Saturday, November 26, 2016

Iurii Samoilov performs first ever Billy Budd in Moscow

Iurii Samoilov discussing Billy Budd at a recent press conference
Barihunk Iurii Samoilov made history on November 25th, when he became the first singer to perform the title role in Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd at Russia's Bolshoi Theatre. Samoilov, who is on the roster of Oper Frankfurt and appeared in last year's Barihunks calendar, joins an all-star cast that will perform again on November 27 and 29, and December 1.

The Bolshoi performance is a co-production with the English National Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin and it features a number of other barihunks, including Gidon Saks as the evil John Claggart, Bogdan Volkov as A Novice and Aleksandr Utkin as Arthur Jones.

Billy Budd had its world premier at London’s Royal Opera House on December 1, 1951 conducted by the composer with the role of Captain Vere sung by Britten’s partner Peter Pears. In 1966, in preparation for a television broadcast, Britten cut the score from four acts to two with a prologue and epilogue, which has become the standard version for the opera.

Iurii Samoilov sings Rachmaninov's "Don't sing to me beauty":

The first production of Billy Budd in Russia occurred 100 years after the birth of Britten at St. Petersburg’s Mikhailovsky Theatre in 2013. Billy Budd received its United States premiere in 1952 at the Indiana University Opera Company with Jack Gillaspy in the title role.

Britten originally intended the title role for Sir Geraint Evans, but he felt that the role sat to high for his voice, so he switched to the role of Mr. Flint. Britten then opted for barihunk Theodor Uppman to replace Evans in the title role. The performance launched Uppman's international career and he went on to become one of the definitive Billy Budd's off all-time. Uppman sang in an acclaimed performance in 1970 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, which included Sir Geraint Evans as Claggart and Richard Lewis as Vere.

Bogdan Volkov, Gidon Saks and Aleksandr Utkin (L-R)
A number of famous barihunks have sung the role of Billy Budd, who many believe was secretly desired by the evil Claggart. Famous barihunk Billy Budd's include John Chest, Simon Keenlyside, Richard Stilwell, Nathan Gunn, Rod Gilfry, Bo Skovhus, Thomas Hampson, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Peter Mattei, Lauri Vasar, Craig Verm, Lucas Meachem, Jacques Imbrailo, Daniel Belcher and Liam Bonner.

Other upcoming performance of Billy Budd include Jacques Imbrailo at the Teatro Real in Madrid opening on January 31 and John Chest reprising his stunning debut in the role at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on May 24 (and Team Barihunks will be in the house!).

If you want to enjoy the sexiest barihunks year 'round, make sure to order your 2017 Barihunks in Bed calendar NOW by clicking below.

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