Monday, January 31, 2011

John Boehr Sings to Save the Everglades

John Boehr Loves the Water
American barihunk John Boehr is going to perform a benefit concert to save the Everglades on March 3 at the Friday Musicale in Jacksonville.

The muscular singer will perform “Pahayokee: A Plea for Life/A Song Cycle of the Everglades”by attorney/composer James T. Miller. The 40-minute piece is about the beauty of the famous National Park in Florida. The piece includes actual sounds from the Everglades, including birds, insects, frogs and alligators.

Big Mouth & Big Muscles
Tickets are $20. For more information contact you can send an email to

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Happy Birthday, Philip Glass: Watch the complete opera Kepler here

OK, we have a birthday theme going on this week. An email message quickly showed up in our email box after we posted the birthday tribute to Franz Schubert reminding us that it is also Philip Glass' birthday. We're big fans of Philip Glass, so we're going to try something new to Barihunks and post the entire performance of his opera Kepler with the Austrian barihunk Martin Achrainer. This performance is from the 2009 production at the Landestheater Linz.

We can't think of a better way to celebrate his modern master's birthday.

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Happy Birthday, Franz Schubert

Franz Schubert & Andrew Ashwin
We can't think of a better way to celebrate Franz Schubert's birthday than with two of his masterpieces sung by the gifted British barihunk Andrew Ashwin. 

Ashwin's career has been primarily in Europe where he has made his mark as an insightful recitalist, while also singing everything from Mozart to Britten, Janacek and Gilbert & Sullivan.


Corn Fed Giovanni in Omaha

Kelly Markgraf shows why the Catalog Aria is believable
We love Don Giovanni because it seems to draw a trio of barihunks no matter where it's performed. Even in the breadbasket of America one can find a sexy Don followed around by an equally alluring sidekick Leporello. Omaha is bringing back fan favorite Kelly Markgraf to sing the lead role with a former Giovanni, Matthew Burns as his sidekick Leporello.

Veteran performer Daniel Belcher takes on the role of Masetto.

Matthew Burns (L) & Daniel Belcher (R)
Performances are on  Friday, February 25th at 7:30 pm and Sunday, February 27th at 2:00 pm. For additional information visit the Opera Omaha website.


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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Liam Bonner Steals the Show in New Orleans

Liam Bonner in Pearl Fishers
We recently reported on Liam Bonner taking on the role of Zurga in The Pearl Fishers at the New Orleans Opera. We've followed this young singer from success to success, so it was no surprise to us when we read that he stole the show in the exotic Bizet opera.

We did love a comment on our last post that Bonner was clad in "winter clothing" in a role that usually tantalizes with a little skin. I guess folks in the Big Easy will need to head over to Mardi Gras to see some skin.

Here is what the New Orleans Times-Picayune had to say:

The most impressive voice of the night belonged to Zurga, the leader of the tribe, played with flair and majesty by baritone Liam Bonner. This was a classic performance filled with power and lyrical beauty.
You can read the entire review HERE and view more pictures.

Gabriel Bermudez shows off more skin

Garbriel Bermudez almost shirtless
In terms of hits, Gabriel Bermudez remains the runaway favorite singer on this site. He still generates 2-3 more hits than any other barihunk. Of course, baring it all on stage certainly helped his popularity. We receive a lot of requests asking for more of this gorgeous Spaniard and finally we found some more skin shots. The photo is from a performance of Turandot in Barcelona where he sang Ping.

You can watch the entire clip HERE. Unfortunately, the embedding code for this video is not enabled.

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School Daze with Mariusz Kwiecien

Mariusz Kwiecien in class
When Małgorzata Mazur wanted to attract students to her new singing group she decided to invite an old friend of hers. Polish Barihunk spent time with a group of 26 singers, inspiring them and singing for them. Her goal is add 100 young people to her ensemble. 

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Matt Worth leads cavalcade of barihunks at Minnesota Opera

Tenor James Valenti, Barihunk Matt Worth & Cosi poster

Matt Worth, winner of our "Hottest Future Superstar of 2010" will be starring in Cosi fan tutte at the Minnesota Opera. He will portray Guglielmo in a production that features fellow barihunk Daniel Mobbs as Don Alfonso.

The Minnesota Opera has a great tradition of finding future superstars, as well as promoting new American opera. For lovers of hunkentenors, the company has aggressively marketed James Valenti, including a video of him in the shower, which went viral on the internet.

Of course, we care about the lower voices that are dominating the opera stages of the world and Minnesota Opera delivers. In addition to Cosi, the company will perform Kevin Puts' Silent Night with barihunks Liam Bonner and Troy Cook (who appeared on this site performing the "Full Okultich"), Werther with barihunk Gabriel Preisser, Lucia di Lammermoor and Madama Butterfly also with Gabriel Preisser. Now let's hope that the barihunks creep into their wonderful marketing efforts, as well. For more information about the season visit the Minnesota Opera website.

Although there are no sure bets in life, we feel pretty confident that Matt Worth is going to be one of the major baritone stars of the next twenty years. He is truly one of the most gifted young singers we've heard in years. You can listen to Matt Worth sing arias from Cosi and other operas by clicking HERE.

We apologize for the video quality, but here is a good example of young Gabriel Preisser's singing. He is beginning to create a buzz with composers and opera companies across the country who are already  championing his career.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Liam Bonner

Liam Bonner (photo courtesy of Opera News)
The New Orleans Opera production of The Pearl Fishers opens tonight at 8 PM with an additional performance on Sunday, January 30th at 2:30 PM. Barihunk Liam Bonner will sing the role of Zurga opposite hunkentenor William Burden. Visit their website for additional performance information.

Burden's portrayal of Nadir opposite barihunk Nathan Gunn was one of the early success stories on this site. The YouTube video below has over 55,000 hits, which is extraordinary for an opera clip. Our post still generates lots of traffic three years later. 

William Burden & Nathan Gunn

We're not sure if the New Orleans production will have the same amount of skin as the famed Philadelphia performance, but we'll be keeping an eye out for photos. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

One of our favorite readers and prominent figures in the music world reminded us that today is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's birthday. In celebration, here are some of the world's most popular barihunks singing music from the world's greatest composer:






Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Luca Pisaroni: Shaven or Unshaven?

Luca Pisaroni: Two different looks
Here is barihunk Luca Pisaroni looking very different. Amazingly, the photo on the left is of him singing Bach. Clearly, the chest has been shaved, but a very Biblical looking beard remains on his face. On the right, he's performing Mozart with a clean shaven face and a hairy chest.

Either way the guy is sexy. If you have a preference, let us know in the comments section.

Here he is singing Figaro's aria "Non più andrai" from Le Nozze di Figaro at the Opéra Bastille.

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Vytautas Juozapaitis, Peter Mattei & Frank Sinatra singing "My Way"

Our recent post with Luca Pisaroni, Thomas Hampson and Frank Sinatra singing "Embraceable You" was popular with readers. So when we were sent this recent video of Lithuanian baritone Vytautas Juozapaitis we couldn't resist running another post of a few barihunks comparing their pop music skills with the Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra.

Vytautas Juozapaitis is the most popular baritone in Lithuania right now is a regular fixture on television. He performs with the Lithuanian National Opera and the Kaunas State Musical Theater. His repertory includes Mozart, Puccini, Verdi Wagner, Lithuanian composers and Broadway musicals.

Here is Peter Mattei:

The great Frank Sinatra:

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Mayes vs Mephistopheles

Michael Mayes takes on the bad guy
One of our favorite barihunks, the funny and talented Michael Mayes is headed to Birmingham to defend Marguerite's honor in Gounod's "Faust." The role of Valentin is often played by a young barihunk when cast in an age appropriate manner. He also gets what we believe is the best aria, "Avant de quitter ces lieux."

Once again, a regional opera company has assembled an impressive cast for this opera. Joining Mayes will be the wonderful soprano Mary Dunleavy, rising tenor star Bryan Hymel and the estimable Kurt Eichelberger as the devil. For anyone worried about the future of opera, casting like this at Opera Birmingham should give one renewed hope.

Mayes is also the host of the Texapolitan Opera podcast, which is a must for any opera fan. We're sure that this performance will generate a devilishly good show. His current episode already includes two of his co-stars, Eichelberger and Millinnee Bannister, who discuss such topics as "Pants that show of your junk," "Squeal like a pig," and "Only gay men look at breasts."

For your listening pleasure, here are three barihunk versions of "Avant de quitter ces lieux" from Simon Keenlyside, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Thomas Hampson:

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rave Reviews for "Dead Man Walking"

Philip Cutlip in Dead Man Walking

With and all-star cast and the composer and librettist in the audience, the Houston Grand Opera scored an artistic triumph with their production of Jake Heggie's "Dead Man Walking."

The Houston Chronicle wrote:

Cutlip's De Rocher is, as he must be, a major source of the darkness. He sings with tough force and acts the hardened killer with the right scary edge and jeering arrogance. Then as Sister Helen gradually begins to reach him, he lets us see glimmers of humanity, his fear, his shame. Cutlip makes the transition very convincing, from his initial wariness, to the pained confession of his guilt to Sister Helen, and finally to their bond of forgiveness and support as he prepares to die.
Read the entire review at the Houston Chronicle website.

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Erwin Schrott's Tribute to Placido Domingo

Erwin Schrott at Domingo's 70th Birthday Concert

Erwin Schrott hams it up at Placido Domingo's 70th Birthday Gala at the Teatro Real in Madrid singing "Madamina, il catalogo è questo" from Mozart's Don Giovanni.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Philip Cutlip Leads All-Star Cast of "Dead Man Walking" in Houston

Philip Cutlip in Houston's "Dean Man Walking"

The Houston Grand Opera has assembled an all-star cast for Jake Heggie's "Dead Man Walking" that would make La Scala or the Metropolitan Opera envious. Heading the cast is barihunk Philip Cutlip as Joseph De Rocher, who has created a buzz on opera blogs and in the mainstream press [see the feature from Houston magazine below]. Joining Cutlip will be the legendary mezzo Frederica von Stade, who will make her farewell to the stage as De Rocher's mother. Two of the world's greatest Rosina's from the Barber of Seville, Joyce Di Donato and Susanne Mentzer, will portray Sister Helen Prejean and Jade Boucher respectively. Measha Brueggergosman will make her Houston Grand Opera debut in the role of Sister Rose.

"Dead Man Walking" has become one of the most popular contemporary operas and has quickly made it into the standard repertory. Like Simon Boccanegra, Don Giovanni and Boris Godunov, it has become a vehicle for the greatest baritones of our time. Because the character works out in prison and has to look impressive physically, the role has always been portrayed by barihunks. The Canadian premiere featured Daniel Okulitch, who also performed the role at the Ft. Worth Opera. Other barihunks who have sung the role include Mel Ulrich, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Marcus DeLoach and John Packard, who will perform the role of Owen Hart in Houston's current production.

Philip Cutlip sporting his prison mustache

Performances will run from Saturday January 22nd through Sunday February 6th. Tickets and additional cast information are available at the Houston Grand Opera website. Here is the highlight video from the opera's website:

Here is the #1 feature of Houston magazine's "Best of Culture," featuring the star of "Dead Man Walking":

Barihunk Philip Cutlip: Best of Culture (Photo by Dorothy Hong)

DEATH  Becomes HIM 
Best o f Cu lt u r e

#1 Opera stars die many deaths. But for “barihunk” Philip Cutlip, 44, facing execution in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking for HGO—based on the same true story as the 1995 Sean Penn movie—is different. Tougher than performing in boxers in H-Town fave Heggie’s The End of the Affair. “I’ve never been squeamish about exposing all of myself onstage, [but] portraying a man being executed will be far more internally emotional,” says Cutlip. “With every breath he takes, word he utters, person he sees, he knows that he will die.” Besides poignancy, the now 10-year-old show is rife with milestones: Joyce DiDonato reprises the role of Sister Helen Prejean, in which she debuted in New York, and world-renowned Frederica von Stade will retire after playing Cutlip’s mother. “A very moving passing of the torch,” says San Francisco-based Houston fan Heggie, 49, “and to be here for the 10th anniversary is so special.”
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Amazing Kwiecien-Del Carlo Duet

Mariusz Kwiecien 

It just doesn't get any better than this. Here is bass John Del Carlo with barihunk Mariusz Kwiecien singing the patter duet "Cheti, cheti immantinente" From Donizetti's "Don Pasquale.' the performance was part of the HD broadcast series from the Metropolitan Opera.

This clip will surely be remembered as one of the great moments in Met history.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baritone Version of Werther in Montreal

Phillip Addis

Opera de Montreal will perform the increasingly popular baritone version of Massenet's opera "Werther."

They have cast Phillip Addis as Werther, who actually looks the part of the young, forlorn poet. Although the title role has generally been played by tenors, two recordings came out in 2004 featuring baritones in the lead. Both Luca Grassi and Thomas Hampson recorded the role with great success.

Performance begin on Saturday and run through February 3rd. You can visit the Place des Arts website or the Opera de Montreal website for additional cast and performance information. The opera company's website also included highlight footage of the performance and other multimedia features.

Here is Thomas Hampson singing the famous aria "Pourquoi me reveiller.":

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Big talent, big boy, big voice, big feet - Big ol' Jonathan Beyer

Big Boy Beyer in Britten

We truly enjoyed many of the emails regarding our "Todd Boyce's really big..." post. Needless to say, some bordered on the completely inappropriate and we now know more about some singers than we probably need to know (real and imagined, we suspect).

We once did a post about the tallest barihunks, which generated a lot of interest. We even did a sarcastic post called "BariChunks," which some chubby chasers took total delight in and it generated an onslaught of pictures being mailed to us that would never appear on this site. One thing is clear, "BIG" is popular. Big voices, big men, big talents, big personalities and big bulges.

A reader reminded us that one of opera's "big boys," as she put it, will be performing tonight at Carnegie Hall. She describes him as "about 6'5" with really big feet." A Washington Post review described his voice as "big" and "virile." Big seems to be the descriptive word to define this talented young singer.

One thing that we know about him is that he's made a big splash in the opera world. As we previously posted, he's been cleaning up at singing competitions, especially with the aria "News has a Kind of Mystery" from John Adams' "Nixon in China."

Beyer will be joining soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer and accompanist Kristin Okerlund tonight for music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Griffes, Wagner  and Bohm. The concert begins at 5:30 PM and you can get additional information on the Carnegie Hall website

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Randal Turner Live from Slovenia

Randal Turner: World's Sexiest Don Giovanni turns to Haydn

Readers of this blog voted Randal Turner the sexiest Don Giovanni in the world, so we know that you enjoy looking at him and watching him perform. However, as evidenced by his amazing West Coast recital debut in San Francisco last month, he's a pleasure to listen to as well. His posting of holiday songs was also one of our most popular posts over the last few weeks.

Fans of the singer are in luck, as there will be a live broadcast of the sexy Zürich-based singer on February 12th. Turner will be performing Haydn's "The Seasons" (Die Jahreszeiten) with the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra.

The performance will be available over the internet at You will be asked to download a program called Octoshape in order to hear the broadcast. We tested it and it works fine. The broadcast begins at 7:30 PM Central European time, so it's six hours difference to New York and nine hours to San Francisco/Los Angeles.

For those of you who still would rather watch Turner perform, you're in luck, as a DVD of his San Francisco recital will be released within the next few weeks. We'll have a link on this site for this of you who want to purchase a copy.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Todd Boyce's really big...


We try not to be tacky on this site, but when we received this email from Germany we couldn't resist but post it: "Check out barihunk Todd Boyce, who is showing off a lot more than his voice in this video." Attached was this LINK to a YouTube video of him singing the Count's aria from Albert Lortzing's "Der Wildschütz."

Todd Boyce
The 27-year-old Wisconsin native has spent the last two years at the Bavarian State Opera's Young Artists Program and is currently under contract with the Tiroler Landestheater in Innsbruck. His roles at the Bavarian State Opera Studio included Guglielmo in "Cosi fan tutte" and Dandini in "La Cenerentola."

He also sang the title role in "Don Giovanni" at the Philharmonie Bad Reichenhall and Figaro in "Il barbiere di Siviglia" with the Munich Kulturgipfel.

We look forward to seeing more of this young artist in the future.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Jose Carbo's U.S. Debut a Success in Seattle

Jose Carbo (L) in Seattle's Barber of Seville

We got so caught up in David Adam Moore singing the Barber in Seattle that we relegated Jose Carbo's U.S. debut to an aside. This gifted singer and performer apparently is quickly becoming an audience favorite. Here is a blurb from "The Classical Review.":

Carbó swaggers around the stage as if he owns it, as a good Figaro should. He’s handsome, charismatic, and utterly assured, with a beautifully produced baritone that has a surprisingly easy top (he matches the tenor in several passages). He’s also a good ensemble member, working well with the other singers and not merely doing his own star turn.

Ticket and cast information are available at the Seattle Opera website.

You can read the entire review HERE.

Jose Carbo
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Life with Erwin Schrott

Netrebko & Schrott at home (Keith Bedford for The New York Times)

Maybe it's the power of the internet, but we saw this piece about Anna Netrebko and her barihunk husband Erwin Schrott on the wonderful opera blog Parterre Box before we saw it in the New York Times.

The operatic couple was in the feature "Sunday Routine," where Netrebko talks about her routine with "Hot Schrott" and their 2-year-old son Tiago.

One can only imagine that having Erwin Schrott fix you breakfast in his tight white tee shirt is a pretty nice "Sunday Routine." Perhaps he could throw in Don Giovanni's serenade "Deh, vieni alla finestra" to make it the perfect morning.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Matt Trevino Coast-to-Coast

Barihunk Matt Trevino

Barihunk Matthew Trevino singing "Ich Grolle Nicht" in Michael Nyman's opera "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat."

Matt Trevino

Trevino will next appear in "The Pirates of Penzance" with the Fresno Grand Opera on January 28 & 30. In what has become our pet peeve, the opera company does not list the cast on their website. We find this incredibly disrespectful to artists, as well as poor marketing and customer service.

He next appears on the opposite coast with the Pensacola Opera where he will portray Timur in Puccini's "Turandot" on March 11 & 13. He then heads north to the Syracuse Opera where he will perform Nourabad in the Pearl Fishers. Both opera companies list complete cast and production information.

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Introducing Ivan Ludlow

Ivan Ludlow in Les Mamelles de Tirésias (L) and Don Giovanni (R)
Anyone who followed us in 2010 knows that the hottest opera that we featured was Poulenc's "Les Mamelles de Tirésias" with barihunk Gabriel Bermudez. We subsequently featured Troy Cook in the same opera and now along comes Ivan Ludlow from a production at Opéra de Lyon. Although he doesn't perform the "Full Okulitch" like Bermudez, Ludlow is still extremely sexy in this increasingly popular opera.

Ludlow studied at the Guildhall School of Music and the National Opera Studio. In addition to performing with some of the leading opera companies in Europe, he is a founding member of the London Bridge Ensemble. His repertory stretches from Cavalli to Maxwell-Davies, with a good deal of Britten and Mozart.

Here is Ludlow performing Schumann's Liederkreis with the London Bridge Ensemble:

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Nathan Gunn's Hysterical "Baritone Hormones"

Nathan Gunn in Munich
Here is a funny clip from Nathan Gunn, who appeared on the December 18, 2010 broadcast of the "Prairie Home Companion." Gunn lampoons both tenors and sopranos. 

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Theodor Uppman

Happy Birthday, Theodor Uppman

Today would have been Theodor Uppman's 91st birthday. The man who created the role in Benjamin Britten's "Billy Budd" died in 2005 at the age of 85.

Although he had an amazing career in opera, he will always be remembered as Billy Budd. The music critic Alan Blyth said of his portrayal, "I recall how fresh and spontaneous an interpreter he proved to be. His looks and mellow, yet virile, tone, allied to a seemingly natural gift for portraying a strong, yet still boyish sailor, were unforgettable attributes, and he made his solo, when condemned to death, as eloquent as it should be."

At the opening night performance of Billy Budd, the cast along with Benjamin Britten received seventeen curtain calls. 

The California native studied at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and made his stage debut i1947 at the San Francisco Opera opposite the great Maggie Teyte in Debussy's  Pelléas et Mélisande." He continued to perform into the 1980s when he took up teaching and coaching. One of the singers who he coached was Simon Keenlyside, another great Billy Budd.

Uppman excelled as a recitalist, as a Britten specialist and in lighter operatic fare, especially Mozart,

In his later years he became a professor of voice, teaching at both Mannes College of Music and the Manhattan School of music, from 1988 unti his death.
Here is a clip of him singing "O Mimi, tu piu non torni" from La Boheme with the great tenor Franco Corelli.

Duncan Rock: The next great Billy Budd?
As a special tribute to Uppman, here is the barihunk Duncan Rock singing Billy's famous aria. He would  have loved to have seen this role passed on to such a gifted and equally expressive performer.

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Moore, Moore, Moore (How do you like it? How do you like it?) AND More, More, More of Pisaroni, Hampson & Sinatra

David Adam Moore (Photo by Alan Alabastro)
There are some barihunks who we can never get enough of and David Adam Moore, who is about to heat up Seattle in the Barber of Seville, is one of them. Here are two more pictures from the opera's recent promotional event "The Barber of Seattle" taken by the gifted photographer Alan Alabastro. You can see more of his work on his website.

Moore, who will perform only on January 16, 21, 23 and 28, is alternating the role of the Barber with Jose Carbo. For ticket and cast information visit the Seattle Opera website.
David Adam Moore (Photo by Alan Alabastro)
On another note, we're thrilled that the recent post of Pisaroni, Hampson and Sinatra went viral on Facebook and Twitter. The post quadrupled our traffic and we even learned that Luca Pisaroni is Thomas Hampson's son-in-law, a fact that we didn't know when we put up the post.

Our poll to the right shows that readers like pictures and audio/video, and the traffic counts back that up. We promise plenty more of both.

As a bonus, here are Pisaroni, Hampson and Sinatra also singing music from the Barber of Seville.

Many of our best ideas come from you, so please keep sending us tips, photos, schedules and audio/video to

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Pisaroni, Hampson & Sinatra sings "Embraceable You"

Three different interpreters of Gershwin: Pisaroni, Sinatra & Hampson

This is just too precious to not post. Here is Luca Pisaroni singing Gershwin's classic song "Embraceable You" at a recent gala concert. Somehow this conjures up wonderful images of Ezio Pinza singing music from South Pacific. His Italianate English adds a wonderful charm to this song and I'm sure it will make a few fans swoon.

This prompted us to look for the 1998 video of Thomas Hampson hamming it up with the great pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. This is pure showmanship at its best and reminds us why Hampson has commanded the stage for decades.

And just for fun, how about comparing these to the great pop classic version of Frank Sinatra:

Let us know which version you prefer in the comments section.

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Theodor Uppman on the auction block

Booking ad for Theodor Uppman
We found this 1957 booking ad for Theodor Uppman on EBay and couldn't resist posting it. The ad was placed by Columbia Management. We're not involved with the sale of this item, but we found it to be a wonderful piece of opera memorabilia.

Of course, we love Theodor Uppman, particularly his Billy Budd and we've featured him on this site as one of our "historical hunks."

Here is an audio clip of the great American baritone singing Papageno from Die Zauberflote at the Metropolitan Opera in 1968.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chat Live with Keith Miller

Barihunks Dmitri Hvorostovsky & Keith Miller at The Met

Barihunk Keith Miller continues to be one of the leading opera singers in utilizing social media and the internet for promoting his career. The barihunk who regularly tweets and posts on Facebook, is now offering a live chat on Ustream.

Miller will be online HERE on Thursday, January 13 at 6:30 EST/3:30 PST.

Podcasters and Barihunks Michael Mayes and Michael Rice

Don't forget that you can follow other barihunks online. Michael Rice runs the informative and entertaining OperaNow! podcast and Michael Mayes has the always hysterical Texapolitan Opera podcast.

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Seattle Times: David Adam Moore one of " the hottest men in opera"

David Adam Moore: One of the hottest men in opera (photo by Alan Berner/Seattle Times)

This blurb that accompanied the above photo in Saturday's Seattle Times says it all:

Seattle Opera hosts "Barber of Seattle" contest
David Adam Moore opens the Saturday competition with a song in Italian from Rossini's "The Barber of Seville". Moore is considered one of the hottest men in opera.

We couldn't agree more.

iPhone photo of David Adam Moore in Seattle

Christopher Maltman & Renée Fleming Sing "Lippen Schweigen"

Christopher Maltman & Renee Fleming
Operetta always seems like the most appropriate way to ring in the New Year. We're a week late with this, but it's worth it to hear these two great singers perform "Lippen Schweigen" at such a luxuriously languorous pace.

Maltman will be trading in operetta for plenty of Mozart in 2011. Two of the highlights will be his Papageno under Colin Davis' baton at the Royal Opera House in London. He will be joined by two amazing young singers, Joseph Kaiser as Tamino and Kate Royal as Pamina.

Maltman as Guglielmo in Seattle

In August, he will reprise his famous Guglielmo in Cosi under Marc Minkowski in Salzburg. The cast includes fellow barihunk Bo Skovhus as Don Alfonso and the gifted young tenor Alek Shrader.

Don't forget to vote in our poll to the right and let us know what you like best about Barihunks. You can also contact us with tips, photos, schedules and comments at

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Mel Ulrich Comeback?

Mel Ulrich as Stanley in Previn's "A Streetcar Named Desire"

One of our greatest regrets at this site is that Mel Ulrich retired from opera just as we were launching. There is no doubt that he would have been a regular on this site and extremely popular. He was one of our first posts and people still send us emails about him, but there has been nothing new to report.

That's why we were thrilled when we received a message that Mel Ulrich was performing in Graham, Texas. It may be a long way from San Francisco where he performed with Anna Netrebko in the Merola Opera program and then burned up the mainstage there and elsewhere with his searingly sexy performances.

We're not sure if this a comeback, but we know that the opera world would eagerly welcome his return.

Graham, Texas is about 90 miles northwest of Ft. Worth, so if you're in the area on Monday, January 10th. The concert is at the Graham Memorial Auditorium at 7:30 PM and will feature American music. We hear that the town also has an airport.

Here are a few tidbits about the singer:

  • Born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico
  • Among the places that Ulrich performed were the Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera Lyric Opera Cleveland, New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera.
  • His final performances took place in 2007 at the Los Angeles Opera in Kurt Weill’s “Mahagonny” opposite Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald.
  • He retired to Graham to spend more time with his family.
Ulrich as a Merola student (L) and backstage in Puerto Rico (R)
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Kostas Smoriginas featured in The Telegraph

Kostas Smoriginas striking a Samsonesque pose

We first featured Kostas Smoriginas in June 2010 as one of our "emerging barihunks" when we realized  the Lithuanian singer was about to explode onto the international opera stage. His smoldering good looks has already earned him the moniker "the Johnny Depp of Opera." We featured him again in October 2010 when he stole the show in San Francisco's "Le nozze di Figaro" despite being in the "second cast."

Ironically, the British are just discovering the 30-year-old singer despite the fact that he trained there and sang a number of smaller roles at the Royal Opera House, as well as covered lead roles. Kudos to Rupert Christiansen of The Telegraph in the United Kingdom for featuring the singer as a "New Face" of opera. You can click HERE to read the feature and learn more about this gifted performer and singer.

Don't forget to take our new poll in the upper right hand corner. We want to know what you like best about the site.

You can send comments, tips, photos and other thoughts to

Friday, January 7, 2011

Markus Werba's "Largo al factotum"

Markus Werba singing the Barber in Vienna
 We tend to feature Markus Werba" singing Mozart, since he's built a career on singing Papageno in "Die Zauberflöte," the title role in Don Giovanni," Guglielmo in "Cosi fan tutte," the title role in "Le Nozze di Figaro" and Nardo in "La Finta Giardiniera." 

But the Austrian barihunk also sings everything from Cavalli to 20th century composers. If anyone has video or photos of his Billy Budd, we'd love to post it on this site.

Here he is singing a spirited "Largo al factotum" in Rossini's "Barber of Seville."

Werba is back singing Mozart in Ancona this month where he will portray Guglielmo in Pier Luigi Pizzi's acclaimed "Cosi fan tutte."

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

"Hot Schrott" sings Tangos

"Hot Schrott" singing tango music
Awhile back we tantalized readers with the news that Erwin Schrott would be releasing an album of tango music on Sony. Although the album isn't completed yet, he has been singing them at recitals and galas throughout the world to great acclaim. Luckily for fans of the singer, they have made their way onto YouTube.

Here is the Uruguayan barihunk singing "Rojo Tango" by Pablo Ziegler. The composer is a Latin Grammy award-winning pianist who was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His music is known for its mixing of classic tango rhythms with jazz improvisations.

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Luca Pisaroni sings "La Calunnia" (and some fun facts)

Luca Pisaroni

We can't think of a better way to start the New Year than with Luca Pisaroni singing Rossini's "La calunnia" from "Il barbiere di Siviglia." 

Once again, Mozart will figure prominently on the Italian barihunk's schedule in 2011. He performs "Le nozze di Figaro" in Vienna in February and Houston in April. In July, he plays Leporello opposite fellow barihunk Ildebrando d'Arcangelo in Baden Baden.

Here are a few fun facts that you may not know about this gifted singer:

  • The Italian singer was actually born in Venezuela
  • He studied with the great Italian Verdi specialist Carlo Bergonzi
  • Pisaroni grew up in Verdi's hometown of Busseto, yet is known as a Mozart specialist
  • Doesn't plan on tackling Verdi until he's 40 (he's 35 now)
  • He admits to being scared of singing the title role in Don Giovanni
  • He has a dachshund named Tristan
  • He was inspired to become a singer after hearing Luciano Pavarotti sing "Nessun dorma."

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