Saturday, November 30, 2013

Doug Williams & Jesse Blumberg in Early Music Gala

Doug Williams
Two of the most talented and arguably sexiest barihunks performing today will appear together at the Boston Early Music Festival's gala performance on Sunday, December 1st. Jesse Blumberg and Douglas Williams will be joined by members of the company's ensemble in selections from seven operas that have been featured in their Chamber Opera Series since 2008.

Led by three-time Grammy-nominated Artistic Co-Directors Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, the singers will perform excerpts from Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Monterverdi’s Orfeo, Blow's Venus and Adonis, and Charpentier's Actéon, La descente d'Orphée aux enfers, and La Couronne de Fleurs.

Jesse Blumberg as Ulysses with Opera Omnia
The Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Opera Series has become a favorite of early music devotees with its fully staged operas focused on rarely heard masterpieces at Boston’s Jordan Hall. Other performers includee soprano Amanda Forsythe, tenor Aaron Sheehan, mezzo Thea Lobo, tenor Jason McStoots, mezzo Danielle Reutter-Harrah, tenor Zachary Wilder and soprano Teresa Wakim. 

Performances are at the New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall and tickets are available at 617-661-1812,  online. or at the box office located at 30 Gainsborough Street in Boston.

Douglas Williams can next be heard with the Houston Symphony in Handel's Messiah under the baton of Nicolas McGegan. Performances run from December 19-22 and tickets are available online. 

Upcoming performances for Jesse Blumberg include a December 3rd recital at Cary Hall in New York City celebrating the release of the AMR album Winter Songs, featuring vocal music of Robert Paterson. On December 8th, he'll be perfroming Finzi's In terra pax and selections from Handel's Messiah at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey. On December 13 and 14, he returns to Bean Town for Handel's Messiah with the Boston Baroque at Jordan Hall.

Keith Miller: Mr. November
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Friday, November 29, 2013

Joseph Beutel in opera written at Nazi concentration camp

Joseph Beutel
Bass-barihunk Joseph Beutel, who just performed in the Santa Fe Symphony's performance of Handel's Messiah, is now headed to Vienna, Austria to perform the role of Death in Viktor Ullmann's Der Kaiser von Atlantis. 

Ullman and his librettist Peter Kien wrote the opera while interned at Nazi concentration camp of Theresienstadt (Terezín) around 1943. The opera received a rehearsal at Theresienstadt in March 1944, but the Nazi authorities interpreted the work's depiction of the character Kaiser Overall as a satire on Adolf Hitler and did not allow a performance.

Both of Viktor Ullmann's parents were from families of Jewish descent, but had converted to Roman Catholicism before his birth. Ullmann remained active musically at Theresienstadt, where he was a piano accompanist, organized concerts, wrote critiques of musical events, and composed, as part of a cultural circle including Karel Ančerl, Rafael Schachter, Gideon Klein, Hans Krása, and other prominent musicians imprisoned there. Both the composer and the librettist died in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Listen to an entire performance here:

The Netherlands Opera presented the world premiere of the opera December 16, 1975, at the Bellevue Centre in Amsterdam. The opera was performed at Theresienstadt on May 25, 1991, fifty-one years after the initial rehearsal.

Beutel will perform the work with Opera Modern on November 30 and December 2 & 3 at the Maria Theresien-Kaserne. Additional information is available online.

Beutel was just featured in his hometown newspaper, the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, which you can read HERE.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Edwin Crossley-Mercer to make New York debut with NC-17 rating

Edwin Crossley-Mercer
French bass-barihunk Edwin Crossley-Mercer is making his long-awaited New York debut on March 3, 2014 at the Weill Concert Hall. It only seems appropriate that a singer as sexy as Crossley-Mercer would make his Big Apple debut with what amounts to an NC-17 rating. The Carnegie Hall website states, "Because the poems of Catullus deal with issues of sex in a frank manner, some members of the public might find them objectionable. "

The warning refers to Carmina Catulli, a 17-movement song cycle by Michael Linton based on the poems of Catullus, the Latin poet of the late Roman Republic. Catullus fell in love with the aristocratic Clodia Metelli who was alleged to have an insatiable sexual appetite. Although many people have found his poems about his relationship with Clodia Metelli shocking, he actually influenced many great poets including Ovid, Horace, and Virgil.

Edwin Crossley-Mercer and Camille Poul sing "La ci darem la mano" from Don Giovanni: 

Michael Linton’s music is notorious for its emotional ferocity and extraordinary technical difficulty. The rest of the program will include Linton's Seven Franchetti Songs, settings of poetry by the Italian-American polymath Cody Franchetti. They will be performed by tenor H. Stephen Smith. The accompanist for the concert is Jason Paul Peterson.

Tickets do not go on sale until January 7, so check back early next year at the Carnegie Hall website.

If you can't wait until March, you catch him in recital in Moscow, Russia on December 16 or as Jupiter in Rameau's Platée at the Theater an der Wien from February 17-28.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Watch Chris Herbert in Britten tribute

Chris Herbert & Timothy Long on the Martha Stewart weddings site
A few months ago we posted about the upcoming bicentenary tribute to British composer Benjamin Britten. The November 26th concert with barihunk Chris Herbert and his husband Timothy Long is already available online for viewing on the Trinity Wall Street  website. It's a wonderful performance with a great preface to the music provide by the scholarly Herbert.

The ongoing festival is exploring the British composer’s orchestral, vocal and chamber works and continues into December.

On Thursday, December 12th at 1pm you can hear tenor Steven Caldicott Wilson and Timothy Long perform Britten's "Folksongs; Who are these children?" and Mahler's "Kindertotenlieder."

On Monday, December 30th at 1pm, you can catch Chris Herbert again at St. Paul’s Chapel (Broadway at Fulton) for a concert that includes Bach's Cantata BWV 125: "Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin; BWV 10: Meine Seel erhebt den Herren" and Britten's "Canticle IV: Journey of the Magi." He'll be joined by tenor Steven Caldicott Wilson, countertenor Geoffrey Williams, the Trinity Baroque Orchestra; and Choir of Trinity Wall Street under the baton of Julian Wachner.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hans Peter Jannsens stars in avant-garde exploration of Wagner

A promo for Tragedy of a Frienship & Hans Peter Jannsens as Dracula
When we saw the promo and production photos from avant-garde artist Jan Fabre's Tragedy of a friendship at the Lille Opera, we were understandably intrigued. There is nothing like a sculpted male torso to get our attention and when there are two of them...expect a post. Throw in Hans Peter Jannsens as one of the voices and we're hooked.

The Guildhall School of Music graduate has a history with Jan Fabre, having toured in his The Power of Theatrical Madness. He also has a history with Wagner, which is the core of Tragedy of a friendship.  He performed the Knight of the Holy Grail  in the Flemmish Opera's production of Wagner's Parsifal.  Although he has now crossed over into a lot of acting and musical theater, he cut his teeth in opera, traveling for two years with the English Touring Opera company as Don Giovanni , Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutti and Sid in Britten's Albert Herring.

A promo shot for Tragedy of a friendship
Tragedy of a friendship deals with the complicated relationship between Richard Wagner and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.  Their initial friendship and admiration for each other would eventually turn to hatred. Tragedy of a friendship poses the question of the relationship between artist and intellectual: fecund, intense, but also hazardous.

The Lille Opera has co-commissioned the piece with the Vlaamse Opera On the occasion of the 2013 bicentennial of Wagner’s birth. The final performance is tonight.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Jud Arhur's naked Fafner in Australian Ring Cycle

Jud Arthur as a professional model and as Fafner

Director Neil Armfield's Der Ring des Nibelungen at Opera Australia was quite the buzz even before it opened. Now that the first cycle is wrapped up the buzz has only escalated about this dreamlike Ring Cycle that pushes the imagination. All is all, it seems to be a critical success.

Of course, our readers are buzzing about barihunk Jud Arthur's surprising entry from his cave as the mortally wounded Fafner, splattered with blood and completely naked. Rather than feeling like German regietheater, our contacts in Australia said that it gave the moment a heartfelt humanity as Fafner, stripped bare, warns Siegfried of the Ring's power.

One reviewer called Arthur's Fafner a "Pagliacci vesti-la-giubba moment," as he's seen applying make-up in front of a dressing-room mirro. Fafner grimaces into a camera built into the mirror which projects his magnified image to the audience until he eventually appears before the naive Siegfried as a naked vulnerable man.

 Jud Arthur as Fafner with Daniel Sumegi as Fasolt
Jud Arthur was born in New Zealand, worked as a farmer in Mosgiel, and then began a career as a professional rugby player. He's been one of the most popular regulars at Opera Australia for a decade now and also moonlights as a professional model.

The rest of the all-star cast includes Terje Stensvold, Susan Bullock, Richard Berkeley-Steele, Stefan Vinke, Stuart Skelton, Daniel Sumegi, Miriam Gordon-Stewart, Jacqueline Dark, Graeme Macfarlane and Warwick Fyfe. 

Cycle Two begins on November 27 and Cycle Three begins on December 6. Call (03) 9685 3700 or visit the Opera Australia website.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Another barihunk "exposed" at Nationale Reisopera's "Barber of Seville"; Meet British baritone Nick Crawley

We love when a post about a barihunk begets more barihunks, which is what happened when we ran a feature on Peter Bording's run as the title character in Rossini's Barber of Seville at the Nationale Reisopera. Not only that, but we learned about the sexy set and costume designer Gary McCann, who will drive our ginger lovers into fits of frenzy.

It's not often that the role of Basilio makes it onto Barihunks, but former tenor and director Laurence Dale has made him the sexiest character in the opera. We were sent these tantalizing pictures of British barihunk Nick Crawley with the "3 Bertas," a novel concept that looks like loads of fun.

Crawley, who is new to this site, is a member of the ensemble at the Nationale Reisopera where he's also singing Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen, three roles in Purcells The Fairy Queen and the bass part of Bach's St. John Passion. Crawley was born in Buckinghamshire and started his musical career at St. Albans Cathedral Choir where he was head chorister. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music and completed the Royal Academy Opera Advanced Diploma course.  Nicholas won a place on the Concordia ensemble 2010 and was awarded The Independent Opera Vocal Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music 2012.

Gary McCann & the 3 Bertas
And for you lovers of great beards and all things ginger, we present costume and set designer Gary McCann and his red-headed Bertas - Zinzi Frohwein, Sonja Volten and Ruth Willemse.

Redhead Jonathan Estabrooks as he appears in the 2014 Barihunks Calendar
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Movie deals with man's obsession with Mozart's "Don Giovanni" and beautiful men (kind of like us!)

We always thought that no one could possibly like Mozart's Don Giovanni more than those of us involved with Barihunks. After all, the opera has given us more sexy photos than humanly imaginable, with Leporello, Masetto and the Don often cast with stunningly handsome men in various states of undress.

Then along cam the documentary movie “Naked Opera,” which tells the story of Marc Rollinger, an obsessed opera fan who travels around the world to see productions of Don Giovanni. His goal is to find the perfect production of the Mozart classic. His travels take him to Venice, Vienna, and Berlin and the movie features clips from Joseph Losey's classic film starring Ruggero Raimondi, José van Dam, Edda Moser and Kiri Te Kanawa.

Rollinger's travels are a way to escape his mundane existence and he enhances the experience by surrounding himself with gorgeous young men. He lavishes them with great food, expensive champagne and luxury hotel suites.

You'll have a tough time finding a viewing of the movie, as it has seen very limited release. It did manage to win the Heiner-Carow-Award during this years Berlinale. The DVD is available for purchase in Europe, but not in the US. You can order a copy HERE.

If you're like Rollinger and pining for the next great production of Don Giovanni, you may want to head to St. Gallen, Switzerland where a trio of barihunks who have appeared on this site are performing; Palle Knudsen as Don Giovanni, Jordan Shanahan as Masetto and Matt Boehler as Leporello. Performances run through December 30th.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Catch Erwin Schrott in a theater near you

Erwin Schrott as Jean Procida in Les vêpres siciliennes
Last month we chose the performance of Verdi's Les vêpres siciliennes at Covent Garden as the production that we'd most like to see during the Verdi bicentenary. The cast was lead by barihunk Erwin Schrott as Jean Procida, along with an amazing cast that includes tenor Bryan Hymel as Henri and soprano Lianna Haroutounian as Helene under the baton of Antonio Pappano.

The opera is now being screened worldwide during the month of December for opera lovers across the globe to enjoy. You can find a performance close to you by clicking HERE

Erwin Schrott sings "Et toi, Palerme" from Les vêpres siciliennes:

Les vêpres siciliennes is in five-acts and was originally written in French for the Paris Opéra. It was translated into Italian shortly after its premiere in June 1855.  The libretto was written by Eugène Scribe and Charles Duveyrier from their work Le duc d'Albe, which was written in 1838 and offered to Halevy and Donizetti before Verdi agreed to set it to music in 1854.
The story is loosely based on a historical event, the Sicilian Vespers of 1282, using material drawn from the medieval Sicilian tract Lu rebellamentu di Sichilia. After its June 1855 Paris premiere, an Italian libretto was quickly prepared using a new title because Verdi realized that it would have been impossible to place the story in Sicily. Based on Scribe's suggestions for changing the location, it became Portugal in 1640 while under Spanish control. This version was first performed at the Teatro Regio in Parma on December 26, 1855.
Schrott can next be seen in his signature role of Dr. Dulcamara in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore at the Vienna State Opera, Teatro Real in Madrid and Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Peter Bording goes from barber to dictator

Peter Bording
They're a couple of productions of Rossini's Barber of Seville going on around the world right now, most prominently in San Francisco and Turin. But the production in the Netherlands at De Nationale Reisopera caught our eye. It stars Dutch barihunk Peter Bording in the title role.

The colorful and witty production is directed by former tenor Laurence Dale, who now frequently directs at the Reisopera. Tenor Mark Milhofer sings Almaviva, mezzo Karin Strobos is Rosina, the brilliant internationally acclaimed Italian baritone Bruno Praticò performs his signature role of Dr. Bartolo and Nicholas Crawley and Bora Balçi take on  Basilio and Fiorello. Go online to get your tickets. Click HERE to listen to a snippet from "Dunque io son."

Peter Bording and Milica Jovanovic
Three days after the runs ends on November 26th, he switches back to his other love, musical theater, as he portrays Juan Perón in a German language production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita at the Hessisches Staatstheater in Wiesbaden, Germanay. Evita is sung by the stunning Milica Jovanovic. Tickets are extremely limited, so go online now if you want to see Bording in one of his specialty roles. Performances run through February 5th. 

Gianluca Margheri as he appears in the Barihunks Calendar
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Britten's 100th Birthday Continues in Vancouver; Introducing Aaron Durand

Aaron Durand
The 100th birthday celebration of Benjamin Britten continues with a production of one of his comic masterpieces in Canada. 

Aaron Durand, who last appeared on the Vancouver Opera stage as Sciarrone in Tosca, will be singing the role of Sid in Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring with the company.  Durand enrolled at the Victoria Conservatory of Music at age 19 before transferring to the University of Brtish Columbia where he graduated from in April 2013. Durand was awarded the Yulanda M. Farris Young Artist award, which granted him a year's contract with the Vancouver Opera. He is also the winner of the Boxer Career Development Grant from Vancouver Opera and the Ben Hoeppner Scholarship from the University of Brtish Columbia.

The opera opens on November 30 with four performances running through December 8th. The Vancouver Opera had updated their production to the 1950s. Tickets are available online.

Albert Herring was composed between 1946 and 1947. The libretto, by Eric Crozier, was based on the Guy de Maupassant short story, Le Rosier de Madame Husson. It premiered at the Glyndebourne Festival in June 1947 and was intensely disliked by the owner and founder of the festival, who is reported to have greeted audiences with the words "this isn't our kind of thing, you know." Almost 40 years later, the festival's 1985 production of Albert Herring was one of the most successful the opera has ever had.

If Peter Grimes showed the tragic aspects of life, Albert Herring showed its comic side. In it, Britten parodies moral hypocrisy, village fêtes, mayors, vicars, schoolmarms and policemen. Its successful translation in several European countries has broadened the opera's appeal.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Theo Hoffman to perform free recital at Alice Tully Hall

When we first posted about Theo Hoffman, he was preparing for his performance as Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze do Figaro at Julliard. We mentioned that he also had an upcoming recital, but we didn't have a date at the time. 

We've learned that he'll be performing as part of the Britten celebration with the Juilliard Songfest at Alice Tully Hall on December 3rd.  Hoffman will be joined by accompanist Brian Zeger to perform selections from Songs and Proverbs of William Blake. Tickets are free and are available at the Juilliard box office.

Theo Hoffman sings Pierrot's Tanzlied from Korngold's "Die Tote Stadt":

This summer, Hoffman, who was a member of the 2013 Gerdine Young Artists at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, will perform the role of Thierry in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites. The all-star cast will be led by Christine Brewer, Kelly Kaduce, Meredith Arwady,  David Porillo and fellow barihunk Troy Cook. Performances run from June 18-28 and tickets are available online.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Re-Introducing Nathan Keoughan; Another reader submission

Canadian Barihunk Nathan Keoughan
We love it when our readers send us new barihunks to follow and post for your pleasure. The latest is Canadian Nathan Keoughan, who will be competing in the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio competition on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto. We originally posted about him, albeit briefly, when he participated in last year's competition, but we feel he's worth a re-introduction.

Keoughan was born and raised in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and completed his bachelor of music at the University of Prince Edward Island. He went on to study at the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he completed a master’s degree in Vocal Performance in 2012.

An accomplished theatre actor, Nathan portrayed Royal Gardner in Anne & Gilbert  at the Harbourfront Theatre for three consecutive summers, and also played Edwin Simpson in Nine Lives, a musical about the life of L.M. Montgomery, for the Charlottetown Festival.

Keoughan’s opera roles include Colline in La Bohème (Cowtown Opera, Highland Opera Studio), Sarastro in The Magic Flute (Highland Opera Studio), the Mayor in Dr. Miracle (New England Conservatory) and excerpts of Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro, New England Conservatory).

His dream roles are Wotan in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen and Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca.
You can follow him on Twitter @nathankeoughan.

Tickets to the Ensemble Studio Competition and Centre Stage cocktail celebration are $100. For more information and to purchase tickets visit or call 416-363-8231.

At the sold-out Ensemble Studio Competition in 2012, six singers including barihunk Gordon Bintner, Charlotte Burrage, Aviva Fortunata, Clarence Frazer, Andrew Haji and Danielle MacMillan – were selected out of 10 finalists to join the 2013/2014 Ensemble Studio. Bintner was the First Prize Winner and People's Choice Award recipient.

We post a lot about young artists and vocal competitions because this site is dedicated to providing both PR support and financial support to emerging baritones. One way that you can assist us is by purchasing a Barihunks Charity Calendar. We receive $10 for every calendar that is sold and every penny goes to helping, supporting and promoting young artists. Buy yours today. They are great stocking stuffers, so order one for your yourself and a few for your friends! Click on the button below to order today.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Introducing Jared Schwartz

Jared Schwartz
Meet American bass-barihunk, our latest "reader submission." The Eastman School of Music graduate will be performing "Songs of Travel" with accompanist Mary Dibbern on Saturday, Dec 7th from 2:30 -3:30 PM at  Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. he will be performing an entire concert in English, including "Songs of Travel" by Ralph Vaughn Williams, "The Shadow of the Blues" by American composer John Musto, and excerpts from "Craigslistlieder" and "Memory Palace" by the American composer Gabriel Kahane.

Jared Schwartz & Mary Dibbern perform Bolcom's "Song of Black Max":

Schwartz is a multifacted musician, who composes, as well as plays piano, violin and French horn.  In 2011, he wrote and recorded “HOPE,” an album of his original music for which he sang and conducted the full orchestra comprised of instrumentalists from the Dallas and Fort Worth Symphonies. The following year, he won the Houston Worldfest Gold Remi award in the Music Shorts category for his original score for the film "The Sirens."

In 2011, he was selected as one of the top young voice teachers in the nation and invited to participate in the National Association of Teachers of Singing’s Intern Program.

You can follow him on social media at and on Twitter at @jaredsings.

Kevin Thompson makes South American debut as Méphistophélès

Bass-Barihunk Kevin Thompson
If there is an earthquake in Ecuador tonight, it's probably been caused by the booming bass of Kevin Thompson. He's making his role debut as Méphistophélès in Gounod's Faust at the Fundación Teatro Nacional Sucre. The performance also marks his South American debut. Performances run through November 17th.

The 6'5" American singer just wrapped up performances as the Grand Inquisitor in Verdi's Don Carlo at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the roles of Crespel, Schlemil, and Luther in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann at Knoxville Opera.

You can catch him back in the United States when he performs Handel's Messiah in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian Institute's Hirschorn Gallery on December 15th.

Bevy of baritones in Met Auditions in New York

Pnini Grubner and the bass & baritones from the Met Opera Eastern Regional
If you want to hear lots of great low male voices, you'll want to attend the upcoming Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in the Eastern Region on Tuesday, November 19th and Wednesday, November 20th. The group includes at least three singers who have appeared on this site, Jorell Williams, Vasil Garvanliev and Michael Adams. The latter two have also appeared in our Barihunks Charity Calendar.

The competition will be at Merkin Hall from 10 AM - 3.30 PM on Tuesday and from 10 AM - 6 PM on Wednesday. The final concert will be held on January 16th at Merkin Hall. Audience members are welcome to come and go as they please. A $20 donation is suggested for admission. All the money raised is used to provide cash prizes to our winners which they can use to further their careers. You can sign up ONLINE for any or all of the three concerts.

Judges will be Gayletha Nichols, Roger Malouf and Bill Powers.

One of the participants who is new to us is Israeli bass-barihunk Pnini Grubner. The 28-year-old will be performing "Vecchia zimarra senti" from Puccini's La bohème. "Quand la flamme de l'amour " from Bizet's La Jolie Fille De Perth, "Épouse quelque brave fille" from Massenet's Manon, Aleko’s Aria ("Ves tabor spit) by Rachmaninov and "Non più andrai" from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro.

23-year-old Michael Adams, who was a hit in our 2013 Barihunks Charity Calendar is considered by many to be one of the favorites in this competition. The Texas native will be performing  "Avant De Quitter Ces Lieux" from Gounod's Faust, excerpts from Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, "Come Paride vezzoso" from Donizetti's L’elisir D’amore, Onegin's Arioso ("Uzhel Ta Samaja Tatiana") from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and "Rivolgete a Lui lo Sguardo" from Mozart's Così fan tutte.

Jorell Williams at the 2011 Lotte Lenya Competition:

Winners of the District auditions advance to their Region Finals where they compete to win a trip to New York to participate in the National Semi-Finals, a competition held on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. Approximately ten of the Semi-Finalists are selected as National Finalists and compete the following Sunday in a public concert, the Grand Finals Concert, accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The jury awards approximately five Grand Winner awards of $15,000 each. The concert is broadcast nationwide on the Metropolitan Opera Radio Network. The remaining National Finalists receive $5,000 each, and those singers who were National Semi-Finalists but did not advance to the National Finals will be given $1,500 to further their studies.

Many of the world’s foremost singers, among them Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Ben Heppner, Jessye Norman, Samuel Ramey, Frederica von Stade, Deborah Voigt and Dolora Zajick have received awards from the National Council.

Vasil Garvanliev
 You can enjoy barihunk Vasil Garvanliev all year in our new 2014 Barihunks Charity Calendar. Remember that all proceeds go to young artists. We've already given out our first grant and are eager to raise money to help more of the singers who will keep opera alive and thriving for the next generation. Click HERE to order you calendar today.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Kyle Ketelsen's sexy and scene stealing turn as Méphistophélès

Kyle Ketelsen as Méphistophélès
We recently reported on the performance of Gounod's Faust at the Zurich Opera that opened on November 3rd and runs through December 11th. The sexy cast cast is led by barihunks Kyle Ketelsen as Méphistophélès, Elliot Madore as Valentin and Erik Anstine as Wagner, as well as hunkentenor Pavol Breslik as Faust.

The production with stage design by Ben Baur and costumes by Karin Jud is not to be missed and promises to be one of the big hits in Europe this year. Although the big news was rightfully tenor Pavol Breslik's debut as Faust, the scene stealer was undoubtedly Kyle Ketelsen as Méphistophélès with his bad boy sexiness that mortals find simply irrestible (as attested to by these photos!).

Kyle Ketelsen as Méphistophélès
The reviewer Alessandro Anghinoni remarked in Place de l'Opera that although Kyle Ketelsen certainly has "earned his place among barihunks...he has more than muscles. He can combine fine colors and accents in the voice and uses language and form to add plenty of character to his role. His "Rondo du Veau d'Or" and serenade were highlights of the evening."

Ketelsen's next appearance in the United States mirrors the Faust performance in that it also includes one of the sexiest casts in opera. He'll be appearing at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia from February 9-28. The cast also stars barihunk Nathan Gunn as the Barber, hunkentenor Alek Shrader as Almaviva and the stunning Isabel Leonard as Rosina. Tickets and additional information are available online

Monday, November 11, 2013

Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia to make Marinsky debut

Anton Perminov and Vladimir Moroz
Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, an opera that is featured regularly on this site due to its heavy reliance on baritones, is being premiered this week at the Mariinsky Theatre in Russia. The opera is being staged as part of a mini-festival of operas and concerts marking Britten’s centenary year. The company is also producing his War Requiem, The Turn of the Screw, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and two nights of instrumental, choral and organ music.

Vladimir Moroz sings Yeletsky's aria from Tchaikovsky's "Pique Dame":

We're keeping our eyes on Vladimir Moroz and Anton Perminov, who are slated sing Tarquinius and Collatinus respectfully in The Rape of Lucretia. Moroz will also sing Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The mini-festival runs from November 12-19 and tickets and additional cast information are available online.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

FIVE barihunks at the "Jeunes ambassadeurs lyriques"

Jonathan Estabrooks, Philip Kalmanovitch, Cairan Ryan, Andrey Andreychik, & Pierre Rancourt
There were five -- yes, count 'em -- five barihunks at tonight's Benefit Gala Concert of the "Jeunes ambassadeurs lyriques" in Montreal. Thanks to Jonathan Estabrooks, we got a picture of all five together backstage. This could keep anyone warm during a cold Canadian winter.

The concert celebrates the next generation of young vocal talent between the ages of 18-35. It's now in its twentieth year and part of the proceeds goes towards funding the audition expenses of the young stars for major artistic productions worldwide. A number of prizes are awarded to the singers, including the Canadian Lyric Prize, German Lyric Prize, Francis Poulenc Prize and more.

Jonathan Estabrooks and Philip Kalmanovitch have both appeared on Barihunks in the past. In fact, both have appeared in our Charity Calendar. Andrey Andreychik, Cairan Ryan and Pierre Rancourt are all new to our site.

33-year-old Andrey Andreychik is a Russian/Canadian singer who graduated from Krasnoyarsk State University with a degree in International Economics. The former chorister studied music at the University of British Columbia where he performed with their opera ensemble.

Cairan Ryan sings "When The Air Sings of Summer" from The Old Maid and the Thief:

Belgian born Cairan Ryan is from Calgary, Alberta. He is currently in his first year as a young artist at the Atelier Lyrique de L'Opéra de Montréal. He won the Prix du Jeunes Ambassadeurs prize at last year's gala. Tonight he won the Prix Lyrique Français Bourse, a $1000 bursary for a German audition tour, and an engagement to be announced in the 2014-15 season in Moscow on behalf of the Russian Consulate. He is the past winner of the McGill Noël E. Spinelli Music Award, was awarded an Alberta Foundation for the Arts Individual Music Project Grant, a McGill University Schulich Scholarship, and a bursary from the Johann Strauss Foundation.

French Canadian baritone Pierre Rancourt is a member of the Montreal Opera’s young artist program "L’Atelier lyrique." He has appeared with the company as Schaunard in Puccini's La bohème, Marullo in Verdi's Rigoletto, as well as a variety of comprimario roles. He holds a Master’s in performance from Quebec City’s Université Laval and has taken part in numerous young artist programs.

Barihunks regulars Jonathan Estabrooks & Philip Kalmanovitch
Philip Kalmanovitch is a recent alumnus of the Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal, where he performed Antonio in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, the Secret Police Agent in Menotti's The Consul and Wagner in Gounod's Faust. He received his Diploma in Operatic Performance with Honours at the University of Toronto and holds a B.A.H. in Drama and a B.A.Minor in Music from Queen’s University. Tonight he received the $2,500 Prix Banque TD Jeune Espoir Lyrique Canadien to support a professional training program and a future Russian engagement courtesy of the Russian Consulate, as well as future engagements with the Vancouver Opera and the Festival Opéra St. Eustache in Quebec.

Julliard graduate Jonathan Estabrooks is a familiar site to users of social media and to readers of Barihunks, as we've closely followed his burgeoning career. He is currently recording his debut album, which will include crossover music. He raised over $25,000 to fund the project on Kickstarter.  He will also star as Schaunard in the film ‘The Bohemians’ by director Jose Cuartes and Bravo Lozano Productions. Estabrooks the won the $1000 Poulenc Award tonight.

Reader submission: Joa Helgesson

Joa Helgesson
Joa Helgesson, is our latest "reader submission" and he was submitted by a regular attendee at the Göteborgs Opera. He studied voice at the University College of Opera in Stockholm and studied acting at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. After his vocal studies in Stockholm he participated in young artist programs ae the National Opera Studio in London and the International Opera Studio at the Zurich Opera House.

His roles have included Figaro in Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Shaunard in Puccini's La boheme, Bill in Weill's Mahagonny, Papageno in Mozart's The Magic Flute, Francesco in Verdi's I Masnadieri and Arsamene in Handel's Xerxes.

Helgesson was awarded scholarships from institutions the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, Friends of Vadstena Academy and the Friends of Drottningholm Palace Theatre.

Joa Helgesson sings Largo al factotum:

He is currently performing Sharpless in Puccini's Madama Butterfly at the Stadttheater in Flensburg, Germany. There are performances running through February 14th. Additional information and tickets are available online. As soon as that run is over, he takes on Demetrius in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Performances run from February 15th to May 29th.

James Newby in “To Russia With (Gay) Love” video

The barbershop quartet Short, Back & Sides and featured baritone James Newby
We posted this on our Twitter feed yesterday, but we feel like it should be featured on the main site, as well. It's a video that was posted by vlogger Davey Wavey and includes barihunk James Newby as part of the barbershop quartet Short, Back and Sides singing "To Russia With (Gay) Love.” The video is intended to show the worldwide support for LGBT Russians from people across the globe.

Short, Back and Sides describes themselves as "a barbershop quartet boasting a great blend, rich tones and devilishly good hair." Even their bios have references to their hair. Newby's says, "James is Short, Back and Sides' Baritone and arguably their most Stylish member. He is 20 years old and currently studying at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. He holds a choral scholarship at the Old Royal naval college chapel choir and sings with a number of other ensembles. James has his hair cut once a month and his preferred product is wax."

We first featured James Newby back in August, when the 20-year-old rugby-playing baritone was brought to our attention via Twitter. Newby has direct barihunk lineage, as he previously studied with Omar Ebrahim (who has been on this site in all his glory).

In the video, a quartet of young men harmonize in a beautiful a cappella rendition of the song “I Can Sing a Rainbow” as supporters in Montreal, London, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Singapore, and Melbourne write messages of hope to LGBT Russians on an oversize card.


The global response was prompted by President Vladimir Putin signing a law this summer that imposes fines and jail time for anyone found to be distributing or discussing "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" in a venue accessible to minors.

Make sure to check out Short, Back and Sides' website, where you can listen to plenty of music samples. You can also follow them on Twitter @barbershopsbs or follow them on Facebook at

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Barihunk strip tease in The Merry Widow (in Germany, of course!)

Laurence Meikle and Marco Vassalli
A reader is Germany pointed out that the current production of Lehar's Die Lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow) at the Theater Altenburg in Gera, Germany features two barihunks, one who is new to this site. The newcomer is the extremely sexy Marco Vassalli who performs the role of Graf Danilo. Laurence Meikle, who has appeared on this site a number of times, performs the role of Cascada.

What really caught our reader's eye was that the two singers perform a strip tease at the end of the show where they're left wearing nothing but a hat. Unfortunately, we don't have pictures, but we're looking and asking around! There is one performance remaining on November 16th and tickets are available online.

Marco Vassalli performs Lehar's Graf von Luxemburg:

Despite his name, Vassalli is a German baritone who studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne, Germany. From 2006 to 2012 he was a member of the ensemble at the Städtischen Bühnen Osnabrück. After his run in Die Lustige Witwe he heads to the Landestheater Flensburg to perform in Frank Wildhorn's Dracula.

Meikle will head to the Theater Nordhausen to perform Antonio in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Meikle graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2010 and has performed extensively throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.

Daniel Carison only male vocalist in Great Romantics Competition

Daniel Carison
Baritone Daniel Carison is the only male vocalist to advance to the finals of the 4th Annual Great Romantics Competition. The other finalists include four pianists, an oboist, a violist and a mezzo soprano.

The competition is aimed at semi-professional vocal and istrumental musicians who are currently attending university or have recently graduated and is open to soloists, duos or small ensembles. The finalists will compete on December 1st for the Great Romantics Prize at the Melbourne Recital Centre.  The prize includes cash, a performance opportunity and a recording.

 Daniel Carison sings "Madamina, il catalogo è questo"from Don Giovanni:

Daniel Carison is currently completing his second year studies in Bachelor of Music Performance at Melbourne University. He works as an actor and classical vocalist for TV, film and advertising. He has a number of years experience in film, stage and musical theatre performance, and operates his own recording studio. He is the winner of the Hermann Schildberger Award for best up and coming classical vocalist in the 2013 Boroondara Eisteddfod.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Video of Zachary Gordin's master class

Zachary Gordin teaching at the College of the Sequoias (left) and as he appears in our calendar
We recently awarded Center Stage Opera in the Los Angeles area and barihunk Zachary Gordin our first grant from our 2014 Barihunks Charity Calendar. Gordin is currently performing Count Almaviva in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro with the Visalia Opera Company. Performances are running from November 8-10 and tickets are only $25 for adults and $15 for students. They can be purchased online.

Our grant was to pay for Gordin to work with young singers in master classes with Center Stage Opera. He's also getting a chance to work with young singers at the College of the Sequoias and we have some video to share with you. You can see why he's the perfect candidate for our first grant, which helps both his career and a bunch of aspiring young singers.

Gordin, who started his career as a countertenor, performed his first baritone role with Center Stage Opera in 2005 - Enrico in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.  He has maintained an artistic association with them ever since. The company will use the Barihunks grant to bring Gordin back for his third master class with young artists.

We hope to have some additional video for you then.

You can buy your 2014 Barihunks Charity Calendar by clicking HERE.

Luca Pisaroni: It's a dogs life on the road

Luca Pisaroni, Lenny & Tristan: Backstage and out for a walk
Anyone who follows Italian bass-barihunk Luca Pisaroni on social media knows three things about him: he has a devoted and supportive wife - web designer Catherine, he loves performing opera and he's rarely without his beloved dogs, Tristan and Lenny.

He was recently featured in the GBTimes, a Finnish-based media site that serves as a gateway between the East and West.

Luca Pisaroni, Lenny & Tristan
In the interview, he reveals that he's a lot like his blonde, long-haired dachshund Tristan. "Tristan, just like me, always needs to be in control of the situation, needs to know exactly what's going on, and is a little bit less relaxed,” says Pisaroni.

You can read the entire interview HERE. Also, make sure to follow Pisaroni on Twitter @lucapisaroni and on Facebook at Also, you don't want to miss the personal Facebook fan page of Lenny and Tristan at