Thursday, November 20, 2014

Rodolfo Nieto in free night of love songs

Rodolfo Nieto
American barihunk Rodolfo Nieto, who we introduced to readers during his run as Jose Castro in Minnesota Opera's La Fanciulla del West two months ago, will be giving a free recital on Friday, November 21st. The free concert at Bemis Rehearsal Hall will include love songs by Richard Strauss, Schubert, Chausson, Fauré, and Tosti.

The concert is free, but an RSVP is requested.  If you can't make the recital, you can listen to him HERE singing some Schubert songs.

Make sure to order your Barihunks Charity calendar by clicking below and enjoy 19 of opera's hottest men all year.
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Xavier Rivera

Barihunks Calendar model Pietro di Bianco wins Paris Opera Award; Barihunks sweep top prizes

Pietro di Bianco, Sam Roberts-Smith and Xiaohan Zhai
Baritones are once again dominating a major singing competition, as a third of the finalists at the prestigious Paris Opera Awards were from our favorite voice range. Pietro di Bianco, Sam Roberts-Smith and Xiaohan Zhai have all advanced to the final round and di Bianco walked away with the top prize for male singers. Soprano Daria Terekhova took the top prize for women. 

In fact, all three of the top prizes plus the audience prize went to the low voices. Xiaohan Zhai took second place and Sam Roberts-Smith won both third place and the Special Jury Prize for the best performance. Marina Nachkebiya and Leonie Renaud took second and third place for the women. 

Di Bianco will receive €5000 ($6300 US) for taking the top prize, Zhai receives €3000 ($3800 US) and Roberts-Smith €1000 ($1250 US) for each of his prizes.

Pietro di Bianco, Michael Hewitt and Michael Scarcelle in the Barihunks Calendar
You can enjoy Pietro di Bianco for the entire month of February in our new Viva, Italia! Barihunks Calendar, which is available by clicking below. 
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Jonathan Estabrooks to sing Lerner & Loewe

Jonathan Estabrooks
Canadian barihunk Jonathan Estabrooks is returning to his native country to perform with the Vancouver Symphony. He'll be making a familiar foray from opera to the world of musical theater, as he joins soprano Amy Wallis and tenor David Curry in an evening of music by Lerner and Loewe. They'll perform under the baton of Steven Reineke on Friday, November 21 and Saturday, November 22 at the Orpheum Theater. Tickets are available online.

The duo is known for creating some of the greatest musicals of all time, including Camelot, My Fair Lady, Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, and Gigi. Estabrooks will be performing such familiar hits as If Ever I Would Leave You, They Call the Wind Maria and Gigi.

Estabrooks will also be signing copies of his debut album ‘These Miles’ after the show in the main lobby.

If you can't make it to Vancouver, you have plenty of time to buy tickets for his performances with the Seattle Symphony and Steven Reineke when he takes on the Broadway classics of Rodgers & Hammerstein from March 6-8, 2015. Tickets are available online

Jonathan Estabrooks isn't in this year's Barihunks calendar, but he has appeared in previous years. However, you can still enjoy 19 more of the hottest guys in the opera world by ordering your copy today. Just click the handy LULU button below.
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Colorado native Keith Miller returns home for free concert

Donovan Singletary, Christopher Temporelli and Keith Miller
Sterling, Colorado probably doesn't get many Metropolitan Opera stars performing in their town of 18,000 people. The city, which was a stop on the Overland Trail during the mass migration to California after the Gold Rush is a good two hour drive northeast of Denver on the way to rural Nebraska. But fortunately for the good citizens of Sterling, Met star Keith Miller grew up a little further down the road in Ovid, Colorado.

On Saturday, November 22, he will perform at First Presbyterian Church in Sterling at 2 PM. The concert is free with a suggested offering to the church. He will be joined by soprano Melissa Zapin and pianist Konstantin Soukhovetski in a program of holiday standards, as well as music from Gounod's Faust, Puccini's La boheme and Gianni Schicchi, and Mozart's Don Giovanni and Le nozze de Figaro

Miller, has deep roots in the area, having played fullback for the University of Colorado and being drafted into the NFL. It's also no coincidence that Sterling would want someone with his background in sports and music, as the Valley School District has won awards for having some of the best music and athletic programs in Colorado.

Miller is featured in our Barihunk calendar for the second year in a row. This year as part of our Viva, Italia! theme, he was part of a photo shoot in New York City's Little Italy with fellow barihunks Donovan Singletary and Christopher Temporelli. You can order you calendar by clicking below.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Benjamin Werth joins the Aachen gang

Benjamin Werth in West Side Story
American barihunk Benjamin Werth, who has made his career in Europe in recent years, is making his debut with the opera at Theater Aachen in Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. Werth is singing Riff, the gang leader of the Jets who suggests the rumble with the Sharks.

Since 2009, Werth has been part of the ensemble of the Landestheater Coburg where he sang Orest in Gluck's Iphigenie auf Tauris, Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale, Renato in Verdi's Un ballo in Maschera, Figaro in Rossini's Barber of Seville, Zurga in Bizet's The Pearl Fishers and the title role in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. This won't be his first foray into Broadway musicals, as he performed Sam in George Gershwin's Crazy for You in 2011.

Jochen Kool
An additional bonus in this production is the physical dancing of Jochen Kool, who portrays fellow Jets gang member A-Rab. 

Performance begin on Friday, November 21st and run through the Spring of 2015. Tickets and additional cast information are available online.

The 2015 Barihunks Charity Calendar is available in plenty of time for the holidays. Order yours today!
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Kelly Margraf plays the villain in return home

Kelly Markgraf
Kelly Markgraf is returning to Madison Opera this season, a year after his successful debut with the company in Mozart's Don Giovanni. He'll be going from seducer to sinister, as he takes on the villainous Don Pizarro in Beethoven's Fidelio opening on Friday, November 21st with an additional performance on Sunday, November 23rd.

This will be Madison Opera's first fully staged performance of Beethoven's only opera in their 53-year history. He'll be joined by soprano Alexandra LoBianco as Leonore and tenor Clay Hilley as Florestan. Tickets and additional cast information are available online.

The opera is being performed almost on the anniversary of its premiere in Vienna on November 20, 1805.

Markgraf as Don Pizarro
Markgraf grew up 100 miles away in Cedarburg, Wisconsin where he was captain of his high school soccer team. Markgraf currently resides in Houston, Texas with his wife, the amazing mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke. When not singing, he runs a tea import business.

You can read an interview with Kelly Markgraf on the Madison Opera blog by clicking HERE.

You can follow him on Twitter @KellyMarkgraf.

 Have you bought your Barihunks calendar. 2015 is fast approaching, so order yours today. 
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Richard Alexandre Rittelmann wins Best Italian-Themed Photo Prize

Richard Alexandre Rittelmann
German-Hungarian barihunk Richard Alexandre Rittelmann has won our online contest for the Best Italian-Themed photo in our 2015 Barihunks Charity Calendar. He will be awarded $250 for his winning photo. Rittelmann's photo shows him posed as the popular fantasy of a shirtless pizza delivery guy holding his a box.

Rittelman just closed a four night run as the Mandarin in Puccini's Turandot at l’Opéra de Nice. He'll be flying back to San Francisco next month, where his photo shoot took place, and promises a "surprise" appearance, possibly with another barihunk.

You can order your Barihunks calendar by clicking on the LULU button below.
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