Friday, August 31, 2012

Zachary Gordin to perform at LGBT gala

Zachary Gordin blowing out his Barihunks tee shirt
Zachary Gordin was one of the hits of the 2012 Barihunks Charity Calendar and we've invited him back this year. Fortunately, he's accepted and has taken his repeat appearance seriously by hitting the gym. We particularly love his workout shirt of choice.

Gordin can next be seen performing at the "Unmasked Gala," which is a benefit for the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco. The event is on October 25 at the Green Room in the War Memorial Building (right next to the opera house). Visit their website for additional information or to purchase tickets or a sponsorship. Even if you can't make the event, you should consider a donation to this worthy organization.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Multi-Barihunk Schubert-fest in New York City

John Brancy, Kelly Markgraf and Michael Kelly

When we woke up this morning and saw the announcement of New York's first performance of the complete songs of Franz Schubert, we thought that we had died and gone to heaven. It wasn't because of the thought of eight months of virtually non-stop Schubert, but it was the lineup of singers, which includes a dozen of our favorite barihunks.

The project is the brainchild of Lachlan Glen and Jonathan Ware who run Schubert & Company in the Big Apple. They've assemble fifty-three singers who have volunteered their services to perform all 603 songs at the Central Presbyterian Church the corner of 64th Street and Park Avenue.

The roster of barihunks consists of a virtual Who's Who of this site, including Tyler Simpson, Edward Parks, Kelly Markgraf, Michael Kelly, Jonathan Estabrooks, Jeong-Cheol Cha, Brandon Cedel, John Brancy, Jesse Blumberg, Julian Arsenault and others.

The duo is trying to raise the necessary funds for this project on Kickstarter and we encourage everyone to give even a few dollars/euros to makes this a reality.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Keep the Barihunk Winning Streak Alive: Vote for Jonathan Beyer Online at the Paris Opera Awards

Barihunk couple
We've given extensive coverage to the winning streak that barihunks (and baritones) are having in vocal competitions across the globe. If you've ever fantasized about being a judge in one of those competitions you now have your chance.

The Paris Opera Awards, in honor of Maria Callas, are holding an online vocal competition. One of the contestants is Jonathan Beyer, who may have the most amazing winning record of any singer in vocal competitions. We know of at least eighteen competitions where he's taken the top prize.

You can register online to vote and if you register as a premium member you'll be entered into a drawing for a deluxe trip to Paris for two or a brand new car. Once the online voting is complete, the top 100 singers with the highest ranking will compete before a panel of judges. Ten of the top 50, five female and five male, will then be announced will participate in a gala performance.    

Jonathan Beyer has selected "Ah, per sempre" from Bellini's I puritani, which was an opera in which Maria Callas had one of her most triumphant successes.

This competition is loaded with sopranos and has very few baritones, so show your support for the low voices and vote at the Paris Opera Awards website.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Oh, Towel Boy!": Jonathan Estabrooks in Les Mamelles de Tirésias

Jonathan Estabrooks in Les Mamelles de Tirésias
We recently featured a post about Canadian barihunk Jonathan Estabrooks, who was getting ready to perform the role of Le Mari  in Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tirésias with the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal. Poulenc's opera has been challenging Pearl Fishers, Billy Budd and Don Giovanni for the most pictures of shirtless baritones and we're loving it!

Estabrooks' performance at the Salle Claude-Champagne of l’Université de Montréal was no exception. Dressed in exactly one towel more than Gabriel Bermudez in his Full Monty performance, Estabrooks is a welcome addition to the Les Mamelles de Tirésias family of barihunks. 

Estabrooks turned some heads when he appeared shirtless in the 2012 Barihunks Charity Calendar, prompting one soprano to email us, "Who knew?" Estabrooks will also appear in the 2013 Calendar, which should be available for purchase in mid-September. 

You can join his Facebook Fan Page at ttp://

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein was an American composer, conductor, and pianist. His special gift of bridging the gap between the concert hall and the world of Broadway made him one of the most glamorous and popular musical figures of his day.

Thomas Hampson sings "Lonely Town":

As a composer Bernstein was a controversial figure. His large works, including the symphonies Jeremiah (1943), Age of Anxiety (1949), and Kaddish (1963), are not considered masterpieces. Yet they are skillfully shaped and show his sensitivity to small changes of musical variety. He received more praise for his Broadway musicals. The vivid On the Town (1944) and Wonderful Town (1952) were followed by Candide (1956), which, though not a box-office success, is considered by many to be Bernstein's most original score. West Side Story (1957) received international praise. Bernstein's music, with its strong contrasts of violence and tenderness, determines the feeling of the show and contributes to its special place in the history of American musical theater.

His role as an educator, in seminars at Brandeis University (1952–1957) and in teaching duties at Tanglewood are legendary and still watched by students today.  He found an even larger audience through television, where his animation and distinguished simplicity had an immediate appeal. Two books of essays, Joy of Music (1959) and Infinite Variety of Music (1966), were direct products of television presentations.

Thomas Hampson sings "Lucky to be me":

Bernstein had his greatest impact as a conductor. His appearances overseas—with or without the New York Philharmonic—brought about an excitement approaching frenzy. These responses were due in part to Bernstein's energy and emotion. It is generally agreed that his readings of twentieth-century American scores showed a dedication and authority rarely approached by other conductors of his time. His performances and recordings also ushered in a revival of interest in the music of Gustav Mahler.
There was some surprise when, in 1967, Bernstein resigned as music director of the Philharmonic. But it was in keeping with his nature and the diversity of his activities that he sought new channels of expression. After leaving the Philharmonic Bernstein traveled extensively, serving as guest conductor for many of the major symphonies of the world, including the Vienna Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic. He became something of a fixture in those cities in the last few decades of his life.

Sherrill Milnes sings "Maria":

Bernstein also became caught up in the cultural upheaval of the late 1960s. He angered many when he claimed all music, other than pop, seemed old-fashioned. Politically, too, he drew criticism. When his wife hosted a fund-raiser for the Black Panthers in 1970, charges of anti-Semitism were leveled against Bernstein himself. Press reports caused severe damage to his reputation. Bernstein also brought criticism with his stance against the Vietnam War. His activism ultimately led J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI to monitor his activities and associations.

Jubilant Sykes sings Sanctus/Agnus Dei from "Mass"

In 1971 Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. It was, according to biographer Humphrey Burton, "the closest [Bernstein] ever came to achieving a synthesis between Broadway and the concert hall." The huge cast performed songs in styles ranging from rock to blues to gospel. Mass debuted on Broadway later that year.

He died in New York City, on October 14, 1990, of a heart attack brought on by emphysema and other complications.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Jose Rubio Performing "Cosi" at Revamped Tacoma Opera

Jose Rubio
We have a particular affection for the regional opera companies. They not only bring opera to people who may never have the opportunity to attend the Met or the San Francisco Opera, but they often produce some of the most innovative and exciting opera. Most singers who go on to great careers hone their craft at these companies and many will tell you that some of their best work was at a regional opera.

The Tacoma Opera sits in the shadow of the Seattle Opera with its internationally acclaimed performances of The Ring. Like all arts organizations they've faced their challenges, but they've revamped their company and are rolling out three fan favorites this season, Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, Verdi's La traviata and Peter Brooks' adaptation of the Bizet classic, La tragédie de Carmen.

Jose Rubio sings the Silvo-Nedda duet with Megan Hart:

The Tacoma Opera is partnering with the Tacoma Symphony for two of the operas and giving more members of the Young Artists program an opportunity to perform onstage with better known artists. Noel Koran, who took over the company in January, will also direct two of the operas. He's also cast fan favorite Jose Rubio as Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, which should add some luster to the season. Rubio is a graduate of the Portland Opera Studio, which was one of last year's beneficiaries of the Barihunk Charity Calendar.

The Tacoma Young Artists will perform a fully staged version of La Tragédie de Carmen.

The season opens on November 2nd with Cosi fan tutte. Visit their website for additional performance information or to purchase tickets.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hvorostovsky performing in Mexico City, Russia, London, NY and Munich

Dmitri Hvorostovsky aka "The Siberian Hunky"
On August 22, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and pianist Ivari Ilja will give a recital at Mexico City’s historic Palacio de Bellas Artes. Their program spans the art song and operatic repertoires, with works by Liszt, Rossini, and Verdi, among others. Dmitri's concert in the Mexican capital will also include Rachmaninov songs featured on his latest album, Rachmaninov Romances. Click HERE for tickets. 

 Dmitri Hvorostovsky Rachmaninov's "She's As Fair As Noon:" 

The Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City is the first of several major venues at which Hvorostovsky will appear in the coming season. In addition to a recital tour across Russia this December, he will perform at London’s Wigmore Hall on September 8th, New York’s Carnegie Hall on March 27th and Munich’s Prinzregententheater on July 3rd.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Luca Pisaroni LIVE from Edinburgh

Luca Pisaroni
Luca Pisaroni just wrapped up a critically acclaimed performance of Rossini's Maometto II in Santa Fe, adding another major success to his burgeoning career. He now heads to the Edinburgh International Festival where he will be performing a song recital.

Pisaroni will continue performing Rossini with selections from Péchés de vieillesse. The rest of the program includes Schubert’s Three Songs D902, lieder by Meyerbeer and  Liszt's Petrarch Sonnets.

The entire recital can be heard live on BBC3 on August 23 at 11 AM DST/6 AM EST/3 AM PST. 

"South Pacific" Romance?

Lisa McCune and Teddy Tahy Rhodes

Woman's Day magazine, the Daily Telegraph and the Adelaide Sunday Mail have stirred up quite a controversy with pictures of barihunk Teddy Tahu Rhodes and South Pacific co-star Lisa McCune sharing a passionate kiss in an alley. The two are starring and touring in Bartlett Sher's acclaimed production of South Pacific throughout Australia.

According to the Sunday Mail, "Lisa renewed her wedding vows to husband Tim only two years ago and has not let on to family and friends that there were problems with the marriage. She has been residing in Sydney a few days a week while performing the stage musical. The two have three children."

Tahu Rhodes is married to mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, but it's been rumored that the couple has separated.  Rhodes has been married twice and has a 3-year-old son. You can check out their wedding picture that we posted in 2009.

REMINDER that submissions for the 2013 Barihunks Charity Calendar must be receieved by August 31. High Resolution pictures should be sent to

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Edwin Crossley-Mercer to star in life of Rousseau

Young Rousseau, countertenor Jonathan De Ceuster and adult Rousseau, Edwin Crossley-Mercer
One of the most anticipated premieres on our calendar is "JJR (Citizen of Genèva)," a new opera about the life of Jean-Jacques Rousseau by composer Philippe Fenelon and librettist Ian Burton. The opera will open on September 11 with barihunk Edwin Crossley-Mercer playing one of the three Rousseau characters. 

The opera is in celebration of the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the great Expressionist philosopher, writer and composer who hailed from Genèva. Rousseau wrote seven operas as well as music in other forms, and he made contributions to music as a theorist. Of course, he is best known as one of the great philosophers whose writings were so popular that he became a French hero. 

The opera was commissioned by the city of Geneva and the Grand Théâtre de Genève to celebrate the life of one of their greatest native sons. The modernist piece will be directed by the internationally renowned director Robert Carsen. 

Tenor Nicolai Gedda sings Rousseau's "Je vais revoir ma charmante maitresse":

The opera will follow the life of the composer from the age of 12, where he's played by the gorgeous countertenor Jonathan De Ceuster. It then takes him to age 21, when Crossley-Mercer portrays the great thinker. It ends with Rousseau at age 66, when he's played by the great character tenor Rodolphe Briand. During a single act, it crosses seven scenes of his life, in which nature, God, literary text, education, botany, sex and sensitivity are explored. Along the way it touches on his relationships with his contemporaries (Sade, Voltaire, Diderot), cultural icons of his time (Robinson Crusoe, an Italian opera castrato), his own philosophical and artistic creations and, of course, the women in his life.

Visit the Grand Théâtre de Genève website for additional information. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Watch the entire "Das Labyrinth" aka the "Other Magic Flute"

Phillipe Sly (L) & Thomas Tatzl
We recently ran a post about Philippe Sly singing in Peter von Winter's "Das Labyrinth" or the "Other Magic Flute," which was just performed at the Salzburg Festival. Sly sang the role of Sithos. The opera also included barihunk Thomas Tatzl as Papageno.

You can watch the entire opera below:

Tickets are already on sale for Sly's Guglielmo in Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" at the San Francisco. Visit their website for tickets and additional performance information.


Two Barihunk Recitals "Not To Be Missed"

Nathan Gunn as Billy Budd
Two of our most popular barihunks have upcoming recitals that are sure to be exciting nights in the theater. 

Nathan Gunn will perform in concert as part of the Washington National Opera's "Celebrity Series" on Sunday, September 23 at 4 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Opera House. Accompanied by the Washington National Opera Orchestra under the baton of Tony Award winner Ted Sperling, Gunn will perform selections from operas by Mozart, Rossini, and Bizet, plus songs by Sondheim and other Broadway composers.

The duo that started the barihunk/hunkentenor craze:

American tenor William Burden will join him for a few duets. Regular readers of the site and "Barihunk historians" will recall that the shirtless duo of Gunn and Burden is what started the whole barihunk craze when they performed "Iphigénie en Tauride" at Glimmerglass in 1997 and then appeared shirtless together in Philadelphia in 2004.

Jesse Blumberg: A one man barihunk craze
Baritone Jesse Blumberg joins the amazing accompanist Martin Katz in a return to the Kerrytown Concert House to perform a variety of repetoire The program includes Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Wolf, Debussy (in honor of his 150th birthday) and Tom Cipullo's "Excelsior." Blumberg and Katz wowed audiences in 2009 at the Kerrytown Center with a double-bill of Schubert's "Die Schöne Müllerin" and "Die Winterreise."

Visit the Kerrytown Concert House website to purchase tickets.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Justin Hopkins to perform "Composers & The Voice" in NY

Justin Hopkins, who was one of our 2012 Charity Calendar models, will perform as part of the American Opera Projects six scenes from "Composers & The Voice." The performances are on Friday, September 7 and Sunday, September 9, 2012 at 7:30PM, at South Oxford Space in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Scenes include "The Waiting Woman" by Ronnie Reshef, "Stop and Frisk" by Sidney Marquez Boquiren, "Companionship" by Rachel Peters, "Safe Word" by Robert Paterson, "Decoration" by Mikael Karlsson, and "Male Identity" by Zach Redler and Sara Cooper. The emerging composers were mentored by John Corigliano, Daron Hagen,  John Musto, Tobias Picker, Kaija Saariaho and Stephen Schwartz.

The composers will discuss with the audience what it takes to create new operas that range from topical subjects like repercussions from a stop-and-frisk incident to the dark humor of an emotionally delicate woman's relationship to her sentient baking dough. 

Joining Justin Hopkins will be soprano Amy Shoremount-Obra, mezzo-sopranos Rebecca Ringle and Rosalie Sullivan, tenor Brandon Snook and fellow baritone Jorell Williams.

The primary focus of "Composers & The Voice" is to provide composers and librettists experience working collaboratively with a group of singers on writing for the voice and the opera stage.  Participants meet in closed sessions from September to April to present and discuss new works composed specifically for the individual voices of AOP's Resident Ensemble. 

Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 for students/seniors and are available at or at the door.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Old Cardiff video of Teddy Tahu Rhodes emerges

Teddy Tahu Rhodes and his famous tattoo
In a recent post, we mentioned the paucity of Teddy Tahu Rhodes videos that are available online. We were thrilled when someone pointed us to this new posting of "Teddy Bare" singing Finzi's "It was a lover and his lass" at the 1999 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.

While working as an accountant in Christchurch, New Zealand, Rhodes maintained an association with Canterbury Opera, the local repertory opera company. In 1998 he made his international debut in an acclaimed performance of Dandini in Rossini's La Cenerentola at Opera Australia, and was launched on an international career. Following his Australian debut, Rhodes represented New Zealand at the 1999 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.

Rhodes is currently on tour in South Pacific


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Martin Achrainer to star in "Le Grand Macabre"

Martin Achrainer
One of our favorite singers, Martin Achrainer, will be portraying Nekrozar in György Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre at the Neue Opera Wien. The opera will have four performances between October 2-7.

Le Grand Macabre is György Ligeti’s only opera and is based on the theater piece La Balade du Grand Macabre by Belgian author Michel de Ghelderode. Ligeti wrote the libretto with Michael Meschke setting the work in the near-apocalyptic Breughelland (a reference to Dutch painter Pieter Breughel). Although the opera has become popular in Europe, it took 26 years before it had its successful premiere in the United States at the San Francisco Opera.  That 2004 performance starred Willard White as Nekrozar and barihunk Joshua Bloom as the Black Politician. The New York Philharmonic performed the piece with Eric Owens as Nekrozarin 2010.

Martin Achrainer in Marriage of Figaro

Ligeti said of the work: “It’s an imagining of the end of the world, but very colorful, very bizarre, populated with medieval imps... It’s a Rabelaisian world, a world full of obscenities, sexual and scatological. People are constantly eating and drinking and leading a very chaotic life. It all happens in a sort of broken-down dictatorship where two opposing parties, both completely corrupt, pursue in reality the same crooked policies... It’s tragic and light-hearted at the same time…It’s not my intention to be provocative, though naturally I enjoy shocking people a bit.”

The music is a collage of sonorities with references to Beethoven’s “Eroica,” ragtime, industrial noises, jazz, and Viennese waltzes.

The next production of the opera will be at the Komische Oper in April 2013. 

CONTACT US AT Also, entries for the 2013 Barihunks Charity Calendar are due by August 31.

Shirtless Italians: Stefano de Peppo and Andrea Concetti

Stefano de Peppo and Andrea Concetti
Bring your opera glasses if Andrea Concetti is performing one of his many roles where he's shirtless or in a various state being undressed. The 47-year-old Italian keeps getting better and sexier with age, much like his counterparts Nathan Gunn and Simon Keenlyside. His performances exude sensuality and sexuality that only enhance the stereotype of Italian men. His shirtless romp with fellow barihunk in Pier Luigi Pizzi's "Don Giovanni" has become legendary in opera circles and on the internet.

Interview with Andrea Concetti:

Concetti is returning to the Macerata Opera Festival in Sferisterio this year to perform Colline in Puccini's La boheme. Performance will run from July 21-August 10. The festival, which always has entertaining productions, will also be performing Bizet's Carmen and Verdi's La Traviata. Visit their website for additional cast and performance information.

Andrea Concetti as Leporello
We're amazed that Stefano de Peppo hasn't made it onto our site before. It's often difficult to gauge the sexiness of singers who are known for character roles.  He's established an international career singing regularly in Europe, the United States and Latin America. He recently wrapped up a run as Bartolo with the New Jersey State Opera. He will also sing Bartolo with the Miami Lyric Opera opening on August 18 and in Mexico City in October.

 Stefano de Peppo  sings Handel's "Ombra mai fu"

A native Italian, de Peppo began his musical career as a member of the Children's Chorus of Teatro alla Scala of Milan for seven years before taking up voice at the Civic School of Music in Milan. He has become associated with the character roles of Donizetti, Rossini, and Mozart, including Don Pasquale, Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’Amore, Magnifico in La Cenerentola, Mustafa in L’Italiana in Algeri, Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Alphonso in Cosi fan tutte

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Jonathan Estabrooks to perform "Les Mamelles de Tirésias"

Jonathan Estabrooks
"Les Mamelles de Tirésias" is one of the most viewed operas on Barihunks mainly because of the Full Monty performance of Gabriel Bermudez. The opera has become increasingly popular in recent years, including recent performances at the Central City Opera with Daniel Belcher and Long Beach Opera with Robin Buck. 

The famous Emilio Sagi production with Gabriel Bermudez;

The latest barihunk to take on the opera is Jonathan Estabrooks, who will be performing the role of Le Mari with the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal. The performance will be at the Salle Claude-Champagne of l’Université de Montréal on August 15th. The performance will be staged with two pianos.

Les Mamelles de Tirésias (The Breasts of Tiresias) is a surrealist two-act opéra bouffe by Francis Poulenc, based on the play of the same title by Guillaume Apollinaire, which was written in 1903 but first performed in 1917. The opera closes with the stern command, "Ô Français, faites des enfants!" ("O Frenchmen, make babies!"), and the success of this propaganda is perhaps seen in the fact that the first two sopranos cast in the role of Tiresias had to give it up before the premiere on account of pregnancy.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ildar Abdrazakov LIVE from the Salzburg Festival

Ildar Abdrazakov

We just watched the Met's HD broadcast of Donizetti's "Anna Bolena" for the third time, and with all due respect to the all-star cast that includes Anna Netrebko and Stephen Costello, we think Ildar Abdrazakov is the vocal star of the show. He's also increasingly showing up as one of most searched for singers, which is always a sign of a growing legion of fans.

You can hear him live on Wednesday, August 15th at 11 AM (5 AM EST/2 AM PST) in a broadcast of Hector Berlioz's Grande Messe solennelle from the Salzburg Festival in Austria. The performance is with the Vienna Philharmonic under Riccardo Muti with tenor Saimir Pirgu and soprano Julia Kleiter. The broadcast will be in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound on Austria's public radio station Radio Österreich 1.

The program also includes Liszt's Les Préludes and Von der Wiege bis zu Grabe.

You can next see Ildar Abdrazakov on stage at the Washington National Opera from September 20-October 13 in the title role of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Visit their website for additional cast and performance information.

Simon Keenlyside to be honored at OPERA NEWS Awards

Simon Keenlyside (Photographed by Johannes Ifkovits)
OPERA NEWS has announced the honorees for the 2012 OPERA NEWS Awards, paying tribute to five superb artists who have made an invaluable contribution to the art form: baritone Simon Keenlyside, sopranos Mirella Freni and Dawn Upshaw, countertenor David Daniels, and bass-baritone Eric Owens.

The eighth annual OPERA NEWS Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, April 21 at The Plaza in New York City. All the winners — and a host of the city’s cultural, civic, and social luminaries — will be present at the gala awards dinner, which will feature celebrity presenters speaking about the awardees and introducing video performance clips.

The official announcement of this year’s honorees appears in the September 2012 issue of OPERA NEWS, which was released on August 6 with tenor Piotr Beczala on the cover.

Simon Keenleyside (Prospero) and Christopher Lemmings (Caliban) in a scene from Act 1 of 
'The Tempest' recorded at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden:

For the third consecutive season, the OPERA NEWS Awards will include a special sweepstakes that will give a lucky winner round-trip air transportation for two to New York, provided by American Airlines, as well as a two-night stay at Trump International Hotel and Tower and VIP tickets to the OPERA NEWS Awards. No purchase is necessary to enter the sweepstakes; details are available at and in the September issue.

“Simon Keenlyside seems incapable of making a false move onstage," said Features Editor Brian Kellow, "Not only does he have one of the most expressive baritone voices I've ever heard, he always seems to be completely in the moment dramatically. His work is never flashy, but it has an inner fire that few performers can match.”

Keenlyside opens at The Met on October 23 in Thomas Ades' "The Tempest." Click HERE to read our post or HERE to purchase tickets.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Kiwi Barihunks Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Hadleigh Adams Wowing Audiences in Sydney and San Francisco

You're more likely to spot a wombat while wandering around Coopracambra National Park than finding a video of Teddy Tahu Rhodes online. For some reason, the Kiwi Barihunk is one of the most underrepresented singers online, which has frustrated his legions of fans for years. He's one of the few big name baritones who doesn't have his own website or blog. It seems like the man we affectionately call "Teddy Bare" prefers his surfboard on a quiet beach to the clutter of the internet.

Now that he's touring in the popular production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific in Australia, videos are finally making their way onto the internet. Here he is singing "Some Enchanted Evening" at the Sydney Opera House.

Teddy Tahu Rhodes sings "Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific"

The Tony Award-winning show, which was directed by Bartlett Sher and starred barihunk Paulo Szot at Lincoln Center will be playing for a month in Sydney begging on Thursday, August 9th. About a third of the shows are already either sold out or near capacity. Click HERE for tickets.

The production is part of Opera Australia's aggressive effort to expand their audience. It seems to be paying off, as the Guardian reports that the company's overall funding, including sponsorships, has risen from $A70m to $A100m.

Hadleigh Adams
On the other side of the globe, another Kiwi barihunk has taken San Francisco by storm. Hadleigh Adams, who is part of the 2012 Merola Opera Program, stole the show with his performance of the final scene of Act 2 of Bizet's "La Jolie Fille de Perth" at Merola's Schwabacher Summer Concert.

The San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "The evening's standout was Hadleigh Adams, a formidable bass-baritone from New Zealand who in his only appearance on this program deployed a robust, beautiful tone with both flexibility and power." 
Adams will return to the stage one more time on August 18 at the Merola Grand Finale where he will perform “Somnus awake! ... Leave me loathsome light … More sweet is that name”  from Handel's Semele with Suzanne Rigden and Erin Johnson. A number of other barihunks will be performing in the Finale, including Seth Mease Carico as Don Giovanni and Mustafa, Joseph Lattanzi as Jupiter in Offenbach's Orphée aux Enfers, Gordon Bintner as Leporello and Belcore, and Matthew Scollin in Lully's Alceste. Visit the San Francisco Opera website for ticket information.

One final New Zealand  connection will be British conductor Nicholas McGegan, who is conducting the Finale and has led the New Zealand Symphony in the past. His recording of Mozart's Piano Concerto No 24 with Robert Levin with the New Zealand Symphony is a must for any collector.

Samuel Ramey, Marilyn Horne and Sylvia McNair sing "Leave me loathsome light":

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Grant Doyle Nominated for Helpmann Award

Grant Doyle as Starbuck (left)
Australian barihunk Grant Doyle has been nominated for a Helpmann Award in the category "Best Male Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera." Doyle's nomination is for his portrayal of Starbuck in Jake Heggie's "Moby-Dick" at the State Opera of South Australia.

The Helpmann awards are Australia's equivalent of the Tony Awards, with awards given out for musicals, theater, opera, classical music, cabaret, dance and comedy. 

Other nominees in the category include baritone James Clayton for The Tales of Hoffmann at West Australian Opera, bass Conal Coad for The Marriage of Figaro at Opera Australia and baritone Douglas McNicol in La Fanciulla del West at Opera Queensland. We should also mention that Matthias Goerne was nominated for "Best Individual Classical Performance" for his performance of Die Winterreise at the Melbourne Recital Centre. The "Honorable Godmother of Barihunks" Francesca Zambello was also nominated for "Best Direction of an Opera" for her La Traviata at Sydney Harbor with Opera Australia. You can get a complete list of nominees at the Helpmann Awards website.

Doyle sings "O Nadir, tendre ami de mon jeune âge" from Bizet's Les pêcheurs de Perles:

The 2012 Helpmann Awards Ceremony will be held on Monday, September 24th at 8pm at the Opera Theatre in the Sydney Opera House. The Helpmann Awards will be broadcast exclusively the following night on Australia’s arts and entertainment channel STUDIO – channel 132 on Foxtel.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, August 7th and can be purchased from the Sydney Opera House Box Office at 02 9250 7777 or online.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Boston Herald Features Barihunks

The Boston Herald is running a feature on Barihunks in today's paper. The article focuses on three singers from the region: Douglas Williams, David McFerrin and Andrew Garland. We particularly like their subheader, "Verdi Verdi Hot." You can read the entire article on their website.

The Herald also featured the following photo of Douglas Williams that somehow escaped us.

Douglas Williams

Why Being in Shape Matters for Singers

Donovan Singletary is a regular at the gym
We have a lot of people ask us if the focus on looking good physically is good for opera. That question almost presumes that it's a voice vs. physical appearance, when both are important to a long, successful career.

Here are our Top 10 reasons that an opera singers should stay in shape:

1. HEALTH - Good health will allow you to endure the stress and physicality of the business. Out of shape singers often have shortened careers and obesity can take years off of a singers life.
2. COMPETITIVENESS - Opera directors and companies are making increasing demands on singers. If two singers come in to audition with equal vocal gifts and one is fit and appears to have the endurance for a demanding role, who do you think is more likely to get cast?
3. HIGH DEFINITION BROADCASTS - More people will see opera on TV and in movie houses than will see live performances in the theater. Opera is competing with television and the movies for audiences. Are you ready for your closeup?

Andrew Garland bikes to improve his cardio
4. TRAVEL - Not only can travel take an increased toll on your body, but it can effect your voice. It's also easy to slip into the routine of vegging out in a hotel room and getting out of shape. A disciplined workout routine can help a singer overcome the challenges of life on the road.
5. ACTING - Being limber and fit enhances not just endurance but what you can do as an actor. It also creates stamina to sing as well at the end of Act 4 as in your opening aria.
6. UNDERSTUDIES - These guys are just waiting for you to cancel and score their own success. Singers like Renata Scotto and Leonie Rysanek shot to stardom after taking advantage of an indisposed singer.

Michael Mayes is so into his Spartacus workout, he'll use a rock when there are no barbells
7. BROADWAY - Many opera singers are now being cast on Broadway and in touring shows. Imagine singing eight shows in seven days (even with a microphone!).
8. MEMORY - Singers are asked to learn a lot of music and research has shown that fitness increases memory function. Don't take a chance that your prompter might have dozed off.
9. SLEEP  - A successful opera singer will travel a lot and change time zones regularly. Exercise promotes healthy sleep patterns. You'll be better rested, your mood will be enhanced and you'll perform better.
10. BARIHUNKS - You won't have to write us one of those emails that starts, "What do I have to do to get on Barihunks...? If you sound good and look good, we'll find you.

Keith Miller trains fellow opera singers
One opera singer has even developed his own training program for opera singers. Former football player Keith Miller offers Puissance training to keep singers in top shape. Check it out at

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Philippe Sly Recording Two Albums; Singing the "Other" Magic Flute in Salzburg

Philippe Sly
We never get tired of singing the praises of Canadian barihunk Philippe Sly, who wowed the judges at both the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Concours Musical International de Montreal (MIMC) where he took away the top honors. We're convinced that he's one of the most amazing talents to come along in the last decade. We've posted his intensely moving account of Schubert's Der Erlkönig a few times, which has received a remarkable 45,000 hits on YouTube.

After finishing a year with the esteemed Merola Opera Program in San Francisco, he was signed by by the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto. He will also be touring Canada in recital series with the Debut Atlantic Series. He also returns to San Francisco, where he will appear in the mainstage production of Mozart's Così fan tutte under music director Nicola Luisotti.

Overture to "Das Labyrinth" by Peter von Winter aka "Magic Flute 2":

He's currently with the Young Singers Project at the Salzburg Festival in Austria where he is singing Part 2 of the Magic Flute as Sithos in Peter von Winter’s 'Das Labyrinth' under the baton of Ivor Bolton. After Mozart's "Magic Flute" had a successful run of 200 performances, the composer's librettist Emanuel Schikaneder had the idea of commissioning a second part called The Labyrinth, or "The Struggle with the Elements." The opera was successful enough to have 42 performances over the next year. The performance is being recorded and will be broadcast on Unitel Classica at 8:15 PM Salzburg time on August 7th (2:15 PM EST/11:15 AM PST).

 Philippe Sly sings Schumann's "Am Leuchtenden Sommermorgen":

Sly recently finished recording his first album "In Dreams," which is schudeled for release on the Analekta label in September. The recording includes Schumann's Dichterliebe, Ravel's Don Quichotte à Dulcinée, Ropartz's 4 Poèmes de l'intermezzo and the world premiere recording of Jonathan Dove's Three Tennyson Songs. If you're like us and you can never get enough of this young singer, you'll be thrilled to know that he's back in the recording studio next month for his next album, which will be of Rameau cantatas.

On another matter related to Unitel Classica, they will be broadcasting the Don Giovanni from Sferesterio wilth Ildebrando D'Arcangelo and Andrea Concetti that features a liberal amount of skin. We previously posted about the sexy production:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Birthday Tribute to Simon Keenlyside

Simon Keenlyside as Macbeth
One of the most popular singers in the world, as well as on this site, is the seemingly ageless Simon Keenlyside. The British barihunk turns 53 today, so we thought we'd celebrate his artistry. 

Simon Keenlyside is one of the world's most sought after and charismatic singers, noted for his versatility and highly charged performances on stage. He has been acclaimed for Billy Budd and Prospero in the world premiere of Thomas Ades' 'The Tempest' at the Royal Opera House; Count Almaviva in Milan and Vienna under Muti; Don Giovanni in Ferrara under Abbado, Pelleas in San Francisco, Geneva, Paris, and most recently in  Salzburg, Berlin and London under Rattle, his first Wozzeck at the Paris Opera, and Posa (Don Carlos) at the Royal Opera House under Pappano and at the Metropolitan Opera under Yannick Nézet-Séguin.


He has recorded 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn' under Rattle, the title role in 'Don Giovanni' under Abbado, 'Carmina Burana' under Thielemann, Marcello in 'La Bohème' under Chailly, the title role in 'Billy Budd' under Hickox, Count Almaviva under Jacobs and Papageno under Mackerras.  Since appearing in recital at La Scala in 1998 he has gone on to give recitals all over the world. 

Simon Keenlyside sings Schuman's "Dichterliebe":

Simon will return to the Royal Opera House (Germont Père and Count Almaviva) and the Vienna State Opera (Posa, Rigoletto and Wozzeck). For Sony BMG Simon has released an orchestral arias disc, which won the Gramophone 2007 best recital award, an operetta disc with Angelika Kirchschlager, and a recital disc of Brahms Lieder and Schumann's Dichterliebe, and most recently his “Songs of War” recital disc, both with Malcolm Martineau. His other releases include a recital disc of Schubert, Wolf, Fauré and Ravel also with Malcolm Martineau for Wigmore Live.

Keenlyside can next be seen next month at the Vienna State Opera in Verdi's Don Carlo as Rodrigo. Also in the cast is Rene Pape as Philipp II, Roberto Alagna as Don Carlo and Krassimira Stoyanova as Elisabeth. In October, he returns to the Metropolitan Opera in Thomas Ades' "The Tempest."

Philip Cutlip to Star in Bernstein Cabaret

Philip Cutlip
Barihunk Philip Cutlip is starring in "We are Women: A Bernstein Cabaret," a tribute to the music of Leonard Bernstein devised by the composer's daughter Jamie Bernstein.  The show was built around many of Bernstein’s songs for or about women and is the story of a mother and daughter who navigate the tricky terrain of their love lives, and, along the way, learn to accept themselves and delight in the love of others.

The show includes tunes from his hits On the Town, Candide and West Side Story, with music direction by Michael Barrett of Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. Featured songs include “We Are Women” from Candide, “Tonight” from West Side Story, “Who Am I” from Peter Pan, “Conversation Piece” from Wonderful Town, “The Winner” from Trouble in Tahiti and “I Can Cook Too” from On the Town.

Joining Philip Cutlip will be tenor Jeffrey Picon, soprano Elizabeth Shammash and soprano Lauren Worsham. Jamie Bernstein will narrate.

The show will run from August 9-12 at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 413-997-4444. 

Opera News features Ryan McKinny

Ryan McKinny in Opera News (© James Hickey 2012)
Ryan McKinny seems an ideal fit for the Wagner bass-baritone roles he is pursuing — Amfortas, the Dutchman. In fact, he has spent a long time trying to figure out what his voice is, and what it isn't. "When you enter competitions in your early twenties," he says, "if you are a lyric soprano or Rossini tenor, I think you kind of understand what you're supposed to be doing. With lower male voices or bigger soprano voices, it's not always clear. You're not always ready to sing what you're supposed to sing."

[Read the entire feature in Opera News]

Make sure to catch McKinny's upcoming performances in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. He'll be performing Melot with the Canadian Opera Company from January 29 to February 23, 2013 and then Kurnewal with the Houston Grand Opera from April 18 to May 5. The Isolde in Houston will be Nina Stemme, who is arguably the reigning Wagnerian soprano in the world today.

 Ryan McKinny sings "Die Frist ist um"  from the Flying Dutchman: