Monday, August 22, 2016

Barihunk switcheroo at Boston Symphony Orchestra

Günther Groissböck (photo:Monika Rittershaus) & Wilhelm Schwinghammer (photo: Enrico Nawrath)

Bass-barihunk Wilhelm Schwinghammer will replace fellow bass-barihunk Günther Groissböck for the Sunday, August 28th performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 under the baton of Andris Nelsons. The other singers are soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen, mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose and tenor Joseph Kaiser. Tickets are available online.

Groissböck had a bicycling accident and was unable to travel for the concert. Groissböck's upcoming performances include Heinrich der Vogler in Wagner's Lohengrin at the Vienna State Opera, Rocco in Beethoven's Fidelio at the Bavarian State Opera and Sarastro in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden.

This will be Schwinghammer's  Tanglewood and Boston Symphony debuts. Schwinghammer will return to  Germany to sing Sarastro in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Hamburg State Opera before returning in October for his debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Fasolt in Wagner's Das Rheingold.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Watch Ildar Abdrazakov as Méphistophélès from Salzburg

Ildar Abdrazakov as Méphistophélès
You can watch Ildar Abdrazakov as Méphistophélès from the Salzburg Festival on August 23, 2016 at 10 AM PST/1 PM EST on The production also stars Piotr Beczala as Faust, Maria Agresta as Marguerite, Alexey Markov as Valentin, as  Tara Erraught as Siébel and Marie-Ange Todorovitch as Marthe. The new production is staged by Reinhard von der Thannen and conducted by Argentinian Alejo Pérez.

Padraic Rowan wins Azuriales Opera Competition

Padraic Rowan
Irish bass-barihunk Padraic Rowan keeps racking up the awards, as he won the €5,000 First Prize Prize at the Azuriales Opera Competition in France. Earlier this Summer, he won the the 2016 Bernadette Greevy Bursary Award. He was also a finalist at the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards and the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards. He also reached the semi-finals of the the 34th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, he won the 2014 Wessex Glyndebourne Award, the Dramatic Cup and Tony Quigley Award and the German Government Cup at the 2013 Feis Ceoil in Dublin, and the 2013 Irene Sandford Award for Singers.

Rowan graduated from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2013 with a Masters in Music Performance and now studies in London. He is currently in the Young Artist program at the Les Azuriales Opera. This September, Rowa will join the Opera Studio of Oper Stuttgart in Germany, performing a number of roles during the 2016/17 season.

The Azuriales Opera Competition was started in 2003 to  promote young singers at the start of their careers. The singers perform in a Competition Concert and are evaluated by a jury. Ellie Edmonds won the €1,000 Kerry Keane Award for artists under age 26 and tenor Thobela Ntshanyana won Second Prize.

You can hear Rowan in a clip from the St Matthew Passion by clicking HERE.

Introducing Basque Barihunk Gilen Goicoechea

Gilen Goicoechea
A reader suggested Gilen Goicoechea to us, who they saw at the Concours International de Chant Lyrique last Fall.  Goicoechea will be singing in the double bill of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and Ravel's L'Heure Espagnole at the Opéra national de Lorraine from September 27 to October 6. He'll be performing Betto and Ramiro respectively and tickets are available online.

The Basque barihunk began by studying trumpet and piano before switching to voice  at the Conservatoire du Grand Avignon. At school, he performed in Offenbach's Le voyage dans la lune and Auber's Fra Diavolo.  

In October 2011, he participated in the Festival Cap Opéra bouffe de Sauveterre, where he played the  Aime in Valérie Marestin's comedic scenes "Les cocottes lyriques." The performance led to an offer to perform in Charles Lecocq's opéra-bouffe Le testament de monsieur Crac at the Festival d'Avignon. Next season he'll perform Monsieur Troundadisse in Sauget's Tistou les pouces verts and Benoit in Puccini's La bohème at Opéra de Rouen.
He is a past winner of the Grand concours d'opérette amateur, and was a finalist in vocal competitions in Bezier, Arles and Nimes.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Barihunks Sam Roberts-Smith and Richard Rittlemann win prizes

Sam Roberts-Smith
Barihunk turned hunkentenor turned barihunk Sam Roberts-Smith, just won the Opera Foundation Deutsche Oper Berlin Award, which comes with an 11 month contract with the company for the 2017-18 season.

The Opera Foundation for Young Australians seeks out singers each year for the German Opera Award at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. You can read our comprehensive interview with Sam from earlier this year HERE.

Richard Rittelmann
Also taking home a coveted award this month was Richard Rittelmann, who won the Audience Prize at the Armel Opera Competition and Festival for his portrayal of Ben in Menotti's The Telephone. The competition is unique, as it seeks not just the best voice, but the best all-around performer, placing major emphasis on acting and stage movement. The singers actually have to perform in an opera that is co-produced with an opera house.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Jonathan Woody and Kyle Guglielmo in scenes from new American operas

Jonathan Woody and Kyle Guglielmo
Bass-barihunk Jonathan Woody and barihunk Kyle Guglielmo will be part of an upcoming showcase of scenes from new American operas. They will perform with the American Opera Project's (AOP) "Composers & The Voice: Six Scenes 2016," a concert of opera scenes from ten artists emerging in the world of contemporary opera.

The libretti cover a wide range of stories, from Sigmund Freud and Mabel Dodge Luhan to events taking place in a spaceship, an asylum, and a uterus. The composers Matthew Barnson, Carlos R. Carrillo, Nell Shaw Cohen, Marc LeMay, Cecilia Livingston, and Sky Macklay and librettists Edward Einhorn, Duncan McFarlane, Emily Roller, and Mark Sonnenblick, were chosen by AOP to spend a year creating new works in its bi-annual fellowship program Composers & the Voice.

The performances will be held on Friday, September 30 at 8:00pm at South Oxford Space (138 S. Oxford St.) in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, the home of AOP, and on Sunday, October 2 at 2:30pm at the National Opera Center (330 7th Ave, 7th floor) in Manhattan. Tickets range from $10-$25 general admission and are available online

Kyle Guglielmo sings "Joey, Joey, Joey" from Most Happy Fella:

Woody and Guglielmo will be joined by coloratura soprano Tookah Sapper, lyric soprano Jennifer Goode Cooper, mezzo-soprano Caitlin McKechney and tenor Blake Friedman.

Guglielmo has appeared with LoftOpera, Sarasota Opera, American Opera Projects, American Lyric Theater, The Princeton Festival, Piedmont Opera, and the Westfield Symphony (now New Jersey Festival Opera). He sang Dr. Pill in the premiere of Daron Hagen's Little Nemo in Slumberland at Sarasota Opera.  Kyle made his Carnegie Hall Debut in April singing the Celebrant in Leonard Bernstein's Celebrations from MASS with the Yale Symphony, arranged and conducted by John Mauceri.

American bass-baritone, Jonathan Woody, obtained his Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Maryland, College Park and completed his Master of Music degree in Early Music at McGill University.  He has recorded with the Trinity Wall Street Choir under the Musica Omnia label, most recently being featured on the premiere recording of Ralf Yusuf Gawlick's Missa Gentis Humanae for 8 voices. In May 2014, Quill Classics featured him as soloist for a concert of German and French music by Brooklyn Baroque.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Andrea Carcassi is the latest Bari-chunk to Bari-hunk

Our latest Bari-chunk to Bari-hunk is Andrea Carcassi, who recently lost 32 kilos (71 pounds) in 11 months.

 "Needless to say I feel amazing," Carcassi told us when we contacted him. "My body was just ready to shed the weight and wanted me to lose it all and so did the theatres [he added with a laugh]."

Andrea Carcassi
"My personal life also has greatly changed," he told Barihunks. "I still have a long way to go and I now have to work on building lean muscle mass. I'll slowly get there. I have to say my work has benefited so much as well purely due to confidence and posture."

Andrea Carcassi studied at the Victorian College of the Arts and at the Faculty of Arts of The University of New England, graduating with majors in Music Performance (Classical Voice) and Communications (Theatre) in 2008. He also studied acting at the Victorian College of the Arts and the Drama Studio in Sydney.

Carcassi made his professional debut upon graduation in 2008 as Dexter Fox in Green Room at the ChamberMade Opera. Later that year, debuted with the Melbourne Opera as Schaunard in Puccini's La bohème. In 2009, he joined Co-Opera in Adelaide for their national tour of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. He appeared in the same role for Co-Opera’s Europe tour, which included performances at the  Wiesbaden Festival.

His other operatic credits include Silvio in Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci and Morales in Bizet's Carmen with the Melbourne City Opera, Sapiente in Turandot for the Melbourne Puccini Festival, Marcello in Puccini's La bohème for Gippsland Opera, Sarastro in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Dr. Bartolo in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at the Hessisches Stattstheater in Wiesbaden
Finally, Carcassi told us, "It's an honor to be recognized by a group like Barihunks, which gives me even further impulse to achieve the body I want."