Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New York City Opera Promotes Barihunks

Rod Gilfry
It's not often that we print something verbatim, but when we received this promotional email from New York City Opera's Christopher Alden, we had to print it. It's no secret that we're big fans of City Opera and were staunch defenders in their fight for survival.

Randal Turner
How could be not love a company that in their return year cast barihunk Randal Turner in Prima Donna and Rod Gilfry and Philip Cutlip in Cosi fan tutte? We may have to worry about a competing Barihunks charity calendar from City Opera if this keeps up. All we know, is the seats are sold and the funders are returning, so whatever they're doing, it seems to be on the right track. We wish them continued success and encourage everyone in the New York area to attend a performance.

Philip Cutlip
Dear Barihunks,

Brecht said that the right amount of rehearsal time for any theatrical production is always one week more than has been scheduled.  I'm definitely feeling like he was right as I approach the last precious days of our Così  rehearsal period - I've been hanging out in the Snapple Center (yes, that's what the place we're rehearsing in is called) for the last few weeks driving a pretty brilliant group of singers a little crazy. I guess that's because to get at, get into, get inside Così you have to go a little crazy - what a silly, deadly serious, frivolous, devastating piece it is!
But our singer/actors are rising to the challenge - Rod Gilfry, the Ur-Barihunk who plays Alfonso, is getting more and more ferociously comfortable in his bear costume - Marie Lenormand, our adorable Parisian Despina, admonished me, when I was micromanaging her too much, "Let me make my own soup!" and she is definitely doing just that. Sara Jakubiak, our Fiordiligi, is shifting gorgeously from Bernstein to Mozart (she played Didi in last season's  A Quiet Place).  Jennifer Holloway, as Dorabella, puts her amazingly supple voice and feet to very sexy use as she seduces our other brilliant barihunk, Philip Cutlip, in a row boat.  Allan Clayton, the sweetly Harry Potterish Brit tenor singing Ferrando, is breaking hearts with his "Un aura amorosa".  
I'm also having a great time collaborating again with the inspired Baroque maestro Christian Curnyn - last year around this time, we were doing a Handel opera together in Sydney, shuttling between rehearsals in the Opera House and various beaches, enjoying glorious summer weather in February - but I wouldn't trade even that for the Snapple Center, where we've found our own little piece of Paradise in midtown Manhattan, rehearsing  Così.
Please come and take a look at what we've created starting this Sun Mar 18 - Sat Mar 24 at the Lynch Theater (59th and 10th). 
See you soon,
Christopher Alden
Director, NYC Opera's Così fan tutte

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