Friday, January 15, 2016

Ryan Taylor takes over Minnesota Opera; Leaves great legacy in Arizona

Ryan Taylor now and in his singing days
Former baritone Ryan Taylor is taking over the Minnesota Opera, after he successfully revived the Arizona Opera. Taylor certainly would have been a candidate for barihunks during his singing days, but he was winding down his career as we were revving up the site. Taylor takes over on May 1 and you can read more on the Star Tribune website. We recently posted about another barihunk, Jason Hardy, who took over the reigns of OperaDelaware.

His current programming at Arizona Opera includes Bizet's Carmen in February with the barihunk trio of Ryan Kuster as Escamillo, Joseph Lattanzi as Morales and Calvin Griffin as Zuniga (and the sensational Daniella Mack as Carmen). That will be followed later in the month by Mozart's Don Giovanni with barihunks Morgan Smith and Joseph Lattanzi rotating the title role and Ryan Kuster singing Masetto.

Another of his great legacies will be Arizona Spark, which workshops new compositions. Our personal favorite is Clint Borzoni's Copper Queen, with a libretto by John De Los Santos. The opera tells the story of Julia Lowell, the ghost that haunts a famed hotel in Bisbee, Arizona, once prominent as a mining town for both copper and “Bisbee-blue” turquoise. You can hear sound clips HERE. The Minnesota Opera also has a long tradition of presenting new works, including composer Kevin Puts' Silent Night, which won the Pulitzer Prize.

Borzoni will be presenting two new works in San Francisco next week for String Quartet and Baritone with barihunk Marco Vassalli. Tickets are available online.

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