Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Don Giovanni Hits the Streets

Eugene Brancoveanu in Livernore Opera's Don Giovanni

If there's one thing that we love at Barihunks it's great marketing. Often it's the smaller companies who come up with the greatest ad campaigns as they compete for attention with the major companies. We've generally found that the Ft. Worth Opera and Dallas Opera have much more interesting marketing campaigns than Lyric Opera of Chicago or the Vienna State Opera. We particularly love when the little regional companies really step up their game and show what's possible in the world of opera marketing.

Livermore Valley Opera in Northern California is one of those companies. Their marketing campaign for their upcoming Don Giovanni is sheer genius. The campaign appeals to both opera lovers and the person on the street. And that's exactly who they went after, the person on the street. Watch the video of barihunk Eugene Brancoveanu as he takes Don Giovanni's rakish ways to the streets of Livermore.

Opening night of Don Giovanni is Saturday, October 2 at 8 PM, with additional performances on Sunday, October 3 at 2 PM and Sunday, October 10 at 2 PM. For more information, please visit the Livermore Valley Opera website. The opening night performance will be preceded by a gala beginning at 5 PM.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Top 10 Barihunks

We decided to check Google Analytics to see who you've looking at on Barihunks over the last 120 days. We discovered a few surprises, like perennial favorites Mariusz Kwiecien and Teddy Tahu Rhodes missing from the list. There were also a couple of young, emerging singers high on the list and they are both named Zach: Zach Altman and Zach Gordin. We were also surprised to see that Nathan Gunn dropped out of his usual perch among the top five. There was one consistent theme, readers like to see a little skin. Here's the Top 10 in order of page views:

1. Gabriel Bermudez

2. Quirijn de Lang

3. Daniel Okulitch

4. Zach Altman

5. Zach Gordin

6. Troy Cook

7. Nmon Ford

8. Nathan Gunn

9. Paulo Szot

10. Randal Turner

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Guido Loconsolo in La Boheme

Guido Loconsolo

We can't imagine a better way to start the week that with sexy Italian barihunk Guido Loconsolo singing his highly acclaimed portrayal of Marcello in La Boheme. He also has that amazing Italian style that defines fashion at its best.

For those hoping to see Loconsolo live, he has a couple of Belcore's on his schedule. First at Opera de Lille opposite the hunkentenor Bülent Bezdüz. He then flies off to Berlin where he will reprise the role at Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin opposite two more hunky Nemorino's: Pavel Brelik and Leonardo Capalbo.

Hanno Müller-Brachmann

For those of you who will be in Berlin, barihunk Hanno Müller-Brachmann will be featured in two Mozart operas during that time, Cosi fan tutte and The Magic Flute.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

David Adam Moore: Damn DAM!

Super Sexy David Adam Moore
The blogosphere continues to be the best the source of classical music and opera news in the wake of arts sections being decimated in the newspaper industry. Our latest find was this amazing interview with David Adam Moore (aka DAM) on the blog Billevesées.

Moore will be performing Schubert's Winterreise on Sunday, September 26 at 2:30 PM at the Theater of the Performing Arts Center at Houston Community College.  Tickets can be purchased by calling (713) 718-5620.

DAM will be joined by Thomas Jaber on the piano for a multi-media production of the famous song cycle. According to the website, the use of video "aims to present Schubert's Winterreise as a visually rich dramatic monologue that will guide the audience intimately along the protagonist’s journey of love and loss in wintertime."

One thing is certain, anything involving David Adam Moore always proves to be interesting (and incredibly sexy!). 

Moore will also be recording Winterreise in composer Glen Roven's English translation. That recording will be released on the GPR label. Fans of the Emmy-award winning composer Glen Roven can also hear his songs performed by barihunk Randal Turner in San Francisco on December 6th. [Check out the box to the right for concert information and tickets.]

Barihunks will be in Seattle to see DAM in his upcoming performance in the "Barber of Seville," where he will be alternating the role of Figaro with fellow barihunk Jose Carbo. 

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Friday, September 24, 2010

D MAGAZINE: Opera Baritone Paulo Szot is Smoking Hot

Paulo Szot; Photo courtesy Dallas Opera

D Magazine, the source of everything happening in Dallas, has a wonderful piece on Paulo Szot that mentions this site and celebrates his hunkiness and sex appeal. The article keenly observes how opera has celebrated its divas in the past, but perhaps it time for the guys. Here is the article:

Opera has always had its gentlemen matinee idols and glamour-puss divas (Geraldine Farrar, Maria Jeritza, and, most spectacularly, Maria Callas after her slimming makeover) who have set hearts aflutter. But now there’s even a blog called Barihunks that features buff young singers able and willing to take off their shirts—or more.

Stay tuned, Dallas. Paulo Szot, one of the steamiest barihunks working, is coming to you at the Winspear Opera House, straight from his Tony award-winning performance as Emile de Becque in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific at Lincoln Center.[Continue reading HERE].

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Barihunk Duo at Gotham Chamber Opera

Barihunks Craig Verm & Steven LaBrie
The Gotham Chamber Opera in collaboration with the Tectonic Theater Project is presenting Xavier Montsalvatge's operatic telling of the children's classic El gato con botas (Puss in Boots). The performances run from October 2-10 at the New Victory Theater, 209 W. 42nd Street in New York City.

This world premiere performance will feature barihunks Craig Verm and Steven LaBrie alternating roles. The work is an operatic version of the classic children’s tale in which a charismatic and cunning cat promises a poor miller everlasting love and fortune. All he needs to pull off his ruse are a hat, a cape, a pair of boots, and his wits.

L to R: Craig Verm, Jonothon Lyons, Stefano Brancato, Ginger Costa-Jackson

The opera will be directed by Moisés Kaufman, founder of Tectonic Theater Project and conducted by Neal Goren, founder of Gotham Chamber Opera. The production also features the London puppet masters Blind Summit Theatre, which dazzled audiences at The Met in Anthony Minghella’s "Madama Butterfly."

Fans of this site will recall that the Gotham Chamber Opera presented Haydn's "L’isola disabitata (Desert Island) with some extremely sexy pictures of a shirtless Tom Corbeil.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Before Night Falls

Before Night Falls

The recording of Ft. Worth Opera's world premiere of "Before Night Falls" will be available in October 2010. You can pre-order it now on Amazon.

Wes Mason in Before Night Falls
Also, fans of the opera's star barihunk Wes Mason can see some new sexy photos on his Facebook fan page. Unfortunately, we can't reprint them due to copyright restrictions. You can also view the extensive coverage of Before Night Falls that appeared on Barihunks by clicking HERE.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Go See Daniel Okulitch in Nozze (or tell your friends in L.A.)

Opera's Proud Barihunk - Daniel Okulitch
The Daniel "I'm too sexy for my shirt" Okulitch media lovefest is continuing with an article in Ontario's Kingston Whig Standard. The sexy Canadian's interview with the L.A. Times went viral on the internet and on opera blogs before being picked up by the Canadian press.

Okulitch takes a refreshing approach to his sexiness being used for marketing and attracting younger audiences. His frank talk about nudity and traveling with a whip is refreshing in opera's often staid and stuffy world.

Therefore, we are going to use this opportunity to remind readers that he's appearing at the Los Angeles Opera in the Marriage of Figaro opening on September 26th. The production also features fellow barihunk Bo Skovhus and we hope that this production helps resurrect the L.A. Opera's reputation after a critically panned Ring Cycle. The opera company deserves to be supported and the casting in the Marriage of Figaro should be reason enough for any opera lover to run out and buy tickets.

By the way, as measured by "hits" on this site, Okulitch continues to be our most popular barihunk. We salute him and wish him well in Los Angeles.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Three Barihunks in Dallas Opera's First Simulcast

Mirco Palazzi and Ben Wager
The Dallas Opera will present its first live outdoor simulcast on October 22 at the new Annette Strauss Square. The simulcast will feature the opening-night performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, including Tony Award-winning barihunk Paulo Szot as the titular seducer. The performance will also feature barihunks Ben Wager and Mirco Palazzi as Masetto and Leporello respectively.

Admission is free and the opera performance will begin at 7:30 p.m.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Paulo Szot at Cafe Carlyle

Paulo Szot; Richard Termine for The New York Times

Barihunk Paulo Szot is scaling things down and performing at the famed Cafe Carlyle in New York. He is performing music of his native Brazil, as well as some Broadway standards. Tickets range from $40-$100 and dinner is required.

Visit the Cafe Carlyle website for information. You can read the New York Times review of his performance HERE. Don't miss this opportunity to see one of the sexiest men in opera up close and personal.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Michael Mayes' Hysterical "Noir" Film

Michael Mayes Preparing for Silvio - Seriously!

Barihunks is always eager to see the latest Michael Mayes video. They are some the funniest videos in the opera world. His latest shows him preparing for the role of "Silvio," the "other man" in I Pagliacci.

As fans of verismo know, operas like Pagliacci are all about life imitating art (or is it art imitating life!). So Michael Mayes went beyond the score in learning his role, which he will perform with the Baltimore Concert Opera.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

LA Times Interview With Daniel Okulitch: Travels With A Whip?

Photo by Anne Cusack - Los Angeles Times

Today's Los Angeles Times features a wonderful interview with barihunk Daniel Okulitch. Fans of this site should keep in mind that the Count Almaviva in this production is fellow barihunk Bo Skovhus [top photo]. For more information, visit the Los Angeles Opera website.

Sunday Conversation: Bass baritone Daniel Okulitch

By Irene Lacher, Special to the Los Angeles Times
September 12, 2010

Canadian bass baritone Daniel Okulitch, 34, returns to Los Angeles Opera in the title role of "The Marriage of Figaro," opening Sept. 26. It's his second engagement with LA Opera since his high-profile turn in the 2008 U.S. premiere of composer Howard Shore's "The Fly," directed by David Cronenberg, based on his 1986 science-fiction film.

I Googled you and the first thing that came up, even before your own website, was naked pictures of you from "The Fly."

I guess that's what gets the most hits. I suppose there are things I could do to change that within Google analytics, if I so desired. It's just not all that important to me. If people really want my website, they can find that information soon enough. But for whatever reason, that's what people click on, even two years after the show.

I guess you made quite a splash. How's that been for you?

The most comments I get on that are good-natured ribbing from colleagues. It's funny, but when I was in Paris for the opening, the whole fact that I was nude onstage for what, all of 30 seconds, maybe a minute? No one paid attention, because it was Paris. But suddenly I get to L.A. and the picture that's being put out there… It wasn't the only thing they talked about. They talked about the music and the performances, but the fact that I did the scene became the selling point and the definitive part of the show. It got my name out there and name recognition in this career is helpful. You do have to prove you can sing as well.

Oh, that. called you "a swaggering rock star" in "Don Giovanni" in New York. Do you think that opera singers have to bring the same kind of sexual bravado that rock musicians do to the stage to attract younger audiences?

I've seen various performances with the people touted as these sort of personas. It gets them in the door, but 20 rows back, no one can tell the difference. You really can't. What's interesting about that that if you tell someone you're going to see Erwin Schrott or Anna Netrebko and they're really hot and you tell them this enough times, even if they're sitting 50 rows back they're going to think, "Wow, I'm watching a really sexy, attractive person onstage." And their brain fills in what the eye is not catching. So it's a self-feeding loop; it's a snake eating its own tail. In the end, what's going to keep people coming back is if they have a satisfying dramatic musical experience.

Except the audiences are still graying.

It's a demographic truth that as people get older, they have more disposable income, they have more time, their tastes deepen and they become the core audience. They also become the people who donate more readily. So this has always been a truism of opera, at least in the 20th century in North America, that your audience will trend a little older. I think it's great when you can bring younger people into the audiences because they bring their own energy, and once you get an opera fan at a young age, they'll likely remain an opera fan for the rest of their lives.

You've performed a lot of classic and contemporary operas, singing the roles of Don Giovanni to Willy Wonka. Do you have a preference?

I don't think I do. The plan with my teacher and my managers was always that if I do a contemporary opera, like "The Golden Ticket" or "The Fly," immediately after, the best thing to do was a Mozart. Mozart is like a nice deep-tissue massage for the voice. It's therapy for the voice, if you're doing it correctly. It shows all of your flaws, so you're going to be made immediately aware of the bad habits that have crept in; it's like doing an X-ray on your voice, a nice little analysis of how you're singing. Then you're able to line things back up and sing in a noble, classic style, which is just healthy.

Contemporary music is often very angular, and most of the time it's in English, and it's easy to let bad habits creep in, and a lot of the time it's just more taxing on the voice. And also, there's the street cred thing: If you do a lot of contemporary opera, you start to get pigeonholed as someone who only does new works. But really your bread and butter is going to be your classic repertoire. So I like to keep a healthy balance between the premieres — the more modern things, which inevitably get maybe more attention and press — and things that reaffirm that I am someone who can handle the classical repertoire.

So how did Figaro become one of your signature roles? How does that happen?

That isn't something I claimed; it's something that's claimed for me. You do it a lot, and people see you do it and you get good press for it and word gets around. I was doing "The Fly" and Plácido [Domingo] said, "What else do you sing?" I said, "I do 'Figaro,' I do 'Don Giovanni.'" He said, "We're doing 'Figaro'; I'd like to hear you sing it." So I sang it for him [in New York]. And he said, "I think Los Angeles audiences need to hear you in something more classic."

And what do you do for playtime?

I feel like my life is playtime. Outside of opera, I have a lot of little hobbies, which are kind of odd and quirky. I was learning to crack a bullwhip this year. Cooking is a big passion of mine.

I didn't know bullwhipping was a hobby.

Oh, yeah. Learning to crack a whip, you'd better believe it. It's actually something I bought thinking it would be useful for a couple of roles. And I thought, this is kind of fun, and I learned the different cracks; it's rather challenging. So I travel with a whip. You're going to make that the headline, aren't you?
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Bid on a Barihunk

Barihunk Nathan Gunn

Have you ever dreamed of attending an opera and being invited backstage to meet your favorite opera singer? Now you can.

Charity Buzz is hosting an auction to benefit Rosie’s Broadway Kids, a program started by Rosie O'Donnell and Kelli O'Donnell in 2003. The program benefits kids in New York City who have never had the opportunity to experience Broadway.

The program provides quality instruction in music and dance at no cost to New York City public schools or students. Eighty percent of students who participate in Rosie’s Broadway Kids are from low-income families. Rosie’s Broadway Kids serves more than 5,100 teachers, students, and their family members at 22 schools.

Now you can benefit this wonderful program and spend time with either barihunk Nathan Gunn or John Relyea. Click on the links below to place your bids.

Bid on Nathan Gunn HERE.

Bid on John Relyea HERE.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Zachary Gordin sings 21st Century Baroque

If you're tired of our usual fare of Mozart, Bizet, Verdi, Britten and Gluck, here is barihunk Zachary Gordin singing music by Sheli Nan, a composer of 21st century baroque music. Gordin was part of a concert featured Nan's works at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on June 5th.

Make sure to check out Gordin's updated website.

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Simon Bailey's Figaro

Simon Bailey is a new addition to the site and comes at the suggestion of a reader in Germany. He is currently performing as Figaro in "Le nozze di Figaro" at the Frankfurt Opera.

He was born in Lincoln, England and became a choral scholar at Clare College at Cambridge University. 
Bailey as Figaro in Frankfurt

Bailey has been part of the ensemble at the Frankfurt Opera for the last eight seasons. In addition to Figaro, he will be entertaining Rheinland audiences in Charpentier’s Médée,  Vivaldi's Orlando furioso, Berlioz’ Méphistophélès and Don Inigo Gomez/Sarvaor in Ravel’s L’heure espagnole/de Falla’s La vida breve.

Bailey began his career as a member of La Scala’s Opera Studio and won first prize at the 2004 Musica Sacra competition in Rome.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jesse Blumberg Performs Tonight in NYC

If you're in the New York City area tonight don't miss Jesse Blumberg's recital tonight accompanied by pianist Erika Switzer. Blumberg is one of our favorite performers and he's put together a program of music by Vaughan Williams, Finzi, Britten and others.

Blumberg recently joined internationally renowned accompanist Martin Katz for performances of Schubert’s “Die Schoene Müllerin” and “Die Winterreise” in Ann Arbor. For those of you on the East Coast who missed Blumberg and Katz together, you can see them at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts on February 12th.

Tonight's concert will be at the Bechstein Piano Centre, 207 West 58th Street in New York City from 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM. Admission is $20.

Don't miss it!

You can check out sound clips of Jesse Blumberg on his website.

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dmitri Hvorostovsky Sings Verdi

In anticipation of Dmitri Hvorostovsky's upcoming portrayal of Rigoletto, we thought that we'd provide you with a sampling of some of his sumptuous Verdi singing. Here are excerpts from Don Carlo, Forza and Otello. For all of you tenor fans who keep clamoring for parity, we've added one clip with hunkentenor Jonas Kaufmann. (We would like to take this time to remind readers that this site is dedicated to baritones, although we appreciate the outpouring of love for the higher voiced male singers).

The "Siberian Hunky" will be in London from October 11 through November 2 portraying the famous hunchback. Visit the Royal Opera House website for more information.

He then travels to Vienna from November 16-28 where he will perform at the famed Vienna State Opera.

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Doug Carpenter in Miss Saigon

[Photo by Ken Jacques]

Douglas Carpenter created a sensation on this site when we posted a picture of him eating a cupcake. Fans will be pleased to know that the upcoming barihunk has been cast in Miss Saigon at the Moonlight Amphitheater in Vista, California.  Readers may remember his critically acclaimed portrayals of Skip in "Life Could Be A Dream" and Lancelot in Camelot at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Performances of Miss Saigon run from September 8-25 at start at 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the VisTix Ticket Office at (760) 724-2110 or online at

[The famous cupcake shot, Miss Saigon poster & a current headshot]

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Ed Parks: Winterreise at Yale

[Ed Parks with legendary mezzo Marilyn Horne]

We love our New York fans, because they are pushy, demanding and know what they like (and don't like). We received our first request to post Ed Parks over a year ago and we have received a steady stream of emails about his performances, participation in the Lindemann Young Artists program and addition to the Met roster. We figured that we better post him before this blows up into the operatic version of the mosque debate.

So New York City, here is Ed Parks, our latest barihunk.

As mentioned, Parks is a second year participant in the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Development Program. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Fiorello in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in 2009-2010. A native of Indiana, Pennsylvania, Parks received his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin and his master’s degree from the Yale School of Music. This season, he returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Schaunard in La Bohème on both the mainstage and on tour in Japan, and as Larkens in the new production of La Fancuilla del West, which will be broadcast in HD around the world as part of the Met’s Live in HD series.

On Monday, September 27 at 8 pm Parks will perform Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise in the Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall at Yale University. For FREE tickets visit the Yale website or call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

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