Saturday, February 28, 2015

Gianluca Margheri back as Don Giovanni; Debuts new website

Gianluca Margheri from Zomeropera's Don Giovanni
Italian barihunk and calendar model Gianluca Margheri finally has a website, where you can follow his career. It's loaded with great pictures and video. The first that caught our eye is that he'll be taking on Don Giovanni at the Hungarian State Opera from March 20-26. It's a traditional performance of the opera, so expect another shirtless, sexy, testosterone fueled performance like the one from Zomeropera last year.

You can enjoy some excerpts from that performance below or on his YouTube site.

Next up is Rossini's Stabat Mater at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino on May 14th. He'll be joined by tenor Edgardo Rocha and mezzo-soprano Marina Comparato.

We're still baffled why no-one in the United States has engaged this amazing talent. Make sure to check out his website and follow him on Twitter @GianlucaMargher.

Christopher Maltman and Fernando Radó as Don Giovanni
If you can't catch Margheri there are plenty of other barihunk performances of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Christopher Maltman will take on the role Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City from March 17-29. Opéra de Monte-Carlo will feature Erwin Schrott as the Don and Fernando Javier Radó as Masetto with the amazing Sonya Yoncheva as Donna Elvira. The Metropolitan Opera has two remaining performances left with Peter Mattei, Luca Pisaroni and Adam Plachetka as the male leads.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Barihunk duo in Paris Opera's Faust

Ildar Abdrazakov and Damien Pass
The Opéra national de Paris has put together a dream cast for their upcoming production of Gounod's Faust, which opens on March 2nd. It'll will be headed by two barihunks, Ildar Abdrazakov and Damien Pass, who are Méphistophélès and Valentin respectively. Two of the most amazing tenors in the business, Piotr Beczala and Michael Fabiano, will be alternating nights as Faust, while the thrilling soprano Krassimira Stoyanova takes on Marguerite.

Performances run through March 28th and tickets are available online.

After Faust, Abdrazakov heads to the Salzburg Easter Festival for two performances of the Verdi Requiem on March 31st and April 3. Pass will remain at the Bastille to sing the Hunter in Dvorak’s Rusalka from April 3-26 in a Robert Carsen production.

Christiaan Smith-Kotarek making NYC solo debut

Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek from his new video "Unusual Way"
Barihunk Chritiaan Smith-Kotlarek will be making his New York City solo recital debut at SubCulture on March 31st.  Accompanied by a jazz combo or with him at the guitar, the repertoire will steer away from opera. Music director Ben Rauhala has arranged a night of Broadway showstoppers to current chart-toppers, with songs by Josh Groban, Aloe Blacc, John Mayer, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber and the original rock star, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

You can sample Smith-Kotlarek's sexy new video "Unusual Way" here, which will give you a flavor of the evening. Tickets are only $25 and the $40 VIP ticket includes a meet an greet with the singer after the show. Tickets are available online.

In June, Smith-Kotlarek returns to the stage as Billy Bigelow in Carousel at Opera on the Avalon.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Aaron Sørensen in 2 world premieres; Reprising Osmin in Baltimore

Aaron Sørensen's barihunk photo shoot
Bass-barihunk Aaron Sørensen has had an interesting beginning to the new year, performing two world premieres and his second Osmin.

He just released a song cycle by four-time Emmy Award-winning composer Glen Roven that was written with his voice in mind. The original song cycle is based on wine tasting notes from Obsidian Ridge Winery in Sonoma, California that were penned by winemaker Alex Beloz. The text screams for music with phraes like "dancing on the palate" and "a full crescendo of stony tannins." Only Sørensen's rich, deep base could do justice words like "dark hibiscus" which almost demands to be written for the lowest reaches of the human voice.

The song cycle will be premiered at the winery on June 20th and we'll have more details in a future post. There was also a video of the songs taped at Henry's Restaurant in New York City, which you can watch below. The video was directed by the gifted opera director John De Los Santos.

The former Barihunks calendar model also just sang in the world premiere of  Gregory Vajda’s comic opera Georgia Bottoms with fellow barihunk Mike Nyby and the Huntsville Symphony. The opera about the modern South, is based on the national best-seller by Alabama author Mark Childress.

On March 7th he'll sing his second performance of Osmin in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Peabody Opera Theatre in Baltimore. Osmin was Sørensen's dream role and he just debuted it with the Houston Symphony last month. The Peabody performance will be directed by Garnett Bruce, who directed their successful Rake's Progress in 2011.

The opera will be performed at the Modell Performing Arts Center in Baltimore and tickets are available online.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Günter Papendell in Calixto Bieto's Gianni Schicchi

Günter Papendell as Achille (left) and
We wouldn't normally think of pairing sexy German barihunk Günter Papendell with provocative director Calixto Bieto in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, but neither would we think of pairing the Puccini comedy with Bartok's bleak Bluebeard's Castle. Leave it to the Komische Oper in Berlin and Bieto to do just that.

Papendell, who've we've seen in various states of undress at the Komische, will play the role of the Schicchi.

The two operatic masterpieces both premiered in 1918, the same year that the Germans surrendered and ended WWI. The works could hardly be more different, and yet they are combined to form an operatic double bill - black Italian comedy meets Hungarian psycho-drama.

The Komische website states, "Little would appear to link Gianni Schicchi and Bluebeard’s Castle - except for their unadorned depiction of the human abyss. That master of melody Giacomo Puccini spices up his story of the family arguing about their inheritance at the deathbed of the patriarch with tearjerkers such as "O mio babbino caro". Béla Bartók penetrates into the depths in the complex landscape of the soul with his dense score. A grim mystery is hidden behind the seven forbidden doors in Count Bluebeard's Castle, and exposing this mystery will prove the downfall of one young woman."
Bluebeard's Castle and Gianni Schicchi at the Komische Oper
Gidon Saks will sing the role of Bluebeard in the Bartok opera. The operas are being performed without intermission, running approximately 2 1/2 hours. Performances run from March 1 through July 8.

This season Papendell can also be seen at the Komische as Don Giovanni, Escamillo, Achille in Handel's Giulio Cesare and Odysseus. In May, Gidon Saks heads across town to portray Nick Shadow in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress at the Deutsche Oper.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Reader Submission: Nicholas Aguirre

Nicholas Aguirre
Our latest reader submission is Nicholas Aguirre, a first-year graduate student at University of Alabama. He'll be performing the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni at the University of Alabama Opera Theater on Wednesday, March 4th.

The Alabama native earned his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Vanderbilt University this past spring. He made his debut with the University of Alabama Opera Theater as Archibald Grosvenor in Gilbert & Sullivan's Patience.

He has also performed the role of Ronaldo Cabral in John Musto's Later the Same Evening, scenes from Don Giovanni and Kurt Weill's Street Scene as a participant in the Druid City Opera Workshop. He also performed works by Brahms in the Lieder studio at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.

He enjoys songwriting and exercising and is the second oldest of eight children.

Benoit Pitre buffs up for Don Giovanni debut

Benoit Pitre in the Hauptstadtoper's Don Giovanni
Canadian barihunk Benoit Pitre, who we introduced to readers back in July 2014, is currently singing his dream role of Don Giovanni in his home base of Berlin, Germany. The German adaptation of the piece is being performed at the Hauptstadtoper, with upcoming performances on March 6, April 26, May 28, June 11 and June 20.

Pitre informed us that he's been working out since Christmas to ensure that he did justice to the shirtless direction. Additional information is available online. He made his European debut as Don Giovanni's sidekick Leporello with the Komischen Kammeroper in Munich.

On March 20th, he'll perform Siméon in Debussy's L'enfant prodigue with Sakrale Oper in Berlin.

Twitter Submission Phil Gault

Barihunk Phil Gault came to us via this Twitter message
Twitter is becoming an increasingly popular way for us to discover new barihunks. The latest was the message from "Mike D" that read, "Hey @Barihunks check out my buddy @PhilGault: RT "Oh - have some @ClubNoir pictures!"

So, we checked him out. Lo and behold, here he is on Barihunks.

The pictures were part of a Valentine's Day concert put on by the Scottish Opera at the burlesque Club Noir in Glasgow. Other singers included bass Jonathan Sedgwick and tenor Adam Magee.

Beach Barihunk Phil Gault
The Welsh baritone has performed internationally in roles ranging from the eponymous Macbeth and Barber of Seville, to the Count, Dandini, King Roger, Escamillo, and indeed Carmen in the critically acclaimed all-male CarMen.

He has performed with Scottish Opera, Buxton Festival Opera, Northampton Festival Opera, and Secret Opera, is principal baritone for Opera on a Shoestring, co-founded Black Sheep Opera, and is a Samling and Crear artist. Other roles include Nabucco, Tarquinius, Junius, Nick Shadow, Angelotti, Morales, El Dancaïro, and Chao Lin (A Night at the Chinese Opera).

Gault has performed recitals in the Usher Hall, the Wales Millennium Centre, the Riverfront Centre and Paxton House, and is an aLuMNus of Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now! scheme. His song repertory includes Dichterliebe, Chansons Gaillardes, Songs of Travel, Italienisches Liederbuch, and A Shropshire Lad, and his oratorio repertoire ranges from Carmina Burana and A Sea Symphony to the Bach Passions and cantatas, in venues from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the Usher Hall, to the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford.

TV includes live broadcast recordings of the award nominated Macbeth and Barbwr Sefil with Opra Cymru, and audio includes Breathe Freely (Wagstaff), A Brontë Mass (Wilby), and A Breathless Alleluia (Wilby), both with the Black Dyke Band.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hadleigh Adams to peform biographical recital in San Francisco

Hadleigh Adams at Pinchgut Opera in Castor & Pollux and Bajazet
Kiwi barihunk Hadleigh Adams has written a 90-minute show that combines songs and arias he has sung throughout his life, along with anecdotes (both PG and R rated) to illustrate why he chose this most absurd of careers and why he knows he'll never leave. Adams traces his journey from small town New Zealand to the San Francisco Opera, the oh-so-garish lights of San Francisco's Castro District, and the thrilling and frightening experience of starting a major international career.  

We saw a private performance of the program and it's an absolute "must see" for any fan of opera.

Adams is going to perform the show publicly at San Francisco's Martuni's bar on Wednesday, March 4th at 7 pm.

Tickets are $10 each and support the Merola Opera Program, from which he graduated before becoming a San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow and beginning his international career. Seating is very limited. To order tickets, call Merola at (415) 565-6427, visit or click here for tickets.

Adams has become a fan favorite in the Bay Area, where he has been acclaimed for his roles in San Francisco Opera's Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Dolores Claiborne, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Madama Butterfly, and Schaunard in last winter's La Bohème. He will perform in Vivaldi's Bajazet this summer with Pinchgut Opera in Australia.

Three barihunks to make grown men cry

Jonathan Hare, Kenneth Kellogg & Jarrett Ott (L-R)
Three barihunks will be featured with the NY New Music Collective in an evening of songs by four-time Emmy Award winning composer Glen Roven. Jonathan Hare, Kenneth Kellogg and Jarrett Ott will perform Songs That Make Grown Men Cry Opus 41, based on texts from a collection of poetry edited by Anthony Holden and Ben Holden. They will be joined by tenors Andrew Fuchs, Glen Seven Allen and Myles Mykkanen and a choral quartet.

Roven wrote of the song cycle: 
I got in touch with the Holdens and they gave the project their blessing. I knew it would be composed for a group of men, obviously, and I tried to come up with all the permutations possible for two tenors, baritone and bass. Picking the poems was a bit of a challenge; many of the poems had the men “crying” for the same reason: a sense of loss. I thought that would be too brutal for me, so I chose poems that reflected different reasons for the tears: tears of joy, tears of wonder, tears of glory, and of course tears of loss. Also when I started writing, The Death of Klinghoffer was very much in the news and the creators kept insisting their piece was intimately based on Bach’s “St. Matthew’s Passion.” I saw Klinghoffer twice and for the life of me, I couldn’t make sense of that comment. However, it did give me the inspiration to compose chorales in this cycle. There are three: the first and last songs, and the middle song to break up the set.
Also on the program will be internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard singing the composer's Goodnight Moon Opus 17, as well as his  six Ancient Chinese Songs Opus 38, performed by soprano Laura Strickling. 

The performance will be at Spectrum in New York City on March 19th at 8:30 PM. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Michael Weyandt to sing world premiere of "Barihunk Song"

Composer Clint Borzoni (left) and Barihunk Michael Weyandt (right)
The inevitable has occurred with the barihunk craze in opera, as a song dedicated to the phenomenon will receive its world premiere at the National Opera Center in New York City on March 28th.

The song will be part of concert called "Love Affairs," which explores love of self, love of money, lust, and dealing with lost loves. Also featured on the program is soprano Caroline Worra and pianists Jennifer Peterson and Lloyd Arriola.

In addition to the Barihunk Song, the program features the world premiere of Philip Wharton's song cycle "Blooms Remembered," composed to words by Carl Sandburg.

Love Affairs will be performed one night only at 7:30 PM on Saturday, March 28the in the Recital Hall at The National Opera Center, 330 Seventh Avenue, NYC. Tickets are available online at PurplePass. The $20 tickets also includes a reception following the concert.

You can hear Michael Weyandt sing Bolcom's Song of Black Max by clicking HERE.

Clint Borzoni is an award winning composer, and alumnus of programs from American Opera Projects, the American Lyric Theater, and was recently chosen as one of the composers for Fort Worth Opera's Frontiers 2015 Showcase.

Philip Wharton has worked with Santa Fe Opera's apprentice program. Grammy-nominated Borealis Wind Quintet frequently performs his quintet. Recently Albany Records released a recording of his flute sonata.

There is another version of the Barihunk Song set to music by Glen Roven that is expected to be premiered later this year on the West Coast.

Friday, February 20, 2015

André Courville to get devilish at AVA

André Courville being a little devilish
Our post this morning about AVA graduate John Viscardi performing Valentin in Gounod's Faust with the Michigan Opera, prompted almost an immediate reply from a Philadelphia opera fanatic who informed us that current AVA student André Courville will be performing bass role of Méphistophélès. He'll be performing the role from April 25-May 9 at the Helen Corning Warden Theater in Philadelphia, Centennial Hall in Haverford and Central Bucks East H.S. in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Additional information can be found online.

If you can't wait until April, you catch the Louisiana native as the bass soloist in Bach's Mass in B minor with
Vox Ama Deus a the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia form March 2-April 3.

Properly introducing John Viscardi

John Viscardi (photo Arielle Doneson)
We kind of introduced American barihunk three years ago while he was at the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia, when we featured him in a photo of students mocking a Vanity Fair spread of famous opera singers. However, it was just pointed out to us that we've actually never profiled the lyric baritone as we have Scott Conner and Wes Mason, who also appeared in the photo.

We just learned that he's been cast as Valentin in Gounod's Faust at the Michigan Opera Theater with Matt Boehler as Méphistophélès, which is running from May 9-17. This will be his debut with the company.

In the 2013/14 season, Viscardi performed Torero in Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar and Abdallo in Verdi's Nabucco with Opera Philadelphia, and made his debuts with the Shreveport and Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestras. He was also featured soloist in “Eve and Friends” with Maestro Eve Queler at Alice Tully Hall, and an Apprentice Artist with Santa Fe Opera. One of our favorite events was a joint concert with fellow barihunk Wes Mason in Philadelphia.

His repertoire includes Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, the title role in Billy Budd, Pelléas in Pelléas et Mélisande, and Yeletsky in Pique Dame.    

(l-r) Alexandra Maximova, Scott Conner, Maria Aleida, Nelson Ebo, Wes Mason, John Viscardi, and Chrystal Williams
Previous seasons have showcased Viscardi in Babes in Toyland as the Toy Soldier in his Lincoln Center debut at Avery Fisher Hall, as Prunier in La Rondine with Des Moines Metro Opera, The Dancing Master and Lamplighter in Manon Lescaut with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, and Lensky in Eugene Onegin with Opera Naples.    

His awards include 4th place in the 2014 Giulio Gari Foundation Vocal Competition, Audience Favorite in the 2014 Annapolis Opera’s Vocal Competition, receipt of Santa Fe Opera’s 2013 Anna Case McKay Memorial Award, the Bertha Koempel Award in the 2012 Liederkranz Foundation Competition, a 2012 George London Foundation encouragement award, the Lys Symonette Award from the 2011 Kurt Weill Foundation- Lotte Lenya Competition, 2nd Place Prize in the 2011 Giargiari Bel Canto Competition, 1st place in the 2010 Mario Lanza Scholarship Competition, and 3rd place in the 2010 Giargiari Bel Canto Competition.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Watch Dan Kempson discuss singing "iconic" Stanley Kowalski role in Streetcar

Dan Kempson in A Streetcar Named Desire with Townsend Opera
Today's matinee marks the third an final day of André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire, which was done in collaboration between the Fresno Grand Opera and Townsend Opera in Modesto. The opera played to enthusiastic crowds in Modesto and gushing reviews.

The cast includes Dan Kempson as Stanley Kowalski, Carrie Hennessey as Blanche DuBois,  Kiera Duffy as Stella, James Callon as “Mitch,”  Sharmay Musacchio as Eunice Hubbel and Robert Norman as Steve Hubbel. In a stroke of genius casting, the two companies were the first to cast Kempson as Stanley Kowalski, affording people in Northern California to get the first glimpse of him in the role. 

Dan Kempson in A Streetcar Named Desire with Townsend Opera
The Townsend Opera has just posted a two-part video where Dan Kempson discusses his career, as well as preparing for the role of Stanley Kowalski, first played by Marlon Brando in the 1951 movie of the same name. You can watch Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Tickets for the February15th matinee performance are available online

Kempson can next be seen from March 13-29 in the world premiere of Somtow Sucharitkul's The Snow Dragon with the Skylight Music Theatre in Milwaukee. The opera centers on the relationship between Dora Marx, a jaded children’s counselor who has lost her sense of direction, and Billy Binder, a physically abused foster boy whose rage is so powerful it has opened a doorway into another world called the Fallen Country. Kempson plays the evil Ringmaster, who Billy must defeat to overcome his problems.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Zachary Altman's sexy shepherd in Daphne

Zach Altman (center) and a dancer in Basel
Barihunk Zach Altman is appearing in German director Christof Loy's regie theater production of Richard Strauss' Daphne at the Basel Theater. Loy, who Loy was voted "Director of the Year" by the critics of the German music magazine Opernwelt is well-known in Germany for his "contemporary" productions of masterpieces like Idomeneo, Don Giovanni, Der Rosenkavalier and La bohème.

Altman, who appears as one of the shepherds certainly holds his own with any of the members of the Basel dance troupe, all of whom appear in the opera bedecked only in white shorts.

Dancers with soprano Agneta Eichenholz

Zach Altman (center)
We won't bore you with too many words and we'll let the pictures do the talking. The opera runs through June 23rd. Altman will be appearing as Tarquinius in their upcoming production of Britten's The Rape of Lucretia and Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte. Altman better stay in shape, as Cosi is directed by Calixto Bieito, who is known for showing some skin in his productions.

John Brandon's singing Valentine in Monroe, Louisiana

John Brandon
Barihunk John Brandon will be part of the Louisiana Opera's "Lovin' Broadway" Valentine's Day party in Kilbourne Hall at Grace Episcopal Church. Brandon will join soprano Betsy Uschkrat, tenor Tyler Smith, soprano Claire Vangelisti, tenor Julian Jones and accompanist Richard Seiler for an evening of Broadway solos and duets.

Brandon, who made his debut with Louisiana Opera last May in Pagliacci will returen this summer to sing the title role in Rossini's The Barber of Seville on June 5 and 7 at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

For information or will-call reservations, call 318-342-3247

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Simon Keenlyside cancelling all performances through April

Simon Keenlyside
Simon Keenlyside has posted a message on his fan site that he is cancelling all of his performances through April in order to rest his vocal cords. He is withdrawing from Verdi's Falstaff is Munich, his March concert at Avery Fisher Hall in New York, as well as Don Carlo at the Met and in Munich.

We wish him a speedy recover and look forward to his expected return for Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin in Munich. 

Introducing British barihunk Felix Kemp

Felix Kemp showing his Wagnerian side
We discover new barihunks in a variety of ways, with the most common way still being from readers. It used to come almost exclusively from emails and Facebook, but lately we're seeing more suggestions appear on Twitter.

That's how British barihunk Felix Kemp came to our attention. In fact, it came from fellow barihunk James Newby, who we introduced to readers in August 2013 and recently featured on the site.

Kemp lives in London and studies singing with Neil Baker at postgraduate level at Trinity Laban, where he's supported by the Kathleen Roberts vocal scholarship. He also receives coaching from mezzo soprano Wendy Dawn Thompson.

Felix Kemp
Recent concerts have include the bass solos in Bach's St John Passion in Oslo, Bach's Magnificat in London and Bach's Christmas Oratorio in the English town of Leighton Buzzard. Last summer he  performed as part of the Grange Park chorus in Britten's Peter Grimes and Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades. He also participated in masterclasses with British Youth Opera.

In 2014, Felix won the audience prize at the John Kerr Award for English Song competition, and performed in a masterclass with Sir John Eliot Gardiner as part of the Greenwich International Early Music Festival.

Engagements this season include bass solos in Mozart's Coronation Mass and Solemn Vespers Tunbridge Wells, Dvorak's Stabat Mater in Leeds, and Wagner's Parsifal in Valencia with the Philharmonia Chorus as part of their Professional Singers' Scheme. He returns to Grange Park Opera this Summer to appear in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and Fiddler on the Roof alongside Bryn Terfel.

You can follow both James Newby (@jamesn103) and Felix Kemp (@Felix_Kemp) on Twitter.

Tulsa Opera showcasing barihunks for Valentine's Day (and some hunkentenors!)

Kasey Yeargain (left in tee shirt) with Stefan Barner;Backstage for Romeo & Juliet (right)
What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day, but with a classic love story like Romeo & Juliet (although we hope your romance ends better). The Tulsa Opera is presenting the Gounod classic on this weekend for lovers, with performances bookending the holiday on February 13 and 15.

Barichunk to barihunk Kasey Yeargain continues to be a fan favorite with the company and he takes on the role of Paris, Juliet's other suitor and the favorite of Romeo's dad. This summer he'll be singing Jud Fry in Rodgers and Hammerstein' Oklahoma! with the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma from June 23rd - June 27th.

Also in the cast are hunkentenor, Daniel Montenegro as Romeo and Stefan Barner as Tybalt. 

Jeremy Milner
Also in the cast of Romeo & Juliet is Tulsa native Jeremy Milner, who is new to this site. The bass-barihunk recently débuted the role of Hagen in Götterdämmerung with the Grand Théâtre de Genève and performed in Shostakovich's The Nose at the Metropolitan Opera.

He'll be appearing in Don Carlo with Opera Philadelphia from April 24 to May 3. He's become a regular with the company, having performed performed Colline in La bohème, Zuniga in Carmen, Minotauros in Henze’s Phaedra, Lodovico in Otello, Grenvil in La traviata, Simone in Gianni Schicchi, and Le fauteuil in L’enfant et les sortilèges.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Xavier Rivera in free San Francisco concert

Xavier Rivera: Pearl Fishers selfie
You can hear 2015 Barihunk calendar model Xavier Rivera for free on Friday, February 13th at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He'll be performing the Zurga-Laïla duet from Bizet's The Pearl Fishers. The concert starts at 7:30 PM. 

The program will also include other artists in arias and duets from Humperdink's Hansel and Gretel,
Rachel Portman's The Little Prince. Gounod's Roméo et Juliette and Massenet's Manon.

The Puerto Rican native recently appeared in San Juan in Puccini's La bohème and has performed in Mozart's Requiem with the Oakland East Bay Symphony and the Coronation Mass in the San Francisco Master Chorale in San Josè and Castro Valley, California. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

NPR features segment on Dallas Opera world premiere

Andrew Bidlack (left) & Craig Verm (right) in Everest
The Dallas Opera just wrapped up the world premier of composer Joby Talbot and librettist Gene Scheer's Everest at the Dallas Opera.  The opera confronts the tragic events surrounding an ill-fated Everest expedition and features actual climber and barihunk Craig Verm, who made his debut with the company. NPR recently ran a segment on the production, which you can listen to online.

Gene Scheer was fascinated by the infamous 1996 expeditions. He wrote the libretto for Everest after traveling around the world to interview survivors of that doomed climb. Everest is British composer Joby Talbot's first opera, after a career that has has included writing for film, television and ballet. Talbot tells NPR that he was especially eager to create a sound world around the peak.

Boehrihunk: John David Boehr
The cast included hunkentenor Andrew Bidlack, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, bass Kevin, barihunk John David Boehr and was conducted by the Nicole Paiement.

Craig Verm and Kevin Burdette team up again on March 13 and 15 at the Florentine Opera in Milwaukee  for Robert Aldridge's Elmer Gantry. Tickets and additional information are available online. John David Boehr (aka Boehrihunk) can next be seen on February 11th performing scenes and arias in Opera Viva! with Minnesota Opera at the Covenant Village of Golden Valley.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Honorary Barihunk Joyce DiDonato sings out against hate

Honorary Barihunk Joyce DiDonato
Joyce DiDonato is one of only three non-baritones to be bestowed "Honorary Barihunk" status and for good reason. The latest is her recent performance at the Stonewall Inn in New York City in honor of Mark Carson, a gay man who was killed nearby in a senseless hate crime.

The idea of a murder happening blocks away from the Stonewall Inn is incomprehensible to me," DiDonato says. "It shouldn't happen anywhere. It tells me that we're not done talking, and we are not done working for people to comprehend what equality is about and why it is important."

Joyce DiDonato performing at the Stonewall Inn on NPR:

The mezzo-soprano sang "When I am Laid in Earth" from Henry Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas, which includes the line "Remember me, but ah! forget my fate."

This isn't the first time that the singer has taken a very public and very musical stand on the issue. In 2013, she performed "Over the Rainbow" at the Proms in London devoting it to LGBT voices silenced by Russia's anti-gay laws. At the Santa Fe Opera, she dedicated a performance to a gay New Mexican teen who committed suicide after being bullied.

By the way, the first four letters of Joyce's last name spell DIDO. 

AVA's Bohemian Barihunks shine at Met Auditions

Nathan Milholin, Anthony Schneider, Jared Bybee and Michael Adams (L-R)
The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia is kicking off a twelve day run of Puccini's La bohème featuring four barihunks who all recently shined in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions.

On February 2nd, we ran a feature on Michael Adams winning the New Orleans District regionals. He'll be singing Schaunard on opening night, Thursday, February 7th.

His Colline will be Nathan Milholin, who was regional finalist at the Philadelphia District auditions. He's sharing the role with Anthony Schneider, who also was a finalist at the Philadelphia District auditions.

We certainly can't forget about Marcello, who will be sung on opening night by Jared Bybee, another winner at the Philadelphia District auditions.

Adams and Bybee have both been featured on this site before, but Milholin and Schneider are new to our readers. Milholin, who hails from Greensboro, North Carolina, is a first-year resident artist at AVA. Bass Anthony Schneider, grew up in Auckland, New Zealand and Vienna, Austria, and is a second-year artist at AVA.

Tickets for all performances are available online.

Adonis: Introducing bass-barihunk Chris Webb

Bass-barihunk Chris Webb
Chris Webb is new to our site and part of a group of young singers that the U.K.'s Opera Lyrica is taking on two tours of Britain. The singers will perform in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, as well as Blow's Venus and Adonis. Appropriately, Webb will be singing Adonis.

Webb attended Clare College Cambridge, where he sang in the chorus and appeared as a soloist with baroque music specialist Sir Roger Norrington on BBC Radio 3 with the Academy of Ancient Music. He has been appearing with a number of vocal ensembles, including the Zürcher Sing-Akademie and the a cappella group Over the Bridge.

Early music has played a big part in his burgeoning career, having sung Giove in Cavalli's La Calisto with the Hampstead Garden Opera, Melisso in Handels' Alcina with Musica Poetica London and Sleep/Winter in Purcell's Fairy Queen with Ars Eloquentiae.

His current tour with Opera Lyrica runs from February 15-21 and will take him to London, Oxford, Hampshire and Wiltshire. Additional performances are scheduled for May. Visit their website for additional information. This also marks Opera Lyrica's first appearance on our site.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Kevin Thompson returns to San Francisco for Entführung

Kevin Thompson returns to the SF Bay Area as Osmin
Bass-barihunk Aaron Sørensen just wrapped up a successful run singing his first Osmin in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Houston Symphony. Now it's Kevin Thompson's turn to make his role debut in one of the most difficult roles for bass. The opera runs from February 13-22 at West Bay Opera in Palo Alto, California, which is a quick drive for anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area. It certainly will be worth the trip.

Thompson is returning the Bay Area where he was a huge success while with the Merola Opera training program in San Francisco. During his stint with Merola, he performed Falstaff in Nicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor and a stunning Basilio in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia. Eugene Brancoveanu, another former Merola graduate and fellow barihunk, will make his company directing debut with this production. He last appeared with the company singing Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte.

Die Entführung aus dem Serail premiered in 1782 and contains three arias for Osmin, one of which goes down to the lowest reaches of the bass range. Mozart wrote the role of Osmin for the formidable bass Ludwig Fischer, who was a friend of the composer.

The first aria is "Wer ein Liebchen hat gefunden," which advises the listener to reward your loved one with kisses and make her life great,  as well as to locking up your woman's other lovers, lest they tempt her to forget her faithfulness. 

Kevin Thompson sings Beethoven's Agnus Dei from the Missa Solemnis:

In the aria "Solche hergelaufne Laffen" Osmin graphically explains why he does not like Pedrillo. It's is mainly because Osmin and Pedrillo are both in love with Blondchen and Pedrillo is in better favor with both Blondchen and the Pasha.

After Pedrillo, Belmonte, Blondchen, and Konstanze are captured trying to escape, Osmin sings of the delight that he will have when they are all hanged in the aria "O wie will ich triumphieren," which dips down to a Low D (D2). Click HERE to listen to an amazing version by Kurt Moll.

The cast at West Bay Opera also includes Nikki Einfeld (another Merola graduate) as Kostanze, Michael Desnoyers as Belmonte, Tapan Bhat at Pedrillo adn Chelsea Hollow as Blonde. Tickets are available online

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Barihunks hit the road with English Touring Opera

Nicholas Lester (left) & Peter Brathwaite (photos from English Touring Opera)
The English Touring Opera is kicking off their new Spring season with some barihunks in key roles.

Peter Brathwaite, who has been a regular on this site and appeared in two of our charity calendars, will take on roles in two Donizetti rarities, Kaidamà in The Wild Man of the West Indies (Il furioso all'isola di San Domingo) and Incognito in The Siege of Calais. This will be the first staging of The Wild Man of the West Indies in Britain in the modern era.

The Siege of Calais tells the story of the sacrifices under siege of the citizens of Calais – and of the sacrifices of citizens everywhere, forced in extreme situations to decide what to give up for their country and their families.

Jan Capiński
Jan Capiński, who is new to this site will appear as Armando in The Siege of Calais. He recently completed his M.A. in Opera Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, graduating with distinction. He is currently training on English National Opera's Opera Works professional development program. Capiński was spotted by Scottish Opera while still a student and asked to cover the role of Pluto in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, before going on to perform the role twice with the main cast, marking his professional debut.

Click HERE to hear Jan Capiński sing Smirnov's aria from Walton's The Bear. You can also follow him on his blog or on Twitter @JanCapinski.

Nicholas Lester, who is also new to this site, will alternate the role of Marcello in Puccini's La bohème with Grant Doyle, who has appeared on this site numerous times.  He studied at the Adelaide Conservatorium of Music and at the National Opera Studio, London where his studies were sponsored by Glyndebourne Festival Opera as the recipient of the Anne Woods/Johanna Peters Award. He has also appeared with the Welsh National Opera, English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Nationale Reisopera and Opera Holland Park.

The tour opens in London at the Hackney Empire in March and travels through May to Truro, Norwich, Cheltenham, Suffolk, Leicester, Coventry, Exeter and Buxton. Visit their website for additional cast information and performance dates.

David Shipley named Jette Parker Young Artist

David Shipley
British bass-barihunk David Shipley was one of five applicants out of 370, who were chosen to join the prestigious Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Applicants from 59 countries competed for the coveted slots in a process that started back in August 2014. A shortlist of just twelve singers auditioned in the final round on the Royal Opera House’s main stage, in front of a panel including Royal Opera House Music Director Antonio Pappano and Director of Opera Kasper Holten.

The other four who were selected are a Russian soprano Vlada Borovko, Irish soprano Jennifer Davis, Australian mezzo-soprano Emily Edmonds and Korean tenor David Junghoon Kim. 

As a Jette Parker Young Artist, from September 2015 Shipley will spend two years at the Royal Opera House, performing in a variety of main-stage productions, concerts and recitals; covering lead roles; and receiving world-class coaching in all opera disciplines including languages, stagecraft and role interpretation.

David Shipley is currently a scholar on the opera course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, studying with Janice Chapman. He previously studied at the Royal Academy of Music.

The Royal Opera House has announced five additions to the Jette Parker programme, which trains young singers and pays them a salary for two years.
The five are a Russian soprano Vlada Borovko, Irish soprano Jennifer Davis, Australian mezzo-soprano Emily Edmonds, Korean tenor David Junghoon Kim and a British bass David Shipley (pictured). They were picked from some 370 applicants from 59 countries.
- See more at:

The Royal Opera House has announced five additions to the Jette Parker programme, which trains young singers and pays them a salary for two years.
The five are a Russian soprano Vlada Borovko, Irish soprano Jennifer Davis, Australian mezzo-soprano Emily Edmonds, Korean tenor David Junghoon Kim and a British bass David Shipley (pictured). They were picked from some 370 applicants from 59 countries.
- See more at:

The Royal Opera House has announced five additions to the Jette Parker programme, which trains young singers and pays them a salary for two years.
The five are a Russian soprano Vlada Borovko, Irish soprano Jennifer Davis, Australian mezzo-soprano Emily Edmonds, Korean tenor David Junghoon Kim and a British bass David Shipley (pictured). They were picked from some 370 applicants from 59 countries.
- See more at:

The Royal Opera House has announced five additions to the Jette Parker programme, which trains young singers and pays them a salary for two years.
The five are a Russian soprano Vlada Borovko, Irish soprano Jennifer Davis, Australian mezzo-soprano Emily Edmonds, Korean tenor David Junghoon Kim and a British bass David Shipley (pictured). They were picked from some 370 applicants from 59 countries.
- See more at:

Sexy photos of Soloman Howard in Approaching Ali

Soloman Howard in Approaching Ali
Bass-barihunk Soloman Howard just wrapped up a reprisal of his performance as boxing great Muhammad Ali in DJ Sparr's Approaching Ali with the North Carolina Opera. Howard sang in the world premiere of the opera in the Summer of 2013 at the Kennedy Center. 

Sparr's one-hour opera was created under the auspices of the American Opera Initiative, Washington National Opera’s program for commissioning contemporary American opera. The libretto is by Mark Campbell and Davis Miller, based on Miller’s own autobiographical novella.

Soloman Howard in Approaching Ali
Fortunately for our readers, a number of amazing pictures appeared in Raleigh's Indy Week magazine of the singer accompanied by this article.

The opera tells the story of a young boy in North Carolina in the early 1960s who overcomes the loss of his mother and the trauma of being bullied when he sees Muhammad Ali on television. More than 20 years later, as a writer on the brink of middle age, he seeks to rekindle that spirit by visiting his boyhood hero in person at the home of Ali’s mother in Louisville.

Soloman Howard had a successful debut this season as the King in Verdi's Aida at the Met. This summer he'll sing Banco in Verdi's Macbeth and Sarastro in Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Glimmerglass Festival

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Watch Dmitri Hvorostovsky in The Demon from Moscow

Dmitri Hvorostovsky onstage and backstage for The Demon
We have photos and we have the video!!!

Yes, we have this sexy backstage photo of über-barihunk Dmitri Hvorostovsky as he readied for his  role debut in Anton Rubinstein’s 1871 opera The Demon this week at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall  in Moscow. There is still one more performance on February 5th, but for those who can't jet off to Moscow, here is the video of the entire performance.

In the semi-staged performances Hvorostovsky sings the haunting and seductive title role under the baton of Mikhail Tatarnikov with the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia accompanying. Also featured in the cast are soprano Asmik Grigorian, contralto Larisa Kostyuk, countertenor Vadim Volkov, tenor Vasily Efimov, and basses Alexander Tsymbalyuk and Dmitry Skorikov. Dmitry Bertman directs.

The setting of the Demon is somewhere between heaven, hell and earth – just as the demon himself is a fallen angel, an inwardly torn character, a negating power and adversary of the angel at the same time. Unable to love and still be humble, he falls in love with Tamara, who is about to marry Prince Gudal’s son, and kills the bridegroom. The bride escapes to a convent and is visited by the demon, who promises to renounce evil and pictures their future as eternity and boundless power. Tamara, yielding to temptation, is killed when he kisses her. In the struggle for her soul, the angel keeps the upper hand, for "he who loves belongs to paradise". For the demon, nothing has really changed: he carries on living in eternal damnation and loses his hope in the shape of Tamara, with whom he shared his solitude, his longing for love, his thirst for knowledge and the sadness resulting from it all.

Barihunks star in Atlanta Opera's new season

David Adam Moore in Winterreise at the Anchorage Opera
Some of the most popular barihunks in the world will be headlining in a number of performances in the just announced 2015-16 Atlanta Opera season.

David Adam Moore, who is currently performing the title role in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin at the Arizona Opera, will bring his critically-acclaimed semi-staged production of Schubert's Winterreise. The production was designed by GLMMR with costumes by Moore's partner Vita Tzykun.

Eugene Opera runs through February 8th at the Arizona Opera and the cast also features barihunk Nicholas Masters as Prince Gremin. Barihunk Chris Carr takes over the title role for one performance on February 7th. Additional information is availabel online.


Matthew Worth will take on David T. Little's Soldier Songs, which David Adam Moore had a critical success with in 2008 when it was presented by Beth Morrison Projects in New York. Worth is currently preparing the role of Sergeant Raymond Shaw in the world premiere of Kevin Puts' The Manchurian Candidate at the Minnesota Opera. The opera opens on March 7 and runs through March 15.
Matthew Worth (left) and Theo Hoffman (right)
Soldier Songs is an evening-length multimedia event that combines elements of theater, opera, rock-infused-concert music, and animation to explore the perceptions versus the realities of the Soldier, the exploration of loss and exploitation of innocence, and the difficulty of expressing the truth of war. The libretto was adapted from recorded interviews with veterans of five wars.

Moving into the standard repertory, rising star Theo Hoffman will sing the role of Schaunard in Puccini's La bohème in a cast that also features Trevor Scheunemann and Leah Partridge. The remainder of their season included Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance and Gounod's Romeo & Juliet. Visit their website for additional information.