Thursday, January 26, 2012

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:


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