Sunday, February 3, 2013

Reader Submission: Snowboarding Barihunk Christiaan Smith Kotlarek

Christiaan Smith Kotlarek
Our latest Reader Submission is the second one by a very fortunate soprano, who seems to get cast opposite some of the hottest men in opera. She was as surprised as us that no one had ever submitted Christiaan Smith Kotlarek.

Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek studied at the Boston University Opera Institute where he was a Phyllis Curtin Artist. His professional credits include roles with the Madison Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera, where he was also an apprentice artist. In 2007, Christiaan toured the Marche region of Italy singing the role of Marco in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi.

Christiaan Smith Kotlarek
On January 31st he performed in Opera Louisiane's “The Best of Opera and Broadway” hosted by Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne at the Old State Capitol. In October, he was Christiano in Madison Opera's production of Verdi's Un ballo in maschera which included fellow barihunk Thomas Forde as Count Ribbing. He is currently at the Music Academy of the West where he is covering the role of Papageno in Mozart's The Magic Flute. 

Christiann Smith Kotlarek sings "That Moment On" from the song cycle  
Pieces of 9/11 by Jake Heggie:

While at Boston University, he met composer Jake Heggie, who invited him to sing his song cycle Pieces of 9/11. The composer must have been impressed, as he'll be singing the barihunk role of Joseph DeRocher in Dead Man Walking with the Modern American Music Project in Asheville, North Carolina on April 26 and 27.

His great body is the result of his penchant for snowboarding and extreme sports in his spare time. In fact, he has been a snowboard instructor for about a decade at Norway Mountain in Michigan.

You can read an extensive interview with him on the Madison Opera blog. He also has a blog called OutsideTheOperaBox where he discusses music and fitness.


  1. what a powerful and gorgeous voice accompanies that comfortable, relaxed stage presence.

  2. I wish I could also have those abs, I wanted to be a hunk too!

    Zero Dramas

  3. Just what we need here Downunder in Oz its Summer here iced hot 6 pack you deliver ?

  4. Christiaan will be singing the role of the condemned prisoner in The Modern American Music Project's upcoming production of Dead Man Walking in Asheville, NC, along with our spectacular cast including Elise Quagliata, Jane Bunnell and Marc Embree. Come hear Christiaan if you are anywhere close to our area on April 26th and 27th!

  5. Haha I love the title of the post, barihunk indeed! It's cool that he is super-multi-talented, good for him. Dangerous snowsports in his spare time certainly adds some appeal for a beginner snowboarder like myself. I'll keep an eye out for him on the slopes.