Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Mariano Gladic's sexy Sam in Trouble in Tahiti

Mariano Gladic in Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti
The Taller de Integración Operística in Argentina just wrapped up two performances of Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti, using the top singers from their workshop. Singing the male lead role of Sam was Argentinian barihunk Mariano Gladic and we had to share this very bari-hunky picture of him from the production. You can watch video on his Facebook page.

Less known that his famed musical West Side Story or even On the Town, the one-act, seven scene opera contains some of the composer's most beautiful music. The story is a candid portrait of the troubled marriage of a young suburban couple.

Gladic was born in Mar del Plata on the Atlantic coast of Argentina, where he started his musical studies at the conservatory. He continued his studies in Buenos Aires, where he got immersed in acting, working with Héctor Bidonde, Helena Tritek, and Rubén Szuchmacher. He was a member of the company Futuro Anterior directed by Silvio Lang. Gladic has extensive experience as an actor and performed in the International Acting Festival in Havana, receiving a nomination for the A.C.E. awards and the Teatro del Mundo awards.  

Gladic was a member of Periferia Vocal and Orfeon de Buenos Aires. His opera roles include Handel’s Ariodante, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, Così fan tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, Rigoletto, and La bohème. He was one of the winners of the 8th Concurso Alejandro Cordero at the Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón. 


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Malte Roesner on the cover of the 2017 Barihunks calendar

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

John Viscardi wins Tosti International Vocal Competition

John Viscardi at the Tosti International Vocal Competition
American barihunk John Viscardi has won the Tosti International Vocal Competition. He has previously won the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition and the Mario Lanza Scholarship Competition.

Second Prize went to soprano Maria Bagala and Third Prize to soprano Marika Spadafino.

In May 2017, Viscardi will perform the title role in David DiChiera's Cyrano with the Michigan Opera Theatre. He also and joins the Lyric Opera of Kansas City as a Resident Artist where he will perform the Motorcycle Cop in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking.

The 2017 Barihunks in Bed Calendar 
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Barihunks dominate Grammy® nominees for "BEST OPERA RECORDING"

Luca Pisaroni, Mariusz Kwiecien and Lucas Meachem
The odds are pretty good that a barihunk will be placing a Grammy award on his shelf, since every recording that was nominated features at least one. The Grammy® Awards will be held on February 12, 2017 at 8:00 PM PST.

The nominees are:

John Corigliano: The Ghosts Of Versailles from the Los Angeles Opera conducted by James Conlon, featuring barihunks Christopher Maltman and Lucas Meachem along with Patricia Racette, Lucy Schaufer and Guanqun Yu.

George Freidrich Handel: Giulio Cesare with Il Giardino Armonico under the baton of Giovanni Antonini, featuring bass Ruben Drole,  Cecilia Bartoli, Philippe Jaroussky, Andreas Scholl and Anne-Sofie von Otter.

Jennifer Higdon: Cold Mountain from the Santa Fe Opera under the baton of Miguel Harth-Bedoya with barihunks Nathan Gunn and Kevin Burdette, joined by Isabel Leonard, Jay Hunter Morris and the Santa Fe Opera apprentice artists.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Le Nozze di Figaro performed by the Chamber Orchestra Of Europe and conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, featuring barihunks Thomas Hampson and Luca Pisaroni, joined by Christiane Karg and Sonya Yoncheva.

Karol Szymanowski: Król Roger at the Royal Opera House conducted by Antonio Pappano, featuring barihunk Mariusz Kwiecień, Saimir Pirgu and Georgia Jarman.


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Feast of barihunks in AVA's The Demon

Nathan Milholin, André Courville and Daniel Noyola
 The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia will present Anton Rubinstein's The Demon on December 10, 13 & 15 at the Helen Corning Warden Theater. 

The opera is a veritable feast for lovers of the low male voice, featuring a baritone as The Demon, a bass-baritone as Prince Gudal and a bass-baritone as the Old Servant. 

Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Alexander Tsymbalyuk in The Demon (complete):

The Russian Opera Workshop will present rotating casts, with Ethan Simpson, Timothy Renner and Christopher Kenney sharing title role duties, Nathan Milholin and Daniel Noyola performing the Prince and André Courville taking on the Old Servant all three nights.
Even the smaller roles of the bandits include barihunks Jared Bybee and Anthony Whitson-Martini. Bybee also appears in our 2017 Barihunks in Bed calendar (check out the bottom of the post)!

Christopher Kenney, Timothy Renner and Ethan Simpson
Jared Bybee and Anthony Whitson-Martini rehearse as the bandits

The story is about a fallen angel, the Demon, who is banished from heaven and is condemned to spend eternity alone. The angel appears and warns the Demon not to destroy God’s creation and try to reconcile with heaven. the rebellious Demon rejects the idea. Enamored with Tamara, the Demon woos her. "Tamara, love me! ... you will be the queen of the universe, my eternal companion," he whispers into her soul. Feeling fear and powerful temptation, Tamara succumbs to his seduction. The Demon's kiss kills her and in the moment of conquest, he is defeated by the Angel who saves Tamara's soul. Alone again, Demon curses the universe. 

Tickets are available online.  

Enjoy Jared Bybee and a host of barihunks from across the globe in our 
2017 Barihunks in Bed calendar. 

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Michael Hewitt, Gianluca Margheri and Jared Bybee

Sunday, December 4, 2016

American music highlights from Mason Jarboe's recital

Mason Jarboe
For those of you who missed the live video feed of barihunk Mason Jarboe's senior recital at the University of North Texas Recital Hall on Friday, you're in luck. We're posting some of the hightlights of the recital, where he was joined by accompanist Boeun Kim.

The program featured works by Barber, Bach, Chausson, Mahler, Rossini and Massenet. In our tradition of promoting American music, we're sharing the performances by Samuel Barber, Clint Borzoni and Sam Sweet. 

Composer S.K. Sweet's Sommerlieder is a 21st century take on the romantic German song cycle. Its texts, written by Jarboe in the Summer of 2014 at Seagle Music Colony in Schroon Lake, NY, are part of a larger collection titled "Texts you never got from me," a collection of actual text messages that he tried to send that were mostly not delivered due to the poor cell service.

This site has been a huge proponent of the music of Clint Borzoni, who 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. He's also working on a new piece for barihunk Edward Nelson, which will be performed with Musica Marin this year, where he is composer in residence.

Here is what Mason Jarboe said about the Borzoni songs:
"The songs 'I Dreamed in a Dream' and 'That Shadow, my Likeness' are right up there with my favorite English language songs ever written. If I had time I would've thrown in 'Tired' from Vaughan Williams' Last Four Songs, but some other time. For me, those three songs in the final set of my recital paint such a poignant picture of the realization, really the epiphany, I had towards classical vocal music, and Clint's songs perfectly show the progress I have made within my own life; the thankfulness of the first piece in which I can recognize everyone who has so warmly embraced me on my journey towards true artistry as well as the sense of community I have felt; truly a 'city of friends,' and the second, the acceptance of myself. The understanding that every perfectly imperfect aspect of me comes together in such a funny and beautiful way to create a human, a man, an artist, that I am proud to present today, no matter how many high G's he has to put out in a recital (11, and four F#s) and no matter what anyone around him thinks. Thanks to such perfect settings of such perfect texts by Mr. Borzoni, I know that my art matters, that I matter as an artist, and, most importantly, that what I and my brilliant colleagues do as musicians has such an important role in so many people's everyday lives that I will never stop striving to show to them. I just adore his music, and I really can't wait to get to work on my next Borzoni project."
Samuel Barber's music, masterfully crafted and built on romantic structures and sensibilities, is at once lyrical, rhythmically complex, and harmonically rich. His writing is lyrical with expressive and nuanced shadings and a keen connection to the text. Songs like "Sure on this shining night" have become standards on song recital programs. Barber wrote his first piece at age 7 and attempted his first opera at age 10. At the age of 14 he entered the Curtis Institute, where he studied voice, piano, and composition. Later, he studied conducting with Fritz Reiner.

St Ita’s vision is the third song of Hermit Songs op.29, which premiered on October 30, 1953 at the Library of Congress with soprano Leontyne Price and the composer at the piano. The cycle is based on anonymous Irish texts from the eighth to the thirteenth centuries written by monks and students, commenting about daily life, nature and God. The piano part, mainly in arpeggios, contributes also to the sense of motion and the sweetness and dreamy atmosphere.

Samuel Barber wrote numerous songs set to some of the world's greatest poets, including James Joyce, Matthew Arnold, Rainer Maria Rilke, A.E. Housman, James Agee and James Stephens. Some of Barber’s greatest music stemmed from these poetic inspirations, including the Hermit Songs, Knoxville: Summer of 1915, the three powerful James Joyce settings and Rilke's texts for Mélodies passagères.

At Curtis, Barber met Gian Carlo Menotti with whom he would form a lifelong personal and professional relationship. Menotti supplied libretti for Barber's operas Vanessa (for which Barber won the Pulitzer) and A Hand of Bridge.
Make sure to order your 2017 Barihunks in Bed calendar, which is on sale now at LULU. 

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Watch Barihunks Edwin Crossley-Mercer and Mattia Olivieri at Berlin AIDS Gala

Mattia Olivieri & Edwin Crossley-Mercer at Berlin AIDS Gala
On November 5th, barihunk Edwin Crossley-Mercer performed at the Deutsche Oper Berlin's 22nd Grand Opera Gala in support of the AIDS Foundation. The event also features fellow barihunks Andrea Mastroni and Mattia Olivieri, as well as soprano Patrizia Ciofi, tenor Gregory Kunde and a host of other operatic luminaries.

Of course, we had to post our favorite barihunks for your viewing pleasure. If you speak German, you will enjoy the humorous introductions by legendary bandleader and singer Max Raabe.

Edwin Crossley-Mercer sings Mozart's "Madamina il catalogo è questo delle bello"

Michael Spyres & Edwin Crossley-Mercer sing Bizet's "Au fond du temple saint":

Mattia Olivieri sings Rossini's "Largo al factotum della città!":

Crossley-Mercer is so popular with our readers that we asked him to appear in our upcoming 2017 "Barihunks in Bed" calendar, which he graciously agreed to do. We hired a photographer in France to take a photo and made him our December feature, since his stunning prematurely gray hair evoked a perfect wintry night. You can purchase a copy ONLINE.

Glenn Seven Allen & Edwin Crossley-Mercer

Saturday, December 3, 2016

German Barihunk Dominik Köninger in campy Oscar Straus revival

German Barihunk Dominik Köninger
Director Barrie Kosky has done it again, with another highly original production of a long lost piece of musical theater. His highly entertaining The Pearls of Cleopatra (Die Perlen der Cleopatra) by Oscar Straus is destined to become one of the major hits in any opera house this year. The piece has been on the shelves for more than eighty year and is now viewable on the OperaPlatform. There are additional performances at the Komische Oper on December 15, 19 and 21.

German Barihunk Dominik Köninger and Dagmar Manzel
Kosky has been reviving works by composers who fled the Nazis, which Strauss did in 1939 following the Nazi Anschluss. He fled to Paris and eventually to Hollywood. After the war, he returned to Europe, and settled at Bad Ischl, where he died.  Straus' best-known works are Ein Walzertraum (A Waltz Dream), and The Chocolate Soldier (Der tapfere Soldat). He may be best remembered for composing the theme song from the 1950 film La Ronde.

Dancers and extras from The Pearls of Cleopatra
In the comedic The Pearls of Cleopatra, the queen longs for a ‘little Egyptian flirting’ to lift her mood. The permanent drought and the armies of the Roman Empire at the Egyptian borders have given her quite a headache. So she flirts with the Syrian prince Beladonis and takes Silvius, the Roman ambassador, as her new lover. International or intimate relations – the most beautiful queen of the world holds sway over the hearts of all men. Could the pearls be the secret to her power. 

German Barihunk Dominik Köninger
In this production, German barihunk Dominik Köninger sings the role of the Roman Officer, who is shown in a number of pretty sexy situations throughout the operetta. There are also plenty of scantily clad, energetic performers on stage, adding to the lively Cabaret feel of the pre-Nazi Weimar Republic.

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