Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lots of Beefcake in Cheesecake Country

Cheesecake and Beefcake in Wisconsin
For those of you outside of the United States, the state of Wisconsin is known for its cheese. The natives are sometimes disparagingly called "cheeseheads," although if you're a Green Bay Packers fan being a cheesehead is an honor. One thing is certain, you can get anything made with cheese in Wisconsin, we've even seen sausages stuffed with cheese and donuts topped with melted cheese.

But over the next few weeks the state may become known for its beef, more specifically its beefcake, than its cheesecake. Five barihunks who have appeared on this site will be singing Mozart at the state's two major opera companies.

Matt Boehler at NYCO in Powder Her Face
First up is Don Giovanni with Kelly Markgraf in the title role, Matt Boehler as Leporello and John Arnold as Masetto. Performances are on April 26 and 28 and tickets are available online. The production also includes two spectacular young sopranos, Elizabeth Caballero as Donna Anna and Caitlyn Lynch as Donna Elvira.

Readers of this site will recall that Markgraf sang Masetto in the sexy Don Giovanni at New York City Opera in 2009 that put the company back on the road to recovery after a severe financial crisis. Markgraf next heads to the Aspen Music Festival in July 2013 to sing Swallow in a semi-staged performance of Britten's Peter Grimes.

Matt Boehler also made headlines at the New York City Opera in Thomas Ades' Powder Her Face where he shared the stage with 22 naked men [Google it!]. On May 10th, Boehler creates the role of the celebrated French author, Voltaire, in a workshop of composer Scott Wheeler’s The Sorrows of Frederick.. The workshop is run under the auspices of the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Theater Center's Opera/Theater Commissions program. Tickets are available at the Met website.

John Arnold in Dead Man Walking

In January 2013, John Arnold made his debut with Madison Opera in Philip Glass’s Galileo Galilei, singing the role of the younger Galileo. He recently performed Joseph de Roucher in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking in Boston, part of three simultaneous productions of the modern masterpiece in North America. He'll be joining the prestigious Merola Opera Program in San Francisco this summer.

On May 10 and 12, cheeseheads can drive 80 minutes to the west where Florentine Opera will be performing Le nozze di Figaro with barihunks Craig Verm as Count Almaviva an Daniel Belcher as Figaro. Tickets are available online. If you're in the area, you can meet the artists on April 23 at the company's annual luncheon. Call 414-421-3005 for more information.

After Milwaukee, Daniel Belcher will head to the Central City Opera House to sing the other Figaro in Rossini's Barber of Seville. The run begins on June 29th and tickets are available online. You also won't want to miss the Almaviva of tenor Javier Abreu.

Craig Verm in Venus and Adonis at Florentine Opera (Photos by Kathy Wittman)
Readers may remember that Craig Verm created a vocal and visual sensation with his performance in John Blow's Venus and Adonis at Florentine Opera in 2011. We loved the photos so much that we used them in our 2012 Barihunks calendar. Of course, Verm was our coverboy for our 2013 calendar and remains one of the most popular singers on the site. On June 22, Verm heads to the Des Moines Metro Opera to perform Ned Keene in Britten's Peter Grimes.

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