Tuesday, October 30, 2012
We've been covering Teddy Tahu Rhodes' tattoos since 2008 and the three posts have all been very popular with our readers. So we were thrilled when we learned that Shane Tattoos in Melbourne is now featuring these amazing photos of the New Zealand barihunk on their homepage.
According to their website, they specialize in Maori, Ta Moko, Kirituhi, Polynesian and Japanese tattoo designs, as well as graphic body designs. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the way, if you're in to opera singers with tattoos, make sure to check out our post about the extremely sexy Vasil Garvanliev. He's currently performing Kaspar in Opera Atelier's Der Freischutz.
Of course, we've been covering "Teddy Bare" a lot lately for his sizzling performance in South Pacific and his torrid and very public romance with co-star Lisa McCune. The production is currently in Melbourne and will open in Brisbane on December 27th. Tickets are available online.
Monday, October 29, 2012
|Thomas Hampson & Ferrucio Furlanetto|
The ageless American barihunk Thomas Hampson launched the 2012-13 season of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande singing music by the composer with whom he is perhaps most closely associated: Gustav Mahler. The performance of "Das Lied von der Erde" is now available online and we figured it was a beautiful way to the start the week, so we posted it below.
Hampson and tenor Paul Groves performed the piece under Music and Artistic director Neeme Järvi, for two concerts in September in Geneva’s Victoria Hall.
This unique and transcendent “song-symphony,” featuring texts of Chinese poetry translated into German, with additional texts by Mahler himself, explores nothing less than the meaning of life, from the innocent joys of youth to the inevitable parting from this world. True to the work’s inspiration, Mahler infuses the orchestral sound with many evocative Eastern touches.
Hampson recorded “Das Lied” in 1995 with Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and again in 2007 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony.
Hampson is currently performing the title role in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra at the Lyric Opera of Chicago through November 9th. As and added treat, the Fiesco is the great Italian Verdi specialist Ferrucio Furlanetto and Paolo is the rising Verdi baritone star Quinn Kelsey. Tickets and additional cast information are available online.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
|Keith Miller (photo Pavel Antonov)|
Miller next appears at the Metropolitan Opera in Verdi’s “Un Ballo in Maschera"alongside Dmitri Hvorostovsky, opening November 8th, followed by a global high-definition broadcast December 8th.
|Keith Miller - Chest voice?|
How Miller made the unlikely transition from football to the pinnacle of opera is an all-American story of reinvention, made all the more amazing by the fact that he had no formal musical training when he set out to become a singer.
"This is the real thing, this is the juice," says the 38-year-old Miller. "Instead of a number, you're a character, but the spirit of competition is the same, and you do it for the love of the art versus the love of the game."
It began almost by chance in 1994, while still at Colorado, when he took his girlfriend to see a traveling production of the Broadway musical "The Phantom of the Opera." He was so enthralled that tears rolled down his face. He bought a CD and learned the songs.
[Continue reading HERE]
Saturday, October 27, 2012
|Greer Grimsley as Wotan|
Of course, people on both coasts are excited about Grimsley's 2013 schedule when he showcases his heralded portrayal of Wotan in Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle. On May 4th, he'll open in the Ring Cycle at the Metropolitan Opera before returning to Seattle on August 4th to reprise the role of Wotan.
Seattle Opera's award-winning production is inspired by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and has been a sold-out success in 2001, 2005 and 2009. Order you tickets online.
Friday, October 26, 2012
|Ryan McKinny (lying down) with Agneta Eichenholz and Marko Spehar (Photo: Monika Rittershaus)|
On Janauary 29, 2013, McKinny opens as Melot in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto.
|James McOran-Campbell in Ghost Patrol (Photo: Jane Hobson)|
|Phillip Addis as Demetrius and Ellie Dehn as Helena (Photo Silvia Lelli, Rome Opera)|
Still, there were some fun touches in the staging too. Having the boys strip down to their underpants for the failed mock fight was a fun touch, but to make it work rightly, Mr Curran would have needed more say in the casting. While Demetrius (Phillip Addis) looked as though he was comfortable as a model for underpants, Lysander (Shawn Mathey) did not.
|John Allen Nelson|
Nelson was a participant in Opera Colorado's young artist program in 2011-2012, where he performed Father in Hansel and Gretel, Zuniga in Carmen, Old Gypsy in Il Trovatore, and Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro. He spent the summer at the Des Moines Metro Opera where he covered the title role in Don Giovanni.
This season he can be seen singing the role of The Mandarin in Minnesota Opera's production of Turandot.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
|Wes Mason and Steven LaBrie|
Once again they have another class with its fair share of great singers, including two who we've regularly featured on Barihunks. Wes Mason and Steven LaBrie, will be joining classmate Christian Bowers in AVA's triple-cast performances of Rossini's Barber of Seville.
Performances will run from November 3-17 in Philadelphia, Warrington and Haverford, Pennsylvania. For tickets and additional cast information call 215.735.1685 or visit the AVA website.
We first discovered Wes Mason in 2010 while he was preparing the role of Reinaldo Arenas in Jorge Martín's Before Night Falls at the Fort Worth Opera Festival. His remarkable performance prompted critic Scott Cantrell of the Dallas Morning News to remark: "Onstage and singing much of the time, Wes Mason portrays Arenas with movie-star looks, a handsome baritone and strikingly clear diction."
He is returning to Fort Worth this year to perform Marcello in Puccini's La boheme from April 20-May 11. We always include the Fort Worth Opera Festival on our travel agenda and this year will be no exception. Visit their website and order your tickets now.
Steven LaBrie sings "Non siate ritrosi" from Mozart's Così fan tutte:
We were tipped off about Steven LaBrie by one of his fans in Philadelphia. We've watched his career progress with his Second Prize win at the 2012 Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition and his performance of Xavier Montsalvatge's operatic telling of the children's classic El gato con botas (Puss in Boots) at Gotham Chamber Opera.
Monday, October 22, 2012
Despite being from Indiana and attending the esteemed singing program at Indiana University, his career has been primarily in European opera houses. Perhaps it's because he's based in Zurich.
However, we still can't figure out why he's not been engaged by more American companies. We saw his sexually charged and vocally sublime Don Giovanni in Detroit, as well as his debut at New York City Opera in Rufus Wainwright's Prima Donna and were incredibly impressed. We've been selling his debut CD on the site, which was his West Coast recital debut and filled with music from America's greatest composers: Jake Heggie, Ricky Ian Gordon, Glen Roven, Clint Borzoni and his fellow Swiss-based American, Julia Schwartz.
We're at a loss why he's not on the schedules of more American opera companies. If any of them are reading this, we're eager to hear him in some early to mid-Verdi, some non-Ring Wagner and some more American or English opera (Billy Budd!). Of course, we won't complain about another Don Giovanni either.
Happy Birthday to one of our favorite singers!
Saturday, October 20, 2012
|Matthew Morris (center) with members of the Britten-Pears Young Artists Program|
There is one remaining performance on Sunday, October 21 remaining and tickets are available HERE.
Morris can next be seen at Le théâtre de Caen in France this November where he will be performing in a double bill of Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti and Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortilèges. Visit their website for additional cast and performance information.
Click HERE to listen to Morris sing "My Melancholy Baby."
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Conductor Patrick Summers, Artistic and Music Director of Houston Grand Opera, will be joined by members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Choral Society. They will be performing music by Verdi, Rossini, Donizetti, Massenet, Mascagni, Handel, and Wagner.
The gala will be recorded for delayed national broadcast in the United States as part of PBS’s Emmy Award-winning “Live From Lincoln Center” series on Thursday, December 13th. Hosted by five-time Tony Award-winning singer and actress Audra McDonald, the telecast will feature mini-documentaries in addition to the musical performance.
Tickets are available at the Richard Tucker Music Foundation website or at the Lincoln Center website.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
We celebrate baritone birthdays daily in our sidebar, but reserve the main posting area for only the most special singers.
We still remember when Hvorostovsky won the Cardiff Singer of the World competition in 1989. The music world was instantly abuzz with stories about a baritone who looked as beautiful as he sounded. Perhaps this was the real beginning of the barihunk craze, but we hadn't put a name to it yet. One thing is clear, if you'll pardon the overused cliché, he has certainly aged like a fine wine.
Dmitri Hvorostovsky sings Rodrigo's aria at age 27:
Following his acclaimed performances in La traviata and Ernani last season, Dmitri Hvorostovsky returns to New York's Metropolitan Opera, starring in two Verdi operas at the iconic American house this season. Beginning November 8, Hvorostovsky appears in a new production of Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, portraying Renato, the suspicious husband of Amelia, sung by soprano Sondra Radvanovsky. The new staging, directed by David Alden and conducted by the Met's Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi, features an extraordinary cast that includes tenor Marcelo Álvarez, Kathleen Kim, Dolora Zajick and Stephanie Blythe. Audiences around the world can hear Dmitri sing in this Met production Live in HD on December 8.
Dmitry Hvorostovsky sings "Urna Fatale" and "Solenne in quest ora" with Jonas Kaufmann:
Also at the Met this season, Dmitri will portray Rodrigo in Verdi's Don Carlo, an epic vision of the Spanish Inquisition. Ramón Vargas and Sondra Radvanovsky will share the stage with Dmitri in this revival of the 2010 Met production, which takes place in February and March 2013.
In between his Met gigs, Hvorostovsky will return to Russia for five recitals and two gala concerts.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DMITRI!!! Thanks you for over two decades of glorious singing.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
|Baritone Timothy Sharp|
We first featured German baritone Timothy Sharp in February 2010 and have followed his career ever since. He opened last night as the title character in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin at the Theater für Niedersachsen in Hildesheim, Germany. On October 28th, he'll switch to Marcello in Puccini's La Boheme at the same theater. Check their website for cast and performance information.
Sharp, who is the son of soprano and music professor Norma Sharp, is also known as a particularly insightful lieder singer. We were thrilled to learn that he's posted a complete version of Schubert's Winterreise on YouTube for the entire world to enjoy. An interesting sidenote about Hildesheim, is that it was once the home of baritone and fellow lieder singer extraordinaire Thomas Quasthoff.
Hildesheim is a significant footnote in the history of World War II. The historic Marktplatz, once considered one of the most beautiful in Germany, was destroyed by an Allied air raid in 1945. The government had it historically reconstructed over six years, completing the project in 1990. The government also created a monument at the site of the old Jewish synagogue that was destroyed by the Nazis in 1938. But perhaps the town is best known as the place where Oskar Schindler died in 1974.
If Hildesheim is not on your travel itinerary, Sharp will be performing in Berlin in May 2013. He'll perform the lead role of the Teacher in the double bill of Kurt Weill's Der Jasager and Reiner Bredemeyer's Der Neinsager at Berlin's Staatsoper.
at 9:19 AM
Saturday, October 13, 2012
|Lucas Meachem to participate in gala for the San Antonio Opera|
Earlier this year, we were saddened to report the very sudden demise of the San Antonio Opera. Just as we were preparing a post about their upcoming Don Giovanni, we learned that the Board of Directors had shut the doors due to a lack of cash flow.
We are pleased to announce that representatives for the company have announced that they have raised $500,000 to reopen the doors, scheduled a gala fundraising concert on May 23, 2013 and will announce a new 2014 season shortly.
The $500,000 raised to date includes $228,000 from the city of San Antonio, contributions from the nine Opera Theater San Antonio board members and challenge grants from the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation and the Tobin Endowment.
Friday, October 12, 2012
|William Berger (photo by Paul Foster-Williams)|
There's one thing that we've learned in our five years of existence: Barihunks has a loyal group of ginger lovers. Every time we post a redhead on the site, we seem to get a half-dozen emails touting another "strawberry blond" singer.
A recent email came from a friend and it was about a wonderfully gifted singer who we both had seen many times on stage. It began, "Have you seen William Berger lately? Not sure what's he's done, but he's looking really H-O-T these days."
We're not sure either, but it looks like he's lost a stone or two and adopted a distinctly stylish new look. Whatever he's done, we agree that he looks as great as he sounds. We've seen other singers go through some amazing transformations recently, most notably the very public evolution of Michael Mayes from Bari-Chunk to Bari-Hunk, which remains one of our most visited and inspirational posts.
William Berger sings "Revenge Timotheus Cries" from Handel's Alexander's Feast)
Berger is an amazing talented baritone who sings with an incredible depth of emotion and colors his phrases beautifully. We still remember his performances with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra where he sang Aeneas opposite the great Susan Graham's Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas under maestro Nicholas McGegan. Even though he has no real aria the beauty of his singing was unforgettable.
He was also a successful Papageno for Garsington Opera last year, a role he'll be reprising next year at L'opéra de Toulon.
William Berger sings Mozart's "Abendempfindung"
Berger and McGegan are also releasing a recording of late 18th-century operatic arias with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Berger also has a highly-acclaimed new recording out called "Insomnia" and we encourage you to read Berger's own thoughts on this very personal project.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
|Ben Wager: In and Out of costume as the King|
Rarely do we get to post anything about his ever-popular opera Aida, even though it includes three roles for low voice: Amonasro (king of Ethiopia), Ramfis (the high priest) and the King of Egypt. We were thrilled when we saw Ben Wager would be singing the King of Egypt at the Dallas Opera (even though he's not listed on the cast list on their website - hint, hint).*
The dueling women will be Latonia Moore and Nadia Krasteva and performances will run from October 26 through November 11. Visit their website for tickets and additional performance information.
Grace Bumbry & Simon Estes sing the Aida/Amonasro duet in a 1992 telecast:
* Note: We rarely criticize anything on Barihunks, but omitting cast lists entirely or omitting singers is our pet peeve. Singers invest too much time, money and blood, sweat and tears to remain anonymous. Opera is about singing and opera companies should always post complete cast lists.
Monday, October 8, 2012
|ENO's controversial ad for Don Giovanni|
The London Evening Standard covered the controversy in their Friday edition with the headline, "ENO's Don Giovanni condom advert hits low note." In a nod to the growing influence of social media, the paper obtained most of their criticism from Twitter. They did provide one quote from a media professional, Vivienne Pattison, director of Mediawatch-UK, who complained that the ad campaign added to the "hyper-sexualisation" of society.
Even the Los Angeles Times covered the controversy in their Culture Monster feature in the Arts & Culture section, as well as the Huffington Post.
A unidentified spokeswoman for ENO told the Evening Standard:
“Given the subject of the piece, the marketing campaign for Rufus Norris’s production reflects the opera itself.
“We wanted an eye-catching ad to promote the opera. We came up with this idea which we think is brilliant, funny and captures the idea of Don G in a witty way.”
|Sexy ad campaigns require sexy singers like Erwin Schrott and Randal Turner|
As much as we love ENO and their efforts to attract younger audiences, for us, it's still a bit of false advertisement.
Performances run from October 17-November 17 and cast and ticket information is available on the ENO website.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
|Opera Atelier's laterst marketing photo|
A recent conversation with the head of an American opera company included a lot of questions about marketing. He was a little surprised with the response that no company matches the Canadian baroque specialists Opera Atelier when it comes to creativity, appealing to younger audiences and making opera seem accessible. After all, they've taken operas that are over 300 years old and made them downright sexy and appealing. Best of all, the same high standard that they use in their marketing campaigns translates to the stage, where they produce some of the most visually stunning performances to be seen anywhere.
When we preach about opera companies needing to compete with television and movies, without compromising standards, Opera Atelier is the model.
|Making Der Freischütz sexy|
Performances of Der Freischütz run from October 27 through November 3.
|Jack Rennie as Love with Peggy Kriha Dye as Armide and Curtis Sullivan as Hatred in The Glimmerglass Festival/Opera Atelier production of Armide. (Photo Karli Cadel/The Glimmerglass Festival)|
|Vasil Garvanliev: The world's sexiest Kaspar?|
CONTACT US AT Barihunks@gmail.com
Thursday, October 4, 2012
|Martin Achrainer in "Le Grand Macabre" in Vienna|
Le Grand Macabre is György Ligeti’s only opera and is based on the theater piece La Balade du Grand Macabre by Belgian author Michel de Ghelderode. Ligeti wrote the libretto with Michael Meschke setting the work in the near-apocalyptic Breughelland (a reference to Dutch painter Pieter Breughel). Although the opera has become popular in Europe, it took 26 years before it had its successful premiere in the United States at the San Francisco Opera. That 2004 performance starred Willard White as Nekrozar and barihunk Joshua Bloom as the Black Politician. The New York Philharmonic performed the piece with Eric Owens as Nekrozarin 2010.
|More shirtless shots of Martin Achrainer from "Le Grand Macabre"|
|Brothers Philippe and Mathieu Sly|
We've seen him hone his craft in person and it a truly remarkable site. He searches for the perfect tone and mood in every song that he sings. He clearly wowed the judges at both the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Concours Musical International de Montreal (MIMC) where he took away top honors. As Radio-Canada host Françoise Davoine has said, "It was impossible not to be completely bowled over by this young man with the golden voice and the luminous expression."
His brother Mathieu Sly has put together a 15-minute documentary "IN DREAMS, EN RÊVES, IN TRÄUMEN" on the making of his latest album. It's a great opportunity to watch him perfect his music making.
The opera world is wasting little time in snapping up this young talent, recognizing that he's the perfect marketing passage: matinee idol looks + an amazing talent. After finishing a year with the prestigious Merola Opera Program in San Francisco, he was signed by by the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto. He will also be touring Canada in a recital series with the Debut Atlantic Series.
The San Francisco Opera which got to witness Sly firsthand while he was at Merola also wasted little time in signing Sly and he will appear in their mainstage production of Mozart's Così fan tutte as Guglielmo opposite Heidi Stober, Ellie Dehn, Francesco Demuro and Marco Vinco. Performances will be led by music director Nicola Luisotti and begin on June 9, 2013. Visit the San Francisco Opera website for more information.
You can buy his new album by clicking on our Amazon link to the right or by going to iTunes or Spotify. We can guarantee you that you'll want to add this to your music collection.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
As we've previously reported, barihunk Erwin Schrott and his lovely wife Anna Netrebko have created the Anna and Erwin Schrott 4Kids Foundation. The foundation has already supported children in Austria, Russia, Spain and Germany with donations to SOS Children's Villages, a children's hospital in Saint Petersburg, the Austrian organization "Our Child" and the Spanish A.Va.Pa.Ce.nell.
On October 10th at Halle E in the MusemsQuartier in Vienna, Schrott will perform a benefit concert of his successful "Rojotango" program. Tickets are available online. If you can't make the concert, but would like to donate, you can get more information HERE.
Here is Hot Schrott talking about the concert:
An exclusive dinner-reception will be held after the show. For more information contact either Giorgia Meschini at email@example.com or Miriam Tenner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, October 1, 2012
Since its release in April 2011, we've been deluged with questions about Kasper Holten's movie "Juan" starring barihunk Christopher Maltman. It had an extremely limited release in U.S. theaters and had been slow to appear on DVD. We've mentioned sites like www.iwannawatch.net and others where you can watch the movie online. However, most require that you sign up, download certain software and many don't work on Macs.
We have some good news, in that a European release of the DVD and Blu-Ray disc has finally happened, but it's not cheap. We couldn't find a new copy for less the £39.99. Also, the discs won't play on U.S. DVD players, although you can configure most laptops to play them. But if you're in Europe, you're in luck. Hopefully, sales will be brisk enough to encourage a U.S. release.
If you can't wait for "Juan" you might be interested in Opera Australia's "Don Giovanni" with barihunk Teddy Tahu Rhodes. He shows a lot of skin, although not quite as much as the fully nude Maltman, but it's an extremely sexy portrayal of the rakish title character. You can order it by clicking on our Amazon link to the right (and we'll get a small commission!).