Sunday, December 16, 2007

#1 Hottest Barihunk in the Blogosphere: Teddy Tahu Rhodes

I love Teddy Tahu Rhodes, but I was surprised that he was the most visited barihunk. Not that he isn't hot, but he had some stiff competition with "Hot Schrott" and "Top Gunn." I also happen to think that Rhodes has the prettiest voice of the bunch. He clearly doesn't possess the sexy, deep, dark heft of Schrott's voice, but he sings Mozart as sweetly as anyone in the last generation. I've also received emails from two people who have worked with Rhodes who say he is the nicest guy in opera, which makes him even sexier!

The 6' 3" Rhodes claims to work out five to six times a week and is known to frequent the beaches with his surfboard. He has practically made a career out of three classic barihunk roles: Stanley in "Streetcar Named Desire," Don Giovanni and "Dead Man Walking." Teddy is in such good shape that he once sang an aria from "Dead Man Walking" while doing push-ups.

Although he is known as the "Singing Surfer" on this blog, he has also picked up the nickname "Tremendous Teddy" in opera circles.

#2 Most Popular Barihunk: Erwin Schrott

I can't understand why "Hot Schrott" wasn't the most popular barihunk on this blog. Not that Teddy Tahu Rhodes is worthy of the #1 slot, but when I show this site to friends it seems like Schrott is the one who people gush over the most.

Schrott is wrapping up Don Giovanni at Los Angeles Opera and then there this is only one American engagement on his calendar that I can find through 2010, which is at the Met where he will alternate singing Leporello and Don Giovanni. He has a number of Don Giovanni's on his calendar over the next two years, which will allow him to show off his pulchritudinous form. Also on calendar, is Attila in Verona, I Lombardi in Naples and Le Nozze di Figaro in Vienna.

Schrott claims to keep fit by running, swimming and regularly visiting the gym, where he likes to climb. Also, his lunches consist of sashimi, garden salads and fresh fruit.

Why has the San Francisco Opera not engaged Schrott?

#3 Most Popular Barihunk: Nathan Gunn

I firmly believe that the term "barihunk" was created as an adjective to describe Nathan Gunn on stage. It's almost impossible to read a review or a blog about Gunn with a reference to his barihunkiness. I was a little surprised when I checked my blog stats and he wasn't the #1 barihunk based on page visits. No baritone bares his midriff more than Gunn on stage, although Erwin Schrott is giving him a run for his money.

Gunn is currently singing "Romeo et Juliette" at the Met. His new album "Just Before Sunrise" is a little sappy for me. I'd recommend "American Ragtime" (, which contains some lovely settings by American composers.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Martin Achrainer

Martin Achrainer was born in Tyrol, Austria. He was trained at the University of Music and Drama in Vienna, later continuing his studies with opera greats Robert Holl and Brigitte Fassbaender.

During his training he performed in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” as Masetto and Leporello, “Cosi fan tutte” as Guglielmo, and “The Magic Flute” as Papageno. Other roles included Achilla in Händels "Giulio Cesare,“ Alidoro in Rossinis "La Cenerentola,“ Belcore in Donizettis "L’Elisir d’Amore," and the world Premiere of the opera “Der Zauberberg” as Dr. Behrens.

His solo career also encompasses a vast repertoire in opera, oratorio and masses, as well as lieder ranging from the Baroque through to the 20th century.

He is the recipient of numerous prizes including the German Drama Price for his Papageno at the Opera-Festival “Schloss Rheinsberg” in Berlin, the Robert Schumann competition in Zwickau (Jury Prize), the Hugo Wolf Prize, and the Hilde Zadek competition for literature of the 20th century (first prize).

Martin Achrainer is a permanent member of the opera house in Linz, Austria. He recently sang in a homoerotic version of Salome directed by Brigitte Fassbaender and is slated to sing Harlequin in Strauss' "Ariadne auf Naxos" and the title role in Don Giovanni.