Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hadleigh Adams Takes on Three 20th Century Masters

Hadleigh Adams
Barihunk Hadleigh Adams is returning to Australia, where he was a Gertrude Johnson Scholar at The Opera Studio in 2009. He'll be singing Sam in Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti alongside Sophie Yelland, another Opera Studio graduate. The musical, which follows the day in the life of a desperately unhappy married couple, will be performed in a chamber version for seven players. Tickets are available online.

He then returns to his home base in the San Francisco Bay area for two performances. On October 9th, he'll join conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra of London for their U.S. tour for Stravinsky's Oedipus rex with Michelle deYoung. Also on the program will be the composer's Symphony of Psalms. Performances will be at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley. Tickets are available online.

He then heads down the road to join conductor Michael Morgan and the Oakland Symphony for their season opening performance of Gustav Mahler’s Rückert Lieder on October 14th. Also on the program will be the Delphi Trio performing Paul Juon’s Episodes Concertantes, Op. 45, Clark Suprynowicz’s Red States, Blue States and Edward Elgar’s In the South. Tickets are available online.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Andrea Mastroni releases filmed version of Erlkönig

Andrea Mastroni
Bass-barihunk Andrea Mastroni has released a filmed version of Franz Schubert's Erlkönig directed by Nicola Garzetti.

Erlkönig, known as Erl-King or Elf-King in English, was written by Schubert in 1815 when he was just 18. It is considered by many to be one of his greatest songs from the 600 settings that he composed. It is based on a 1782 poem of the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

The text is a supernatural tale that was common in the Romantic era, and has its roots in a Scandinavian folktale. Goethe’s poem tells the story of a boy riding home on horseback in his father’s arms. He is frightened when he is courted by the Erl-King, a powerful and creepy supernatural being. The boy’s father, however, cannot see or hear the creature and tells the boy that his imagination is playing tricks on him. The boy grows increasingly terrified by what he hears from the Erl-King, but his father tells him that the things he thinks he sees and hears are only the sights and sounds of nature on a dark and stormy night. When the Erl-King eventually seizes the boy, the father spurs on his horse, but when he arrives home his son is dead.

Mastroni will be appearing at the Metropolitan Opera as Sparafucile in Verdi's Rigoletto on January 20, 26, 30 and February 4. He'll be joined by Željko Lučić in the title role, Olga Peretyatko as Gilda, Stephen Costello as the Duke of Mantua and Oksana Volkova as  Maddelena. Tickets are available online.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Malachy Frame wins Northern Ireland Opera Voice Competition

Malachy Frame with is Festival of Voice award
Belfast-born barihunk Malachy Frame has won the Northern Ireland Opera’s Festival of Voice competition.

Frame is completing a Masters at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He previously studied at the University of Cambridge, where he read Music at Gonville and Caius College and held the Caius Fund 2011 Choral Scholarship.

Recent solo engagements have included Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Magnificat, Handel’s Messiah, Vaughan-Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols and Five Mystical Songs, Duruflé and Fauré’s Requiem masses, Orff’s Carmina burana, Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder, Schumann’s Dichterliebe, and the role of Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.

Frame recently performed in the world premiere of Gareth Wood’s Rivers of Light, a song cycle for baritone and four harps and the UK premiere of Mischa Tangian’s I carry your heart with me.

Introducing British Barihunk Dan Shelvey

Daniel Alfred Shelvey
Liverpool native Dan Shelvey was nominated by a reader on Facebook to be in our "Barihunks in Bed" calendar and we couldn't agree more. He is currently studying opera course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (GSMD) where he is supported by the GSMD, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and Musicians Benevolent.  Before attending the GSMD, Shelvey graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music with a first-class degree.

He is winner of the Richard Van Allan prize 2015, the Robin Kay 2013 Memorial Prize for Opera and the 2012 Frederick Cox Award for Singing, and was awarded second place in the Elizabeth Harwood Memorial Prize for Singers 2013.

Soprano Renée Fleming leads a masterclass with Daniel Shelvey:

A 2014 Glyndebourne Jerwood Young Artist, Dan has performed Flora’s Servant in Verdi's La traviata, covered Morales in Bizet's Carmen for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and will perform the role of the Marchese d’Obigny in their 2017 production of La traviata.  Other roles include Junius in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia  at the GSMD, Ulisse in Monteverdi's  Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Sid in Britten's Albert Herring, Boris in Shostakovich's Paradise Moscow at the Royal Northern College of Music, and Aeneas in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas for Silk Opera.

Shelvey has sung as a soloist in many of the UK’s leading concert venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Colston Hall and the Bridgewater Hall.  Recent solo concert highlights include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Hallé and at the Royal Festival Hall for the BBC, an Oxford Lieder Festival recital, and a recital for the Glyndebourne Jerwood Young Artist recital series at Brighton Pavilion.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Morgan Pearse wins Cesti Baroque Opera Competition

Morgan Pearse
Barihunk Morgan Pearse ‏won the 7th Annual International Cesti Voice Competition for Baroque Opera in Innsbruck, Austria. 

The competition was named after Italian composer Pietro Antonio Cesti, who turned Innsbruck into a center for the Italian opera north of the Alps in the mid-17th century. Young singers from all over the world competed for prizes, as well as the chance to perform in a baroque opera at the Innsbruck Festival next season.

For a limited time you can watch the competition online. Pearse appears around the 49:00 mark.

Pearse will next appear singing in Haydn's Creation with the Russian National Orchestra at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow on September 18th.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Three Baritones concert at Opera Orlando

Brian James Myer, Nathan Stark and Gabriel Preisser (L-R)(Photo: Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel)
On August 28th, Opera Orlando's annual "Opera in the Park" will feature a "The Three Baritones" concert starring Brian James Myer, Nathan Stark and Gabriel Preisser.

We introduced Myer to readers back in December, when he joined the 2016 Chautauqua Opera Young Artists after he had performed the title role in Rossini's The Barber of Seville at the Florida Grand Opera. The multi-talented young artist was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he studied piano, flute, cello, guitar, and voice. He's also a published composer of choral music. Myer will be returning to Opera San Jose this season to perform in Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Kevin Puts' Silent Night and Puccini's La bohème.

Gabriel Presser has been a regular on our site since 2010 and we've featured him in singing competitions, starring in the world premiere of Kevin Puts' award-winning opera Silent Night, in webcasts and his new role as the impresario of Opera Orlando.

Gabriel Preisser sings Largo al factotum:

Nathan Stark has appeared on our site, but has never been featured. It was Stark's idea to assemble the three singers for the concert. The California native, who has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, is making a number of company debuts this season, including at Tulsa Opera as Colline in La bohème, Hawaii Opera Theatre as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and at Fort Worth Opera in The Gravedigger in Buried Alive and Montressor in Embedded.

The concert starts at 2 PM at the University Club of Winter Park in Orlando. Tickets are available online. Opera Orlando's season kicks off on November 18 and 20 with Donizetti's Don Pasquale, followed by Giancarlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors for the Christmas holiday and wrapping up with Mozart's Don Giovanni with Preisser in the title role.

Leszek Solarski to perform at Berlin's Classic Meets Fetish concert

Leszek Solarski
Bass-barihunk Leszek Solarski will sing Rossini's La calunnia from Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the 2nd Annual Classic Meets Fetish concert on September 8th at Berlin Folsom Europe 2016. The concert assembles a small group of professional international musicians, including singers and instrumentalists. One of the performers this year is gay porn star Dirk Caber, who is also a classically trained tuba player and composer. VIP tickets are already sold out, but other levels are still available online.

Solarski studied voice at the Musikakademie in Krakow, Poland and the Hochschule für Musik. His first solo was a bass part in Krzysztof Penderecki's "Seven Gates of Jerusalem," which was released on CD by Dux-Verlag.

He has dedicated much of his career to contemporary opera, having performed in Peter Eötvös' Angels in America in Frankfurt, the premiere of Paul Leonard Schäffer's Eine Kapitulation at Bayreuth and the role of Jesus in Wolfgang Rihm's Jakob Lenz at the National Opera in Warsaw. In 2012-13 he was a member of the ensemble in Bad Hersfeld, Germany.

You can hear him singing La calunnia HERE.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Holger Falk premieres "Make No Noise" at Bregenz Festival

Holger Falk in "Make No Noise"
Barihunk Holger Falk just completed a run at the Bregenz Festival in Miroslav Srnka’s new opera Make No Noise. The chamber opera, which based on Isabel Coixet's "The secret life of words," is about the search for communication between people.

Make No Noise tells the story of a young woman who is caring for a man seriously injured in a fire on an oil platform. She is almost deaf, and he bears the blame for the death of his best friend who died in the fire on the platform. Neither has any words for the events which have altered their lives abruptly. Both have found a bearable way of dealing with their respective pasts – silence. When they meet on the shut down oil rig, they sense in their unique connection a way of being able to live with their traumas.

"Make No Noise" with Holger Falk and Okka von der Damerau:

Holger Falk, who is new to this site, began singing as a boy with the famous Regensburg Cathedral Boy's Choir. He studied voice at the Würzburg Conservatory in Milano, including work with the great tenor Franco Corelli. He has performed in many of the great theaters of Europe, including the Theatre de la Monnaie Brussels, Theatre Champs Elysées Paris, Teatro Real Madrid, Bavarian State Opera Munich, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Theater an der Wien, National Opera Warsaw and Oper Frankfurt.

He was the first singer to record all 115 mélodies of Francis Poulenc for male voice. He has also recorded  lieder by Wolfgang Rihm, Franz Schubert, Josef Matthias Hauer and Eric Satie. He won the prestigious Echo Klassik Award in 2016 for his Satie recording.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Barihunk switcheroo at Boston Symphony Orchestra

Günther Groissböck (photo:Monika Rittershaus) & Wilhelm Schwinghammer (photo: Enrico Nawrath)

Bass-barihunk Wilhelm Schwinghammer will replace fellow bass-barihunk Günther Groissböck for the Sunday, August 28th performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 under the baton of Andris Nelsons. The other singers are soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen, mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose and tenor Joseph Kaiser. Tickets are available online.

Groissböck had a bicycling accident and was unable to travel for the concert. Groissböck's upcoming performances include Heinrich der Vogler in Wagner's Lohengrin at the Vienna State Opera, Rocco in Beethoven's Fidelio at the Bavarian State Opera and Sarastro in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden.

This will be Schwinghammer's  Tanglewood and Boston Symphony debuts. Schwinghammer will return to  Germany to sing Sarastro in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Hamburg State Opera before returning in October for his debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Fasolt in Wagner's Das Rheingold.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Watch Ildar Abdrazakov as Méphistophélès from Salzburg

Ildar Abdrazakov as Méphistophélès
You can watch Ildar Abdrazakov as Méphistophélès from the Salzburg Festival on August 23, 2016 at 10 AM PST/1 PM EST on Medici.tv. The production also stars Piotr Beczala as Faust, Maria Agresta as Marguerite, Alexey Markov as Valentin, as  Tara Erraught as Siébel and Marie-Ange Todorovitch as Marthe. The new production is staged by Reinhard von der Thannen and conducted by Argentinian Alejo Pérez.

Padraic Rowan wins Azuriales Opera Competition

Padraic Rowan
Irish bass-barihunk Padraic Rowan keeps racking up the awards, as he won the €5,000 First Prize Prize at the Azuriales Opera Competition in France. Earlier this Summer, he won the the 2016 Bernadette Greevy Bursary Award. He was also a finalist at the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards and the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards. He also reached the semi-finals of the the 34th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, he won the 2014 Wessex Glyndebourne Award, the Dramatic Cup and Tony Quigley Award and the German Government Cup at the 2013 Feis Ceoil in Dublin, and the 2013 Irene Sandford Award for Singers.

Rowan graduated from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2013 with a Masters in Music Performance and now studies in London. He is currently in the Young Artist program at the Les Azuriales Opera. This September, Rowa will join the Opera Studio of Oper Stuttgart in Germany, performing a number of roles during the 2016/17 season.

The Azuriales Opera Competition was started in 2003 to  promote young singers at the start of their careers. The singers perform in a Competition Concert and are evaluated by a jury. Ellie Edmonds won the €1,000 Kerry Keane Award for artists under age 26 and tenor Thobela Ntshanyana won Second Prize.

You can hear Rowan in a clip from the St Matthew Passion by clicking HERE.

Introducing Basque Barihunk Gilen Goicoechea

Gilen Goicoechea
A reader suggested Gilen Goicoechea to us, who they saw at the Concours International de Chant Lyrique last Fall.  Goicoechea will be singing in the double bill of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and Ravel's L'Heure Espagnole at the Opéra national de Lorraine from September 27 to October 6. He'll be performing Betto and Ramiro respectively and tickets are available online.

The Basque barihunk began by studying trumpet and piano before switching to voice  at the Conservatoire du Grand Avignon. At school, he performed in Offenbach's Le voyage dans la lune and Auber's Fra Diavolo.  

In October 2011, he participated in the Festival Cap Opéra bouffe de Sauveterre, where he played the  Aime in Valérie Marestin's comedic scenes "Les cocottes lyriques." The performance led to an offer to perform in Charles Lecocq's opéra-bouffe Le testament de monsieur Crac at the Festival d'Avignon. Next season he'll perform Monsieur Troundadisse in Sauget's Tistou les pouces verts and Benoit in Puccini's La bohème at Opéra de Rouen.
He is a past winner of the Grand concours d'opérette amateur, and was a finalist in vocal competitions in Bezier, Arles and Nimes.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Barihunks Sam Roberts-Smith and Richard Rittlemann win prizes

Sam Roberts-Smith
Barihunk turned hunkentenor turned barihunk Sam Roberts-Smith, just won the Opera Foundation Deutsche Oper Berlin Award, which comes with an 11 month contract with the company for the 2017-18 season.

The Opera Foundation for Young Australians seeks out singers each year for the German Opera Award at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. You can read our comprehensive interview with Sam from earlier this year HERE.

Richard Rittelmann
Also taking home a coveted award this month was Richard Rittelmann, who won the Audience Prize at the Armel Opera Competition and Festival for his portrayal of Ben in Menotti's The Telephone. The competition is unique, as it seeks not just the best voice, but the best all-around performer, placing major emphasis on acting and stage movement. The singers actually have to perform in an opera that is co-produced with an opera house.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Jonathan Woody and Kyle Guglielmo in scenes from new American operas

Jonathan Woody and Kyle Guglielmo
Bass-barihunk Jonathan Woody and barihunk Kyle Guglielmo will be part of an upcoming showcase of scenes from new American operas. They will perform with the American Opera Project's (AOP) "Composers & The Voice: Six Scenes 2016," a concert of opera scenes from ten artists emerging in the world of contemporary opera.

The libretti cover a wide range of stories, from Sigmund Freud and Mabel Dodge Luhan to events taking place in a spaceship, an asylum, and a uterus. The composers Matthew Barnson, Carlos R. Carrillo, Nell Shaw Cohen, Marc LeMay, Cecilia Livingston, and Sky Macklay and librettists Edward Einhorn, Duncan McFarlane, Emily Roller, and Mark Sonnenblick, were chosen by AOP to spend a year creating new works in its bi-annual fellowship program Composers & the Voice.

The performances will be held on Friday, September 30 at 8:00pm at South Oxford Space (138 S. Oxford St.) in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, the home of AOP, and on Sunday, October 2 at 2:30pm at the National Opera Center (330 7th Ave, 7th floor) in Manhattan. Tickets range from $10-$25 general admission and are available online

Kyle Guglielmo sings "Joey, Joey, Joey" from Most Happy Fella:

Woody and Guglielmo will be joined by coloratura soprano Tookah Sapper, lyric soprano Jennifer Goode Cooper, mezzo-soprano Caitlin McKechney and tenor Blake Friedman.

Guglielmo has appeared with LoftOpera, Sarasota Opera, American Opera Projects, American Lyric Theater, The Princeton Festival, Piedmont Opera, and the Westfield Symphony (now New Jersey Festival Opera). He sang Dr. Pill in the premiere of Daron Hagen's Little Nemo in Slumberland at Sarasota Opera.  Kyle made his Carnegie Hall Debut in April singing the Celebrant in Leonard Bernstein's Celebrations from MASS with the Yale Symphony, arranged and conducted by John Mauceri.

American bass-baritone, Jonathan Woody, obtained his Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Maryland, College Park and completed his Master of Music degree in Early Music at McGill University.  He has recorded with the Trinity Wall Street Choir under the Musica Omnia label, most recently being featured on the premiere recording of Ralf Yusuf Gawlick's Missa Gentis Humanae for 8 voices. In May 2014, Quill Classics featured him as soloist for a concert of German and French music by Brooklyn Baroque.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Andrea Carcassi is the latest Bari-chunk to Bari-hunk

Our latest Bari-chunk to Bari-hunk is Andrea Carcassi, who recently lost 32 kilos (71 pounds) in 11 months.

 "Needless to say I feel amazing," Carcassi told us when we contacted him. "My body was just ready to shed the weight and wanted me to lose it all and so did the theatres [he added with a laugh]."

Andrea Carcassi
"My personal life also has greatly changed," he told Barihunks. "I still have a long way to go and I now have to work on building lean muscle mass. I'll slowly get there. I have to say my work has benefited so much as well purely due to confidence and posture."

Andrea Carcassi studied at the Victorian College of the Arts and at the Faculty of Arts of The University of New England, graduating with majors in Music Performance (Classical Voice) and Communications (Theatre) in 2008. He also studied acting at the Victorian College of the Arts and the Drama Studio in Sydney.

Carcassi made his professional debut upon graduation in 2008 as Dexter Fox in Green Room at the ChamberMade Opera. Later that year, debuted with the Melbourne Opera as Schaunard in Puccini's La bohème. In 2009, he joined Co-Opera in Adelaide for their national tour of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. He appeared in the same role for Co-Opera’s Europe tour, which included performances at the  Wiesbaden Festival.

His other operatic credits include Silvio in Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci and Morales in Bizet's Carmen with the Melbourne City Opera, Sapiente in Turandot for the Melbourne Puccini Festival, Marcello in Puccini's La bohème for Gippsland Opera, Sarastro in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Dr. Bartolo in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at the Hessisches Stattstheater in Wiesbaden
Finally, Carcassi told us, "It's an honor to be recognized by a group like Barihunks, which gives me even further impulse to achieve the body I want."

Sunday, August 14, 2016

David Pershall makes San Francisco debut with Barihunk Quintet in Andrea Chénier

David Pershall
American barihunk David Pershall will make his belated San Francisco Opera debut on September 9th as Roucher in Giordano's Andrea Chénier. Pershall returns to San Francisco, where is was a 2008 participant in the Merola Opera program, which has had a long association with the company. While at Merola, Pershall sang Dr. Malatesta in Act 2 of Donizetti's Don Pasquale for the Schwabacher Summer Concert, Zurga in scenes from Bizet's Les Pêcheurs de Perles and Falke in scenes from Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus for their Grand Finale Concert.

Pershall will be joined by a barihunk quintet, which is unusual for one of the verismo standards of the repertory. Joining him are Edward Nelson as Pietro Fléville, Brad Walker as Dumas, Anthony Reed as Schmidt and Anders Fröhlich as the Major-Domo. Performances run from September 9-30 and Maddelena will be sung by Anna Pirozzi, Chenier by Younghoon Lee and Gerard by George Gagnidze. Tickets are available online.

Edward Nelson, Anders Fröhlich, Anthony Reed and Brad Walker (l-r)
Pershall has recently appeared at the Vienna State Opera as Figaro in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Belcore in Donizetti's L’Elisir d’Amore, Sharpless in Puccini's Madama Butterfly and Sebastian in Adès' The Tempest. He has performed Figaro in an abridged, English version of Rossini's The Barber of Seville at the Metropolitan Opera and also appeared there in the roles of Schaunard in La Bohème and Lord Cecil in Donizetti's Maria Stuarda.

Pershall also has a close partnership with the Beethoven Easter Festival and the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra with whom he participated in three live performance albums, featuring  performances as Don Pedro in Donizetti's Maria Padilla, Manfredo in Montemezzi's L’Amore dei Tre Re, and Orestes in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride.

He has won many prestigious vocal competitions, most recently the top prize in the annual George London Competition.

Introducing Argentinian Bass-Barihunk Mariano Gladic

Mariano Gladic after Don Juan (left) in Buenos Aires
Bass-Barihunk Mariano Gladic just wrapped up a three performance run of composer Santiago Villalba's new opera Don Juan, which is based on a play by Leopoldo Marechal. The piece was commissioned by the Teatro Colón Experimentation Center & Higher Institute of Arts and performed in their small theater.

A reader in Argentina, who attended the performance and suggested Mariano Gladic for the site. He was born in Mar del Plata on the Atlantic coast of Argentina, where he started his musical studies at the conservatory. He continued his studies in Buenos Aires, where he got immersed in acting, working with Héctor Bidonde, Helena Tritek, and Rubén Szuchmacher. He was a member of the company Futuro Anterior directed by Silvio Lang. Gladic has extensive experience as an actor and performed in the International Acting Festival in Havana, receiving a nomination for the A.C.E. awards and the Teatro del Mundo awards. 

Mariano Gladic
Gladic was a member of Periferia Vocal and Orfeon de Buenos Aires. His opera roles include Handel’s Ariodante, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, Così fan tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, Rigoletto, and La bohème. He was one of the winners of the 8th Concurso Alejandro Cordero at the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón.

You can listen to Gladic Juan Carlos Cobián's classic 1936 tango "Nostalgias" at the Americas Society by clicking HERE.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Jarvis Dams chosen for The Kiri Programme

Baritone Jarvis Dams
Belgian-Kiwi barihunk Jarvis Dams is one of six singers chosen to take part in The Kiri Programme, which is a young artist development program under the auspices of the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation. The singers were chosen for thier potential to progress to successful international careers after participating in the one-year program. In addition to singing, they will learn key business skills and communication tips to further their career.

Originally from Belgium, Jarvis has lived in New Zealand for 16 years and now resides in Hamilton. He holds a Master of Music with First Class Honours from The University of Waikato. He completed a vocal apprenticeship program at Astoria Music Festival in Oregon and was a recipient of the University of Waikato Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship. Jarvis placed third in the 2015 New Zealand Aria competition and in 2016 he was selected as both a semifinalist in the Lexus song quest and as a finalist in the IFAC Australian Singing Competition in Sydney.

He will be joined by soprano Eliza Boom, tenor Felipe Manu, soprano Katherine McIndoe, soprano Madison Nonoa and soprano Natahsa Wilson. 

The first of five training modules begins at the end of August, with the singers gathering in Auckland under the direction of program head Kathryn Harries, who is Director of the National Opera Studio in London. Harries was a senior judge for the Lexus Song Quest in New Zealand in 2014.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Erwin Schrott makes debut as Selim at Rossini Festival

Erwin Schrott
Barihunk Erwin Schrott made his debut as Selim in Rossini's Il turco in Italia at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro. The production, which includes the all-star cast of Olga Peretyatko, Nicola Alaimo, Rene Barbera, Pietro Spagnoli, runs through August 18th. 

Rossini and his librettist Romani based Il turco in Italia on an earlier libretto with the same title written by poet Caterino Mazzolà (the librettist for Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito). The plot owes much to the Italian tradition of commedia dell’arte, particularly character types, such as the cuckolded husband and the flirtatious young woman. The character of the poet Prosdocimo encourages us to treat the drama with a certain irony.

Olga Peretyatko and Erwin Schrott in Il turco in Italia
The opera all but disappeared from the repertory during the latter part of the 19th century, as Rossini fell out of fashion. It came back to public attention in October 1950, when Luchino Visconti staged a production for Maria Callas, who was keen to play a comic role. The production was so successful that the opera’s popularity grew rapidly.

Schrott's next stage appearances will be later this year in Munich, where he sings the title role in Boito's Mefistofele and Dulcamara in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore. He returns to the Metropolitan Opera in April 2017 to sing Leporello alongside fellow barihunk Mariusz Kwiecien in Mozart's Don Giovanni

Monday, August 8, 2016

Teddy Tahu Rhodes to head Sweeney Todd cast in New Zealand

Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Antoinette Halloran in Sweeney Todd
Kiwi barihunk Teddy Tahu Rhodes will star in the new co-production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd between New Zealand Opera and Melbourne's Victorian Opera. The production comes to New Zealand following a successful run in Melbourne in July, 2015. It will be performed at The Civic in Auckland  from September 17-24, the St James Theatre in Wellington from September 30 – October 5, and at the Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch from October 12-15. Tickets are available online

Joining Teddy Tahu Rhodes in the cast is Australian soprano Antoinette Halloran as Mrs Lovett,   Phillip Rhodes as Judge Terpin and Amelia Berry . Two of the singers are also alums of San Francisco's Merola Opera Program, which has featured a number of New Zealanders in their training program, including barihunk Hadleigh Adams, soprano Amina Edris and tenor brothers Pene Pati and Amatai Peti. Tenor James Benjamin Rodgers will sing Anthony Hope and baritone James Ioelu will sing Jonas Fogg.

Set in 19th century England, Sweeney Todd follows a murderous barber who, in order to take revenge on a corrupt judge who banished him, conspires with a local baker who is in desperate need of fresh meat for pies. 

Following his run in Sweeney Todd, Rhodes will be part of a Royal Caribbean opera cruise taking in Sydney, Mare Island and Noumea. He'll be joined by legendary soprano Kiri Te Kanawa, David Hobson, Cheryl Barker, Peter Coleman-Wright and members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Bookings are available online.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Barihunk John Brancy launches personal vlog

John Brancy backstage at Oper Frankfurt (right)
American barihunk John Brancy, who just wrapped up a run as Morales/Dancairo in Oper Frankfurt's production of Bizet's Carmen, has now created a Vlog. His first episode launched on July 26 and takes him through a full day of preparing for a performance, including backstage scenes.

His second Vlog takes him to Bavaria, where he prepares for a voice lesson with his teacher the great soprano Edith Wiens and then grabbing some Turkish grub.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Reader Submission: Barihunk Michael Floriano

Michael Floriano
A reader suggested Rochester, NY native Michael Floriano, who is a 2016 Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Studio Artist at the Central City Opera. He is currently singing Joe in composer John Musto and librettist Mark Campbell's "Later the Same Evening," which has one remaining performance on August 5th in the Gilman Studio. He is also appearing in a number of supporting roles in The Ballad of Baby Doe and Tosca, as well as in Central City Opera’s Short Works scenes program.

The opera "Later the Same Evening" was inspired by Edward Hopper’s classic American paintings, revealing the hope, longing and love of characters in five Hopper paintings as they step out of their frames and come to life one night in 1932 New York. Tickets are available online.

Floriano was a 1st place winner in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Young Artist’s Voice Competition, as well as a 2013 finalist in the S. Livingston Mather vocal competition in Cleveland. He is starting his Masters degree in Voice Performance at the University of Michigan in the fall after graduating from the Oberlin Conservatory. You can hear him sing "Donne Mie la fate a Tanti" from Mozart's Cosi fan tutte by clicking here.

He has recently performed Taquinius in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia at Oberlin Opera Theatre, Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at Oberlin in Italy and Anthony in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd with the Janiec Opera Company.