Saturday, June 30, 2012

Philippe Sly: ON DEMAND

Philippe Sly
Canadian barihunk and emerging star Philippe Sly's June 19th concert is available on demand for free at Radio France. He's performing Duparc's "Chanson Triste, Phidylé," Ravel's "Don Quichotte à Dulciné," Ropartz's "Quatre poèmes d’après l’Intermezzo de Heine," Jonathan Dove's "Three Tennyson Songs" and Schubert's "Mélodies."

The recital starts at about the 6:35 mark.

Sly recently won the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions and will be making his San Francisco Opera debut as Guglielmo in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte in their 2012-2013 season. He's is currently a Studio Ensemble member of the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Birthday boy, Thomas Hampson

Today we're honoring one of the most heralded singers in all of opera. He also happens to be one of the most popular and enduring barihunks in the world. He has kept both his voice and his matinee idol good looks in tact at the age of 57. In fact, he's survived long enough to perform with his fellow barihunk and son-in-law Luca Pisaroni.

Hampson has performed a broad range of music, from Handel and Gluck to contemporary operas. In between, he's managed to sing all of the major leading Mozart roles, while also establishing himself as a Verdi and Wagner singer of the highest order. Last season, he created the role of Rick Rescorla in the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’s Heart of a Soldier at the San Francisco Opera. He's currently performing Hindemith's "Mathis der Maler" at the Zurich Opera.

Beyond maintaining his status as one of the most sought after singers in the world, he is equally in demand as a lieder singer. His commitment to the artform prompted him to create Hampsong in 2003, which is dedicated to the worldwide understanding of the art of song. Last year he hosted and co-produced "Song of America," a 13-part radio series that explores the history of American culture through song. Below you can listen to Hampson talk about the art of song on WNYC.

We asked fellow barihunk and vlogger Jonathan Estabrooks to submit a video tribute to Hampson, since the young Canadian embodies much of what Hampson has brought to opera and lieder.

We also received a message from Krassen Karagiozov, who said:

"I wish you a continuos success on the operatic and concert stages worldwide for many  more years to come. I wish you a lot of health and a lot of happiness in your personal life.  I'm big admirer of your talent and career and I hope I have the privilege to meet you one day in person."  

Have a fantastic celebration among family and friends!  

Krassen Karagiozov
"I would like to wish you a happy birthday in Bulgarian since I'm Bulgarian: 

Chestit Rojden Den i za mnogo godini! Nazdrave!!!  

The entire Barihunks family would like to wish Thomas Hampson a HAPPY BIRTHDAY and thank him for bringing us decades of great music (and looking great doing it!).

Fans in the United States can next see him as Scarpia in Tosca at the Santa Fe Opera.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo First Don Giovanni in 90 Years at Verona; New Recording with Pisaroni and Wolff

We were amazed to learn that the new Zeffirelli production of Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Arena di Verona was the first performance of the opera at that venue in ninety years! The opening cast featured barihunk Ildebrando D'Arcangelo in the title role, which he will turn over to fellow barihunk Erwin Schrott on July 12 and 18. D'Arcangelo performs the role on June 29 and July 6 and 25.

The season will continue with some of the more regular staples of their repertory, Aida, Carmen, Roméo et Juliette, Turandot  and Tosca. Visit the Arena di Verona website for additional information.

D'Arcangelo is also coming out with a new recording of the opera with an all barihunk cast. He's joined by the Leporello of Luca Pisaroni and the Masetto of Konstantin Wolff. The Deutsche Grammophon recording is scheduled for release on September 7, 2012.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

NY Phil's "Don Giovanni" Hottest Ticket Around

Keith Miller
Good luck trying to get a ticket for the New York Philharmonic's concert next weekend at the Park Avenue Armory. It's sold out and today's article in the New York Times is only going to increase the demand. The concert is entitled "Philharmonic 360 – Spatial Music from Mozart’s Don Giovanni to Stockhausen’s Gruppen."

Most of the buzz is around German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen's "Gruppen," which is played by three orchestras in a spatially separated configuration. However, we're excited about the scene from Don Giovanni, which includes three of the hottest barihunks around. Ryan McKinny will sing the title role with Keith Miller as Leporello and Kelly Markgraf as Masetto in the final scene of Act 1.

The concert will also include Boulez's "Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna" and Ives' "The Unanswered Question."

Kelly Markgraf
Ryan McKinny will be focusing on Wagner's Tristan und Isolde after wrapping up this project. He'll debut as Melot in Toronto and then debut Kurwenal in Houston. The Isolde in Houston will be the amazing Wagnerian soprano Nina Stemme. On April 26 and 28 of 2013, Kelly Markgraf will graduate to the title role in Don Giovanni at the Madison Opera. We couldn't find Keith Miller's up-to-date schedule, but you can follow him on Twitter @KeithMillerBass.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Barihunk Michael Weyandt: "What a Pig!"

Michael Weyandt and Mrs. Pig
We recently featured barihunk Michael Weyandt in operamission's heralded production of Handel's Almira. He's jumping ahead three centuries to perform a pig (yes, a pig) in Dmitri Shostakovich's  The Tale of the Silly Baby Mouse with On Site Opera at the Bronx Zoo on June 23 and 24. Of course, it's not completely unheard of for singers to play animals, with the best example being Leo Janacek's "Cunning Little Vixen."

Based on Samuil Marshak’s famous Russian fairytale, Shostakovich composed The Tale of the Silly Baby Mouse in 1939 as a film score for an animated cartoon.  The opera tells the story of the night that Baby Mouse refuses to go to sleep.  Mrs. Mouse, along with Auntie Duck, Mrs. Pig, and Mr. Toad, try in vain to sing Baby Mouse to sleep.  It is finally Mrs. Cat who is successful...but she has other plans for the sleeping mouse.

Michael Weyandt will perform the role of Mrs. Pig and bass Marc Webster will perform the roles of Mr. Frog and Polkan the Dog.

Marc Webster and Michael Weyandt

On Site Opera's production of the opera is  part of Animal Tales Extravaganza at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo.  The fifteen-minute long opera features large-scale puppets, professional singers, and a chamber orchestra together with Shostakovich’s whimsical score.  The production is staged by On Site Opera Artistic Director, Eric Einhorn, conducted by Jennifer Peterson, with original puppets designed by The Puppet Kitchen

Watch the 1939 cartoon version of "The Tale of the Silly Mouse":

On Site Opera is a new company created around the idea that exciting performances can happen outside the walls of a traditional theater. Through site-specific, immersive productions, performers and audiences will experience great music and drama as never before in some of New York's most intriguing spaces.

Admission is free to the opera with zoo admission and will be performed at 1:30 PM and 3:30 PM on both Saturday and Sunday. Other cast members include soprano Rebekah Camm, mezzo Blythe Gaissert, soprano Christy Lombardozzi, and soprano Melissa Wimbish.


Voice Faculty at Ithaca College and is a Doctoral Candidate at Eastman School of Music.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kevin Thompson to Show off his Verdi and Mozart low notes

Bass Kevin Thomson
One of the most common questions we get is, "Do you post bass and bass-baritone singers." The short answer is "YES!!!" We post everything from the highest French lyric baritone to the bass with notes lower than that of a weary fog horn.

One of the basses that we're most excited about is Kevin Thompson, an alumnus of the Merola Opera Program, Juilliard, the Dolora Zajick’s Institute for Dramatic Young Voices, the American Institute of Musical Studies and the Aspen Music Festival.

Apparently, we aren't the only one impressed with this young singer, He's being booked around the world and is also a permanent part of the Smithsonian Institute’s Hirschorn Gallery's audio walk exhibit entitled "Words Drawn in Water" by artist Janet Cardiff, where he's featured singing “Old Man River.”

Kevin Thompson sings "Wie schön ist doch die Musik" from Richard Strauss'  
Die Schweigsame Frau:

We're convinced that he'll have a great career singing Wagner and Strauss, but his current agenda seems focused on Verdi and Mozart. He'll be performing Verdi's Requiem tonight with the "Music in the Mountains" series in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Californians and Nevadans make the trip to this beautiful part of the world and it's worth adding to any music lovers travel agenda. The Requiem will be performed tonight, but the festival runs through July 3rd. Check out their website for additional information.

Thompson will keep the Requiem in his repertoire, as he performs it in both Idaho and North Carolina. Verdi will continue to play a prominent role in his career in 2013, as he takes on Ramfis in Aida in his his debut with Opera Santa Barbara in California on March 1st and 3rd. There are two other exciting young voices in that production that deserve mention, the Aida of Michelle Johnson, a Grand Prize Winner in the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and tenor Ta'u Pupu'a, the former football player turned hunkentenor.

Thompson's next appearance will be as Sarastro in Mozart's "The Magic Flute" with the Ash Lawn Opera from July 13-20. 


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Zachary Gordin in "Opera in the Park"

Zachary Gordin

"Opera in the Park" is coming to the San Francisco/Oakland suburbs with barihunk Zachary Gordin, soprano Kristin Clayton and conductor Bryan Nies. On Sunday, June 24th, the singers will perform with Festival Opera at the Civic Park in Walnut Creek at 5 PM.
Zachary Gordin was most recently featured as a soloist in Oakland East Bay Symphony's Carmina Burana. He's been a regular on our site and was also featured in our charity calendar. On June 1st, at Sacramento's Pride celebration, he premiered composer Clint Borzoni's "A Nation Announcing Itself" taken from Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass."

The "Opera in the Park" program will include music from Verdi's "Il Trovatore," Bizet's "Carmen," Bernstein's "West Side Story," Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor," Puccini's "La boheme" and Bernstein's "Candide."

Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic or buy pizza at the park. No alcoholic beverages are allowed, but you can get drunk on the music.


Peter Brathwaite in Zatopek! on BBC3

Peter Brathwaite

Barihunk calendar model and recording artist Peter Brathwaite recently opened in Emily Howard's chamber opera "Zatopek!, " which premiered in Liverpool on June 15. With London hosting the 2012 Olympics, Howard decided to write an opera about the legendary Czech long-distance runner Emile Zatopek who won the 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Brathwaite sings the roles of Mimoun and Father.

Zatopkek! is Howard's first operatic work and it recreates the event where the runner obliterated the competition and became a household name overnight.

You can hear the 12-minute performance and a discussion with composer Emily Howard on the BBC3. It begins around the 56:00 mark. Brathwaite, Ensemble 10:10 and members of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and Youth Choir will reprise the work on July 15 at the Southbank Centre in London. Admission is free, but tickets must be reserved online.

Brathwaite also records with the group Amore on the Warner Brothers label. You can read our post about it HERE.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Opera Barihunks Taking on Musical Theater

Matt Worth as Curly
There is a sudden upsurge of barihunks crossing over from opera to musical theater. We recently featured Tom Corbeil, who has been a critical success in "The Addams Family" musical national tour an Teddy Tahu Rhodes, who is touring in South Pacific in Australia.

The Central City Opera has filled their roster with barihunks for their upcoming production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma." Matthew Worth will star as Curly, joined by Curt Olds as Will Parker and Paul LaRosa as Jud. Performances run from June 30th through August 3rd, with two performances in Denver on August 5th and 7th.

Hugh Jackman sings "Oh, what a beautiful mornin'" from Oklahoma:

The company will also be presenting Puccini's "La boheme" and Britten's "Turn of the Screw." The three bohemian baritones are the enviable trio of Troy Cook (who has appeared Full Monty on this site), Ryan Speedo Green and Chris Carr. Visit the Central City Opera website for additional performance and ticket information.

Gregory Gerbrandt
A month later and about 3,200 miles to the south, Gregory Gerbrandt will be taking on Riff in Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story" at the Teatro Nacional Sucre in Quito, Ecuador. Performances run from July 26-29.

Visit Gerbrandt's website to hear his recent recording of Gustav Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. 


Des Moines Metro Opera singers hit the gym

Des Moines Metro Opera singers hit the gym
(L-R) Alexander Elliot, Marco Cammarota, Ian Richardson, Gabriel Nochlin-Gargari and Michael Mayes
Our recent post about the quartet of barihunks at the Merola Opera Program generated a lot of interest, which made us realize that you like your singers delivered to you in bunches. So we couldn't resist this group photo of five singers from the Des Moines Metro Opera company hitting the gym. Alexander Elliot, Ian Richardson and Michael Mayes (front center) are all baritones, while Marco Cammarota and Gabriel Nochlin-Gargari are tenors. We have to admit, it's nice to see that tenors are hitting the gym, too. We've heard Nochlin-Gargari used to be a gymnast, so fitness is nothing new to this emerging character tenor.

Michael Mayes working out for "Dead Man Walking" in Tulsa
Michael Mayes will be the lead in Mozart's Don Giovanni, which opens on June 22 and runs through July 15. His Masetto will be Edward Hanlon, who was a 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Semi-Finalist. Also, don't forget to tune in to Michael Mayes' hilarious Texapolitan Opera Roadshow podcast, which is some of the most entertaining stuff about opera on the web. We highly recommend Episode 21 with tenor Chad Johnson, which was taped last year in Des Moines and remains some of the funniest stuff around. PERIOD.

Alexander Elliot
Alexander Elliot, who is an apprentice artist, will be covering John Moore in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.

Edward Hanlon in La boheme at Seagle Music Colony
Ian Richardson will be covering Hanlon as Masetto and starring in the Des Moines Metro Opera apprentice artist scenes. There are four remaining performances of the scenes on June 27 and 30, and July 5 and 11. Many of the scenes are directed by John De Los Santos, who we named as our Best Director in our "2011 Best of Barihunks" feature for his work on Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado at the Fort Worth Opera Festival. He will also be choreographing Don Giovanni and Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. Check out his work below.

In addition to Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin, the Des Moines Metro Opera season will feature Puccini's La Rondine. Tickets for all of the operas and apprentice scenes are available on their website. If you're anywhere nearby (and we know it's a quick trip from Omaha, Minneapolis and Chicago), you should check out this opera company, which continues to present some of the best young talent around.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Mariusz Kwiecien Stars In Two Met HD Broadcasts

Mariusz Kwiecien as the title character of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”
Photo: Nick Heavican/Metropolitan Opera
On Wednesday night, the Metropolitan Opera launched their latest installment of the Live in HD broadcasts to hundreds of movie theaters across the United States with Donizetti's Anna Bolena.

There are five more broadcasts and two feature barihunk mega-star Mariusz Kwiecien, who will be seen in June 27th performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni and the July 18th performance of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. The Don Giovanni is a barihunk lovers dream cast, as it also includes Luca Pisaroni as Leporello and Aussie Joshua Bloom as Masetto. The Lucia performance will feature Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala as the ill-fated lovers.

Mariusz Kwiecien and Luca Pisaroni (Leporello) in the Met's Mozart's "Don Giovanni"
Photo: Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Additional broadcasts include Anna Netrebko in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann on July 11th,  hunkentenor Juan Diego Flórez in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory on June 20th and Renée Fleming in Der Rosenkavalier on July 25th.

All screenings will begin at 6:30 p.m. local time. You can click HERE to find the theater closest to you.

Fans of Kwiecien should be reminded that he'll be in Santa Fe performing Karol Szymanowski King Roger from July 21 through August 14th. Check out the Santa Fe Opera website to watch Kwiecien discuss the opera or to purchase tickets.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quartet of Barihunks arrives at Merola

Hadleigh Adams

It's not often that we post about events in the same city two days in a row, but there has been quite a bit of chatter about some of the barihunks in the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco. It started with and email that read, "Have you seen Hadleigh Adams? Whoa!" It's been a steady stream of "tips" about this model turned opera singers since he arrived in San Francisco. 

Of course, we were tipped off about the New Zealand native years ago by our eagle eye down under in Australia. Adams will be performing in Merola's Schwabacher Summer Concerts on July 5th and 7th, where he'll be performing Ralph's aria "Quand la flamme de l'amour" from Bizet's rarely heard La jolie fille de Perth. The concert on July 5th is at the Herbst Theater and the July 7th concert is free to the public at Yerba Buena Gardens. 

Seth Mease Carico as he appears in the Barihunks calendar
Also at Merola is Seth Mease Carico, who is one of our 2012 Charity Calendar models and a regular on this site. Carico, recently scored another critical success in his young career as Leonidas in the Fort Worth Opera's production of Mark Adamo's Lysistrata. Don't miss the pictures we posted of Carico and fellow barihunk Michael Mayes in drag at a mock "Battle of the Sexes" event promoting Lysistrata. Admittedly, he won't be a contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race, but it ranks as one of our favorite posts of all time. 

Carico will also be performing in Merola's Schwabacher Summer Concerts and singing Nick Shadow's music from Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. We've had the good fortune of having seen this American singer a few times and he's an artist well ahead of years and not to be missed. 

Joseph Lattanzi: Opera singer or Brooks Brothers model?
We've been following the budding career of Joseph Lattanzi with great interest. Like Adams and Carico, he is perfectly suited to where opera is heading with HD broadcasts. All three singers are perfectly suited for the stage, but also have the looks to start hearts fluttering on the big screen. He's also one of our 2012 Barihunks Charity Calendar models.

We've posted about Lattanzi's recent work with the Seattle Young Artists Program and added him to our growing list of singing competition winners (Palm Beach Opera Junior Division Winner). 

Lattanzi will be performing in Merola's Postcard from Morocco by Dominick Argento on July 19th and 21st at San Francisco's Cowell Theater. 

Gordon Bintner
A new singer to us is bass Gordon Bintner, who joins the growing list of Canadian barihunks on the site. The Saskatchewan native attended McGill University and studied with the great baritone Sanford Sylvan. (As an aside, recent Merola sensation and Metropolitan Opera National Council winner Philippe Sly also studied at McGill.) Bintner also has been wowing judges at competitions, having won the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Standard Life competition in 2011. 

Bintner wil be performing Mozart’s La finta giardiniera with Merola on August 2nd and 4th at San Francisco's Cowell Theater. 

You can see all of the wonderful Merola singers at their Grand Finale on August 18th. Tickets and memberships can be purchased online


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nathan Gunn returns to San Francisco as Papageno

Barihunk Nathan Gunn & Hunkentenor Alek Shrader
Nathan Gunn is back at the San Francisco in what is arguably one of his greatest roles, Papageno in Mozart's "The Magic Flute." Despite the fact that we're a site clearly dedicated to baritones, we often get asked why we don't feature tenors. So for all of you hunkentenor lovers, you'll be thrilled to know that Alek Shrader has been cast as Tamino.

Much of the chatter in San Francisco opera circles has been that the popular David Hockney production has been scrapped for a new production by visual artist Jun Kaneko. By all accounts, it's going to be every bit as spectacular and visually stunning.

SF Opera's "Magic Flute" by visual artist Jun Kaneko
Performances run from tonight through July 8th and tickets can be purchased on the San Francisco Opera website. The company is also presenting Verdi's "Attila" and John Adams' "Nixon in China." The Magic Flute will be sung in English.

Make sure to read our post about Nathan Gunn's upcoming performance in Mark Adamo's "The Gospel of Mary Magdalene," which is sure to generate a lot of interest in the opera world, as well as press attention. 

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Watch Michael Weyandt in Almira with operamission

Michael Weyandt in Almira
Every so often we regret having missed telling our readers about a barihunk appearance. Michael Weyandt's appearance as Fernando in Handel's Almira with operamission at the Gershwin Hotel was a prime example. New York Times classical music critic Anthony Tommaini wrote glowingly about the performance and wrote that the role of Fernando was "...movingly performed here by the virile, ardent baritone Michael Weyandt." You can read the entire review on the NY Times website

We wanted to share a bit of the performance for those of you who missed this wonderful talent. 

Händel's ALMIRA - Act III, "Edele Sinnen," "Was ist des Hofes Gunst?" from operamission on Vimeo.

In the first part of the video you'll hear Weyandt sing "Edele Sinnen schaffen von hinnen" followed by the arioso "Was ist des Hofes Gunst? ein Dunst." The rough translations are:

"Noble thoughts soothe away whatever causes annoyance and harm. And on the contrary strive by all means to become on earth delighted in sweetest repose."


"What is the favor of the court? A mist, that swiftly disperses; a labyrinth of the times, that invariably takes us from crown and throne to prison."

We've featured numerous operamission concerts on our website and they are a must for anyone in the New York area. You can follow them on Facebook or Twitter at @operamission.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Matt Trevino touring Ireland in Orfeo

Plutone (Matt Trevino) letting (Orfeo) Oliver Mercer sneak a peak at Euridice?

Opera Theatre Compnay, Ireland's premiere touring opera company, is opening Monteverdi's "Orfeo" tonight in Waterford at the Theatre Royal with and additional performance on Sunday. The production will then travel to Galway, Carlow, Limerick, Tallaght, Navan, Dublin, Bray, Mayo and wrapping up in Wexford on June 30th. Visit their website for additional information.

American barihunk Matt Trevino is singing Plutone/Caronte opposite the hunkentenor of Oliver Mercer.

You can watch an entire performance of the famous Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production of Orfeo under the baton of Nickolaus Harnoncourt from Zurich below.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Vasil Garvanliev gets a new tattoo

Vasil Garvanliev (© Shalan & Paul)
There are few singers who photograph better than Vasil Garvanliev, who we discovered while he was singing at Opera Atelier. Of course, Opera Atelier has become famous for their sexy, provocative marketing campaigns that often features models in various states of undress. Even though they use models, they seem to hire singers who could double as models in their ad campaigns. In addition to Garvanliev, we've featured Olivier Laquerre, Curtis Sullivan, Phillip Addis and João Fernandes from the company roster. 

Although most of our news is about singing, we couldn't resist telling readers about Garvanliev's new tattoo which he had placed on his arm above the LOVE tattoo that appears on the back of his wrist. The photo below shows the design, the procedure and the final tattoo. We think it's pretty HOT. 

The Macedonian barihunk is a young artist at the Glimmerglass Festival this summer, which of course is run by the "Mother of Barihunks," director Francesca Zambello. Future appearances include Caspar in Weber's Der Freischütz with Opera Atelier and Pistola in Verdi's Falstaff with Calgary Opera.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Domingo's "Operalia" to be broadcast live

Baritone Aldo Heo
We're still listening to the Concours vocal competition from Montreal because we can't seem to get enough of the amazing singing that took place. We've listened not just to the three thrilling barihunks - winner Philippe Sly, 3rd place winner John Brancy and Sidney Outlaw - but to many of the other contestants who wowed us with their vocalism. We were particularly impressed with 2nd place winner Olga Kindler and countertenor Eric Jurenas, who remarkably didn't advance to the finals. 

Yunpeng Wang sings "Ah! per sempre" from I Puritani:

We're hoping that we have time to recover in time for the live broadcast of Placido Domingo's Operalia competition being broadcast live from Beijing, China on Sunday, June 10th. A number of well-known singers were exposed to the opera world at the Operalia competition including barihunks Stéphane Degout and Ludovic Tezier, as well as Joyce DiDonato, Rolando Villazon, Inva Mula, Nina Stemme, José Cura, John Osborn and Susanna Phillips.

Yungpeng Wang
This year's competitors include four baritones, Amaruvshin from Mongolia, Roman Burdenko from Russia, Aldo Heo from South Korea and Yunpeng Wang from China, as well as soprano Janai Brugger form the United States, tenor Like Shing from China, mezzo Nadezhda Karyazina from Russia,    tenor Antonio Poli from Italy,  tenor Hyojong Kim from South Korea, soprano Guanqun Yu from China.  mezzo Olesya Petrova from Russia, countertenor Anthony Roth Constanzo from the United States and  tenor Brian Jadge from the United States. 

You will probably need to be a subscriber to to watch the competition, but we be keeping our eyes and ears open for audio feeds. [We've been informed that Medici will have the Operalia competition online for FREE for 90 days. Enjoy it!].


Listen to the "Three Barihunks" from Montreal; Barihunks Sly and Brancy take 1st & 3rd

Sidney Outlaw, Philippe Sly and John Brancy
As a follow up to our post on Sunday about the Concours vocal competition in Montreal, we'd like to let readers know that the performances by the three barihunks who advanced to the finals are now available online. In fact, Sidney Outlaw, Philippe Sly and John Brancy perform one after another, providing an amazing opportunity to compare these three amazing artists.

We admit to being biased towards lower voices, but these three men are truly some of the best opera singers emerging on the scene today. The depth of their artistry and the quality of their voices is remarkable, especially considering that the youngest, Phillippe Sly and John Brancy, are just 23!

The winners will be officially revealed on Friday, but we've heard that Sly took away the top prize, shortly after having won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. The three top singers will appear in the Winners’ Gala Concert this Friday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Maison symphonique de Montréal. Under the direction of Alain Trudel, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal will accompany the winners. Tickets are available at 514 842-2112. The winners are:

FIRST PRIZE – $30,000


Added to the First Prize is the Career development programme, valued at $20,000.

SECOND PRIZE – $15,000


THIRD PRIZE – $10,000


For the finals, John Brancy kicked it off with Wagner's "O su mein holder Abendstern" from Tannhäuser,  Tchaikovsky's "Postoite na odno mgnovenye!" from Pique Dame, Mendelssohn's "Es ist genug" from Elijah and Rossini's "Largo al factotum" from the Barber of Seville. Phillipe Sly then follows with Stravinsky's "Come, master" from the Rake's Progress, Handel's "Invida sorte avara" from Ariodante, Mozart's "Hai già vinta la causa!" from Marriage of Figaro and Bach's "Mache dich, mein Herze, rein" fo from the St. Matthew Passion. Sidney Outlaw finishes up this amazing run of baritone music with Mendelssohn's "Draw near ye people....Lord God of Abraham" from Eljah, Handel's "Sibilar gli angui d'Aletto" from Rinaldo, Korngold's Tanzlied from Die tote stadt and Verdi's "Death of Rodrigo" from Don Carlo.  

Click here to listen to the performance. The barihunk run starts at about the 27 minute mark and is worth the listen.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Aussies invade England during Diamond Jubilee

Grant Doyle and Joshua Bloom

No one saw this one coming: The Aussies invaded England in the midst of the Queen's "Diamond Jubilee" and put on quite a show. Aussie barihunks Grant Doyle and Joshua Bloom took the stage at the Garsington Opera at Wormsley estate and had the crowd thinking about things other than British Royalty and Navy flyovers. 

 Grant Doyle sings "Mein Sehnen, mein Wähnen" from Korngold's "Die tote Stadt":

There are still six performances remaining between now and July 2nd. Check out the Garsington Opera website for more information. Also on the docket at Garsington is Mozart's "The Magic Flute" with barihunk Richard Latham, Vivaldi's "L'Olimiade," and Offenbach's "La Perichole."

Papageno won't be Richard Latham's first encounter with feathers
If you haven't been to Garsington and experienced opera in the lush English countryside, we highly recommend adding it to your travel itinerary.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lauri Vasar as Billy Budd; Don Giovanni on the horizon

Lauri Vasar as Billy Budd

We think that one of our hottest posts was of Lauri Vasar in Luigi Dallapiccola's Il Prigioniero. Vasar is definitely one of the hottest barihunks in the over 40 category and he consistently seems to perform in various states of undress. We thought about him again when a German fan of the site sent us this video of Vasar as Billy Budd at the Deutsche Opera am Rhein in Düsseldorf. We posted about this performance when it happened and it proved instantly popular with fans, which led to the Pigioniero post. 

We wondered what was up next for the Estonian singer and were thrilled to find out that he'll be portraying the hot Latin lover Don Giovianni in Mozart's classic opera. Director Doris Dörrie's production at the Hamburg opera explores the opera from a woman's point of view, wondering why women seemingly can't live with a man like Don Giovanni. To stress her point, each of the three main women is portrayed from a different period of history.

Nicola Ulivieri as Don Giovanni
Performances will run in October 2012 and May 13. Vasar will alternate in the title role with Nicola Ulivieri. Visit the Hamburg State Opera website for additional information.

Nicola Ulivieri sings the Catalog aria:


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Things of Interest This Week: Boys in NY, Carbo's new CD, Barihunks Competing in Montreal

Jesse Blumberg (L) and Tim McDevitt (R)
Three things that we love are all back and under the same roof on June 4th: the great Steven Blier returns with his latest "Sing for your Supper" show with barihunks Jesse Blumberg and Tim McDevitt. Blier always creates interesting themes for his shows and his latest offering will center on summertime.

Blumberg and McDevitt will be joined by Alex Mansoori, Adrian Rosas and Gennard Lombardozzi in selections by Cole Porter, Frank Loesser, Jason Robert Brown, Eubie Blake, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Kern.

The show is at Henry's at Broadway and 105th in New York City and reservations are required.

Jose Carbo's "My Latin Heart"

Jose Carbo has released his first solo recital, My Latin Heart, which includes selections by Granada, Piazzolla and other Latin favorites.

The CD is available at ABC Records. You can also preview the CD and purchase it on iTunes.

Sidney Outlaw (L), Philippe Sly (C) and John Brancy (R)
Regular readers will know that we love to follow all the vocal competitions, especially as barihunks keep sweeping away all the tenors, sopranos and mezzos. We'll be closely monitoring the Montreal International Musical Competition this Tuesday and Wednesday as three of the eight finalist are not only barihunks, but some of our favorite singers around.

Sly was named our "Best Newcomer" along with Dominik Köninger in our "Best of 2011" feature. We still play his rendition of Schubert's Der Erlkönig to anyone who will listen. Sly was the winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and left the Merola Opera program a year early to join the Canadian Opera Company. 

Brancy has won or come in second in a number of competitions and has already worked with the aforementioned Steven Blier. A recent graduate of Julliard, Brancy recently studied at the International Meistersinger Akademie with sopranos Edith Wiens and Ann Murray, as well as pianist Malcolm Martineau.

Like Sly, Sidney Outlaw is another product of the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco. While in San Francisco he gave a recital that included Schubert's rarely heard Il traditor deluso, which still has lieder aficionados buzzing. On stage he stole the show with his performance of Dr. Dulcamara  in L’elisir d’amore.

Brancy and Outlaw will be representing the United States, while Sly is representing Canada in the competition. Both performances will be broadcast at 7:30 PM on Radio Canada. Click here to listen to the broadcasts. You can listen to the preliminaries here

Friday, June 1, 2012

Marie Claire Italia features Sexiest Men in Opera

Clockwise from left: David Fray, Erwin Schrott, Mirco, Mirco Palazzi, Stephen Costello, Noah Stewart & Jonas Kaufmann

Marie Claire Italia has a feature out on the sexiest men in opera, which includes barihunks Erwin Schrott and Mirco Palazzi, as well as tenors Noah Stewart, Stephen Costello and Jonas Kaufmann. (Astute readers of the site might have noticed that those three tenors have snuck into some of our posts and video features.)

They even threw in David Fray, who they seemingly just couldn't resist. As an aside, we had a conversation with a world renowned conductor recently who said that he's noticed that violinists and pianists who he's working with look increasingly like models from European fashion magazines.

Marie Claire makes the case that we've been pleading for years, which is that opera has to compete with Hollywood for audiences. They also mention the increased popularity of high-definition broadcasts of opera where audiences want singers who are believable and nice to look at on the big screen. You can read the entire article online. The article manages to throw in a little humor, as well, saying Schrott's only shortcoming is that he's unavailable because he's married to the equally stunning soprano Anna Netrebko.

Mirco Palazzi and some hot pool boys in Rossini's "Il viaggio a Reims":


David McFerrin to sing Kurt Weill program

David McFerrin
Yesterday's Walt Whitman post included a selection by Kurt Weill, which reminded us that barihunk David McFerrin is performing the composers work on June 3 and 5 as part of the Artist Series Concerts of Saratoga. He'll be joined by soprano Stella Zambalis and pianist Joseph Holt. Tickets are available online. Unfortunately, the website doesn't list the program.

We first featured McFerrin when he was scheduled to sing Weill's "Berlin" with the New York Festival of Song in San Francisco.

David McFerrin singing Libby Larsen's "Before Loving You":

Make sure to check out the video of McFerrin singing Libby Larsen's "Before Loving You" above. The Fort Worth Opera just announced that it will produce the world premiere of the composer's new opera "A Wrinkle in Time," based on the science-fiction novel by Madeleine L'Engle. Learn more here.