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.