Monday, December 15, 2014

Doug Carpenter wins $500 for best photo; Additional prizes announced for runner-ups

Doug Carpenter and his winning photos for the 2015 Barihunks Charity Calendar
Our Barihunks Calendar photo contest culminates with our Grand Prize of $500 of going to Doug Carpenter for his wine and pasta themed shirtless photos taken by Josh Drake. We asked readers to submit comments and asked our panel of five judges located on three continents to weight in, as well. At the end of the day, the voting wasn't even close as Doug Carpenter's pictures emerged as the clear favorite.

We also loved his tweet [shown above] encouraging people to vote for him with a sexy teaser. The day he posted it our calendar sales skyrocketed, which is how we raise money for young singers. So, he seems doubly deserving of the prize money.

Doug Carpenter is currently playing Billy Kostecki on the North American tour of Dirty Dancing. Click HERE to see when the show is coming to a city near you and buy tickets!

(Jacques) L'Oiseleur des Longchamps (left) and Michael Scarcelle (right)
One of our judges was so conflicted about the #2 and #3 ranked photos not winning, that she offered up $250 for each of the runner up barihunks. So Michael Scarcelle, who had the second most comments and votes, and (Jacques) L'Oiseleur des Longchamps, who had the third most comments and votes, will each be receiving $250.

We'd also like to remind readers that Kasey Yeargain and Ernesto Petti each won $100 for having the Sexiest Photo, as determined by our readers. Also, Richard Alexandre Rittelmann won $250 for the best Italian Themed Photo, also determined by our voters.

We'd like to thank all of the barihunks who participated - YOU'RE ALL SEXY AND TALENTED!!!
Kudos to Zachary Gordin, Pietro di Bianco, Michael Hewitt, Craig Verm, Xavier Rivera, David Adam Moore, Ramon Balderas, Donovan Singletary, Vittorio Prato, Christopher Temporelli, Keith Miller and Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek. Their participation in our calendar allows us to raise money to support opera and young artists in particular.

We'd like to remind everyone that the goal of this website is primarily twofold: 1) Get people interested in opera, and 2) Assist young artists in their careers. Every penny that we raise from our calendars or tee shirts goes directly to artists and artist projects. We'd like to thank our readers for your continued support in making Barihunks a success.

You can still purchase your 2015 Barihunks Charity Calendar by clicking below.
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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Reader Submission: Anas Séguin

Anas Séguin
We have another reader submission today, which come from a reader in France. They are attending Rachmaninov's Aleko at the Opéra-Théâtre de Clermont-Ferrand and noticed that the title role was being sung by Anas Séguin. They emailed us and asked if he'd ever appeared on our site, which he has not.

Anas Séguin sings Largo al factotum from the Barber of Seville:

The Moroccan barihunk began his musical studies playing the piano and the trumpet, before embarking on 10 years of vocal training at the Paris Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional. He's been a frequent prize winner in major vocal competitions, including second prize in the opera category in Arles and first prize for Mélodie at the International Competition of Lyric Singing in Marmande.

He recently performed Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte in Marmande, a role that he'll reprise in Mérignac in March 2015. Aleko will be performed on December 18th at the Opéra-Théâtre de Clermont-Ferrand. Additional information is available online. The opera, which is based on The Gypsies by Alexander Pushkin, includes the baritone aria "Ves' tabor spit," which is frequently performed by baritones in vocal competitions.

Reader submission: Simon Schnorr in sexy operetta

Simon Schnorr in Don Giovanni
A reader in Germany alerted us to a very sexy production of Benatzky's Im Weissen Rössl at the Salzburger Landestheater. They described the production as filled with "Verlockende Männer" (seductive men) and a "sexy Bariton" named Simon Schnorr, who was playing Dr. Otto Siedler.

Well, that caught our attention. 

The Tyrolean set operetta isn't normally known for being particularly sexy, although it may appeal to a few lederhosen fetishists. However, this production serves up a good number of men wearing only white lederhosen, scenes with men in one-piece swimwear, shirtless dancers and a scene involving some dropped trousers. Sometimes German regie theatre has its benefits.

Two scenes from Benatzky's Im Weissen Rössl
Munich native Simon Schnorr was a member of the famed Tölzer Knabenchor in his youth, allowing him to perform as a chorister and alto soloist in many of the major European opera houses and concert halls. He pursued his vocal training with scholarships from the MIGROS-Kulturstiftung in Zürich and from the Richard Wagner Association in Karlsruhe. He went on to win the International Schubert Song Competition in Osaka, the Franz-Völker prize in Neu-Isenburg and the Gustav-Scheck price in Freiburg.

In 2008, Schnorr made his debut at the Staatstheater Karlsruhe playing the role of Morales in Bizet's Carmen and subsequently became a full time member of their Opera Studio. During that time he performed Ping in Puccini's Turandot, Donner in Wagner's Rheingold, the Sergeant in Puccini's Manon Lescaut, Dumas in Giordano's Andrea Chenier and Viconte Valvert in Alfano's Cyrano de Bergerac. To great acclaim, he took over the role the Traveler in Benjamin Britten's Death in Venice on short notice.

Since the 2009-2010 season Simon Schnorr has been a permanent member of the Salzburger Landestheater where he debuted as Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro. Other roles with the company include Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva, Guglielmo, Eisenstein, Dandini, Belcore, Eugene Onegin and roles in Gluck's La Rencontre imprevue and Krenek's Jonny spielt auf.

Two scenes from Benatzky's Im Weissen Rössl
In 2012, he performed Giacomo II alongside the famed actor John Malkovich in the music theater project "The Giacomo Variations" and toured Canada with the show in 2013. The piece is based on the memoirs of Giacomo Casanova and features arias from Mozart's operas. He was also hailed by the press for his interpretation of the baritone part in Frank Martin's In terra pax at the Europäischen Kulturtagen (European Culture Days).

Performances of Benatzky's Im Weissen Rössl run through April 9 and tickets are available online. Schnorr will also appear with tenor Franz Supper at the Salzburger Landestheatre's New Year's Eve concert where they'll perform music by Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

If you can't make it to Austria, you can watch him on the Salzburg Festival's DVD of Alban Berg's Lulu

There are less than three weeks left to purchase your 2015 Barihunks Charity Calendar, featuring the sexiest men in all of opera. Order yours today by clicking below. All proceeds from this year's calendar is going directly to singers.  
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Friday, December 12, 2014

Nicholas Pallesen to make NY recital debut

Nicholas Pallesen, winner of the 2013 George London Award, will be making his New York recital debut on Sunday, January 11, 2015 at the Morgan Library & Museum. He'll share the stage with soprano Angela Meade, who won the award in 2008.

Joined by accompanist Craig Rutenberg, Pallesen will perform Poulenc's Chansons villageoises, "Ha, welche Lust aus schönen Augen" from Marschner's Der Vampyr, and songs by Charles Ives. Pallesen performed the entire Der Vampyr with the Der Vampyr with the New Orleans Opera in 2013. He will join Meade for the duet "Tu pur lo sai" from Verdi's early opera I Due Foscari.

The George London Foundation Recital Series, which is in its 19th year, presents pairs of outstanding opera singers, many of whom were winners of a George London prize.

This year's competition will be held on Friday, February 27, 2015, at 4:00 PM. Last year's winners included three singers familiar to our readers, Norman Garrett, Cameron McPhail and Ryan Speedo Green.

Time is running out to order your 2015 Barihunks Charity Calendar, filled with 19 of the sexiest men in opera. Order yours today by clicking on the LULU button now.
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cameron McPhail in innovative retelling of Don Giovanni

Cameron McPhail in #UncleJohn
 Last month, we featured Canadian barihunk Cameron McPhail in some beefy pictures from Britten's The Rape of Lucretia.

Tonight he opens in #UncleJohn (yes, that's the title), a modern interpretation of Mozart's Don Giovanni with a new English libretto by Against the Grain Theatre artistic director Joel Ivany.  In this version, the opera is set at Zerlina and Masetto's wedding reception with the audience as the guests. The singers arrive at the wedding reception dressed like the audience. They also utilize the same bar as the audience with Uncle John (Don Giovanni) partaking in his fair share of booze.

Cameron McPhail in The Rape of Lucretia
Ivany wrote the libretto in English to ensure that people could get a full understanding of the rich text. The opera is set in Banff, a city well-known as a wedding destination in Canada. Uncle John is billed as suave and sexy, brimming with over-confidence and addiction, not just to women, but to his illusory sense of connectedness to social media.

#UncleJohn is playing at the The Black Box Theatre in Toronto. It runs from December 11-19 and tickets are available online.

You can follow the show on Twitter at #UncleJohn and Cameron McPhail at @Cameron_McPhail.

There is less than 3 weeks left to purchase your Barihunks Calendar, so order today by clicking below.
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We're giving away $500 and need your input

We've been giving away cash for the best pictures submitted to our 2015 Barihunks Charity calendar. In the past, we've given the money raised from the calendar to organizations or projects, but this year we thought we'd give it to the guys who make the calendar possible...the barihunks.

We want you to tell us which photos you like the best. Look at the submissions and tell us why your favorite barihunk photo should win. Keep in mind that the theme was Viva, Italia! You can comment on Facebook, leave comments on Barihunks, via Twitter or email your comments to

Our expert panel will then pick the winning photo and award the $500. 

You can order your very own Barihunks calendar by clicking on the LULU button below. Hurry, we're only selling them for three more weeks.
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Zachary Gordin makes SF Symphony debut with Soundbox

Zachary Gordin: Mr January in the 2015 Barihunk Calendar
Barihunks calendar model Zachary Gordin is making his San Francisco Symphony debut with SoundBox, the orchestra’s new experimental performance venue and late-night live music series taking place backstage at Davies Symphony Hall on Saturday, December 13. The program,  spans over ten centuries of music from around the world, will be led by Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. SoundBox is a new initiative aimed at attracting culturally-adventurous listeners to evenings of eclectic musical exploration and discovery, all in a nightclub-like setting.

"I’m thrilled to be one of the guest soloists for the inaugural performance of Soundbox. It’s an exciting new venture, bringing world class musicians from the San Francisco Symphony and Symphony Chorus together in an unconventional performance space, while creating a totally immersive experience for the senses," Gordin told Barihunks. "The acoustical environment will be altered for each piece of music by the wizards at Meyer Sound Laboratories, so the audience will be able to hear each piece in the acoustical environment it was meant for. There will be changing lights and projected art on huge screen panels, as well as an interesting menu of bites and cocktails, in a rehearsal hall that’s been transformed into a swanky night club. I’m most excited that this is my first time singing with Michael Tilson Thomas, and working with SF Symphony. He’s such a generous and collaborative Maestro, and an immensely gifted artist. I’m honored to be part of this project, and have loved watching it take shape."

Zachary Gordin (left) and Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek and Ramon Balderas
At the December 13 opening, Tilson Thomas will take listeners through a “musical tasting menu” that showcases the venue’s sound system which can alter the space’s acoustics to mimic a variety of different environments. Visual components of this opening show include Steina’s 1986 video Voice Windows, featuring the voice of Joan La Barbara. Voice Windows is co-presented at SoundBox by the SF Symphony and SFMOMA. Prior to the show’s start, guests will experience a soundscape installation derived from John Cage’s Branches (music for amplified plants), accompanied by plant-based imagery from video designer Adam Larsen.

The program includes “Stella splendens in monte” from the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat by Anonymous(arranged by Mason Bates), Plainchant and Kyrie from Missa Pange lingua by Josquin des Prez, Te Deum from Play of Daniel by Anonymous, Panda Chant II by Meredith Monk, Music for Pieces of Wood by Steve Reich, Introduction and Allegro by Maurice Ravel, Voice Windows, Integrales by Varèse and Magnificat from Vespro della Beata Vergine by Monteverdi.

The concert is SOLD OUT. Click HERE for information and tickets on upcoming Soundbox events.

You can enjoy Zachary Gordin and 18 other of opera's sexiest men in our 2015 Barihunks Charity Calendar by clicking on the LULU button below. Only 3 weeks left to order.
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