Monday, May 30, 2016

Barihunk duo in Chicago Summer Opera's Albert Herring

Gabriel Di Gennaro (Photos: Kirsten Miccoli and Elliot Mandel)
It's rare that we get a barihunk submission for singers appearing in the same show, especially singing the same role. But that's what happened just two days apart when readers submitted both Alessio Tranchell and Gabriel Di Gennaro who are rotating the role of Mr. Gedge in Britten's Albert Herring with the Chicago Summer Opera on June 16 and 19.

Gabriel Di Gennaro is returning to the opera Albert Herring, in which he previously sang the bass role of Superintendent Budd with the Marietta College Light Opera Company. Recently, Chicago audiences have seen Di Gennaro as Florian in Princess Ida with The Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, Benoît/Alcindoro in Puccini's La bohème with Opera Ouvert, and Antonio in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro with /kor/ productions.

He has been a  young artist with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's SummerFest, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, where he covered the role of Leporello in Don Giovanni, and OperaWorks. A collaboration with the VOX 3 Collective has added two unique experiences to his résumé: Golaud in a lecture recital of Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande presented by Richard Stilwell, and The Dance Master/Mars in the Chicago premiere of Carl Nielsen’s Maskarade. He has performed the world premiere of Scott Wasserman's song cycle Even for Wars and his The Giving Tree. both by composer Scott Wasserman.

Alessio Tranchell
Alessio Tranchell started his singing career performing with pop punk bands before embarking on a classically trained career as a choral conductor and baritone. He has a BA in Voice from Gordon College and is getting his MM in Voice and Conducting from Houghton College.

This summer he joined the Russian Opera Workshop at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia as Orlik in Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa. At Houghton Lyric Theater he has sung Belcore in Donizetti's L’Elisir D’Amore, M. Reyer in The Phantom of the Opera and the title role in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi. Tranchell joined Finger Lakes Opera (NY) in the summer of 2015 as a Young Artist performing in L’Elisir D’Amore. He recently conducted the premiere recording of Sarah Hutchings’ opera Rodman in North Korea, which was a finalist for the American Prize in Opera Composition.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Barihunk duo sweeps Zandonai Competition

Kim Hankyol and Tobias Greengalgh
Barihunks Kim Hankyol and Tobias Greengalgh took top honors at the 2016 International Competition for 'Zandonai Young Opera Singers on Saturday, May 28th. Second Prize was awarded to Italian soprano Selene Zanetti and Japanese tenor Naoki Miyasato content. Third Prize went to Korean tenor Kim Keonwoo and Italian soprano Clarissa Costanzo.

Tobias Greenhalgh sings "O Carlo Ascolta" from Verdi's Don Carlo:

Greenhalgh actually walked away with six prizes for the night,
including role prizes at the Tiroler Festspiele ERL, Theatro Sao Pedro- Sao Paolo, and the National Opera Ukraine, the Musica Riva Festival Prize, and the Premio Opera World Prize. 

Greenhalgh is currently singing the role of Peter in Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel at the Wiener Kammeroper.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Randal Turner returns home for two concerts

Randal Turner: The original "Barihunk in Bed"
Zürich-based barihunk Randal Turner, is returning to his native Indiana for two shows. The first is an intimate concert at the Waynetown Baptist Church with accompanist Karen Wilkinson. The concert is near the farm with Turner grew up before heading off to Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and eventually the International Opera Studio of the Zurich Opera. The performance is on Sunday, May 29th at 10:30 AM.

Turner is back home to perform the role of Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen with the Indianapolis Symphony. Turner first performed the role in Sassari in Sardinia in 2002, and has subsequently sung it in Linz, Austria and Luzern, Switzerland. He will be joined by the Latvian mezzo-soprano Oksana Volkova as Carmen and tenor Evan Bowers as Don José. Performances are on June 10 and June 12 and tickets are available online. 

Randal Turner and Enrique Ambrosio perform "Je suis Escamillo" from Carmen:

Turner has appeared numerous times in our Barihunks charity calendar and was the beneficiary of the proceeds being used to help fund his CD of Living American Composers, which includes music by Jake Heggie, Clint Borzoni, Ricky Ian Gordon, Glen Roven and Julia Schwartz. He was also the original "Barihunk in Bed," which is our calendar theme this year. Singers who want to submit pictures for this year's calendar should send them to

Friday, May 27, 2016

Jesse Enderle digs in his fangs as Don Giovanni

Jesse Enderle
Barihunk Jesse  Enderle will be singing the title role in Undercroft Opera's Don Giovanni where artistic director Mary Beth Sederburg explores the similarities between the Mozart classic and Bram Stoker's Dracula. Her team created an all-new libretto,  English language libretto where the nobleman preys on brides-to-be.

Performances are on May 28 at 8 p.m. and May 29 at 2 p.m. Tickets and additional cast information is available online.

Undercroft Opera is a Pittsburgh-based company that creates a community for singers and orchestral musicians by offering performance experience to emerging and seasoned local artists. Since their founding in 2006, they have performed Cosi fan tutte, La boheme, Le Nozze di Figaro, La traviata, Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, The MediumL’elisir d’amore, Les Contes d’Hoffmann and a concert version of Don Carlo.

Jesse Enderle is a two-time regional winner in the Metropolitan Opera Regional Council Auditions in Wisconsin. He has performed with the Fort Worth Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Theater Summerfest, Florentine Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Tulsa Opera and the Arbor Opera Theatre.

Baritones comprise half of Lexus Song Quest semi-finalists

Tavis Gravatt and Bradley Christensen
The ten semi-finalists have been selected for the Lexus Song Quest and half of them are baritones. The singers will now work with head judge, soprano Yvonne Kenny, before the Grand Finals singers are selected for the last round at the Auckland Town Hall in July. Around 50 contestants competed in the initial round with judges Graham Pushee and Patricia Price. 

The baritones include Tavis Gravatt, Bradley Christensen, Harry Grigg, Jarvis Dams and Benson Wilson. The remaining singers include sopranos Madison Nonoa, Imogen Thirlwall, Emily Mwila and Sophie Sparrow, as well as tenor Filipe Manu

The Lexus Song Quest will dole out $85,000 in prizes, with the winner receiving a total prize of $50,000, and the runner up receiving an immediate cash prize of $8,000, supported by the Dame Malvina Major Foundation, plus a study scholarship of $10,000. Third and fourth place winners receive $1,000 each. A further $15,000 prize, sponsored by the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, will be awarded to the singer who has demonstrated great potential through the semi-finals stage of the competition.

Tickets for the Final Lexus Song Quest Gala on July 23 are available online

Barihunk duo in Reimann's Lear at Palais Garnier

Bo Skovhus in Paris Lear (Photo © Elisa Haberer)
Bo Skovhus returned to the title-role of Aribert Reimann’s Lear, this time at the Palais Garnier in Paris. He originally performed the role at the Hamburg Opera in 2012 and 2014, which was recorded on video for the first time. The 2014 performance included fellow barihunk Lauri Vasar as the Duke of Gloucester, who rejoins Skovhus in Paris.

The latest performance opened on May 23rd and will run through June 12. The Paris production in direceted by the provocative director Calixto Bieito and features the crownless king often stripped down, both emotionally and physically.
Lear is one of the most performed modern German operas. There have been 34 new productions since its premiere, - See more at:

Bo Skovhus in Hamburg's Lear:

Lear is one of the most performed modern German operas, having received 34 productions since its 1978 premiere in Munich with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in the title role. The U.S. premiere was presented by the San Francisco Opera in June 1981 with Thomas Stewart as Lear.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Birthday Tribute to Composer Clint Borzoni

Composer Clint Borzoni
There are a number of composers who have had an amazing gift for writing for the baritone voice. In an earlier era, Verdi, Wagner, Poulenc and Carl Loewe all wrote timeless music for baritones. In contemporary times, Jake Heggie and Clint Borzoni have kept the tradition alive, with Heggie writing baritone leads for almost every opera.

Randal Turner sings Clint Borzoni's "That Shadow, My Likeness":

Borzoni has written over seventy pieces, including two full-length operas, two one-act operas, a piano concerto, percussion quartet, work for orchestra, two string quartets, several works for chamber orchestra and over forty art songs.

Much of his vocal writing prominently features baritones, including the two lead roles in his recent opera When Adonis Calls, a leading bass role and baritone role in Antinous and Hadrian, two recent works for String Quartet and Baritone (Stufen and Margere Kost) written for Marco Vassalli, a set of Walt Whitman songs for baritone, the song cycle Awake the Dawn written for baritone Seth Kershisnik, and the song cycle Live Oak Growing written for baritones Tim Hill and Randal Turner.

Marco Vassalli sings Clint Borzoni's "Stufen":

His opera Antinous and Hadrian tells the story of the second century Roman emperor Hadrian and his love for the Greek youth Antinous. It examines the mystery behind the tragic death of the young Antinous. Upon his death, the distraught Emperor declared his beloved a god. Drawing on both historical sources and dramatic imagination the work has been written in the grand opera tradition.

 Wes Mason sings "Two Nooses" from "When Adonis Calls":

Borzoni recently completed his fourth opera, When Adonis Calls, based on the poetry of Gavin Dillard and arranged by John de los Santos. The opera was presented at Fort Worth Opera’s 2015 Frontiers Showcase.

He fifth opera, The Copper Queen, also written with librettist John de los Santos, won Arizona Opera’s new opera competition, Arizona SPARK.