Sunday, May 28, 2017

John Chest simultaneously singing two English language operas in Germany

John Chest as Billy Budd in Berlin
American barihunk John Chest, who just finished a successful run as Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Philadelphia, is back in his home base of Germany where he's pulling off an amazing feat of operatic stamina: He'll be singing two English language operas in Germany simultaneously!

Chest opened on May 26th in the title character of Britten's Billy Budd at the Deutsche Oper Berlin before heading off to the Semperoper Dresden to sing the role of the wealthy stockbroker Nick Carraway in John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby tonight, tomorrow and on June 1st. Hunkentenor Peter Lodahl is singing jay Gatsby and tickets are available online. He then heads back to Berlin for Billy Budd (where the Barihunks team will be in attendance!). To top it off, he also became a father for the first time this year along with his wife soprano Layla Claire.

Chest originally started working on Billy Budd back in 2008 as an apprentice artist and chorus member at the Santa Fe Opera. He made his role debut in 2014 in Berlin in a highly-acclaimed performance, which was the first performance of the piece at the Deutsche Oper. The current production features Gidon Saks as John Claggert, Richard Croft as Edward Vere, Simon Pauly as Donald and fellow barihunk Seth Carico as Mr. Redburn. Tickets are available online.

John Chest at Billy Budd and Gidon Saks as the evil John Claggert
After he wraps us Billy Budd, the jet-setting baritone heads off to the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Chest, where he'll represent the U.S. along with baritone Anthony Clark Evans. He'll be singing more American music, as he plans on performing Aaron Copland’s “Old America Songs.”

Other barihunks in the competition include bass Dominic Barberi representing England, bass Roberto Lorenzi representing Italy and calendar model Iurii Samoilov reprenting the Ukraine.

The Song Prize rounds will be broadcast in the BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert (June13 -16) with the song prize final live on Radio 3 In Concert (Friday, June 16) and on BBC Four presented by Petroc Trelawny and American soprano Angel Blue (Saturday, June 17).The four concerts at St David’s Hall, Cardiff will be broadcast on BBC Four (June13 - 16). The Grand Final will be broadcast live on both BBC Four and BBC Radio 3 on Sunday, June 18. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dominic Barberi to represent U.K. at Cardiff Competition

Dominic Barberi
28-year-old, German-born, Scottish bass-barihunk Dominic Barberi, who just wrapped up a run as Baron Douphol in Verdi's La traviata at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden opposite Ailyn Pérez, will represent the U.K. at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition on June 18th.

Barberi is currently a member of the ensemble at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, where he has also sung Colline in Puccini's La bohème, Sarastro in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, as well as roles in Wagner's Parsifal , Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, Puccini's Manon Lescaut and Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea.

Barberi went to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where he graduated with Distinction in his Performance Masters in 2014. He then moved on to the Berlin Staatsoper International Opera Studio. His big breakthrough came with Opera North where he performed in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea.

Upcoming performances include the premiere of Daniel Pacitti's Luther Oratorio with the Berlin Philharmonic and Alvise Badoero in Ponchielli's La Gioconda at the Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Barihunk Eddie Nelson to perform at historic Maybeck Studio

Maybeck Studio in Berkeley and Eddie Nelson
Barihunk Eddie Nelson will perform at the historic Bernard Maybeck Studio in a special fundraiser for the West Edge Opera. He'll be joined by accompanist Ronny Michael Greenberg, both of whom have close associations with the San Francisco, having participated in the Merola Opera Program and the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow Program.

The performance will be Sunday, May 21st at 3 p.m. with light refreshments, champagne and wine being served. The concert will include music by Duparc mélodies and excerpts from Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet, in which Nelson will sing the title role at West Edge Opera's Summer Festival. 

The historic Maybeck Studio for the Performing Arts was built in 1914 by Bernard Maybeck, the architect of San Francisco's iconic Palace of Fine Arts. Joseph R. Nixon commissioned the building as a live-in studio for his daughter Milda’s piano teacher, Alma Schmidt Kennedy. The studio boasts beautiful acoustics and a long history of hosting world-class performances and recordings. Performances have been hosted there for over 100 years. The house includes two of Maybeck's favorite architectual devices, the Gothic tracery "S" patterns along the balcony and the Japanese-like split eaves on the gables.

Admission to this event is available with a donation of $175 per person, of which $145 is tax deductible. Click HERE to reserve a seat.

Malte Roesner, who appears with the West Edge Summer Festival
In addition to Edward Nelson's Hamlet, the West Edge Opera Summer season will also include the U.S. debut of German bass-barihunk Malte Roesner in Soler's The Chastity Tree.
This is Spanish composer Vicente Martín y Soler's most famous work and is also known by its original title L'arbore di Diana.

Librettist Lorenzo da Ponte created a story from a legend that tells the tale of how Diana, the Greek god of chastity, falls in love with the shepherd Endymion. The plot —halfway between pastoral literature and erotic comedy also praises the political openness of the Archduke Joseph II of Austria.

Tickets and additional information on the West Edge Opera Summer Festival are available online. Roesner is also scheduled to sing a concert of music by Soler and his contemporaries featuring soprano Aurora Perry and tenor Samuel Levine. Details will be announced shortly.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Germán Olvera goes full frontal in Ginastera's Bomarzo

Germán Olvera in Bomarzo
Mexican baritone Germán Olvera goes full frontal in Alberto Ginastera's opera Bomarzo, which is available for viewing on The Opera Platform until June 4, 2017. The performance was recorded at the Teatro Real in Madrid, which was the first European staging of the 12-tone opera since 1976.

The piece had its premier in Washington DC in 1967 and was famously banned in Ginastera's native Argentine, where it was not performed until 1972. The current production celebrates the centenary of Ginastera's birth, who was born in Buenos Aires on April 11. 1916.   

The libretto by Manuel Mujica Lainez deals with the life of the hunchbacked Duke of Bomarzo in Sicily, who sculpted a "garden of monsters" in the 16th century. In the opera, Pier Francesco Orsini, the Duke of Bomarzo, drinks what his astrologer Silvio de Narni claims to be a magic potion that will grant the Duke immortality. However, the drink turns out to be poisoned. After the poison starts to work, Bomarzo begins to recall his life in a series of flashbacks.

Germán Olvera in Bomarzo
Olvera performs the role of Girolamo, who is a stark contrast to his brother and is seen a more  perfect human form. Girolamo goes out for a swim naked, which eventually leads to his death. 

Born in Michoacán, Mexico, Olvera has sung in a number of productions staged by the Palau de les Arts of Valencia. He made his debut in 2013 in the Palacio de Bellas Artes of Mexico City as Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen.

Upcoming performances include Ping in Puccini's Turandot with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (a role that he's recorded on DVD), Grégorio in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette at the Gran Teatre del Liceu and Eisenhardt in Zimmermann's Die Soldaten at the Teatro Real.

Dean Murphy joins ensemble at Deutsche Oper Berlin

Dean Murphy (photo: Jiyang Chen)
We first introduced American barihunk Dean Murphy to readers back in 2015 when he was singing Top in Aaron Copland's Tender Land at Opera North in Lebanon, New Hampshire. His career has clearly taken off since then, as he has now joined the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where he'll start performing as part of the ensemble in January 2018.

He'll be performing Dancairo in Bizet's Carmen, a judge in Korngold's Das Wunder der Heliane, Fiorillo in Rossini's The Barber of Seville, a mocker in Prokovfiev's The Love for Three Oranges, a Flemish Deputy in Verdi's Don Carlo, Wagner in Gounod's Faust, the sargeant in Puccini's La bohème, a singer in Ponchielli's La Gioconda, a delivery boy in Verdi's La traviata, an officer in Meyerbeer's Le Prophète and the bailiff in Verdi's Rigoletto.

Murphy holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the Hartt School of Music. He will graduate from Yale’s School of Music with a Master of Music degree in the spring of 2017. He was a resident artist with Opera Connecticut from 2013-2014 where he performed a number of roles. He has been a regular at a number of other New England companies including Salt Marsh Opera, Opera Connecticut, Connecticut Lyric Opera and Yale Opera.

Murphy can next be heard on May 20th as Mercutio in excerpts from Gounod's Roméo et Juliette with the Opera Theater of Connecticut in Clinton. Tickets are available online.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Introducing Polish Barihunk Paweł Konik in DNO's Monteverdi

Paweł Konik in Monteverdi's Madrigals (right)
Polish barihunk Pawel Konik is taking on double duty in the Dutch National Opera's produciton of Madrigals,  an amalgam of works by Monteverdi. He performs as Tancredi in the section taken from Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and on of the Infernal Spirits taken from Il ballo delle ingrate. As Tancredi he is suite in 77 pounds (35 kilos) of armor.

Only three full-length works from Monteverdi’s opera oeuvre have survived. From Arianna, only the Lamento has survived, in which the Cretan princess sings of her desire for death, as her lover Theseus has left her. Il ballo delle Ingrate and Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda are both part of Madrigals, Book 8. In these works, too, death is the central theme. In a dance, women who have died show what the living can expect if they resist the arts of Cupid. Il combattimento shows the futility of every war or battle. In a duel, Tancredi kills a supposed enemy, who turns out to be his lover Clorinda.

The show also includes hunkentenor Nicólas Maraziótis, bass-barihunk Nathanaël Tavernier as Plutone and is conducted by Christophe Rousset with his orchestra Les Talens Lyriques. You can watch the trailer for the show on YouTube.

Paweł Konik and Nicólas Maraziótis
The performances will take place in the Scenery Atelier of Dutch National Opera & Ballet in Amsterdam-Zuidoost.  The set is dominated by a steel artwork by Jannis Kounellis.There are three remaining performances on May 16, 17 and 19, and then it travels to the U.K.s Brighton Festival for a single performance on May 21.

Konik was born in Cieszyn, Poland and studied at the at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music. He made his debut in January 2013 as Shvochniev in Shostakovich's  The Gamblers, for which won "The Best Singer's Debut Award" from the Jan Kiepura’s Drama Music Awards. He is a member of the Young Artists Program at the Polish National Opera's Opera Academy at the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw.

His operatic experience includes performances of title roles in Mozart's  Le nozze di Figaro, Massenets Don Quichotte,, Bottom in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Betto in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Nikitich Pristav in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Henri Perrin in Madame Curie by Elżbieta Sikora and Zbigniew in Moniuszko’s Haunted Manor.

On May 28th, Paweł Konik returns to his hometown of Cieszyn to sing Bach’s Ich habe genug BWV 82 in a concert in memory of Polish conductor Karol Stryja.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Barihunk duo announced in San Francisco Opera cast change

Erwin Schrott & Erik Anstine
San Francisco Opera’s summer production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni just doubled its "sexiness factor" with the announcement that two barihunks will step in for Marco Vinco as Leporello. The Italian bass withdrew from the production due to health issues.

American bass-barihunk Erik Anstine will sing two performances and Uruguayan bass-barihunk Erwin Schrott will take over for the other six, which run from June 4 through June 30. Both singers are making their house debuts with the San Francisco Opera. Schrott's performances will be has last scheduled appearances in the United States for 2017.

The duo will join bass-barihunk Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, who is singing the title role, along with soprano Erin Wall as Donna Anna, soprano Ana María Martínez as Donna Elvira, tenor Stanislas de Barbeyrac as Don Ottavio, soprano Sarah Shafer as Zerlina, Michael Sumuel  as Masetto and Andrea Silvestrelli. Tickets are available online.

The June 30th performance will be part of the company's' annual Opera at the Ballpark, a free live simulcast of the opera at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. The simulcast is free, but you must register online.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Vittorio Prato as sexy Guglielmo in Geneva

Alexandra Kadurina and Vittorio Prato
Italian barihunk Vittorio Prato shows off some skin as Guglielmo in German director David Bösch's new production of Mozart's Così fan tutte at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. The cast also includes Veronika Dzhioeva as Fiordiligi, Alexandra Kadurina as Dorabella, Steve Davislim as Ferrando, Monica Bacelli as Despina and Laurent Naouri as Don Alfonso.

Bösch's vision in this production is to bring out both the dark cynicism of Da Ponte’s cruel game of lime and Mozart’s luminous music of love. He figures that if "all women are like that," then "all men are too."  The moral of this production is that if love’s a game, the it’s worth learning how to play it.

There are performances remaining on May 10 12 and 14. Tickets are available online.  

Next up for Prato is Puccini's five-part Messa a Quattro voci con orchestra, or Messa di Gloria at La Monnaie with tenor Sergey Romanovsky. There is a single performance on June 14th. Tickets are available online.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Barihunk trio in BariToned at The Green Room 42

Barihunks calendar model Edward Miskie has created a new show called "BariToned: I Hate Men." The show featured three 6'4" tall barihunks, Joe Hager, Brian Krinsky and Miskie and is directed by Broadway's Dan Pardo. 

The show includes Broadway hits like "Hey Big Spender" from Sweet Charity, "Bring On The Men" from Jekyll & Hyde, "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" from Grease all mashed up together to create songs about men and their proclivities, all delivered with some gender-bending fun. 

Miskie is a New York-based Pennsylvania native who has performed Julian Marsh in 42nd Street, Cinderella's Prince/The Wolf in Into The Woods, Fred Graham in Kiss Me Kate, Adam Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and many more. We recently posted about his book "Cancer, Musical Theatre, and Other Chronic Illnesses" which is available on Amazon and Kindle. 

Brian Krinsky also hails from Pennsylvania and was on the national tour of Anything Goes as Billy Crocker and Beauty and the Beast as the Beast/Gaston understudy. He is a regular at the White Heron Theatre Company in Nantucket where he recently portrayed Versati in "The Underpants."
Edward Miskie
Joe Hager is a New York-based Kansas native who has performed Dennis Dupree in Rock of Ages with Norwegian Cruise Lines for the last seven years. Additional credits include the National Tour of Beauty and the Beast as Gaston, the international tour of Phantom of the Opera as Monsieur Richard,  Tom MacKennle in the Seven Year Itch at the York Theatre. Additional credits include Javert in Les Miserables at the Palace Theatre, Sky Masterson in Guys & Dolls at the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, Macheath in The Three Penny Opera at the Brevard Music Center, and Marcello in La boheme at Hidden Valley Opera.

The show opens on May 26th at 8pm at The Green Room 42 on the 4th floor of YOTEL on 42nd and 10th Avenue in New York City. Tickets are $15 with no food or beverage minimums.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Michael Weyandt in New York premiere of Péter Eötvös’ "Angels in America"

Michael Weyandt
Barihunk Michael Weyandt is joinging the cast of Péter Eötvös’ opera adaptation of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic Angels in America with the New York City Opera. Weyandt will be singing the role of the closeted gay Mormon Joe Pitt in what will be the New York premiere of the opera. He joins fellow barihunk Andrew Garland, who is singing the crucial role of Prior Walter.

Angels in America received its West Coast premiere in 2013 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with barihunk David Adam Moore and Nikolas Nackley as Joe.

Andrew Garland
The opera was originally written for the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris where it premiered in 2004. The cast included barihunks Daniel Belcher and Omar Ebrahim, as well as Barbara Hendricks, Roberta Alexander, Derek Lee Ragin and and Topi Lehtipuu.

The opera is based on Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name and will be sung in English with supertitles. There will be four performances running from June 10-16.

Oddly, and distressingly, the New York City Opera did not post cast lists!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Paull-Anthony Keightley reaches semis of Australian Singing Competition

Paull-Anthony Keightley
Paull-Anthony Keightley will be a semi-finalist in the 2017 Australian Singing Competition, which has a top prize of AUD $30,000. The money can be used for to assist with a program of study and/or singing activity. Other prizes include an audition with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, a one-hour studio recording from FIne Music 102.5, a Vocal Training Course at the Guildahall School of Music, one year’s study at the Royal Northern College of Music , a AUD $2,000 scholarsip from the Royal Over-Seas League, a cash grant of AUD $8,000 to enable the recipient to study the Italian language in Italy, a scholarship of up to AUD $7,000 to fund travel and accommodation to attend the Israeli Opera Young Artist Program, a three-week program at State Opera House of Saarbrücken, and many additional prizes.
A number of barihunks who are familiar to readers have also reached the semi-finals, including Morgan Pearse, Hadleigh Adams, Sam Roberts-Smith (who won in 2009), Duncan Rock (who won in 2006) and Paul Whelan (who won in 1987). The semi-finals concert will be held on June 4 and the finals on July 15. Tickets are available online
West Australian Opera's feature on Paull-Anthony Keightley
Keightely made his principal debut with West Australian Opera in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi while he was the 2016 Wesfarmers Young Artist. He recently appeared as Sciarrone in company’s production of Puccini's Tosca while continuing as a member of the Young Artist Programme.
Keightely’s other operatic credits include Leporello in Don Giovanni, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Frank in Die Fledermaus, Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Pasquale in Orlando Paladino and Don Andronico in Don Procopio.
Paull-Anthony Keightley is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). 

Upcoming engagements include the baritone soloist in Faure’s Requiem with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, bass soloist in Bach’s Cantata BWV. 147 with the Perth Symphonic Chorus, Colline in Puccini's La Bohème with Freeze Frame Opera and Zuniga in Bizet's Carmen with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Bastiaan Everink's sexy website; Opening in Der Vampyr

Bastiaan Everink's website
Bastiaan Everink opens today as Lord Ruthven in Marschners's Der Vampyr at the Theater Koblenz, which runs through June 24. We haven't featured Everink on this site before, which is surprising, since he has some pretty sexy pictures on his website and is not shy about displaying his barihunkiness.

Everink has had an interesting path to the opera stages of the world, serving as a soldier in the  Royal Dutch Marines Corps. He was decorated for his participation in the first Gulf Gar in 1991. After being inspired by a recording of Wagner's Parsifal at a friend's house, he decided to study singing at the Conservatory in Enschede and Amsterdam and then at the The Studio of Vocal Arts with former tenor and US Marine James McCray.

Bastiaan Everink

In 2002, he made his debut in Bonn, Germany, and has joined the ensemble at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, as well as appearing with the Dutch National Opera, Frankfurt Oper, Innsbruck, Tiroler Theater, Staatstheater Nurnberg, the State Theater in Wiesbaden and the Concertgebouw Amsterdam. His roles have included the title role in Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer, Scarpia in Tosca. the title role in Verdi's Nabucco, Jago in Otello, Amonasro in Aida, Klingsor in Parsifal, Gerard in Andrea Chenier, Monterone in Rigoletto, Tonio in Pagliacci, Michele in Tabarro, Jochanaan in Salome, Wolfram in Tannhauser and the title role in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.

You can hear Everink talk about his exciting career in the military, as an opera singer and a sculptor on his Ted Talk.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Tim McDevitt joins award-winning cast in The Dreyfuss Affair

Tim McDevitt
Barihunk Timothy McDevitt is joining an all-star cast of actors as Lieutenant Georges Picquart in Eve Wolf's The Dreyfus Affair at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The cast includes Emmy Award winner Peter Scolari, as Émile Zola, Tony Award winner Max Von Essen as Alfred Dreyfus and Mark Evans as his devoted brother Mathieu Dreyfus.

Although a piece of straight theater, the play features music by César Franck, Maurice Ravel, György Ligeti, Jacques Fromental Halévy and Jean-Philippe Rameau. McDevitt is performing two arias from Halévy's La Juive, both tenor arias transposed to a baritone key.

Written by Eve Wolf and directed by Donald T. Sanders, the multi-media production tells the controversial story of the 1894 treason conviction of Captain Alfred Dreyfus that had a decades-long reverberation in the political landscape of France and the rest of the world. Eve Wolf told The Jewish Week that this show resonates with what's happening today with the still-precarious position of Jews in France to the wrongfully detained prisoners at Guantanamo. The Dreyfus Affair, she said, “is connected to Vichy France and to the rise of Marine Le Pen; it’s a line that never breaks.”
Lieutenant Georges Picquart and Tim McDevitt

The plot evolves around the false arrest and imprisonment of the innocent Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a highly decorated French Jewish officer. Traumatic soul-searching ensued and French society erupted into a fireball of anti-Semitism and political partisanship that called into question the very nature of French identity. Based on letters, diaries, memoirs, speeches and accounts by the historical figures involved in the Dreyfus Affair, the script includes text from Émile Zola’s newspaper article J’Accuse, unquestionably the most important piece of journalistic writing that transformed the private plight of Alfred Dreyfus into an “affair” of national & international significance.

Performances of The Dreyfus Affair run through May 7th and tickets are available online.  

After his run in The Dreyfus Affair, McDevitt will be premiering new songs by composer Georgia Shreve with the Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall on May 19th. Additional information in available online