, Austria.

Martin Achrainer as Orphée in Linz

Not to be outdone in the barihunk department, the Virginia Opera has cast Matthew Worth in the title role. We've featured Worth in a number of his roles on this site, including a somewhat related role in "Orpheus in the Underworld" at Central City Opera. Virginia Opera fans will also remember him for his 2010 appearance as Don Giovanni, which created a bit of a sensation.

Of course, we think his sexiest role to date is as Tarquinius in Britten's "Rape of Lucretia," but that discussion is for another post.

Christopher Temporelli as seen in the 2012 Barihunks Calendar
We're excited about the Virginia Opera's production because even the small role of the Judge features one of our calendar models, Christopher Temporelli. We should also add that tenor Jonathan Blalock who plays Cégeste is a bit of eye candy himself. We've seen the opera and can certainly recommend it as wonderful theater, but if you need a nudge, then seeing Worth, Temporelli and Blalock on stage together should be sufficient motivation.

Performances run from January 28 through February 12 and will be performed in Norfolk, Richmond and Fairfax, Virginia. For additional cast and performance information visit the Virginia Opera website.

On an unrelated note, it's come to our attention that you can listen to barihunk Luca Pisaroni in "The Enchanted Island" from the Metropolitan Opera on Tuesday, January 17th at 8 EST/5 PST by clicking on this LINK.

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CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com

New Yorkers, Don't Miss This: Five Borough Songbook Concert and CD Release on Thursday

Don't miss the Five Borough Songbook concert and CD release party

We've been covering the Five Boroughs Music Festival as it has moved around New York, but the January 12th concert in Manhattan promises to be extra special. In addition to the concert they wil be releasing their first recording that day, a stunning 2-disc set of the Songbook. We've had the privilege of previewing the recording and it is a must for any lover of art songs or opera.

We can't think of a better evening out than hearing a concert and then heading home with a CD of the all the great music that you just heard. The Songbook is a collection of newly commissioned vocal works by many of the leading composers working today. It celebrates New York City through its history, poetry, and geography. Some of the titles will certainly evoke distinct images or memories to New Yorkers past and present. They include "F From Dumbo," "G Is For Grimy: An Ode To The G Train," and "Coney Island Avenue."

Barihunk David McFerrin will sing Martin Hennessy's "The City's Love"

Did you ever wish that you could have spoken to Bach, Schubert, Verdi or Puccini? Unless you're Shirley MacLaine, you missed your chance. But you'll have a chance to talk to many of the composers on the program on Thursday night, as quite a few of them have agreed to appear for a "Composer Chat" beginning an hour before the 7:30 PM concert.

The concert will be at Engleman Recital Hall at the Baruch Performing Arts Center 55 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. Click HERE for tickets or HERE to purchase a CD.

CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com