Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Dilemma over Crossover Barihunks

Nicky Wuchinger (left) and Jan-Philipp Rekeszus (right)
We're usually pretty clear about our mission at Barihunks, which is to promote baritones (down to bass) who take great care of their voices as well as their bodies. Generally, that has meant operatic baritones, but occasionally those lines get blurred. Take the cases of Ramin Karimloo, Doug Carpenter and Seph Stanek, three of the most popular singers to have appeared on this site. All three were trained as operatic baritones, but both have crossed over into other genres.

Paulo Szot, Seph Stanke and Doug Carpenter
Ramin Karimloo has gone on to be one of the most heralded singers to perform Jean Valjean in Les Mirerables and the title character in Phantom of the Opera. Seph Stanek, who studied classical voice at Furman University and the L'Accademia dell'Arte, went on to have a career as part of the crossover group Figaro, sang on tour with the Twelve Tenors and even starred in Naked Boys Singing! Then there's the case of Paulo Szot, one of opera's biggest stars, who is probably best known for singing Emile De Beque in South Pacific, taking home a Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award the Outer Critic’s Circle Award and the Theater World Award.

That brings us to Jan-Philipp Rekeszus and Nicky Wuchinger, two German singers with operatic pedigree who are making their mark in operetta and musical theater. Wuchinger was a finalist in the Lotte Lenya Competition when fellow barihunk Doug Carpenter took away the top prize. Carpenter has also successfully "crossed over" starring in the national tour of Dirty Dancing.


Rekeszus and Wuchinger are mentioned in a new article by Kevin Clarke entitled "Eyes Wide Open: A New Generation of Operetta Superstars?." He even refers to Rekeszus as a barihunk, although upon listening to the two singers we'd be compelled to call them bari-tenors, much like Karimloo. Clark imagines Rekeszus as ideal for Wiener Blut or The Merry Widow, and points out the Wuchinger was hired to sing in Eduard Künneke’s operetta Der Vetter aus Dingsda.

Wuchinger and Rekeszus bothe studied voice at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. Wuchinger went on to embark on a successful career singing in Cats, The Who's Tommy, Phantom of the Opera and Hairspray. Rekeszus has made his mark performing in Hair and Bye, Bye, Birdie.

We'd love your thoughts on us featuring crossover artists on the site. However, if our statistics are any indication, we think that we know the answer, as posts about Karimloo, Stanek and Carpenter remain some of the most trafficked on the site.  Feel free to email us at or leave a comment below. 

1 comment:

  1. By all means give us some cross-over barihunks: no need to be snobbish in the manner of Rudolph Bing. So long as the majority of posts remain centred on opera, being made aware of other types of productions is all to the good. . .for the singers' careers and for us.