Friday, May 3, 2013

Barihunks Lunch in Fort Worth

Wes Mason, Michael Mayes and Jonathan Boehr
It's no secret that we're huge fans of the Fort Worth Opera Festival, which has become one of the best summer opera festivals in America, if not the world. Under the inspired leadership of general director Darren Woods, the once fledgling company has become a required stop for serious opera lovers. The company is known for its combination of old standards and works by new composers. The new works often become the hit of the festival, as is the case this year with Tom Cipullo's Glory Denied starring Michael Mayes. Woods is also notorious for finding gifted young opera singers before other companies "discover" them, so it's a wonderful opportunity to catch the next wave of great singers.

Wes Mason, Michael Mayes and Jonathan Boehr goof off; Anthony Reed flexes his guns
Aaron Sorensen, Michael Adams, Steven Eddy, Wes Mason, Michael Mayes, Jonathan Boehr & Anthony Reed
As is often the case when one of the Barihunks bloggers flies into town, a lunch with the hottest low voices tends to break out. Singers are all given a Barihunk tee-shirt and other gifts, which have ranged from coffee mugs to iPods. This year singers were given gift cards of varying value depending on their ability to answer Barihunks trivia questions. Jonathan Boehr was the winner of the $100 gift card and three CDs featuring baritones. Wes Mason was too busy having fun and missed answering a question where he was part of the answer. Wes also entertained the group with some of his amazing impersonations, which included Christopher Walken, Marlon Brando, Thomas Hampson and tenor Jonathan Blalock [see photo at bottom of the feed].

Jonathan Boehr, winner of 1st prize in the Barihunk Trivia Contest
Michael Adams sporting Michael Mayes' glasses and look
All of the singers shown above are appearing with the Fort Worth Opera Festival this year. Wes Mason is Marcello in La bohème, Michael Mayes is Capt. Jim Thompson in Glory Denied, Steven Eddy is Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos, Michael Adams is the Custom House Sergeant in La bohème and the Corporal in Daughter of the Regiment, Aaron Sorensen is Benoit/Alcindoro in La bohème, Jonathan Boehr is Schaunard in La bohème, and Anthony Reed is Truffaldino in Ariadne auf Naxos. Tickets and additional information are available online.

Wes Mason channeling tenor Jonathan Blalock's famous Southern smile

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