Friday, March 30, 2012

Fort Worth Opera's Plethora of Pulchritude

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It's not often that we feature Tosca and it's not that we don't love the opera. It's just that Scarpia hasn't been the quintessential barihunk role. Fort Worth Opera performed Tosca with the dashing Michael Chioldi in 2005, which brought a whole different tension to the rape scene. For a moment, one wondered, "Well, maybe Scarpia wouldn't be such a bad hook-up." Of course, then Puccini's music said otherwise. Fort Worth is bringing Chioldi back to reprise his successful portrayal of the evil police chief.

But who really caught our eye was Angelotti, who will be sung by the gifted young baritone Tom Forde, who we first discovered as a Santa Fe Apprentice Young Artist and who we featured in our charity calendar. Forde has taken his fitness routine as serious as his singing...and it shows. Forde, who has always had a great face for the stage - expressive, with big features - now has the body to match.

We are kind of wondering if Tosca will dump Mario and run off with Angelotti.

Donovan Singletary
Forde, will have a little of barihunk competition at the Fort Worth Opera Festival, as Donovan Singletary is returning to take on Figaro in Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" opposite fellow barihunk Jonathan Beyer, who is singing Count Almaviva. Singletary, a rising vocal talent who excelled in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program in New York, also happens to have one of the greatest bodies in opera.

We hate to rewrite Mozart, but if we were the Countess, we'd turn the tables on the philandering Count and run off into the garden with Figaro.

Seth Mease Carico (L) & Michael Mayes (R)
If you haven't hadn't enough beefcake after Tosca and Figaro, make sure to grab a ticket for Mark Adamo's comic, yet racy Lysistrata. Another singer who has recently hit the gym, Michael Mayes, will be performing Kinesias. His new abs went viral on the internet when we posted his picture performing in Jake Heggie's "Dead Man Walking" at the Tulsa Opera.

Patrons who last saw Seth Mease Carico in Fort Worth's "Before Night Falls" may not recognize the singer, who has a body and new look that makes him look more like Adam Levine than Leonard Warren. Carico and Mayes are both great singers AND actors, which makes us think that Lysistrata could be the surprise hit of the festival. Few opera companies perform non-standard repertory as well as Fort Worth. Last season, Philip Glass' "Hydrogen Jukebox" played to enthusiastic, sold out houses. In fact, we named it our "Best Opera of 2011" in our annual year end feature.

Matt Worth

Last on the agenda, is Jake Heggie's amazingly moving opera "Three Decembers," which will feature one of our favorite singers, Matthew Worth.

Worth sang the role of Charlie with the Chicago Opera Theater in 2010 to great critical acclaim. Mark Thomas Ketterson wrote in Opera News, "Matthew Worth's warmly youthful baritone is intrinsically appealing, and he shaded Charlie's music with intelligence and great sensitivity."

Jake Heggie talks about his opera: 

The Fort Worth Opera Festival should be a stop on any opera lover's travel calendar. This year's festival runs from May 12-June 3 and tickets can be purchased online.



  1. Anyone who ever saw Sherrill Milnes do Scarpia knows that Tosca was an idiot who stabbed the wrong man! I remember an Opera Quiz one Sat. afternoon during a performance at the Met, where he was doing Scarpia. The women on the panel all agreed that Tosca was an idiot for stabbing him! I always think about that when I watch or listen to Tosca (one of my favorite operas).

    The Pink Flamingo

  2. SJ - I couldn't agree more! ;)

  3. TOM FORDE needs to eat a pork chop...way too thin