Friday, May 31, 2013

Barihunk duo in Festival of the Aegean's Cosi fan tutte

Randal Turner and Nikolaos Karagiaouris
If the beauty, stunning coastline and history of Greece isn't enough to lure you to this cradle of Western civilization, perhaps two barihunks singing Mozart's Cosi fan tutte will get you there.

We just learned that Barihunk calendar model Randal Turner has joined Greek barihunk Nikolaos Karagiaouris in Cosi at the Festival of the Aegean. Randal Turner was one of our earliest barihunks to be featured on this site and we discovered him singing Mozart in Pisa. Although his career has spanned the repertory from Handel to major contemporary premieres, we always love hearing him in this repertory. Turner will be singing Guglielmo and Karagiaouris will be singing Don Alfonso.

Randal Turner sings "Rivolgete a lui lo sguardo" from Cosi fan tutte:

Nikolaos Karagiaouris is new to our site. The Greek baritone studied piano and voice before embarking on an opera career that has been focused in Greece. In 2011, he won two Greek voice competitions and went on to perform at the Greek National Opera and the New Opera of Athens. 
Performance are on July 9, 11 and 13. The Festival will also include a performance of Verdi's Requiem. To check out the entire Festival schedule check out their website

Berlin featuring the "other" Dutchman and Schrott as Attila

Seth Carico performing the "other" Dutchman
The Deutsche Oper Berlin has two exciting concert performances coming up in June. First up on June 4th is French composer Pierre-Louis Dietsch's “Le Vaisseau Fantôme” (The Ghost Ship), an opera based on the same story as Wagner's “The Flying Dutchman.” Dietsch's opera actually proceeded Wagner's by two months in 1842. 

Although the opera has some of the same characters and is based on the same story, the plot is a bit more dense even though it's 20 minutes shorter than Wagner's opera. However, the piece had its proponents, including Hector Berlioz.  We're excited because the opera has three baritone roles. Josef Wagner will sing Troïl, Nicolas Cavallier will sing Barlow and barihunk Seth Carico will sing Scriften.

Tickets and additional performance information are available online.

Erwin Schrott and Dalibor Jenis
Next up on June 19th and 22nd are concert performances of Verdi's Attila featuring Erwin Schrott in the title role and Dalibor Jenis as Ezio. Adding to the vocal excitement is the thrilling soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska, who is singing the demanding role of Odabella. This performance is all the chatter amongst Verdi lovers and a "must see" for anyone who can get to Berlin.

We love the idea of an age appropriate Attila, who actually ruled from the age of 29 to his death at age 47. Schrott can be heard singing the aria "Mentre gonfiarsi l'anima" on his 2012 release of arias on Sony.

Jerome Hines sings Attila:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Werba makes Florence recital debut; Takes on Wagner in Salzburg

Markus Werba
If you're anywhere near Florence, Italy you may want to check out Markus Werba's recital debut at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino on May 30th, accompanied on piano by Claudio Marino Moretti. He'll be performing lieder by Robert Schumann, Gabriel Fauré, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. Tickets are only € 15 and are available online

Markus Werba sings Mahler's "Wenn mein Schatz Hochzeit macht":

We've primarily featured Werba in his acclaimed Mozart roles, but he'll be moving into the music of Richard Wagner this summer. He'll be singing Beckmesser in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Salzburg Festival opening on August 2nd with the Vienna Philharmonic.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Special: Andrew Garland sings Lee Hoiby's "Private First Class Jesse Givens"

Andrew Garland and Sgt. Jesse Givens' letter
In honor of Memorial Day, we feel it's only appropriate to post composer Lee Hoiby's poignant song "Private First Class Jesse Givens" based on the last letter sent home by soldier Jesse Givens. Givens of Springfield, Missouri was killed in Iraq on May 1, 2003 when his tank crashed into the Euphrates River. Less than two weeks earlier he had written a heartfelt letter to his pregnant wife, unborn son and six-year-old stepson. It was to be opened only in the event of his death.

Here is the entire text of the letter (the song starts in the second paragraph):

My family:

I never thought I would be writing a letter like this, I really don't know where to start. I've been getting bad feelings though and well if you are reading this....

I am forever in debt to you, Dakota, and the bean. I searched all my life for a dream and I found it in you. I would like to think that I made a positve difference in your lives. I will never be able to make up for the bad. I am so sorry. The happiest moments in my life all deal with my little family. I will always have with me the small moments we all shared. The moments when you quit taking life so serious and smiled. The sounds of a beautiful boys laughter or the simple nudge of a baby unborn. You will never know how complete you have made me. Each and every one of you. You saved me from lonliness and taught me how to think beyond myself. You taught me how to live and to love. You opened my eyes to a world I never dreamed existed. I am proud of you. Stay on the path you chose. Never lose sight of what is important, you and our babies.

Dakota you are more son then I could ever ask for. I can only hope I was half the dad. I use to be your "danny" but no matter what it makes me proud that you chose me. You taught me how to care until it hurts, you taught me how to smile again. You taught me that life isn't so serious and sometimes you have to play. You have a big beautiful heart. Through life you need to keep it open and follow it. Never be afraid to be yourself. I will always be there in our park when you dream so we can still play. I hope someday you will have a son like mine. Make them smile and shine just like you. I love you Toad I hope someday you will understand why I didn't come home. Please be proud of me. Please don't stop loving life. Take in every breath like it's your first. I love you toad I will always be there with you. I'll be in the sun, shadows, dreams, and joys of your life.

Bean, I never got to see you but I know in my heart you are beautiful. I know you will be strong and big hearted just like your mom and brother. I will always have with me the feel of the soft nudges on your moms belly, and the joy I felt when we found out you were on your way. I dream of you every night, I always will. Don't ever think that since I wasn't around that I didn't love you. You were conceived of love and I came to this terrible place for love. I love you as I do your mom and brother with all my heart and soul. Please understand that I had to be gone so that I could take care of my family. I love you Bean.

I have never been so blessed as the day I met Melissa. You are my angel, soulmate, wife, lover, and best friend. I am sorry. I did not want to have to write this letter. There is so much more I need to say, so much more I need to share. A lifetime's worth. I married you for a million lifetimes. That's how long I will be with you. Please keep our babies safe. Please find it in your heart to forgive me for leaving you alone. Take care of yourself, believe in yourself, you are a strong, big hearted woman. Teach our babies to live life to its fullest tell yourself to do the same. Don't forget to take Toad to Disney World. I will be there with you. Melissa I will always want you need you and love you in my heart, mind, and soul. Do me a favor, after you tuck Toad and Bean in, give them hugs and kisses from me. Go outside look at the stars and count them. Don't forget to smile.

Love Always
Your husband

Andrew Garland can be seen tonight performing the Duruflé Requiem and the world premiere of the Mark Hayes Requiem at Avery Fisher Hall with the Distinguised Concert International New York. On May 31, he'll perform in Mozart's Mass in C Minor and the world premiere of Meditations on the Lamb by Peter Child with Chorus pro Musica.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Listen to American Lyric Theater's three new operas live

Jonathan Estabrooks and Christopher Burchett
We've been posting about the American Lyric Theater's project to commission three new operas under the auspices of their Composer Librettist Development Program. They include plenty of barihunks and now you'll be able to enjoy them online at

On May 30th at 7 PM EST, you can listen to The Turing Project by composer Justine F. Chen and librettist David Simpatico featuring barihunks Jonathan Estabrooks, Justin Hopkins and Joseph Beutel.

Sunday, June 2 at 7 PM EST, you can listen to The Long Walk by composer Jeremy Howard Beck and librettist Stephanie Fleischmann featuring barihunks Daniel Belcher and Justin Hopkins, as well as one of our honorary hunkentenors Glenn Seven Allen.

On Monday, June 3rd at 7 PM EST, you can hear La Reina by composer Jorge Sosa and librettist Laura Sosa Pedroza featuring barihunk Christopher Burchett.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Reader Submission: Samuel Hasselhorn

Samuel Hasselhorn
As we've stated numerous times, we love our reader submissions more than almost anything. In the international art of opera it is virtually impossible to follow thousands of gifted singers simultaneously. We consider our readers our barihunk scouts and you've delivered some of the best talent and eye candy to us over the years.

The latest submission is German barihunk Samuel Hasselhorn who studied at the studied opera at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover, Germany.  Since October 2012, Hasselhorn has honed his skills at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse in Paris.

In 2010, he was awarded the Walter und Charlotte Hamel Stiftung Scholarship award at the Bundeswettbewerb Gesang in Berlin, one of the most prestigious national singing contests in Europe. He was also a finalist in the international Schubert Competition in Graz. In 2011, he became the first German singer to win the Gundlach-Musikpreis.

Samuel Hasselhorn sings Storck, Wolf & Scubert at the Internationalen Wettbewerb für Liedkunst:

In November 2011,  Hasselhorn made his professional stage debut as Guglielmo in Mozarts Cosí fan tutte at the Hameln-Theatre in Germany. On May 12th, he made his debut at the international Händel-Festspiele in Göttingen with songs and arias by Händel, Lully, Vivaldi and Rameau.

You can next see him in Paris, where he will join the Lazarus Quartet in music by Hugo Wolf and Arnold Schoenberg. Tickets are available online.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Glyndebourne to stream six operas

Jacques Imbrailo as Billy Budd (Photograph: Tristram Kenton)
This summer Glyndebourne will be streaming six operas worldwide, three live from the festival and three recorded in previous seasons.

The first opera to be streamed will be Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos on June  4th at 7:00pm GST.  It will be followed by Verdi's Falstaff on June 21st at 1:30pm GST.    

Of interest to barihunk lovers is the July 12th broadcast of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro featuring Audun Iversen's Count and Vito Priante's Figaro from a 2012 performance. Also of interest will be Jacques Imbrailo as the title character in Britten's Billy Budd slated for broadcast on August 23rd.

In between those two operas will be Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie on July 25th and Donizetti's Don Pasquale on August 6th.

Visit the Glyndebourne website for more information.

New "opera" uses mashup of porn soundtrack and 20th century music

It was bound to happen, a porno opera. Of course, it it had to be in either the Netherlands or Germany. I guess Germany figured it had featured enough soft-porn Regie productions, so the "honor" goes to the Netherlands. Operadagen Rotterdam 2013 will be presenting the world premiere of Pornographia on Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1. 

The opera, which is being described as a mix of performance art and opera is the first part of a series of three about contemporary sociocultural trends in society. The other two will be Megalomania and Nostalgia.    

The "score" of the opera will be the full soundtrack of a gay porn movie with fragments inspired by twentieth century music classics. The opera is about a small society of three figures whose mundane life is intervened by the entrance of a handsome young man. The need to satisfy their feelings of lust drives them crazy and eventually leads them to destruct what they crave for.  

The May 31st performance will be preceeded by a panel discussion about the pornofication of the contemporary artistic discourse in the Netherlands. Pornographia is being described as a new experimental operatic performance about our collective need for immediate gratification of our desires.

Director Sjaron Minailo says he is using pornography as a metaphor for a culture in which the desires of the consumer are the only engine of production; A culture in which the desire for realism results in the opposite: the pornographic illustration of sexuality consumes the sexuality itself.

Admission is € 10 and tickets are available online.

Nmon Ford takes on Ernest Bloch's Macbeth

Nmon Ford
When one thinks of the operatic version of Macbeth, one immediately thinks of Giuseppe Verdi. However, the  Swiss-American composer Ernest Bloch wrote a highly dramatic version in 1906, which has only been performed once in the U.S., at the Juilliard School of Music in New York in 1973.

The opera is about to double the number of U.S. performances it has received, with performances at the Long Beach Opera from June 15-23, 2013 and again at the Chicago Opera Theater from September 13-21, 2014. The Long Beach performances will feature Panamanian-American barihunk Nmon Ford in the title role and Suzan Hanson as his scheming wife Lady Macbeth. Adding to the dramatic effect will be the location of the performance, which will be in a vast industrial space at the Port of Los Angeles. The Chicago Opera Theater has not confirmed casting.

The great Inge Borkh sings Bloch's Macbeth:

Bloch’s opera reveals the influence  of Wagner's music dramas and Claude Debussy's symbolist opera "Pelleas et Melisande."  Bloch's probing and dramatic score powerfully illuminates the central couple, and deeply examines the temptation of promised power and its influence over our actions. but it did not receive its first performance until November 30, 1910 by the Opéra-Comique Paris. After the premiere production, the opera was staged in 1938 in Naples, but was then banned on orders of the Fascist government. Subsequently, the opera was produced in Rome in 1953, and in Trieste. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Aussie Morgan Pearse selected for Young Concert Artists Trust honor

Morgan Pearse
Aussie barihunk Morgan Pearse, who created quite an internet sensation with our last post, was just named one of five artists to be represented by the prestigious Young Concert Artists Trust (YCAT) in the United Kingdom. Over 100 applicants competed in the preliminary and semi-final rounds, and only five artists were selected for representation. Pearse was the only singer selected. 

Set up in 1984, YCAT provides a unique stepping stone for exceptional young artists who have the potential for international performing careers. The group introduces these artists at home and abroad. The organization provides artists with a secure management base and works with event promoters in the United Kingdom and abroad in securing performance opportunities. Soprano Elizabeth Watts and the Sacconi Quartet were previous musicians selected for the honor.

Pearse is the Royal College of Music’s inaugural Joan Sutherland Scholar studying with Russell Smythe. He was recently awarded top prize in the Singers Section of the Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition.

Benjamin Covey performing in tribute to poet Robert Burns

Benjamin Covey
Canadian barihunk Benjamin Covey will be performing in a concert celebrating the life and poetry of Scottish poet Robert Burns. The first half of the concert will explore Burns' world through word and song. He'll be joined by soprano Virginia Hatfield in performing "Comin' thru the rye," "Ye Banks and Braes," "Sweet Afton," "My love is like a red, red rose" and "Auld Lang Syne."

The second half of the program will feature music from the Broadway musical Brigadoon.  Songs include "The Heather on the Hill," "Almost like being in Love," "Waitin' for my Dearie" and "Go Home to Bonnie Jean."

The concert is on Friday, June 7th at 7:30PM at the Church of the Redeemer in Toronto, Ontario. For more information, or to purchase tickets by phone, call 416-755-7158.

A Graduate of the University of Toronto and an Alumni of Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Development Program,  Covey debuted as Morales/Dancaire in Carmen with Manitoba Opera. He graduated from San Francisco’s prestigious Merola Opera Program in 2010, where he sang Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Raves for Crossley-Mercer and Maltman in sexy Marriage of Figaro

Malin Christensson and Edwin Crossley-Mercer in Los Angeles (Lawrence K. Ho, Los Angeles Times)
We posted about the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Mozart -Da Ponte Trilogy awhile back. If you missed getting tickets for Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, you missed some serious eye-candy, with three barihunks who have been on this site. Leading the way was the sexy Figaro of Edwin Crossley-Mercer.  

The LA Times wrote, "Baritone Edwin Crossley-Mercer was a distant, angry, virile yet, as Alaïa dressed him, metrosexual Figaro." After seeing the pictures, we would have added "smoking hot" to the list of superlatives. Also in the cast is Christopher Maltman as the Count. The LA Times wrote, "Maltman [wore] tight whites that only a powerful man could get away with, but Maltman is a magnetic baritone scarily uncowed. When outwitted, he still holds all the power, and he sang that way." In the small role of Antonio is Barihunk calendar model Brandon Cedel.

Dorothea Röschmann and Christopher Maltman (Genaro Molina)
There are still two performances remaining on May 23 and May 25. Conducting wunderkind Gustavo Dudamel is leading the orchestra. Visit their website for tickets.

If you want to catch Crossley-Mercer in the United States, you may want to catch one of these performances. When he wraps up on May 25th, he heads back to Europe for a series of concerts and operas in France and Germany. He kicks of on June 9th at the Richard Strauss Festival in Garmisch Partenkirchen before heading to the Théâtre des Champs Élysées on June 20th for Fauré's Pénélope. There are no other U.S. performances listed on his schedule.

If you want to catch Brandon Cedel, he'll be appearing at the Wolf Trap Opera beginning on June 21st in Rossini's Il Viaggio a Reims. That production also includes barihunks Aaron Sorensen, Norman Garrett and Steven LaBrie. Additional information is available online

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Nathan Wyatt as Bobby Kennedy in new opera

Nathan Wyatt as Bobby Kennedy and Caitlin Vincent as Jackie Kennedy (Photo: Britt Olsen-Ecker)
Nathan Wyatt is new to this site and we discovered him singing the role of Robert Kennedy in the world premiere of Joshua Bornfield's Camelot Requiem. The North Carolina native has been involved with a number of world premieres lately including, Jake Heggie’s “Epilogue: Under the Blessing of your Psyche Wings,” as part of the Opera America Songbook, and William Bolcom’s “Gettysburg, July 1, 1863,” a commission by SongFest.

Camelot Requiem was commissioned by Baltimore’s Figaro Project in honor of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The opera tells the story of Jackie Kennedy and the small group who surrounded her immediately after the President’s death in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Caitlin Vincent's libretto is drawn from the written history of the event, as well as the traditional requiem mass.

Nathan Wyatt sings William Bolcom’s “Gettysburg, July 1, 1863”

North Carolina native Nathan Wyatt is a recent graduate of the Peabody Conservatory. He was awarded a Tanglewood Music Festival Fellowship for the summer of 2013. In September, Wyatt was one of two invited soloists, along with soprano Elizabeth Futral, to perform new works in the official opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Opera America National Opera Center in New York.

Nathan Wyatt
He received first place honors in the Maryland/DC chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and was a finalist in the Sylvia Green Competition in 2010.  Recent opera roles include Alexander Kerensky in the world premiere of Joshua Bornfield’s Strong like Bull, Le Directeur and Le Gendarme in Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Lescaut in Manon, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, and The Forester in The Adventures of Sharp-Ears the Vixen.  

In the fall of 2011, Mr. Wyatt made is Carnegie Hall debut under the direction of Marin Alsop in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s production of Arthur Honneger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Peter Brathwaite chosen as one of four Dockers "Men of Style"

Peter Brathwaite
If that model in the Dockers ad looks familiar, it might be because you've seen him on a London opera stage, on the cover an Amore CD or even in the Barihunks calendar. Peter Brathwaite was chosen as a brand ambassador for the pants company Dockers. He was named one of four "Men of Style" in their new campaign.  The Dockers' "Men of Style" campaign showcases some of the most influential men in the world of style and their stories.

You can check out Peter Brathwaite's interview on the Dockers website, where he talks about his career, his favorite hangouts and his sense of style. You can also watch his video here:

You can next see the Manchester native live at the Brighton Festival where he's singing the role of Billy Bone in the world premiere of Captain Blood's Revenge, a pirate opera, produced by Glyndebourne with music by Lynne Plowman and words by Martin Riley. Performances are on May 24 and 25 and tickets are available online.

In June, he heads to the Nationale Reisopera in The Netherlands for Randal Corsen's new opera Katibu di Shon. The Opera “Katibu di Shon,” based on the novel Slave and Master, an “histoire perfumée” by Carel de Haseth, tells the story of Wilmu a slave owner, and slave Luis, two boys growing up together and their feelings for slave Anita. This triangle ends up in a confrontation between the two boys, between slave and master. The premiere will take place at Amsterdam's Stadsschouwburg in front of the new King of The Netherlands.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Aaron Sørensen to appear at (le) Poisson Rouge

Aaron Sørensen
We recently introduced Aaron Sørensen to readers when he was appearing with the Fort Worth Opera Festival. Now New Yorkers are going to get a chance to experience this gifted  and sexy young bass. He'll be appearing at (le) Poisson Rouge in an evening of music including Purcell, Gounod, Britten, Verdi, Mahler, and John Adams.

Gotham Chamber Opera and composer-in-residence Missy Mazzoli's band Victoire will be featuring Sorenson along with soprano Angela Fout, mezzo-soprano Abby Fischer and tenor Matthew Tuell in a night of music spanning 350 years. The show is on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 7:30pm (doors open at 6:30pm) at 158 Bleecker Street in New York City. Tickets are $15-$25 and are available online.

Aaron Sørensen will be returning to the Fort Worth Opera Festival next season as the French General in Kevin Puts' Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night.

Thomas Hampson named to Gramophone Hall of Fame

Thomas Hampson
Über-barihunk Thomas Hampson has been named to the Gramophone Hall of Fame, along with fellow singers Montserrat Caballé, Renée Fleming, Anna Netrebko, Leontyne Price, Bryn Terfel and Fritz Wunderlich.

The Gramophone Hall of Fame celebrates those performers, producers, engineers and label executives whose contributions to classical music recording, whether through artistic excellence, innovation or imagination, have proved the most influential and inspiring.

For a complete list of both the 2013 inductees and a list of everyone previously inducted, please visit the Gramophone website.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dmitri Hvorostovsky's busy Verdi schedule; Red Square broadcast with Anna Netrebko

Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Rigoletto (left)
Dmitri Hvorostovsky's anticipated reprisal of the title character of Verdi's classic operatic tragedy Rigoletto is happening on Friday, May 17 at the Teatro di San Carlo. Gilda will be sung by Desirée Rancatore and performances run through May 25. Fellow barihunk Christopher Margiera is also in the cast as Marullo.

From June 2-12, the "Siberian Hunky" joins the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia for concert performances of Verdi's Un ballo in maschera under the baton of music director Antonio Pappano. The concerts also feature Liudmyla Monastryrska and the thrilling Ulrica of Dolora Zajick.

On June 19, Dmitri will star in a spectacular open-air concert at Moscow's Red Square. Led by Constantine Orbelian, Hvorostovsky will be joined by Russian soprano Anna Netrebko for the landmark performance. The concert will be televised live on RUTV, with broadcasts scheduled on the Arte network and ZDF. We'll have additional details in a future post.

Netrebko, of course, is the wife of barihunk Erwin Schrott. They will be performing together at the Red Ribbon Celebration Concert in Vienna on May 24th.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Barihunks on the air from Lyric Opera of Chicago

Thomas Hampson
If you love great baritone singing, make sure to tune in your radio or go online to WFMT, Chicago's public radio station. The next three Saturday's will feature a bevvy of our favorite singers including three in this week's broadcast of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra. The opera will feature the ageless barihunk Thomas Hampson in the title role alongside the riveting Ferruccio Furlanetto as Fiesco and rising superstar Quinn Kelsey as Paolo. Amelia will be sung by Krassimira Stoyanova and Adorno by Frank Lopardo.

Hampson is currently starring in Verdi's La traviata at the Wiener Staatsoper

Craig Verm
The following week barihunk Craig Verm can be heard as Albert in Massenet's Werther, in a cast that includes tenor sensation Matthew Polenzani in the title role and Sophie Koch as Charlotte. Verm opens as Ned Keene in Britten's Peter Grimes at the Des Moines Metro Opera on June 22nd.

On June 1st, Italian sex symbol Ildebrando D'Arcangelo takes on the very un-barihunk title role in Donizetti's Don Pasquale opposite the Norina of Marlis Petersen. D'Arcangelo is currently performing the role of Selim in Rossini's comic masterpiece Il turco in Italia at Barcelona's beautiful Gran Theatre del Liceu.

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo
Future broadcasts include Richard Strauss' Elektra, Humperdinck's Hansel & Gretel, Puccini's La boheme, Wagner's Die Meistersinger, Verdi's Rigoletto and Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire with an all-star cast featuring barihunk Teddy Tahu Rhodes, tenor Anthony Dean Griffey and soprano Renée Fleming. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

A revealing introduction of Erik E. Larsen

Erik E. Larsen "hulked out of his pants"
We try to keep it (relatively) tasteful on Barihunks, but what do we do when someone tweets this photo with the caption "Hulked out of my pants" and hashtags it #Barihunks?

That's what Erik E. Larson (@unamplified) recently did on Twitter, so why not share it with our readers. You should see the stuff that gets mailed to us that never sees the light of day!

Larson isn't just some random tweeter on Twitter, he's a serious student of voice at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is just finishing his second year of study and has sung multiple times with the University Opera, including the role of Masetto in University Opera’s recent production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Earlier this year, he sang Samuel in Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance with the Madison Savoyards.

Larson is also a member of the Madison Opera chorus, where he as sung in Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer, Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, Verdi's La Traviata, and Rossini's La Cenerentola.

We hope to see (ahem) lots more of Erik Larson (ahem, ahem). However, if he keeps tweeting about his love of "fried cream cheese" he may end up on BariChunks.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Christopher Job's traveling preacher off to save Idaho

Christopher Job
American barihunk Christopher Job has some exciting performances coming up this year. On May 25th, he will make his Carnegie Hall debut in Mozart’s Requiem with conductor Joseph Modica. He then returns to the Metropolitan Opera  from September 28 – October 26 in Shostakovich’s The Nose under the baton of Valery Gergiev. He'll be joined in the cast by fellow barihunk Paulo Szot, who is reprising his performance of the bureaucrat, whose satirical misadventures in search of his missing nose are based on Gogol’s comic story.

Samuel Ramey sings "Hear Me, O Lord, I beseech Thee" from Susannah:

In the meantime, Christopher Job will take on the role of the traveling preacher Olin Blitch in Carlisle Floyd's Susannah with Opera Idaho directed by Elise Sandell. Susannah is one of the most performed American operas, second to Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. A number of prominent baritones have taken on the role of Olin Blitch, including Samuel Ramey, Norman Treigle, James Morris, Mack Harrell and Daniel Okulitch. Performances are on May 17th and 19th at the Egyptian Theatre in Boise. Tickets are available online.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Chicago: Where singers look like jocks and jocks look like singers

The Chicago Cubs donning their opera look and barihunk David Adam Moore
We managed to catch barihunk David Adam Moore on singing the National Anthem before the May 6th Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Beyond his stellar rendition of the National Anthem, what really caught our eye was that some of the Cubs players looked like characters from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, while Moore looked more like a professional jock.

Moore, who has been known to be an avid skate boarder and mixed martial arts participant, was busting the seams of his Lyric Opera of Chicago tee shirt and showing off an impressive set of "guns" to go with that voice. Moore is currently starring as the bad guy" farmhand Jud Fry in Lyric Opera's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's OKLAHOMA! alongside John Cudia and Ashley Brown. Performances run through May 19th and tickets are available online.

David Adam Moore (left) and John Cudia (right) in OKLAHOMA!
He returns to opera as Silvio in Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci with the San Diego Opera this season, and also has a recording of Die Winterreise scheduled for release on GPR Records. Also available on GPR are recordings by barihunks Andrew Garland and Daniel Okulitch.

Solomon Howard and Norman Garrett to join Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program

Norman Garrett (left in Carmen) and Soloman Howard with Indra Thomas and Noah Stewart
The Washington National Opera has announced its roster for their 12th season of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. It will include four baritones/basses, including two who we've featured on this site, Soloman Howard and Norman Garrett. They will be joined by baritone Christian Bowers and bass Wei Wu.

The program is expanding from ten artists to twelve artists this year and will include mentorship by its new Artist in Residence, soprano Deborah Voigt, as well as voice teachers Diana Soviero and William Stone, guest master teachers Carol Vaness and Peter Kazaras, and visiting vocal coach Kathleen Kelly.

The new class of young artists will participate in several world premiere productions during the 2013-2014 season, including new commissions from WNO’s American Opera Initiative and Jeanine Tesori’s new family opera The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me. The program will also continue its exchange with the Bolshoi Young Artists Opera Program and will send several artists to Moscow for a two-week period in 2014.

Other participants will include soprano Jacqueline Echols, tenor Yuri Gorodetski, tenor Yi Li, pianist Kevin Miller, pianist Tomoko Nakayama, mezzo Deborah Nansteel, tenor Patrick O’Halloran and soprano Shantelle Przybylo.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Introducing Bass-Barihunk Aaron Sorenson

Aaron Sorenson (Photo by Barihunks)
Despite the fact that our homepage includes the definition of a "barihunk" that includes basses, the most common question we get is: "Can a bass be on barihunks?" The answer is a resounding YES and we admittedly love any low voice (even the mezzos!). Aaron Sorenson is a great example of why we'd be fools to not include basses on this site.

We had the pleasure of seeing his artistry live at the Fort Worth Opera as Benoit and Alcindoro in La Boheme, as well as a hilarious turn as the Wigmaker in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos. While we were in Fort Worth, we joined photographer Michael Yeshion for a photo shoot with Sorenson, Michael Mayes and Anthony Reed. A few of those shots are previewed here and more will be appearing in our 2014 Barihunks Calendar.

Basses Aaron Sorenson and Anthony Reed (Photo by Michael Yeshion)
The Nebraska native honed his craft at Yale Opera Program and has gone on to sing Masetto in
Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Father Trulove in Stravinky’s The Rake’s Progress at the Wolf Trap Opera, Zuniga in Bizet's Carmen and Angelotti in Puccini's Tosca at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival, and Britten's A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Tosca, and The
Rake’s Progress with Des Moines Metro Opera.

He'll be returning to the Fort Worth Opera Festival next season as the French General in Kevin Puts' Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night.

We also found this little tidbit on the Wolf Trap Opera blog: “When not singing (opera), Aaron Sorensen can most often be found in the kitchen whipping up something delectable and sinfully delicious. Taught by his grandmothers and mother, he is a foodie at heart and is infamous for his desserts. He is also an avid fan of hiking and the outdoors. It doesn’t happen often, but when time allows Aaron also enjoys watching movies and pointless television. So far, the best movie he has seen this year is, without a doubt, The Muppet Movie!”

If you're a barihunk based in New York, we recommend that you contact Michael Yeshion for your headshots. If you want to be considered for next year's calendar, he can shoot some great photos for you. Any barihunk can submit photos for consideration to the calendar or the website at A photo in a Barihunk tee-shirt increases your chances of inclusion.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Nicholas Dinopoulos: Lots of sacred music and a free concert

Nicholas Dinopoulos
We were on a Down Under binge for awhile but lately we've been in a bit of a drought. Many singers have moved on from studying Australia, including Hadleigh Adams, who is in San Francisco, and Morgan Pearse, who is in London.

Fortunately for folks in the "Land of Plenty," Nicholas Dinopoulos is still around and keeping busy singing a series of masses. He'll be performing Fauré's Requiem at St. John's Anglican Church in Croydon on May 19 and again at St. Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne on June 8, as well as Rossini's Stabat Mater at Federation Hall in South Yarra on June 1 and Mozart's Missa Solemnis at St. Francis’ Church in Melbourne on June 2.
In August, he'll return to singing opera, performing in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra on August 9 and
Piazzolla's María de Buenos Aires with Victorian Opera from August 21-24. 
On Sunday May 26th, you can see him with
mezzo-soprano Sally-Anne Russell as part of the ABC Classic FM series for free in a program of music that evokes the sea, including Fauré's L'Horizon Chimérique Brahms' Four Duets (op. 28) and Sir Edward Elgar's famous Sea Pictures.

The event is at the
Iwaki Auditorium near the Melbourne Arts Centre and is general admission. They are asking that all people be seated by 2:50 pm.

Dinopoulos is a core member of Songmakers Australia under the artistic patronage of famed musicologist and accompanist Graham Johnson. He can frequently be heard in live-to-air broadcasts on ABC Classic FM and 3MBS FM.

Monday, May 6, 2013

All-Star Don Giovanni in Baden-Baden with Schrott & Pisaroni

Erwin Schrott as Don Giovanni (left) and Faust (right)
It's no secret that we love Mozart's Don Giovanni, since it's not only one of the greatest operas ever written, but it seems to provide us with an endless supply of barihunks. The Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden, Germany has not only given us two of the most prominent barihunks in the world, but an all-star cast from top to bottom that would be the envy of any opera company in the world.

Erwin Schrott as Don Giovanni and Luca Pisaroni as Leporello, head a cast that includes Anna Netrebko as Donna Anna, Charles Castronovo as Don Ottavio, Jonathan Lemalu as Masetto and Malena Ernman as Donna Elvira. Performances will run from May 17-26 and tickets are available online.

Luca Pisaroni sings Leporello's Catalogue Aria. 

On June 1, Schrott will return to his Rojotango tour of Argentinian tangos and folk songs by Astor Piazzolla and Pablo Ziegler throughout Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Luca Pisaroni will be flying to the United States to join the Milwaukee Symphony in performances of Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius on May 31 and June 1. Joining him will be mezzo Tamara Mumford and tenor Anthony Dean Griffey.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

American Lyric Theater hosts series of events for three new opera commissions

Justin Hopkins in his barihunk tee shirt
Back in November we posted about the American Lyric Theater's exciting project to commission three new operas under the auspices of their Composer Librettist Development Program. ALT has announced a series of events related to those works including a series of concert readings of the operas, which happen to include singers familiar to our readers.

On Thursday, May 30th there will be a concert reading of The Turing Project by composer Justine F. Chen and librettist David Simpatico featuring barihunks Jonathan Estabrooks, Justin Hopkins and Joseph Beutel. They will be joined by soprano Kathryn Guthrie, mezzo-soprano Elise Quagliata, tenor Kyle Bielfield, and tenor Benjamin Robinson.

Jonathan Estabrooks
The Turing Project is a historical fantasia based on the life of the English scientist Alan Turing. A simple man of extraordinary abilities, Turing's achievements include creating the first universal computer; breaking the Nazi U-Boat code, which proved crucial to the success of the allied forces in WWII; and creating the field of Artificial Intelligence. Yet, despite the many benefits Turing's ideas bestowed upon humanity, the British government charged him with Gross Indecency for the crime of being homosexual, and punished him with chemical castration. A year after his sentence was carried out, Turing committed suicide at the age of 41, eating an apple laced with cyanide. The opera explores Turing's extraordinary contributions to mankind, his county's disavowal of him because he was gay, and the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death.
Daniel Belcher
Sunday, June 2, 2013, there will be a concert reading of The Long Walk by composer Jeremy Howard Beck and librettist Stephanie Fleischmann featuring barihunks Daniel Belcher and Justin Hopkins, our honorary tenor barihunk Glenn Seven Allen from our year-end feature, mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson, tenor Kyle Bielfield, soprano Caroline Worra, and soprano Donita Volkwijn.

The Long Walk dives deep into the mind of an American soldier who has returned from Iraq after serving as an officer in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit. Castner's battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which he calls "the Crazy with a capital C," is at the center of this moving personal story of a man struggling to reintegrate himself into his family life upon his return from the war.

Christopher Burchett rehearsing Soldier Songs
On Monday, June 3rd, there will be a concert reading of La Reina by composer Jorge Sosa and librettist Laura Sosa Pedroza featuring barihunk Christopher Burchett, mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock, soprano Audrey Luna, soprano Rosa Betancourt, tenor Dominic Armstrong, and tenor Javier Abreu.

La Reina is the story of one of the most powerful drug "queenpins" in history - Regina. The opera explores the symbiotic relationship between the US and Mexico and their shared responsibilities in the increasingly violent drug wars, fueled by revenge and corruption on both sides of the border. As events from her past invade her present reality in an American prison cell, she interacts with the ghosts of the men who have shaped her life. A shrine of La Santa Muerte (a skull and bones incarnation of the Virgin Mary and the patron saint of drug dealers) comes to life and acts as Regina's guide in her journey through her past. La Santa Muerte forces Regina to relive the tragic sequences of death and treason that led to her crowning as the queen of organized crime, and to her eventual downfall and imprisonment.

Additional information, included related events can be found on the American Lyric Theater's website.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Barihunks Lunch in Fort Worth

Wes Mason, Michael Mayes and Jonathan Boehr
It's no secret that we're huge fans of the Fort Worth Opera Festival, which has become one of the best summer opera festivals in America, if not the world. Under the inspired leadership of general director Darren Woods, the once fledgling company has become a required stop for serious opera lovers. The company is known for its combination of old standards and works by new composers. The new works often become the hit of the festival, as is the case this year with Tom Cipullo's Glory Denied starring Michael Mayes. Woods is also notorious for finding gifted young opera singers before other companies "discover" them, so it's a wonderful opportunity to catch the next wave of great singers.

Wes Mason, Michael Mayes and Jonathan Boehr goof off; Anthony Reed flexes his guns
Aaron Sorensen, Michael Adams, Steven Eddy, Wes Mason, Michael Mayes, Jonathan Boehr & Anthony Reed
As is often the case when one of the Barihunks bloggers flies into town, a lunch with the hottest low voices tends to break out. Singers are all given a Barihunk tee-shirt and other gifts, which have ranged from coffee mugs to iPods. This year singers were given gift cards of varying value depending on their ability to answer Barihunks trivia questions. Jonathan Boehr was the winner of the $100 gift card and three CDs featuring baritones. Wes Mason was too busy having fun and missed answering a question where he was part of the answer. Wes also entertained the group with some of his amazing impersonations, which included Christopher Walken, Marlon Brando, Thomas Hampson and tenor Jonathan Blalock [see photo at bottom of the feed].

Jonathan Boehr, winner of 1st prize in the Barihunk Trivia Contest
Michael Adams sporting Michael Mayes' glasses and look
All of the singers shown above are appearing with the Fort Worth Opera Festival this year. Wes Mason is Marcello in La bohème, Michael Mayes is Capt. Jim Thompson in Glory Denied, Steven Eddy is Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos, Michael Adams is the Custom House Sergeant in La bohème and the Corporal in Daughter of the Regiment, Aaron Sorensen is Benoit/Alcindoro in La bohème, Jonathan Boehr is Schaunard in La bohème, and Anthony Reed is Truffaldino in Ariadne auf Naxos. Tickets and additional information are available online.

Wes Mason channeling tenor Jonathan Blalock's famous Southern smile

Alex Lawrence debuting at Glimmerglass; Debuts new website

Alex Lawrence backstage in Zürich in Carmen and from his new website homepage
Our features on Wes Mason and John Brancy have prompted readers to point us to other new websites from barihunks around the world. The latest is Alex Lawrence, who is currently a member of the ensemble at Opernhaus Zürich. In 2011, Lawrence completed his studies at Philadelphia’s prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts and went on to appear at the Lucerne Festival, Theater Basel, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Tanglewood. He made his European professional debut this past year in the in Berg’s Wozzeck.

On May 23, he'll be appearing as Sam in Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti at Opernhaus Zürich. Later this summer, he'll make his major role debut at the Glimmerglass Festival as Cavaliere Belfiore who becomes king for the day in Verdi's Un Giorno di Regno. Performances will run from July 21-August 24 and the cast also includes two other singers who have appeared on this site, Jason Hardy as Baron Kelbar and Andrew Wilkowske as La Rocca. Glimmerglass is run by director Francesca Zambello, who is credited with coining the phrase "barihunk," so this casting comes as no surprise.

Alex Lawrence sings "Fin ch' han dal vino" from Don Giovanni

Other performances at Glimmerglass this season include über-barihunk Nathan Gunn as Lancelot in Camelot and Ryan McKinny as the title character in Wagner's Flying Dutchman in a cast that includes Jay Hunter Morris as Erik and the amazing Melody Moore as Senta. Check out the Glimmerglass website for additional information.

Make sure to check out Alex Lawrence's new website where you can follow his career, enjoy production photos and view videos. You can also follow him on Twitter @LawrenceBariton.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Gotham Chamber Opera's innovate new season stars two barihunks

Michael Mayes in Portland's "Dead Man Walking"
New York City's Gotham Chamber Opera announced its 2013-2014 season, which we found to be one of the most innovative and interesting programs that we've seen for the coming year. It aslo happens to feature two of our favorite barihunk calendar models, Michael Mayes and Craig Verm.

The season begins with Michael Mayes in Baden-Baden 1927, a staged evening of four one-act operas that appeared together at the Baden-Baden Festival in 1927. Those operas are Kurt Weill's Mahagonny Songspiel, Paul Hindemith's Hin und zurück (There and Back), Darius Milhaud's L'enlèvement d'Europe (The Abduction of Europa), and Ernst Toch's Die Prinzessin auf der Erbse (The Princess and the Pea).

Joining Mayes in the all-star cast will be legendary soprano Helen Donath, soprano Maeve Höglund, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera (wife of barihunk Michael Rice), tenors Daniel Montenegro and Matthew Tuell and bass John Cheek.

Craig Verm from the 2013 Barihunks calendar
Next up is Craig Verm, who will be featured in an opera double-bill of Claudio Monteverdi's Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and the world premiere of I Have No Stories to Tell You, a newly-commissioned work from Gotham's Composer-in-Residence, Lembit Beecher. Monteverdi's Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda was published in 1638 in the composer's Eight Book of Madrigals. I Have No Stories To Tell You, tells the story of a photojournalist's return home after extended assignment in the Middle East.

Other operas scheduled are Toshio Hosakawa's The Raven, a monodrama for mezzo-soprano and twelve instrumentalists and Charpentier's La descente d'Orphée aux enfers.

For more information on the season visit the Gotham Chamber Opera website.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

John Brancy launches website

John Brancy: On left from website, on right from Twitter feed
This must be the week of launching new websites, as John Brancy joins Wes Mason in getting a new site up and running. Brancy is one of a slew of barihunks who have been impressing judges at vocal competitions lately. He is a recent winner of the Sullivan Foundation Grand Prize and career grant, took 1st Prize at the Classical Singer Magazine Competition, and received the Gold Award for Voice at the YoungArts Foundation competition. He is a 2nd Place winner in the Gerda Lissner and Liederkranz competitions, and 3rd place winner in the 2012 Montreal International Music Competition. Check out his website HERE.

Brancy performs the role of Papageno at the prestigious Music Academy of the West this summer in Santa Barbara. From June 11-19 he'll be at Le Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris performing John Adam's "I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky." He also has upcoming performances at Oper Frankfurt, Gotham Chamber Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria,  Saskatoon Symphony and Regina Symphony.

You won't find sexy pictures like those on Wes Mason's site, but there is a generous supply of audio of video to enjoy. Like most young singers who are serious about a career, Brancy has a strong presence on social media. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnBrancy, Facebook and YouTube.