Friday, September 13, 2019

Mikhail Timoshenko wins Wigmore Hall Song Competition

Elitsa Desseva and Mikhail Timoshenko at Wigmore Hall
25-year-old Russian bass-barihunk Mikhail Timoshenko won the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition, taking home the £10,000 prize money.

Timoshenko performed Holst's Ushas, Vaughan Williams' Let Beauty Awake, Copland's The Boatmen's Dance, Tchaikovsky's Podvig and Mahler's Ich hab' ein glühend Messer.

The £5,000 second prize place was awarded to 29-year-old British soprano Harriet Burns, while third place, with a prize of £2,500, went to British mezzo-soprano Beth Taylor. British tenor Kieran Carrel took home fourth place. Michael Pandya, the 25-year old British pianist who partnered Harriet Burns, won the £5,000 Pianist’s Prize.

The Wigmore finals. Timoshenko appears at 2:03:00

 Baritones have historically fared well at the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition. In 2017, three baritones swept the top honors, including Julien Van Mellaerts, John Brancy and Josh Quinn. In 2015, barihunks Samuel Hasselhorn and James Newby took Second and Third Prize respecively. In 2013, Gavan Ring walked home with the Second Place Prize. In 2011, Dominik Köninger launched his career by winning the top prize.

Timoshenko studied at the Mednogorsk Conservatoire and the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt, Weimar. He has won numerous competitions including first prize at the Franz Schubert und die Musik der Moderne Competition in Graz, first prize at the Médoc International Singing Competition in Bordeaux, the Opera Prize by the Cercle Carpeaux, first prize at the Maria Callas International Competition and first prize at the Hugo Wolf Competition.

He joined the Paris Opera Academy in September 2015 and during the 2015-16 season he participated in several of the Academy’s concerts and recitals at the Bastille Amphitheatre. He sang in the French premiere of Joanna Lee’s Vol Retour and performed the role of Plutone in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo

Friday, September 6, 2019

Georg Nigl stars in premiere of "Macbeth Underworld"

Georg Nigl as Macbeth (photo: Hugo Segars)

Just four years after the premiere of composer Pascal Dusapin's Penthesilea, he back at the La Monnaie with his newest opera, Macbeth Underworld. The opera is being described as "...a bloodstained Gothic opera, in which the ill-fated couple is condemned to relive its own tragedy, haunting their memory and ours."

Dusapin was less inspired by Shakespeare and Verdi than the cinematic versions of Macbeth for his latest creation, which runs from September 20-October 5. A major inspiration was Roman Polanski’s 1971, a commercial failure that was criticized for its depictions of graphic violence and nudity.

Dusapin knew immediately that he wanted barihunk Georg Nigl for the title role, commenting, "For Macbeth himself it was all much more straightforward. I wanted Georg Nigl. It is my fifth production with him and he can take on anything, from incredible expressiveness through tenderness to absolute folly. The short description on his score just says ‘Macbeth est fou’ – Macbeth is mad. He doesn’t need more than that.”

Judi Dench as Lady Macbeth:

For Lady Macbeth, he drew inspiration from Judi Dench's performance in the 1979 film version. Dusapin said, "Judi Dench was a great model for the scene in which Lady Macbeth washes her hands. The rhythm of her words is spot-on. I copied them out and used them in Macbeth Underworld.”

The remainder of the cast includes Magdalena Kožená as Lady Macbeth,  Graham Clark as Porter and Kristinn Sigmundsson as the Ghost. Tickets are available online.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Watch Quirijn de Lang's Hamlet online

Quirijn de Lang as Hamlet (Image: OPERA2DAY)
Add Quirijn de Lang to the list of barihunks who have made their mark in the title role of Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet, which includes Thomas Weinhappel, Thomas Oliemans, Franco Pomponi, Stéphane Degout, Edward Nelson, Régis Mengus, Bo Skovhus, Simon Keenlyside and Liam Bonner.

You can watch the Dutch baritone's performance on OperaVision on September 13th. The broadcast will start at 7 PM CET/1 PM EST/10 AM PST.

The performance is with OPERA2DAY in Den Haag, a company founded to bring opera to new audiences by presenting old standards in contemporary settings. The opera has been reduced to 2 hours from the standard 3 1/2 running time by eliminating the ballet and streamlining the story, including an ending that combines the two existing versions of the opera.

The cast also includes Lucie Chartin as Ophélie, fellow barihunk Martijn Sanders as Claudius, Martina Prins as Gertrude, Jan Willem Schaafsma as Laërte  and Patrick Pranger as Horatio. The opera is a co-production with the New European Ensemble.

If you want to see de Lang live, he can be seen in Kurt Weill's Street Scene with Opera North from January through March in Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester and Nottingham. He will also be singing the Count in Mozart's​ The Marriage of Figaro with the company during the same period.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Lotte Lenya Competition taking applications next week

Justin Hopkins and Doug Carpenter
The Lotte Lenya Competition will begin taking applications on September 3rd. The competition seems to attract the best barihunk talent, many of whom have walked away with the top prize, including John Brancy, Trevor Martin, Lucas Meachem, Liam Bonner and Jonathan Michie, Doug Carpenter, as well as hunkentenor Noah Stewart. Bass-barihunk Justin Hopkins took away second prize in 2012.

The Lotte Lenya Competition is an international theater singing contest that recognizes talented young singer-actors, ages 19 to 32, who are dramatically and musically convincing in a wide range of repertoire, and emphasizes the acting of songs within a dramatic context. It was founded in 1998 by foundation President Kim H. Kowalke, who is the Richard L. Turner Professor in Humanities at the University of Rochester and professor of musicology at the Eastman School.

John Brancy's 2018 winning set:

Singers are required to sing one theatrical selection by Kurt Weill, one song from the pre-1968  “Golden Age” of American musical theater, one song from the American musical theater repertoire of 1968 or later, and one aria from the operatic or operetta repertoire

Applicants will be required to upload an audition video that includes all four of the required repertoire selections. Applications can be found online. The competition will hand out $75,000 in prize money this year, including $20,000 for the Grand Prize.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Robert Gleadow is Mozart's Figaro of choice this season

Robert Gleadow (photo: Hugh Wesley)
Canadian bass-barihunk Robert Gleadow has become the Figaro of choice in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro for many of the world's leading opera houses. He'll be singing the role at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia from September 27-October 6. The cast will include Andrzej Filończyk as the Count, María José Moreno as the Countess, Sabina Puértolas as Susanna, Cecilia Molinari as Cherubino, Susana Cordón as Marcellina and Valeriano Lanchas as Bartolo. Tickets are available online.

He then takes the role to the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris from November 26-Decmeber 7 with fellow barihunk Stéphane Degout as the Count, the legendary Jennifer Larmore taking on Marcellina, Sabine Devieilhe as Susanna, Vannina Santoni as the Countess and Mathias Vidal as Basilio. Tickets are available online.

He then flies to the La monnaie in Belgium for more of Figaro from February 18-March 21 with fellow barihunk Björn Bürger as the Count, Simona Šaturová as the Countess, Alexander Roslavets as Basilio, Ginger Costa-Jackson as Cherubino and Rinat Shaham as Marcellina. The company is doing the entire "Mozart-Da Ponte" series this season, with Gleadow's Leporello making up a "barihunk trio" in Don Giovanni that includes Björn Bürger in the title role and Iurii Samoilov as Masetto. Samoilov also appears as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. Tickets are available online.

Marie-Adeline Henry as Donna Elvira & Robert Gleadow as Leporello (Photo: Mats Bäcker)
In Bordeaux, it will be Gleadow who sings roles in each of the "Mozart-Da Ponte" operas in May 2020, taking on Leporello, Figaro and Guglielmo. Tickets and additional cast information is available online.

We asked Gleadow about the role of Figaro and he had this to say, "I'd say he's one of the most loveable characters in the operatic repertoire. He's big-hearted, hot-blooded, quick-witted, overconfident; who's easy to root for and wears his heart on his sleeve (when the Count is out of the room anyway....). We see the entire spectrum of emotion throughout his "Folle Journée". Happiness, love, naiveté, jealousy, anger, humour, finding his parents, winning the girl, and defeating a rival. A true jack of all trades!"

Robert Gleadow and Serena Malfi sing Così fan tutte

Robert Gleadow was born in Toronto and was a member of the Opera Studio of the Canadian Opera Company of Toronto and the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme of the Royal Opera House in London.

Mozart has played a big role in his career, having performed the aforementioned roles, as well as Publio in La clemenza di Tito and the Speaker in Die Zauberflöte.

He can be heard as Lorenzo in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi with Anna Netrebko on Deutsche Grammophon.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Gregory Gerbrandt and Cree Carrico team up for "Broadway to Boonville"

Gregory Gerbrandt in A Streetcar Named Desire (right)

Barihunk Gregory Gerbrandt will join the charismatic soprano Cree Carrico in “From Broadway to Boonville — With Love!” accompanied by Michael Sakir at the the Missouri River Festival of the Arts in Boonville, Missiouri. The town is located halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City.

The concert will be at Thespian Hall, which opened in 1855 and is the oldest continuously running theater west of the Allegheny Mountains. The festival is in its 44th year. Tickets are available online.

Some of the Broadway songs on the program include "If I Loved You" from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, "An old Fashioned Wedding" from Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun, "The Next 10 Minute from Anna Kendrick & Jeremy Jordan's The Last Five Years and
"All I Ask of You" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera.

Cree Carrico and Gregory Gerbrandt
The three day festival is under the artistic direction of David Halen, concertmaster of the Saint Louis Symphony and Artistic Director of the Aspen Music Festival. 

The town is named after Nathan and Daniel Morgan Boone, who were the sons of the pioneer explorer Daniel Boone and who established their salt business near the community in the early 1800s, delivering their product from salt licks to St. Louis. Because of this, the town is sometimes known as Boone's Lick.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Introducing American barihunk Tim Murray

Tim Murray preparing for his Merola Grand Finale (right)
Wisconsin-born barihunk Tim Murray will perform in the Grand Finale concert at the prestigious Merola Opera Program in San Francisco tonight. He'll be performing the Act III mother-son duet  from Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet with Alice Chung. He also recently performed the role of Paul with Merola in the world premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s new opera If I Were You.

The concert is the final event in the Merola Opera Program's intensive summer training program for some of the world's most promising operatic talent. Tickets for the August 17th concert are available online.

In March, Murray made his debut with the Arizona Opera as William Dale in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night. He has already appeared three times with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City where he was part of their Resident Artist Program, performing Marullo in Verdi's Rigoletto, Guy in Talbot's Everest and the Captain in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.

Harve Presnell, Edward Laurenson and Thomas Hampson
Also appearing tonight will be New Zealand born baritone Edward Laurenson, who we introduced to readers back in 2014 and featured again when he took off for the Guildhall School of Music and again when he first came to San Francisco to study.

A number of the world's greatest baritones have come through Merola, including Broadway legend and film star Harve Presnell (1957), Thomas Hampson (1980), Mark Delavan (1985), David Malis (1982, 83),  John Del Carlo (1977), Lucas Meachem (2003), Allan Monk (1966), Burak Bilgili  (2001), John Chest (2009), Richard Paul Fink (1983, 84), Ao Li (2010), Daniel Okulitch (2002), John Relyea (1995), Philippe Sly (2011) and Hadleigh Adams (2012).  

Friday, August 16, 2019

Andrew Potter Makes a Splash as Vodnik

Andrew Potter as Vodnik
Bass-barihunk Andrew Potter is making his role debut as the water nymph Vodnik in Antonín Dvořák's Rusalka at Opera Steamboat in Colorado's beautiful Yampa Valley. From the look of his costumes, he'll be making quite a SPLASH

For those unfamiliar with Dvořák's opera, Vodník is the frog king and father of all the water, who can be both terrifying and playful.

Rusalka is based on the fairy tales of Karel Jaromír Erben and Božena Němcová. A rusalka is a water sprite from Slavic mythology, usually inhabiting a lake or river. The plot contains elements which also appear in The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen and in Undine by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué, which also became an opera by the German composer Albert Lortzing.

Andrew Potter as Vodnik
The opera was first performed in Prague on March 31, 1901 and along with Janáček's Jenůfa has become the most popular Czech opera worldwide. 

The remainder of the Opera Steamboat cast includes former Miss America contestant Christie Conover in the title role, Renée Rapier as Ježibaba, Ben Gulley as the Prince and Lauren Frey as the Princess. There is one remaining performance on Saturday August 17, 2019 and tickets are available online.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Teddy Tahu Rhodes to tour "From Broadway to La Scala"

Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Méphistophélès and in The King and I
Australia's popular show "From Broadway to La Scala" is back and hitting the road with Kiwi barihunk Teddy Tahu Rhodes in the cast. The national tour, which runs from September 14-28, will stop in Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne before culminating at the Sydney Opera House.

Rhodes will be heard in selections from Carousel, The Sound of Music, The Pearl Fishers, Sweeney Todd, Fiddler of the Roof, Carmen and West Side Story. He'll be joined by hunkentenors Alexander Lewis and David Hobson, soprano Emma Matthews, Caroline O'Connor and Genevieve Kingsford.

Tickets are available online.

After the tour, Rhodes can be seen as Lord Sidney in Rossini's Il viaggio a Reims and Méphistophélès in Gounod's Faust at Opera Australia.

Rhodes is the recipient of several major awards. In 2004, he received an ARIA award for Best Classical Recording for his CD The Voice, and in 2006 he was the winner of the Limelight Award for Best Performance by a Soloist with an Orchestra for his Australian tour with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. In 2008 he won a Helpmann Award for Best Male Performer in an Opera for his role in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking and the Laureate Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Veritable feast of barihunks in San Francisco Opera's Billy Budd

John Chest as Billy Budd at the Deutsche Oper Berlin (Photo: Marcus Lieberenz)
In celebration of Herman Melville's bicentennial and the 100th anniversary of the posthumous discovery of the author's unfinished manuscript of Billy Budd, the San Francisco Opera will present Benjamin Britten's operatic version from September 7-22.

This will be only the fourth time that the opera has been performed in the company's history. It was last performed during the 2004-05 season with barihunks Nathan Gunn as Billy Budd, Philip Skinner as Mr. Ratcliff, Mel Ulrich as Donald, Daniel Okulitch as the Gunner's mate, Lucas Meachem as the Novice's Friend, Troy Cook as Mr. Flint and Joshua Bloom as the First Mate.   

Nathan Gunn  as Billy Budd at the SF Opera (Photo: Merkle)
The all-male cast of 75 principle artists and choristers, will be led by barihunk John Chest in the title role. Chest returns to San Francisco, where he was a member of the Merola Opera Program. Chest has performed the role twice with the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2014 and 2017.

The cast also include a veritable feast of barihunks and bass-barihunks, including Christian van Horn as the evil John Claggart, Hadleigh Adams as Arthur Jones, Christian Pursell as Lieutenant Ratcliffe, Wayne Tigges as Mr. Flint, John Brancy as Donald, Edward Nelson as Bosun, Sidney Outlaw as First Mate, Kenneth Overton as Second Mate, Eugene Villanueva as the Novice's Friend and Philip Skinner as Dansker. The critical role of Captain Vere will be sung by tenor William Burden.   

The production will be by Tony Award-winning director Michael Grandage, who unveiled this staging at the 2010 Glyndebourne Festival and revived it at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music  in 2014. 

Tickets and additional cast information is available online.

No Barihunks on CBC's list of "30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians," so we added two

The CBC recently ran a feature called "30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30." They surveyed Canada's conservatories, music competitions and professional training programs to come up with their list. Although we at Barihunks take the word "HOT" to mean sexy, it appears that they are going for a double meaning, with "HOT" also meaning "musicians with talent to keep an eye on."

This year they didn't manage to come up with a single barihunk, despite having included them in past years, including Philippe Sly and Gordon Bintner. So we decided to add two to the list.

Micah Schroeder
Canadian-American baritone Micah Schroeder will be appearing as Harlekin in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos with the Highlands Opera Studio in Haliburton, Ontario on August 24 an 26. He is a 2018 graduate of the Vancouver Opera Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program and an alumni of the Aspen Opera Centre, as well as The Banff Centre of Arts and Creativity. He recently completed a Diploma in Operatic Performance from the University of Toronto and holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Opera from the University of British Columbia.
Dimitri Katotakis
Toronto native Dimitri Katotakis studied at McGill University and Juilliard, before being accepted into the prestigious Merola Opera Program in San Francisco. Last year, he was part of Steven Blier's New York Festival of Song concert "Protest." He was the Second Prize winner at the Canadian Opera Company's vocal competition.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Watch Björn Bürger live in Glyndebourne's Die zauberflöte

Björn Bürger as Papageno and Sofia Fomina as Pamina

You can watch German barihunk Björn Bürger online in the Glyndebourne Festival Opera’s new production of Mozart's Die zauberflöte on the The Telegraph's website. You can watch it live on Sunday, August 4 at 5.35 PM BST/12:35 PM EST/9:35 AM PST and then on demand for seven days until Monday, August 12 at 9.30 AM BST/4:30 AM EST/1:30 AM PST.

Björn Bürger in trailer for Die zauberflöte:

Björn Bürger was previously featured in Glyndebourne's streaming video of Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

There are eleven performances at Glyndebourne remaining running through August 24, with an additional performance at the BBC Proms on August 27.

Tobias Greenhalgh to make role debut in Pagliacci

Tobias Greenhalgh and Boston's Memorial Ice Rink
Barihunk Tobias Greenhalgh will make his role debut as Silvio in Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci with the Boston Lyric Opera this Fall. It will be the first time that the company has performed the classic verismo opera.

The opera will be performed at the DCR Steriti Memorial Ice Rink, where the company has previously performed  Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti. Greenhalgh will be joined by tenor Rafael Rojas as Canio and Lauren Michelle as Nedda. Performances will run from September 27 – October 6, 2019 and tickets are available online.

Tobias Greenhlagh in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin:

This season, Greenhalgh is joining the ensemble at the Aalto-Musiktheater Essen where his roles will include Count Almavivia in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro in June 2020, Valentin in Gounod's Faust running from April-June 2010 and Ottokar in Weber's Der Freischütz, also running form April-June 2020. Tickets and additional cast information is available online.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Georg Festl turns heads with sexy Golaud in Freiburg

Georg Festl in Pelléas et Mélisande (Photo: Rainer Muranyi)
German barihunk Georg Festl certainly caught the attention of the audience with his sexy, oft-shirtless performance of Golaud in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande at the Theater Freiburg. We thought readers might enjoy seeing a few of the pictures, since the run ended on July 20. This was his role debut.

For those not familiar with the piece, the opera is tragic love triangle involving two noble half-brothers, Golaud and Pelléas, and the enigmatic Mélisande, who comes into their lives unexpectedly after a tremendous and undisclosed personal calamity. She marries Golaud, but he is soon convinced of her illicit union with his brother, and his jealous rage ends in Pélleas’ murder.  Mélisande dies after giving birth to a child.

Georg Festl in Pelléas et Mélisande (Photo: Rainer Muranyi)
Festl make his house debut at the Opernhaus Zürich next Spring as Masetto in Don Giovanni in a cast led by fellow barihunk Luca Pisaroni in the title role, Andreas Wolf as Leporello, Wenwei Zhang as the Commendatore, Jane Archibald as Donna Anna, Sine Bundgaard as Donna Elvira, Mauro Peter as Don Ottavio and Natalia Tanasi as Zerlina. 

Georg Festl was born in Nuremberg, Germany and studied English and American studies at the University of Music Würzburg. After graduating, he was cast as Artie Green in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard at the Mainfrankentheater Würzburg.  He is a recipient of the Richard-Wagner Society scholarship and the Da-Ponte Society scholarship

Monday, July 22, 2019

Simon Keenlyside to appear at Wigmore Hall

Simon Keenlyside as Golaud
Photo: Wiener Staatsoper GmbH / Michael Pöhn

Fan favorite barihunk Simon Keenlyside will appear at Wigmore Hall on July 26th joined by five British jazz musicians.

Keenlyside will sing selections from American jazz and light opera/musicals, including pieces by Kurt Weill, Emmerich Kálmán, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Cole Porter and Billy Strayhorn. Tickets are available online.  

Earlier this year Keenlyside was knighted by HRH The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace for his "services to music." He won a Grammy Award for his recording of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro and in 2011 was named Musical America's Vocalist of the Year.

Simon Keenlyside as Golaud
Photo: Wiener Staatsoper GmbH / Michael Pöhn
In 2016, he underwent thyroid surgery, which kept him offstage for 10 more months.

Upcoming opera performances include Rodrigo in Verdi's Don Carlo at the Vienna State Opera, Giorgio Germont in Verdi's La traviata at the Bavarian State Opera and Goulaud in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande at the Hamburg State Opera.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Jonathan Beyer to appear on "Worst Cooks in America"

Jonathan Beyer
Barihunk Jonathan Beyer will appear as a "recruit" on the Food Network's popular show "Worst Cooks in America." You can begin watching the latest challenge on August 4th.

The show takes 12 to 16 contestants (aka recruits) with very poor cooking skills through a culinary boot camp, to earn a cash prize of $25,000 and a Food Network cooking set. The recruits are trained on the various basic cooking techniques including: baking, knife skills, temperature, seasoning and preparation. The final challenge is to cook a restaurant quality three-course meal for three food critics.

Beyer is currently at the University of British Columbia Summer Vocal Workshop, where he is teaching and performing.

A bit of trivia: Beyer appeared in our very first Barihunks Charity Calendar.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Barihunks Galore at 2019 Glimmerglass Festival

Justin Hopkins
The 2019 Glimmerglass Festival kicks off on July 6th with a slew of barihunks, including three for their opening night production of Show Boat.

The Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II classic, which gave us such immortal songs such as "Ol' Man River," "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" and "Make Believe," will feature Michael Adams as Joe Ravenal, Justin Hopkins as Joe and Glimmerglass Young Artist Charles H. Eaton as both Steve Baker and Max.

The world premiere of Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson's Blue will feature barihunk Kenneth Kellogg as the central character of the father. He'll be joined by Briana Hunter as the mother andAaron Crouch as the son.

Michael Adams, Kenneth Kellogg and Charles Eaton
Kellogg says of the piece on the Glimmerglass website, "[Blue] came at a point in my life, as a Black Man in America, I was feeling like opera wasn’t doing enough to address issues we are facing as a culture. Blue is the first piece I’ve been a part of that I feel I can lend my authentic self to in telling a real story that reflects the lives of people that look like me. The subject matter actually mirrored things and conversations that were happening in my life at the time, being a new father and dealing with the real fear of raising a Black Boy in America.”

Also at this year's Festival is Verdi’s La traviata, John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, Britten’s Noah’s Flood, a talk by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a gospel extravaganza and Stars’ Night Out, featuring principal artists of the 2019 Festival. 

Ben Schaefer
Barihunk Ben Schaefer, who is a Glimmerglass Young Artist and new to this site,  is having a breakout season in his young career, singing both Figaro in The Ghosts of Versailles and Yeletsky in The Queen of Spades

Christopher Carbin
Also, new to this site is bass-barihunk Christopher Carbin, who is singing Narumov in The Queen of Spades and in the Ghost Quartet in The Ghosts of Versailles.  Carbin is a second-year young artist at Glimmerglass.

The 2019 Festival runs July 6 through August 24, 2019. All tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Barihunks rotate lead in Opera Philadelphia world premiere

Theo Hoffman and Johnny Herford (photo: Maximilian Führig)
Barihunks Theo Hoffman and Johnny Herford will share the lead role in composer Philip Venables and librettist Ted Huffman's new opera Denis & Katya. The opera will premiere on September 18 with Opera Philadelphia as part of their Festival O19.

The true story follows 15-year-olds Denis Muravyov and Katya Vlasova, who livestreamed their final hours on multiple social media platforms after creating a real-time voyeuristic spectacle and leaving behind a trail of devastating footage of their drinking, smoking, cuddling, and crying as they prepared to die.

The couple had been in an armed standoff with Russian Special Forces when they decided to broadcast themselves live on social media, creating a spectacle of real-time voyeurism. The couple became known as the Romeo and Juliet of internet clickbait.

Denis & Katya is scored for four cellos and features a double cast. Theo Hoffman will be joined by mezzo-soprano Siena Licht Miller for opening night, with additional performances on September 21, 22, 25 and 29. The second cast features Johnny Herford and Emily Edmonds for performances on September 21, 23 and 28. Tickets and additional information is available online

West Coast fans of Theo Hoffman can catch him this Fall as Papageno in Barrie Kosky's highly acclaimed production of Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Los Angeles Opera. Information is available online.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Reader Submission: Bernhard Hansky

Bernard Hansky (Photo: Matthias Creutziger)
A reader alerted us to barihunk Bernhard Hansky, who hails from Eisenhüttenstadt, Germany near the Polish border.

He was joined the opera studio at the Semperoper in 2015 and the house’s solo ensemble for the 2017-18 season. His roles with the company have included Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, Baron Douphol in Verdi's La traviata, Morales in Bizet's Carmen, Fiorello in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia and Kilian in Weber's Der Freischütz.

He can next be seen with the company as Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte beginning July 6th. He'll have eleven additional performances of the role through June 2020. He will also be performing Don Alvaro in Rossini's comic masterpiece Il viaggio a Reims from September-November 2019.

Other career highlights have included Don Giovanni at Volkstheater Rostock and the Estates Theatre in Prague, Falke in Die Fledermaus at Staatsoperette Dresden, and Dandini in La cenerentola at the National Opera Brno, the Opera Festival Lignano and at the Rossini Festival in Wildbad.

In 2008 he was awarded the Franz Grothe Foundation Award at Germany's Bundeswettbewerb Gesang.

Hansky has some barihunk pedigree, having studied with both Hanno Müller-Brachmann and Roman Trekel.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Barihunk duo join SF Symphony for semi-staged Ravel opera

Kelly Markgraf and Michael Todd Simpson
Barihunks Michael Todd Simpson and Kelly Markgraf will join the San Francisco Symphony in a semi-staged performance of Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Magic Spells) on June 27 and 29–30 at Davies Symphony Hall. They'll be joined by an all-star cast including Isabel Leonard, Anna Christy, Nikki Einfeld, Marnie Breckenridge, Ginger Costa Jackson, Jennifer Johnson-Cano and Ben Jones under the baton of Martyn Brabbins.

The semi-staged production has previously been seen at the Opéra de Lyon in 2012 and 2016, and at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich in 2013. Tickets for the San Francisco performances are available online.

In L’enfant et les sortilèges, Ravel captures the fanciful world of a young child. Set in a country house in Normandy, the story opens with a boy being scolded by his mother and left alone in his room. Rebellious and fractious, the boy causes mischief—ripping the wallpaper and tearing pages from his schoolbook, sweeping the teapot off the table, swinging from the pendulum of the grandfather clock, and even injuring his pet squirrel. The objects of his tantrum come to life and turn against him, admonishing him for his misdeeds. More accusations and frightful encounters follow when the boy runs out to the garden, until he finally learns his lesson—showing kindness to the injured squirrel—and the magic of the garden turns to moonlight enchantment.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Rafael Fingerlos joins Imogen Cooper for Schubertiade

Burg Mauterndorf and Rafael Fingerlos
Austrian barihunk Rafael Fingerlos will join the legendary pianist Imogen Cooper for Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin on July 20th. The performance will at the historic Burg Mauterndorf in Austria. 

The castle was built in approximately 1253 and enlarged to its current size in the 15th century. Since 1968 the building has been owned by the state of Salzburg and includes a museum and noted restaurant.

Franz Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin is a cycle of twenty songs set to poems by the German  poet Wilhelm Müller. It tells the tale of a young boy whose journeys bring him to take an  apprenticeship at a mill, where he falls instantly in love with the miller's daughter. His love, and advances are sadly unrequited, and when she turns her attention to a hunter he bemoans losing her. Left with only the brook that guided him along the way, he succumbs to a watery grave as the brook lulls him to his final rest. 

Fingerlos can be seen this year at the Vienna State Opera as Belcore in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, Demetrius in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Dr. Falke in Strauss' Die Fledermaus.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Edwin Crossley-Mercer to appear at Carnegie Hall

Edwin Crossley-Mercer
We recently posted about Edwin Crossley-Mercer's amazing performances in Rameau's rarely performed Hippolyte et Aricie in Zurich. We teased in that post that he was coming to Carnegie Hall, for an all too rare U.S. performance.

The June 24th program has been announced and it will feature Schumann's Dichterliebe, the world premier of  Michael Linton's Franchetti Songs, and Linton's Songs of the Sand Hills.

Cody Franchetti is an Italian socialite with lineage to the Milliken and Rothschild families. He is a controversial figure who was featured in Jamie Johnson's documentaries "Born Rich" and "The One Percent."  He earned his masters degree in modern European studies from Columbia University and has published a number of academic articles on history, philosophy, and literature.

This is the second time Linton has set Franchetti's poetry to music and both composer and poet will be in attendance. Tickets are available online.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Paul La Rosa stars in "grave" performance of Dido & Aeneas

Paul La Rosa as Aeneas
Barihunk Paul La Rosa will star as Aeneas in an adaptation of Henry Purcell's "Dido & Aeneas" at the historic catacombs at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. The performance is part of The Angel’s Share, a new series of opera and chamber music concerts presented by Death of Classical at the cemetery. The series takes its name from the distiller’s term for whiskey that evaporates while maturing in the barrel, thus going to the angels.

Paul La Rosa as Aeneas
La Rosa will be joined by the rising star Daniela Mack as Dido, along with Molly Quinn as Belinda, and Vanessa Cariddi as the Sorceress. The opera will be directed by tenor Alek Shrader, and will incorporate spoken dialogue from Christopher Marlowe’s play “Dido, Queen of Carthage." Shrader and Mack are one of many husband and wife teams currently singing on the opera stage. The couple participated with La Rosa in San Francisco's Merola Opera Program for young artists.

Performances are slated for June 4, 5, 7, and 8 and tickets are available online. The catacombs are normally not open to the public.

Paul La Rosa as Aeneas
Each performance will begin with a pre-concert reception with food, drinks, and a whiskey tasting overlooking the Manhattan skyline and the New York Harbor at sunset. At dusk, guests will then follow a candle-lit pathway down to the Catacombs for the performance.

We previously posted about The Angel’s Share performance of the Red Elf featuring bass-barihunk Andrew Bogard and hunkentenor Kyle Bielfield.

Barihunk duo in world premiere of Stonewall

Joseph Charles Beutel and Brian James Myer
The New York City Opera continues its Pride Initiative of producing an LGBT-focused work each June in commemoration of Gay Pride Month with the premiere of Iain Bell and Mark Campbell's Stonewall. ” The opera will be performed at Rose Hall,at Jazz at Lincoln Center, on June 21, 22 (matinee and evening), June 27 and June 29. 

The opera features the barihunk duo of Joseph Charles Beutel as Troy and Brian James Myer as Carlos, a Dominican-American English teacher recently fired from a Catholic school.

Stonewall will be the first opera to feature a transgender character specially created for a transgender singer when Liz Bouk takes the stage as Sarah. Liz identifies as male and lives as a trans man.

The opera captures the rage, grit, humor and hope of the nascent LGBTQ movement.  On a hot night in 1969, a cross-section of characters find themselves thrown together in a Greenwich Village dance club with explosive results that give birth to a movement.

The cast also includes Andrew Bidlack as Andy, Lisa Chavez as Maggie, Michael Corvino as Sal, Jessica Fischenfeld as Leah, Marc Heller as Larry, Jordan Weatherston Pitts as Renata and Justin Ryan as Edward. Tickets are available online.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Joseph Lattanzi in free concert and world premiere

Joseph Lattanzi (Photos from artist website)
Barihunk Joseph Lattanzi will be one of the featured stars of Cincinnati Opera's free Opera in the Park concert on June 9th. He'll be joined at Washington Park by his fellow cast members from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, which is being performed on June 13 and 15. They include sopranos Janai Brugger and Susanna Phillips, mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb and tenor Martin Bakari. Also performing will be Piotr Buszewski, Liv Redpath, Thomas Dreeze and hunkentenor Aaron Blake.

No tickets are required for the event, but guests are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs, Concessions and food trucks will be on site.

In addition to The Marriage of Figaro, Lattanzi will join the company from July 22-27 for the world premiere of Scott Davenport Richards and David Cote's opera Blind Injustice, which explores the true stories of these six people who were tried, convicted, imprisoned, then ultimately freed by the Ohio Innocence Project. Joining him in the cast are fellow barihunks Miles Wilson-Toliver and Morgan Smith.

Casts and additional information on the Cincinnati Opera season can be found online

Later this season, Lattanzi will reprise the role of Hawkins Fuller in Gregory Spears' Fellow Travelers at the Arizona Opera and then perform Dandini in Rossini's L Cenerentola at the Virginia Opera.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Tristan Hambleton to open Opéra de Lille season in Purcell rarity

Tristan Hambleton (from artist's website)
British barihunk Tristan Hambleton will open the Opéra de Lille season in Henry Purcell's rarely performed The Indian Queen. He'll be joined by Anna Dennis, Hugo Hymas, Gareth John, Rowan Pierce and Nick Pritchard under the baton of baroque specialist Emmanuelle Haïm. Tickets are available online 

Mark Stone sings "I Attempt from Love's Sickness: from The Indian Queen:

The Indian Queen is a largely unfinished semi-opera, which was first performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, in 1695. The opera is based on John Dryden's 1664 play of the same name. Purcell was commissioned to adapt the play into an opera in 1694, but died the following year having only completed the Prologue and Acts II and III. His brother Daniel completed a masque for Act V.

Despite containing some of Purcell's most beautiful music, the opera is seldomly performed compared to Dido and AeneasKing Arthur or The Fairy-Queen, mainly because the piece has been deemed incomplete. The piece was performed in 2016 at the Grand Théâtre de Genève with barihunk Jarrett Ott.

Adrian Tamburini to make role debut in Bluebeard's Castle

Adrian Tamburini
Australian barihunk Adrian Tamburini will make his role debut in Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard's Castle with Pure Harmony Music & Events. He will perform the piece on July 24 and 25 in Sydney and Melbourne on July 2, 6, 10 and August 8, 9. He'll be joined by Australian soprano, Zara Barrett as Judith under the baton of Christopher van Tuinen, who will lead the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra. Van Tuinen has re-orchestrated the opera for a 23-piece chamber orchestra, which will incorporate the 1973 Pogson Pipe Organ of the Verbrugghen Hall at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

The Pacific Opera will open the performance with a recital of arias and ensembles.

Tamburini is also the artistic director Pure Harmony Music & Events, which was was formed in 2004 as a Music School, but now also produces concerts and events throughout Australia.

Bluebeard's Castle is a one-act expressionist opera with a libretto by the composer's friend  Béla Balázs. The 1911 composition is based on the French literary tale La Barbe bleue by Charles Perrault. The opera lasts only a little over an hour and there are only two singing characters onstage, Bluebeard (Kékszakállú) and his new wife Judith (Judit). The two have just eloped and Judith is coming home to Bluebeard's castle for the first time. Judith discovers seven doors that she insists be opened, despite the objections and warnings from Bluebeard.

More infornation is available on the company's Facebook site.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Zachary Gordin running the show and putting on a show at Festival Opera

Zachary Gordin
Barihunk Zachary Gordin has worn many hats in his operatic career, from teacher, coach, manager and, of course, singer. His latest endeavor will be as Artistic Director of Festival Opera in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The company was founded in 1991 by Arizona Opera co-founder Dr. Theodore Weis and has had a rich and occasionally rocky history, including the West Coast premiere of Ned Rorem's Our Town and a highly acclaimed Star Wars-themed production of Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio.

Gordin's first season will include a fully staged production of Carlisle Floyd's American masterpiece Susannah. The opera will feature soprano Shana Blake Hill in the title role, tenor Alex Boyer as Sam, baritone Philip Skinner as Reverend Olin Blitch and baritone Eugene Brancoveanu as Elder McLean. Gordin has even imported German bass-baritone Malte Roesner for the role of Elder Ott. Roesner made his acclaimed 2017 American debut down the road with West Edge Opera in Vicente Martin y Soler's The Chastity Tree. This will be Roesner's debut with the company.

Malte Roesner
Gordin will kick off the season himself in a recital with his frequent collaborator Brian Nies on May 28. The duo will perform Schumann’s Dichterliebe, along with songs by Jake Heggie, Reynaldo Hahn, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. The two released an album of Hahn songs in 2017 called “Amour sans ailes,” which was was named Best Lieder Recording of 2017 by Voix des Arts.

Gordin previously performed with the company as Angelotti in Puccini's Tosca, Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen,  Enrico in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Germont in Verdi's La traviata and Joseph De Rocher in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking.

Tickets for the recital and Susannah are available ONLINE.