Monday, February 28, 2011

Schrott Shots

Hot Shrott
We just NEVER get tired of looking at Erwin "Hot" Schrott, so here are two more pictures from his recent performance of Le Nozze di Figaro in Vienna.

The Uruguayan bass-baritone now heads off to Valencia where he will perform Dulcamara in an updated production of Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore. The performance opens on March 26 and runs through April 10. It's also an opportunity to hear the amazing Nemorino of tenor Ramon Vargas. 
Palacio de Artes in Valencia

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Edward Parks singing, "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen"

Edward Parks III
 Here is recent George London Award Competition winner Edward Parks singing, "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" by Gustav Mahler.

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Congratulations to the 40th Annual "George London Award" Winners

Jonathan Beyer: The Philadelphia Flyer of Opera
 Barihunks would like to congratulate to the winners of the 40th Annual George London Awards Competition. Barihunk Jonathan Beyer continued his remarkable and unprecedented winning streak in vocal competitions. The Philadelphia native is going to pass hockey's 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers for having the longest winning streak in the City of Brotherly Love. We think it's about time that Mayor Michael Nutter declares a "Jonathan Beyer Day" in the city, like they do for their sports franchises. You can suggest it at

Ryan McKinny (L) & Edward Parks III (R)
Beyer won one of the six $10,000 awards granted to winners. Two other barihunks were among the winners, Ryan McKinny and Edward Parks III. Other winners included tenor Paul Appleby, baritone Alexander Hajek and soprano Emalie Savoy.
Nicholas Masters
Barihunk Nicholas Masters was granted a $1,000 Encouragement Award

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Friday, February 25, 2011

"There's something about that bad boy that's so hard to resist."

Lee Poulis as Belcore (L)
Lee Poulis who is honing his formidable operatic skills at the Theater Bonn in Germany is back in the United States and performing the title role in the current production of Don Giovanni at the Sarasota Opera. We think Sarasota might have him a bit over-costumed after we saw this picture of him performing in L'elisir d'amore in Germany (although he looks pretty hot in leather).

There is a performance tonight and three more in March. Check out the Sarasota Opera website for additional details.

Christina Pier as Donna Anna & Lee Poulis as "bad boy" Don Giovanni
Check out the video of Poulis and his castmates discussing the opera. We particularly loved soprano Christina Pier's assessment of the title character, which pretty much sums up our fascination with the role, as well. 

"There's something about that bad boy
that's so hard to resist."

We also found a couple of other barihunks on the Sarasota Opera website that we're going to have to keep and eye on. Grant Clarke is the Marcello in their current production of La Boheme and Bradley Smoak performs Francis Nurse in Robert Ward's The Crucible, both of which run through March 19. Smoak we actually spotted as Zuniga with the Palm Beach Opera last April, where he was a bit revealing in some tight white pants.

Grant Clarke
Bradley Smoak
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Introducing Delyan Slavov

Bulgarian Beefcake: Delyan Slavov

When we received an email from one the world's greatest divas pitching Delyan Slavov, we were a little skeptical at first. However, after realizing that the email was authentic, we decided that we better check out this highly recommended Bulgarian bass and he didn't disappoint.

Slavov made his debut in the role of Ferrando in Verdi's Il Trovatore with the Opera House of Bourgas in 2003, the same year he made his debut in the National Opera in Sofia as the Commendatore in Don Giovanni. He currently performs in all of the major Bulgarian opera houses and concert halls.

On March 11, he begins a run as Dr. Dulacamara in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore at the State Opera Plovdiv before tackling Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni at the State Opera Bourgas later in the month.

Here he is singing Sparafucile in Verdi's Rigoletto with Daniela Karaivanova as Gilda and Boyka Vasileva as Maddalena from the State Opera Varna in Bulgaria. 

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rub-a-dub-dub, a barihunk in a tub

Robin Adams shirtless as Onegin
The last time we featured English barihunk Robin Adams on the site, he was performing a shirtless Eugene Onegin in Bern, Switzerland. Adam's Onegin stalked Tatiana around the stage like a crazed sexual predator. His performance was critically acclaimed and added a thrilling element to the opera, which is usually conservatively costumed and staged.

Robin Adams shirtless as Giovanni
It appears that opergoers in the Swiss capital are in luck again, as Adams is shedding his threads for the new production of Don Giovanni at the Stadt Theatre Bern which opens on Thursday, February 24. The opera company, which sits in the large shadow that is cast by the opera in Zurich two hours down the road, always manages to put on an interesting show. They were also smart enough to use the sexy singer in their marketing materials, which caught the attention of one of our Zurich-based readers.

For additional cast and performance information, visit the Stadt Theatre Bern website.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sexy Pizzi Giovanni in Bologna

Nmon Ford, Andrea Concetti and Christian Faravello

Pier Luigi Pizzi's production of Don Giovanni is one of the hottest things being produced on the stages of the world. Period.

We posted extensively when it was playing at the Sferisterio Opera Festival in 2009, which is where this video was shot.

Andrea Concetti is going to reprise his brilliant and sexy take as Leporello, while Nmon Ford will replace Ildebrando d'Arcangelo as the Don. New to Barihunks is the Commendatore of Chrisitan Faravello, who we're eager to see more of in the future.

Performances run from March 1-13 with an alternating cast, so check the Teatro Communale di Bologna website for cast and performance information.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Justin Hopkins: The Impossible Dream

Justin Hopkins
American bass-baritone Justin Hopkins burst onto the international opera scene in 2010, performing the combined roles of Il Servo, Il Medico and Heraldo in Macbeth with Le Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels.  He was praised as having "created something very beautiful with the role" and the production was awarded "Production of the Year" by Opernwelt.  In the same season Hopkins performed the roles of Colline in La Boheme with the Verbier Festival Academy and Cappadocian in Salome under the direction of Valery Gergiev with the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland.

During the 2010-2011 season, he will perform Frère Laurent Romeo et Juliette with Opera Company of Philadelphia as well as in Philip Glass' Hydrogen Jukebox with Fort Worth Opera.

Here is a handheld video of Hopkins singing "The Impossible Dream" at a performance of "Heeere's Tony" at the Act II Playhouse last week.

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Erwin Schrott sings "Hai già vinta la causa...Vedrò mentr'io sospiro" from Vienna

Erwin Schrott as the Count in Vienna
 We've been obsessed with the amazing Le Nozze di Figaro at the Vienna State Opera with barihunks Luca Pisaroni and Erwin Schrott performing under the baton of Franz Welser-Most. Here is an audio clip of "Hot Schrott" singing "Hai già vinta la causa...Vedrò mentr'io sospiro":

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Make sure to check out Operatoonity
We want to thank the Operatoonity site for the nice mention of Barihunks. We're glad that women are enjoying the site (as well as men). If our mail is any indication, the most popular barihunks among women are Nathan Gunn and Teddy Tahu Rhodes. If you have a favorite, let us know in the comments section.

Teddy Tahu Rhodes & Nathan Gunn: Getting the women hot
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Brancoveanu in Glass' Orphee

Brancoveanu (L & C) & Kness (R)
The creative young opera company Ensemble Parallele is mounting Philip Glass' opera Orphee. Romanian barihunk Eugene Brancoveanu is singing the title role opposite the Eurydice of Susannah Biller, who happens to be married to barihunk Austin Kness, who is also in the cast. For additional cast and performance information, visit the Ensemble Parallele website.

There will be an evening performance on February 26 and a matinee on February 27 at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco. Last year, this young opera company mounted a Wozzeck that was one of the most compelling operatic experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In 2007, Brancoveanu made a stunning debut with the company in Lou Harrison's "Young Caesar." He was one of the first barihunks to show off more than his vocal acumen on stage when he appeared nude in the Rape of Lucretia with the Merola Opera Program.

Here is some rehearsal footage of the upcoming production:

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ernest Chausson

Gerard Souzay & Philippe Sly
 In celebration of Ernest Chausson's birthday we thought that you'd enjoy hearing the great Gerard Souzay and current heartthrob and Met Auditions finalist Phillipe Sly offer their versions of the beautiful song Le temps des lilas.

Just for fun, here is countertenor Philippe Jaroussky with his beautiful version of the same song.

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More "Hot Schrott" & "Top Gunn" from Vienna

Hot Shrott Shots: Onstage & Backstage in Vienna
 If you're a lover of barihunks, then you should be in Vienna. We've posted recently about Luca Pisaroni's critically acclaimed debut as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Vienna State Opera. He is performing opposite the always hot and sexy Count of Erwin Schrott. Here are some additional photos of Schrott, who we didn't provide the same degree of coverage in our previous post. If Mae West were still alive she'd certainly be asking, "Is that a pistol in your pocket..." [Yes, the picture enlarges if you click on it].

Nathan proves he really is a "Top Gunn" in Vienna

Head down the Opernring and onto Friedrichstrasse to get to the Theater an der Wien where Nathan Gunn is in the best shape of his life as Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia. He made a woman faint in New York and we suspect that he's having the same effect on audiences in Austria. By the way, the lucky soprano is the gifted Angela Kirschschlager.

Matt Worth reprises his sexy Tarquinius in California
Fans of The Rape of Lucretia in Northern California will be delighted to know that Loren Maazel is bringing his highly acclaimed production to Berkeley on March 24 and 25 at Cal Performances. The production includes two of our favorite singers, who both appeared on our Barihunks Best of 2010 list. Matt Worth will take on the role of Tarquinius, while OperaNow blogger and hunk Michael Rice plays Collatinus. On the following two nights, Maazel will perform Albert Herring with barihunk Adrian Kramer.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Giorgio Caoduro Triumphs in Opera Australia Debut; Barihunks Abound in Barber

Giorgio Caoduro at Opera Australia
Italian barihunk Giorgio Caoduro, who we last saw on this site shaking his booty, has just made a triumphant Australian debut in the Barber of Seville at Opera Australia. Caoduro performs again on Monday night and then turns of the role of the Barber to fellow barihunk Jose Carbo. You can find complete cast and performance information on the Opera Australia website.

The Sydney Morning Herald wrote the following:
In the title role, Giorgio Caoduro as Figaro established himself as a suave operator, a dapper factotum whose vocal skills match the enterprise of his character in the ability to adapt to any situation with flexibility and charm.
 Caoduro will continue singing his famous "Largo al factotum" in Talouse at the Théâtre du Capitole, alternating the role with yet another barihunk, Vittorio Prato. Performances run from March 18-27.

Jud Arthur

In Talouse and in Sydney, Caoduro will have a barihunk performing the role of Don Basilio. Performing in both casts at Opera Australia is former professional rugby player turned opera singer Jud Arthur. We've been told by our sources that the hunky bass has a promising future in opera. In Toulouse the role will be performed by the stunningly handsome Giovanni Furlanetto.

Vittorio Prato & Giovanni Furlanetto

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Peter Mattei's Barber of Seville

Mattei, DiDonato and Florez
Perhaps the only downside of a site dedicated to baritones is that we sometimes need to find an excuse to showcase other great singers. We love Peter Mattei and we've featured him often on this site. He is certainly a great Onegin and Billy Budd, but we usually don't think of him as a Rossini specialist. So when we rewatched these 2006 clips of him with two of the greatest Rossini singers of our time, Joyce di Donato and Juan Diego Florez, we had to post them. From his solo Largo to his work duets and ensemble work, Mattei shows why he remains one of the most sought after baritones in the world while revealing his penchant for comedy. Met fans will recognize some of these clips from the Live from the Met telecasts. Beginning March 11, Mattei will be performing in Tchaikovksy's "Queen of Spades" at the Metropolitan Opera. Visit their website for additional cast and performance information.

It's a great way to start a 3-day weekend. When you're done with these clips, we suggest that you check out Joyce DiDonato's Yankee Diva blog, which is one of the best in all of opera.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Watch "Kurt Weill Uncovered: In Cabaret" today

Ross Benoliel
Tonight will be the second night of Kurt Weill Uncovered: In Cabaret from the Gershwin Hotel in New York. If you're not in the Big Apple, once again you can watch it live on Barihunks by clicking below. Barihunk Ross Bonoliel will perform "Unforgettable" by Weill and Ira Gershwin and barihunk Liam Bonner will sing the title song from Weill's "Lost in the Stars."The performance begins at 8 PM/EST.

Live Broadcasting by Ustream

If you missed last week's wonderful concert, you can watch it here:

Video streaming by Ustream
Video streaming by Ustream

For those interested in some historical footage, here is a clip of Todd Duncan who sang the first performance of Weill's "Lost in the Stars." He also created the role of Porgy in Gershwin's "Porgy & Bess."


Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Top Gunn" is still "Top Tarquinius"

Gunn heats up the stage in Vienna

We posted earlier this week about Nathan Gunn returning to his signature role of Tarquinius in Britten's "The Rape of Lucretia" at the Theater an der Wien.  We posted some pictures from Philadelphia and were wondering if he was still as sexy as ever for this role. From these pictures, it looks like he can keep this role in his repertory for years to come.

Top Gunn

We also learned that Gunn will be performing the title role in Billy Budd next season at the Metropolitan Opera. If he looks this good and continues to own the role vocally, it should be the hit of the season.

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Blumberg Back in Bay Area

Jesse Blumberg
Barihunk Jesse Blumberg makes his much anticipated return to the San Francisco Bay Area next week in a program of early music with the American Bach Soloists. Blumberg joins countertenors Clifton Massey and Ian Howell, tenor Aaron Sheehan and soprano Elizabeth Weigle in a program that includes Purcell's "Come, ye Sons of Art" and "Now Does the Glorious Day Appear," as well as Handel's "Te Deum in D Major" and "Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne."

For additional concert information visit the American Bach Soloists website

Readers of this site will recall that Blumberg performed the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's heartfelt and emotional song cycle "Green Sneakers." The American baritone is also the founder of the Five Buroughs Music Festival in New York. 

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Photos from Vienna

Luca Pisaroni as Figaro; Erwin Schrott as the Count

We've posted extensively about Luca Pisaroni's debut at the Vienna State Opera opposite barihunk Erwin Schrott, so we thought that we'd share a few pictures. Performances of Le Nozze di Figaro run through February 26.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Hot Schrott" & Luca Pisaroni Live TODAY

Erwin Schrott
The opening night performance of Le Nozze di Figaro from the Vienna State Opera can be heard live today by clicking HERE. The broadcast begins at 7 PM in Vienna (1 PM/EST- 10:00 AM/PST).

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Our Hottest Aussie Barihunks

Laurence Meikle
We recently ran a pole asking readers who they thought was the hottest Aussie barihunk. Laurence Meikle and Sam Roberts-Smith led the pack. Here are some videos for you to enjoy.

First is a profile of Meikle as he prepares to sing for Queen Elizbeth and a clip of him performing La Boheme in English at the Soho Theater in London.

Here is Sam Roberts-Smith performing "O Carlos, ascolta" from Verdi's Don Carlo and a profile on him where he discusses his career and future plans. The first video is from the 2009 Australian Singing Competition Finals Concert in Perth, Australia.

Sam Roberts-Smith

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Vienna Goes Gaga for Luca Pisaroni

Luca Pisaroni has charmed the Austrians and become the toast of Vienna during his debut run at the Vienna State Opera. Pisaroni is performing as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro through February 26. The media has focused on Pisaroni despite a cast that includes fellow barihunk Erwin Schrott as Count Almaviva and Dorothea Roschmann as the Countess. 
Luca Pisaroni with his wife Catherine & Tristan (Photo courtesy of Kurier)

Here are two wonderful German language profiles on the Italian barihunk. The first is from the Austrian newspaper the Kurier and you can read it HERE.

Luca Pisaroni & Tristan (Photo courtesy of Der Standard)
This second piece appealed in the Austrian national paper Der Standard and you can read it HERE.

Erwin Schrott: Sharing the barihunk limelight in Vienna

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Nathan Gunn Returns to Tarquinius

Nathan Gunn as Tarquinius in Philadelphia

The role of Tarquinius in in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia is usually cast with young barihunks, so it's impressive that the 40-year-old Nathan Gunn has been able to keep it in his repertory and still look great. He revisits the role from February 17-27 at the Theater an der Wien. Click HERE for additional cast and performance information.

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Peter Barrett Steps in for Kwiecien; Makes Met Debut

Peter Barrett
Peter Barrett made his Metropolitan Opera debut on Valentine's Day singing the role of Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale, replacing Mariusz Kwiecien, who was ill.

Barrett, a Canadian baritone and prize winner at the Montreal International Competition, has appeared with the Canadian Opera in Toronto, Vancouver Opera, and the Wexford Festival in Ireland.

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Maltman Nude in new Don Giovanni Adaptation

Maltman bares all for art

British singer Christopher Maltman is the latest barihunk to bare all for high art. The talented and intense Maltman will appear in Kasper Holten's updated 90-minute adaptation of Don Giovanni. Distribution is scheduled for April 7, 20011 and we hear that it's the sexiest opera themed movie ever made.

We had a difficult time embedding the trailer into this post, but you can watch it HERE. We'll keep you posted on events related the opening.

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Daniel Belcher wins Grammy Award

(Photo by Christian Steiner)

Barihunks would like to congratulate Daniel Belcher, who was part of the team that won a Grammy Award last night for Best Opera Recording.

Belcher appears on the recording of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s  L’amour de loin, produced by Martin Sauer.
The album features the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin led by conductor Kent Nagano, the former music director of the Los Angeles Opera. Joining Belcher in the cast is Jekaterina Lehina, and Marie-AngeTodorovitch.

L'amour de loin, Saariaho's first opera, composed to a libretto by Amin Maalouf, was premiered at the Salzburg Festival in August 2000. Peter Sellars directed the original production, as well as several later versions.

Belcher is currently in the middle of a run portraying Masetto opposite the Don Giovanni of fellow barihunk Kelly Markgraf at Opera Omaha.  There are two remaining performance on February 25 and 27. 

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Christopher Bolduc wants to be your Valentine

Who could argue with this?

Christopher Bolduc's Facebook Post from today

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Christopher Bolduc

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ryan Kuster Profiled; Joins Barihunks in Met Auditions

Ryan Kuster: Backstage and Onstage
Ryan Kuster was recently featured in his hometown paper, the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, in anticipation of his appearance at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. You can read the entire article HERE.

The Met auditions have a long tradition of launching major operatic careers. Past winners include Nathan Gunn, Thomas Hampson, Grace Bumbry, Teresa Stratas, Susan Graham, Stephanie Blythe, Renee Fleming, Deborah Voigt, Ben Heppner, Jessye Norman and Federica von Stade. For those unfamiliar with the competition, we highly recommend watching the documentary The Audition

Kuster will compete in a closed audition on March 6th for a chance to compete in the Grand Finals Concert on March 13, which will be hosted by mezzo Joyce DiDonato. The first round includes twenty-two young artists, which is dominated by nine baritones. Two that we'll have our eye on besides Kuster are Nicholas Masters, who we featured on this site a year ago,  and Canadian Philippe Sly.

Sly, who we heard was a riveting Nick Shadow in Opera McGill's production of Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress will be joining the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco this year.

Nicholas Masters & Philippe Sly

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Froehlich's Frolicking Fiorello

Anders Froehlich

Opera San Jose is one of those regional companies that we just love. It utilizes developing talent in a European type system that allows singers to work together and hone their skills. They opened a two week run tonight and the Fiorello of Anders Froehlich caught our eye. We had previously spotted him in a hilarious turn as the Grandfather Clock in Ravel's  L'enfant et les sortilèges at Berkeley Opera. 

The Connecticut native  began his training as a musician and performer at the Connecticut Conservatory for Performing Arts. After graduation he studied ballet at Indiana University and acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. This was his debut with Opera San Jose and we hope to see him in bigger roles in the future. 

By the way, another one of our favorite Bay Area performers, Paul Murray, is in the second cast as Basilio, which also features Froehlich.  

Even the local paper, the San Jose Mercury News, took notice:
It would be wrong not to mention a few of the singers in smaller roles: mellifluous baritone Anders Froelich, as Fiorello, the count's servant.

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