Thursday, June 30, 2016

Watch barihunk George Humphreys in world premiere of In Parenthesis

George Humphreys (left) and Andrew Bidlack (right) in In Parenthesis
Iain Bell's new opera In Parenthesis received its world premiere on May 13th at the Welsh National Opera with barihunk George Humphreys in the key role of Lieutenant Jenkins. The all-star cast also included hunkentenor Andrew Bidlack in the major role of Private John Ball, Peter Coleman-Wright in the Bard of Brittannia, Alexandra Deshorties is the Bard of Germania and the Queen of the Woods and Graham Clark is the Marne Sergeant.

It wraps up performance on July 1 at the Royal Opera House in London, but will be available worldwide for viewing on The Opera Platform at 8pm CET on July 1st, and then available to view online for free for six months. (3 PM EST, Noon PST).

The opera is an adaptation of the epic poem In Parenthesis by Welsh poet, writer and artist David Jones. The libretto centers around Private John Ball and his comrades in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, who are posted to the Somme. In Mametz Wood they enter a strange realm – outside of time, dream-like but deadly. Rather than simply reporting the horrors of the Somme, the story dares to offer hope. Even here amongst all of the destruction there is a fragile flowering of regeneration and re-birth. Bell’s score combines traditional Welsh song with moments of other-worldliness, terror, humor and transcendence.

T. S. Eliot called In Parenthesis "a work of genius." W. H. Auden considered it "...the greatest book about the First World War" that he had read, a work in which Jones did "for the British and the Germans what Homer did for the Greeks and the Trojans" in "a masterpiece" comparable in quality to The Divine Comedy. 

There will also be screenings across the U.K., including at the Pontio in Bangor on July 3, the Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff on July 6,  the Theatr Gwaun in Fishguard on July 9,  The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth July 16, and the Theatr Colwyn in Colwyn Bay on November 22.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Barihunk trio in Garsington Opera season

Roderick Williams (photo: Mark Douet) and Quirijn de Lang (photo: Johan Persson)
The 2016 Garsington Opera is well under way and will be running until July 17. They are presenting Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Mozart’s Idomeneo, Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri and a production of Haydn’s The Creation. which incorporates dance. All three operas feature barihunks! The performances are at the Opera Pavilion on the gorgeous, rolling landscape of the Chiltern Hills, less than an hour from London.

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, directed by Michael Boyd, features British barihunk Roderick Williams making his role debut and festival debut as Onegin. He'll be joined by Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw asTatyana and Ukrainian tenor Oleksiy Palchykov as Lensky.

Nicholas Masters timelapse video of makeup prep for Idomeneo:

Mozart’s Idomeneo, directed by Tim Albery, features barihunk Nicholas Masters as Neptune, who will be joined by tenor Toby Spence in the title role and Rebecca von Lipinski as Elletra.

Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri, directed by Olivier award-winner Will Tuckett, will feature Dutch barihunk Quirijn de Lang as Mustafa and Mary Bevan as his long-suffering wife Elvira.

Garsington Opera will also host a number of public screenings of Eugene Onegin in isolated coastal and rural communities, including in Skegness on July 2, Ramsgate from July 25 - 30, Bridgewater on August 20 and Grimsby on September 30.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Erwin Schrott to kick off Ljubljana Festival; Barihunk trio Don Giovanni in Munich

Erwin Schrott
Bass-barihunk Erwin Schrott will kick off the the 64th Ljubljana Festival tonight in an open air concert in Congress Square joined by Argentine soprano Jaquelina Liveri.

The opera Don Giovanni will feature prominently on the program, as it includes the Leporello's Catalog Aria, Donna Anna's Non mi dir and Don Giovanni and Zerlina's duet La ci darem la mano. Schrott will also perform Dulcamara’s aria from L’elisir d’amore "Udite, udite, o rustici," "Et toi, Palerme" from Verdi's I vespri siciliani, Mephistophele’s aria "Le veau d’or" from Faust, in addition to duets with Liveri.

Brandon Cedel (Photo:Opera News) and Alex Esposito
Don Giovanni is also up next on Schrott's calendar, as he performs the title role at the Opernfestspiele at the Bavarian State Opera with fellow barihunks Alex Esposito in his signature role Leporello and Brandon Cedel as Masetto. The all-star cast also includes Pavol Breslik as Don Ottavio, Albina Shagimuratova as Donna Anna, Ain Anger as the Commendatore and Dorothea Röschmann as Donna Elvira. Performances are on July 23 and 25 and tickets are available online.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Cody Quattlebaum wins James Toland Vocal Arts Competition

Cody Quattlebaum
Bass-barihunk Cody Quattlebaum took home $5,000 for winning the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition in Oakland, California on Saturday. He also won another $1,000 for winning the audience prize.

The New York singer sang "Se vuol ballare" from Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and "O du, mein holder Abendstern" from Wagner's Tannhäuser. Soprano Yelena Dyachek came in second, followed by tenor Arnold Livingston Geis.

Quattlebaum is earning is Master's Degree in Voice Performance at The Juilliard School of Music, where he has performed Der Lautsprecher in Viktor Ullmann's Der Kaiser von Atlantis and Sylvano in Cavalli's La Callisto.

He is currently at the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco, where he will perform Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte. Performances are August 4 and 6 and tickets are available online.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Introducing Bertie Watson; Performing Guildhall Hall recital

Bertie Watson
British Bass-Barihunk is recently graduated from the Guildhall School of Music, where he has performed Figaro in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and Belcore in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore. He will join the Opera Studies course in September.

At Guildhall, he has performed Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Milton Court Concert Hall, as well as Marcello, Puck and Jupiter in Offenbach's Orphée aux enfers. He was the bass soloist in Handel's Messiah at the Christ Church in Radyr, Wales earlier this year.

On Tuesday,  June 21st at 1:00 pm, he will be joined by pianist Dylan Perez in a program of songs based on Walt Whitman’s poetry. The recital includes composer Clint Borzoni's gorgeous song, "I dreamed in a dream," as well as selections by Rorem, Hoiby, Bernstein, Ruth Schönthal and James H. Rogers. The recital is in the Guildhall lecture hall and admission is free.

He is also finalist in the 2016 Dean & Chadlington Festival Singing Competition along with fellow barihunk Morgan Pearse. The competition will be held from June 23-26.

James Quilligan as photographed by Bertie Watson
He is also a photographer, who specializes in head shots using natural light. One of his subjects was fellow barihunk James Quilligan. You can check out his work HERE.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Padraic Rowan unanimously wins Bernadette Greevy Bursary Award

Padraic Rowan
Irish bass-barihunk Padraic Rowan has won the Bernadette Greevy Bursary Award for 2016. The judges were unanimous in their decision.

As overall prize winner, Padraic receives a bursary of 5,000 euro towards his singing career and will have the opportunity to perform a solo recital at the National Concert Hall to take place next year. 

Twenty-six year old Padraic Rowan graduated from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2013 with a Masters in Music Performance and is currently studying with Robert Dean in London. A Jerwood Young Artist at the 2014 Glyndebourne Festival, he made his Wigmore Hall debut in November 2015 as a finalist in the Maureen Lehan Vocal Awards. In June 2015, he reached the semi-finals of the 34th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Amsterdam.

Upcoming engagements include the summer Young Artist programme with Les Azuriales Opera in France. This September, Padraic will join the Opera Studio of Oper Stuttgart in Germany, performing a number of roles across the 2016/17 season.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Question & Answer with Tyler Resto

Tyler Resto
Today is Tyler Resto's birthday, so we thought that it would be a great opportunity for our readers to get to know this amazing young man a little better. Unlike many of our featured singers, his focus on being healthy and in shape comes from his diet, not from a grueling workout routine.

Tyler Resto first caught our attention as an emerging talent to watch when he was named a semi-finalist in the Presidential Scholar in the Arts program straight out of high school. He was one of only a handful of National YoungArts Foundation to be selected to spend a week in Miami to hone their skills. He was subsequently accepted to the prestigious vocal training program at the University of Cincinnati–College-Conservatory of Music.

1. Tell us about your time at the University of Cincinnati and your acceptance as an Emerging Artist at Oberlin in Italy?

CCM has been an enriching experience for me this past year. My time with my teacher, Dr. Gwen Detwiler was the pinnacle, of course. She's very good at what she does. Likewise, working with Amy Johnson and Kenneth Shaw was brilliant in the production of Maria Stuarda in the Spring. Professor Johnson was the director and Kenneth Shaw did an unfathomable list full of titles creating an amazing experience for the audience and the singers.

Tyler Resto
2. What has been your favorite performance that you've been a part of?

I look forward to returning in August to perform Mr. Gedge, the vicar in the Fall production of Britten's comedy, Albert Herring.

Last summer, I was in Arezzo studying with Joan Patenaude, Danielle Orlando, and Anna Frey to name a few in an Emerging Artist program. I studied Italian every morning for three hours and continued throughout college. I will continue studying Italian and German again next year as well. The opera, Le nozze di Figaro, was a huge success and my acting skills truly improved under the direction of Kay Castaldo who was so gracious, detailed, and insightful.

This summer, I will be attending the summer academy masterclass sessions at the Mozarteum Universität in Salzburg. I will be studying Mozart, Bel canto, and lieder with Helen Donath, Helmut Deutsch, and Rudolf Piernay. I will also be continuing my studies in Italian and German there. Those sessions will be in Salzburg for 7 weeks starting in early July and running through August.

3. We talk a lot about fitness on this site, but you stay healthy through diet. Tell us about that.

I became a vegan in January of this year through the shocking realizations of what human beings do as far as allowing the exploitation of animals, although mostly unknowingly or uninformed. Due to a conditioned culture, at least the one I was raised in, we were taught collectively that using animals for clothing, food, and entertainment is necessary, natural, and accepted; however, that couldn't be further from the truth. I'm hoping to strengthen my activism in the future.

Tyler Resto
4. Do you feel that being in shape helps you on stage with directors being more demanding?

I definitely use diet as a way to stay fit mentally and healthfully, which I consider one the most important things while training and doing a production and for a long, happy life in general. Being a vegan has helped me do this.

5. Do you have any dream roles? Favorite composers?

My ultimate dream role is Prince Yeletsky in Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades, although I connect musically with Wagner's compositions — specifically, Tristan und Isolde, which is my favorite opera.

Tyler Resto sings Butterworth's "Is my team ploughing?"

6. How did you first find out that you were on Barihunks and what was your reaction?

I was first contacted by you for my first publication as a Barihunk and was thrilled. I didn't expect it at all! I saw the article posted on the Facebook page and was so excited to be considered a part of opera's good-looking men — which I had already been following since high school.

7. Tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to know.

Something most people don't know about me, if they aren't close to me, is how I want to use my work. I find it ideal that the artists job is to inspire thought into their audience, and taking that a step further, I wish to incorporate charity with my work through music, such as animal rights and equality for human beings alike. For example, I would love to eventually be singing with organizations such as Sing for Hope.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Gianluca Margheri's Sexy Stranger in Fairy Queen

Gianluca Margheri as The Stranger in The Fairy Queen
Italian über-barihunk Gianluca Margheri plays The Stranger in the Erkel Theaters' updated and revised version of Purcell's The Fairy Queen. He spends much of the opera in various states of undress, including a sexy scene in his tighty whities. 

The composiiton was was originally a “semi-opera,” a series of musical passages created for a production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream which did not relate an independent story, but only took on true meaning in conjunction with the prose work.  

Purcell wrote The Fairy-Queen for the 15th wedding anniversary of England's King William III and Queen Mary II, with its initial performance taking place in grand fashion at London's Queen's Theatre in 1692. The composer died three years later at the age of 36. The score to The Fairy-Queen was lost for centuries,  until it was rediscovered in the early part of the 20th century.

Gianluca Margheri as The Stranger in The Fairy Queen
Director András Almási-Tóth conceives the work as an opera and incorporates the music into a new story. This version of A Midsummer Night's Dream takes place in an urban woodland, with lonely characters, crime, murder and love. The figure of the Fairy Queen here is a kind of femme fatale: a woman in search of herself and her own happiness and finding neither as she flees from one relationship to the next.

Tickets are available online

Margheri can next be heard at the Musicale Trapanese on July 27 and 29 as Raimondo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Barihunk Trio in Dresden Don Giovanni

Evan Hughes (photo Leela Rose) and with Guido Loconsolo in Don Giovanni
The Semperoper Dresden just opened Mozart's Don Giovanni with the barihunk trio of Lucas Meachem as the Don, Guido Loconsolo as Leporello and Evan Hughes as Masetto. The production runs through July 3rd and the cast includes Maria Bengtsson as Donna Anna, Aga Mikolaj as Donna Elvira, Peter Sonn as Don Ottavio, Christina Bock as Elvira and Michael Eder as the Commendatore. Tickets are available online.

Guido Loconsolo sings the Catalog Aria from Don Giovanni:

Lucas Meachem can next be seen at the San Francisco Opera as Dr Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale, Chorèbe in Berlioz's Les Troyens at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Sharpless in Puccini's Madama Butterfly at the Dallas Opera.

Evan Hughes is now a member of the ensemble at the Semperoper Dresden and can be seen in upcoming performances as Schaunard in Puccini's La bohème, Cesare Angelotti in Puccini's Tosca and Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte.

Guido Loconsolo can next be seen as Publio in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito at the Teatro Real de Madrid. He also appears on an new CD of Don Giovanni on Sony Classics with Andrei Bondarenko in the title role.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wilhelm Schwinghammer in sexy Daphne in Hamburg

Wilhelm Schwinghammer, Hanna Schwarz and the Daphne ensemble
Bass-barihunk Wilhelm Schwinghammer is singing Peneios in director Christof Loy's sexy production of Richard Strauss' Daphne at the Staatsoper Hamburg. The production includes Agneta Eichenholz in the title role, Eric Cutler as Apollo, Peter Lodahl as Leukippos and the amazing Hanna Schwarz as Gaea. Performances are running tonight through June 23 and tickets are available online.

Schwinghammer recently made his first U.S. appearance since his 2013 King Mark in Tristan und Isolde at Washington National Opera, when he appeared as Sarastro with the Los Angeles Opera as Sarastro in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte in February and March 2016. He returns to the U.S. to make his debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Fasolt in Wagner's Das Rheingold from October 1-22, in a cast that includes Eric Owens as Wotan.

Later this season, he returns to his home base at the Staatsoper Hamburg to sing Sarastro, Heinrich in Lohengrin, the title role in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and Osmin in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail. In 2017, he will perform the Nachtwächter in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Teatro La Scala Milano.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Reader Submission: British Barihunk Harry Thatcher

British barihunk Harry Thatcher
Reader Submission Harry Thatcher is a British baritone based in London. He is a Betty Brenner Scholar at The Royal College of Music. He is currently performing at the Grange Park Opera, where he is singing Bello in Puccini's La Facciulla del West and the Flemish Deputy in Verdi's Don Carlo. On June 7th, he'll also be giving a recital at the The Royal College of Music, performing music by Rossini, Schubert, Britten and Bolcom.

On the concert platform Harry has performed with the likes of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of Opera North in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and the Birmingham Symphony Hall. He has sung the bass solos in Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Creation and various Bach Cantatas.    

Operatic roles for The Royal College of Music International Opera School include the High Priest in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Florian in Gilbert and Sullivan's Princess Ida and Frank in Johann Strauss' Die Flederamaus . Harry has covered the role of Death in Holst's Savitri for British Youth Opera

Watch Barihunk trio online in Salome from Detroit

Vartan Gabrielan, Jonathan Beyer and Corey Crider (L-R)
The barihunk trio of Corey Crider, Jonathan Beyer and Vartan Gabrielan will be in the cast of Richard Strauss' Salome with will be broadcast live over the internet. You can watch it on Livestream from Orchestra Hall in Detroit at 3 PM EST/Noon PST. The cast of the concert version of Salome also includes the remarkable Lise Lindstrom in the title role, Chris Merritt as Herod and Jane Henschel as Herodias.

Jonathan Beyer can next be seen at the Castleton Festival where he will sing the Count in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro from July 2-10. He'll be joined onstage by his real life husband Brandon Cedel as Figaro.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Antonio di Matteo in long-awaited premiere of Mercadante's Francesca da Rimini

Antonio Di Matteo
Bass-barihunk Antonio Di Matteo will sing in the first modern staging of Saverio Mercadante's Francesca da Rimini at the 42nd Festival della Valle d'Itria under the guidance of music director Fabio  Luisi. The modern world premiere, directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi,  will be on July 30, 2016 with performances running through August 4. The opera was scheduled to be premiered at the Wexford Festival in 2012, but it was scrapped due to the difficulty of musically reconstructing the piece.

The opera's libretto was written by Felice Romani and was intended to be premiered in Madrid in 1831, but the theater burned down and it's unclear if it was ever performed or if the score was even published.

Antonio di Matteo sings Vecchia Zimarra from Puccini's La bohème:

Other composers have tackled the story of Francesca di Rimini, who was a historical contemporary of Dante Alighieri, who portrayed her as a character in the Divine Comedy. Riccardo Zandonai composed a four act opera that has proven to be a diva vehicle for such great sopranos as Magda Olivero, Renata Scotto and  Eva-Maria Westbroek. Rachmaninov also wrote a shorter version with a libretto by Modest Ilyich Tchaikovsky written with a prologue, two tableaux and an epilogue.

In November, Di Matteo can be seen as Sparafucile in Verdi's Rigoletto at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. He then heads to the Bavarian State Opera to sing Alcindoro in Puccini's La bohème with fellow barihunk Michael Nagy as Marcello.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Barihunk Duncan Rock returning to Glyndebourne

Barihunk Duncan Rock
Duncan Rock will be returning to the Glyndebourne Festival this Summer and Fall, where he previously scored a career-changing success as Tarquinius in Fiona Shaw's production of Britten's The Rape of Lucretia.      

From August 11-28, he'll perform the role of Demetrius in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream with an all-star cast that includes Tim Mead as Oberon, Elizabeth DeShong as Hermia and Kate Royal as Helena. From October 15 to December 9, he travels around the U.K. with Glyndebourne on Tour portraying the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni with fellow barihunk Brandon Cedel as his sidekick Leporello.

On Wednesday, June 1st he'll be performing with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under the spirited conducting of Nic McGegan. The program includes songs by Thomas Arne, Ralph Vaughan Williams' In Windsor Forest , highlights from Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate, highlights from Henry Purcell's The Fairy Queen and the duet from Berlioz's Béatrice et Bénédict. He'll be joined by soprano Fflur Wyn, tenor Andrew Henley and mezzo Sandra Piques Eddy.

Barihunk afficionados won't want to miss him as Donald in Deborah Warner's new production of Britten's Billy Budd at the Teatro Real in Madrid, where he will be joined by barihunks Jacques Imbrailo in the title role, Borja Quiza as Novice's Friend and Thomas Oliemans as Mr. Redburn.

He is also slated to make his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in an upcoming season as Schaunard in Puccini's La bohème.