Thursday, October 8, 2015

Introducing British Barihunk David Jones

Barihunk David Jones
British barihunk David Jones in new to us and came to our attention via Twitter. He will be performing "Unknowing" at Leys Recital Hall at Cambridge on October 17th with Teatime Opera. Directed by Matthew Monaghan, the staged piece uses music from Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Frauenliebe und -leben to explore the intense and violent relationship between two lovers.

Jones will be joined by soprano Christine Cunnold and pianist Richard Harker. Tickets are available online.

Jones studied at Oxford University and Trinity Laban and was prizewinner in the 2015 AESS Patricia Routledge English Song Competition. He enjoys a fruitful ongoing collaboration with Cantata Dramatica, with whom he has given the first performances of four substantial works, most recently Nick Bîcat’s Red Dragon, White Dragon.

Operatic roles have included Jesus in Jonathan Harvey's Passion and Resurrection  at the Voices of London Festival, Edward VIII in the premiere of Josh Spear's That Woman at the Tête-à-Tête Festival, Pritschitsch in Lehar's The Merry Widow with Opera Danube, Jamie in the world premiere of The Sleeper with the Welsh National Youth Opera and Ko-Ko in Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado with Co-Opera Co.


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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Edwin Crossley-Mercer in Fauré rarity

Edwin Crossley-Mercer
Edwin Crossley-Mercer returning to the stage after entertaining guests aboard the MS Europa on the Baltic Sea. He'll be performing Eurymaque in Fauré's Pénélope at the Opera National du Rhin in Strasbourg. He'll be joined by the amazing Anna Caterina Antonacci in the title role and hunkentenor Mark Van Arsdale as Léodès. Performances run from October 23 through November 22. 

Pénélope is the story of the return of the disguised Ulysses'to his wife who has faithfully waited twenty years for him. Many suitors unsuccessfully attempted to bend Ulysses' great bow before he proclaims his identity and the couple is reunited.

The opera, which has not set arias and little dramatic action, so it is rarely performed. This is the only scheduled performance of the opera through 2017. There are two glorious recording of the opera featuring Régine Crespin and Jessye Norman in the title role.  


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Baritones (secret) winners at Gerda Lissner Competition

Sean Michael Plumb, Josh Quinn, Anthony Schneider and Erik Larson.

What if you held a song competition and no one knew about it? That seems to be the case with this year's Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition. They held a competition last week and haven't posted the results, nor sent out a press release. We have an inquiry pending with them to find out the results and will update this post, as over $200,000 in prizes were handed out for lied, opera and a special Wagner division.

Fortunately, thanks to social media we've learned that barihunk Sean Michael Plumb won one of the top prizes, Josh Quinn took Third Prize and Anthony Schneider and Erik Larson both won Encouragement Awards.

Last year baritones won a number of prizes, including Reginald Smith Jr. who won the Gerda Lissner Foundation Top Prize and first prize honorees Michael Adams, Jared Bybee, Patrick Guetti, Sol Jin and John Viscardi.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Samuel Jarrick naked in La traviata

Samuel Jarrick in La traviata at Folkoperan ***
Folkoperan is the small opera company in Stockholm that performs opera in Swedish. Their current production of Verdi's La traviata features a lot of nudity...A LOT OF NUDITY. Fortunately, one of nude performers is barihunk Samuel Jarrick, who we've featured before in a state of semi-undress in the Mälmo Opera's production of Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking (which also featured nudity).

 Jesper Säll as Alfredo in La traviata (photo by Markus Gårder)
Folkoperan prides itself of pushing the boundaries of operatic convention and this production will certainly do that. Their concept with La traviata was to challenge both the work and the audience in the traditional concepts of male and female sexuality. The production features drag queens, body builders, models, children and, did we mention, lots of nudity.

The opera will be performed three times a week until November 29th. Tickets and additional performance information is available online.

*** A reminder that our nudity policy is that we only show pictures with nudity if it is from a staged production. This site does not contain gratuitous nudity. 

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Barihunks galore at American Classical Orchestra

Tim McDevitt and Paul Max Tipton
Barihunks will play a prominent role in two upcoming shows with the American Classical Orchestra in New York City. Paul Max Tipton will sing the role of Jesus in Bach’s St. John Passion conducted by Thomas Crawford on Tuesday, November 3 at Alice Tully Hall. Members of the American Classical Orchestra Chorus will be featured in the solo arias, which includes barihunks Jesse Blumberg and Joseph Beutel, who will also have solo roles. They will be joined by tenor Rufus Muller as the Evangelist.

On February 23, they will perform Haydn's L'isola disabitata (Desert Island) with barihunk Timothy McDevitt, who will be joined by soloists Sherezade Panthaki, Sarah Brailey and Owen McIntosh. Regular readers may remember our post of the opera with shirtless photos of Tom Corbeil in the Mark Morris production, which remains one of our top fifty posts of all-time. The opera was first performed in 1779 and is an Enlightenment parable about the relationship between humanity's natural instincts and society.

Tickets for both shows are available online.

Jesse Blumberg
Fans of Jesse Blumberg can catch him in Norhtern California with the Mirror Visions Ensemble in San Francisco on October 9 and in Sacrmento on October 11. He'll be in New York on October 19th with the Tertulia Chamber Music ensemble to perform Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes. He'll be joined by soprano Kiera Duffy, mezzo Jennifer Johnson Cano and tenor John Bellemer.

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Luis Alejandro Orozco to play transgender character

Luis Alejandro Orozco as "Hannah Before" (photos by C. Stanley Photography)
Luis Alejandro Orozco is the latest barihunk to take on the role of Hannah, the transgender protagonist of Laura Kaminsky's groundbreaking opera As/One. Orozco will play "Hannah after" and Ashley Cutright will portray "Hannah Before" in this new production at UrbanArias by director Octavio Cardenas. This will be the first performance in Washington D.C. 

Performances will be on October 3, 4, 9 and 10 and tickets are available online.

Kaminsky was inspired to write As One after reading an article in the New York Times in 2008 about a New Jersey marriage in which one of the parties transitioned from male to female, transforming the couple from straight to gay. The opera is based on the life experience of noted filmmaker Kimberly Reed.

As One provides insights into both the personal and philosophical questions at the core of how personhood is defined, as well as into the compromised civil and humans rights of transgender individuals in the broader societal framework.

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Doug Williams in US premiere of Scarlatti serenata

Douglas Williams
Bass-barihunk Doug Williams will join baroque specialist Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra this week for the American premiere of Alessandro Scarlatti's The Glory of Spring . The serenata has not been heard in the western hemisphere for nearly 300 years, which the composer wrote to celebrate the birth of the heir to the Holy Roman Emperor.

The prince was John Leopold, son of Charles VI and his father’s only male heir. Since Charles had recently acquired the kingdom of Naples in a treaty, the Neapolitans commissioned Scarlatti, their court composer, to write a grand serenata to celebrate the prince’s birth and gain favor with their new sovereign. Scarlatti wrote the piece within a few weeks and it was performed to adoring audiences in Naples immediately following the birth. Unfortunately, just months after the The Glory of Spring premiered, the celebrated infant died and the incredible work was forgotten.

Performances run from October 4-10 in Berkeley, San Francisco and Palo Alto. He'll be joined by tenor Nicholas Phan, soprano Suzana Ograjenšek, mezzo Diana Moore, countertenor Clint van der Lindeand the Philharmonia Chorale.

Tickets are available online. You can listen to Doug Williams HERE.

Williams will remain on the West Coast, where he will join Stephen Stubbs and the Pacific Masterworks for Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers in British Columbia.  Performances are from October 23-25 and tickets are available online.