Sunday, October 15, 2017

Happy Birthday, Dmitri Hvorostovsky!!!

Dmitri Hvorostovsky
There have been few baritones as compelling on stage as Dmitri Hvorostovsky and only a few in history who have matched the sexy Siberian's box office draw. His name is synonymous with "legato" and perhaps only Montserrat Caballe or Zinka Milanov could sing with such glorious breath control and float silken sounds into the theater. Along with Mariusz Kwiecien, he was one of the original inspirations for the Barihunks blog that you're reading!

He was born on October 16, 1962 and his 55th birthday this year has added significance, as he battles a brain tumor, and has been the unfortunate victim of inaccurate Russian news accounts this month reporting that he had died. Hvorostovsky was diagnosed with the brain tumor in the summer of 2015 and received treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. He subsequently cancelled concerts in Kaliningrad, Minsk, the Georges Enesco Festival, Tanglewood and Vienna, as well as the Met's performance of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. He made a brief return for a concert in Toronto and appeared at the Met Gala.



On October 12, 2015, Russian president Vladimir Putin awarded Hvorostovsky the Order of Alexander Nevsky, one of the country's highest honors.  Putin followed that honor up last month by presenting the singer with the prestigious Order of Merit for the Fatherland of the IV degree.

We still remember when Hvorostovsky won the Cardiff Singer of the World competition in 1989 in a showdown with Bryn Terfel. The Siberian barihunk went on to win the competition and, of course, both men have gone on to sensational international careers. Hvorostovsky sangs two pieces from Verdi, Rodrigo's aria "O Carlo, ascolta" from Don Carlo and "Eri tu che macchiavi" from Un ballo in maschera, "Ja vas lyublyu" from Tchikovsky's Queen of Spades. The late, great soprano Elizabeth Soderström, who was one of the judges in 1989, famously marked a series of exclamation marks on her scorecard as she listened to Hvorostovsky sing. The music world was instantly abuzz with stories about a baritone who looked as beautiful as he sounded.


His career has taken him to all the world’s major opera houses and renowned international festivals, including Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Salzburg Festival, La Scala Milan, Vienna State Opera and Chicago Lyric Opera.

His extensive discography includes 30 recitals, numerous complete operas on CD and DVD, and the award-winning film "Don Giovanni Unmasked" where he performed the dual roles of Don Giovanni and Leporello. On November 10th, he released his first recording of Verdi's Rigoletto, where he sings the title role.

We are officially declaring October 16th forevermore as "Dmitri Hvorostovsky Day."

Malte Roesner from the 2018 Barihunks Calendar and Photo Book
Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

Honolulu TV station features "Barihunks" blog and trio of singers

Darren Stokes discussing Barihunks on KITV television
KITV television in Honolulu, Hawaii featured Barihunks on their news yesterday. The feature not only highlighted our ten years in the opera blogosphere, but was a promotion for Hawaii Opera Theatre's current production of Bizet's Carmen, which features three barihunks. We recently ran a post about the production. You can watch the entire segment HERE.

Carmen will feature Darren Stokes singing the role of Escamillo, joined by fellow barihunks Matthew Treviño as Zuniga and Brian James Myer as El Dancaïro. Stokes discusses the need to hit the gym to keep in shape for the physicality of the role, while Treviño talks about spikes to his website when he's featured on the site, and Myer talks about the need for singers to be promoted.

The cast for Carmen also includes Kate Aldrich in the title role, Kip Wilborn as Don José and the stunning Talise Trevigne as Micaëla. There are remaining performances on October 15 and 17, and tickets are available online.  

Derek Chester and Marco Vassalli from the 2018 Barihunks Calendar
Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Thomas Weinhappel featured on Austrian television

Thomas Weinhappel from Boy's Choir to Barihunks Calendar model
Austrian barihunk Thomas Weinhappel is a new and welcome addition to our Barihunks calendar for 2018 (and he's also featured in our new Barihunks photo book). He provided us some stunning photos shot with a horse, which appear in the calendar and book.

Thomas Weinhappel feature on Austrian television:

He was also recently featured on Austrian television, tracing his career from the Vienna Boy's Choir to winning a prestigious European opera award for his portrayal in the title role of Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet in Ostrava. The Thalia Award goes to the"Best Opera Singer" for a performance at a Czech opera company. Judges praised him for "...finding the detailed meanings of words and music, and their allusions to express the complexity of the character the young man crushed by dark family relations."

He is currently performing as the Prince in Paul Lincke's Frau Luna at the Niederösterreich Operettenfestival, which runs through October 29th. He returns to the role of Hamlet in Ostrava on November 4th. 
Thomas Weinhappel and Sam Roberts-Smith from the Barihunks calendar
Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

German Barihunk Dominik Köninger: Interview and live broadcast

Dominik Köninger (foreground) and Günter Papendell (Photo: Monika Rittershaus)
Classical music writer Catherine Kustanczy, a.k.a. The Opera Queen, interviewed barihunk Dominik Köninger and asked him about being on Barihunks. He responded, "This is really flattering, I have to say.  I was and am always flattered when I read things about me. Those guys are ripped!" You can read the entire interview HERE.

You can also watch him in a live stream of Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande from the Komische Oper on OperaVision.eu on Sunday, October 15th at 6:00 PM CET/1 PM EST/10 AM PST. If you can't watch it live, the performance will be available until April 14th. Köninger will sing Pelleas and fellow barihunk Günter Papendell will sing Golaud.

Zachary Gordin and Gianluca Margheri
Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

Chan Hee Cho and Johannes Kammler take top prizes at Neue Stimmen

Chan Hee Cho at Neue Stimmen
South Korean bass Chan Hee Cho took the top prize for men at the Neue Stimmen International Singing Competition, delivering a powerful rendition of Banquo's aria from Verdi's Macbeth "Come dal ciel precipita." He followed this up with a thunderous performance of "La calunnia" from Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia. 

Chan Hee Cho studied at Hanyang University College of Music in Seoul and won first prize at both the 2016 Gian Battista Viotti International Music Competition in Italy and at the 2015 Seoul Philharmonic Vocal Competition. In 2015,  he made his professional debut at the Seongnam Arts Center opera house in the title role of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.

Second place went to German baritone Johannes Kammler, who sang "Largo al factotum" from Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia and "Mein Sehnen, mein Wähnen" from Korngold's Die tote Stadt

Johannes Kammler at Neue Stimmen
Kammler will be an ensemble member at the Bavarian State Opera for the 2017-18 season where he will perform Le Dancaïre in Carmen, Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos and Count Dominik in Arabella. He made his debut at the Verbier Festival in 2015 as Marcello in Puccini's La bohème.

Third place went to Chinese tenor Mingjie Lei.

For the women, mezzo-soprano Svetlina Stoyanova took the top prize, as second place went to mezzo-soprano Emily D'Angelo, and third place went to mezzo-soprano Zlata Khershberg.

In 2009, barihunk Iurii Samilov took top honors at the young age of 21. He has been a member of the ensemble at the Frankfurt Opera since 2014.

Derek Chester and Marco Vassalli

Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think! 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Romain Dayez in French operetta rarity

Romain Dayez
French barihunk Romain Dayez will sing Gérard Cardoval in Raoul Moretti's rarely performed operetta Un Soir de Réveillon. The piece was originally performed on stage of the Moulin de la Galette in Paris for broadcast on French television. The piece is performed in 10 vignettes written by Paul Armont et Marcel Gerbidon.

The story revolves around Viviane, the mistress of a wealthy Englishman named Bob, who is hosting a dinner a dinner party. Among the guests is Dayez's character Gérard Cardoval, a cheerful young man who has just inherited a huge sum of money and plans on spending it on beautiful women. He also has no plans to ever marry any of them. That same evening, Monique Lepage, a smart young woman, comes to visit her old friend Viviane and hatched a plot to be disguised as a young woman from the country.

There will be two performances at the Cabaret La Nouvelle Eve between November 6-December 26. Tickets are available online.  


Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

Anthony Reed launches "My BASSic LIfe"

Anthony Reed
Bass-barihunk Anthony Reed, who wrapped up his successful Opera Pop-Up Operatronica last night, has launched his own YouTube channel called My BASSic Life. He also just finished two runs at the San Francisco Opera where he sang Orest's tutor in Richard Strauss' Elektra and is currently singing Doctor Grenvil in Verdi's La traviata, which runs through October 17th.


My BASSic Life runs every Tuesday and he's already ran episodes where you can watch him roller blading in Golden Gate Park, getting his costume fitting, hiking shirtless in Yosemite, seeking out a translation of Turandot, getting a haircut in Philly and even singing to deer (as well as just singing -both pop and opera!). 

Upcoming performances include Haydn's Creation with the Nashville Symphony on November 3rd and 4th, as well as the Adler Gala Concert at San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House on December 8th. Tickets for the Gala are available online.

A page from the Barihunks Photo Book
Our 2018 Barihunks Calendar, which includes 20 of opera's sexiest men is now available for purchase HERE. In response to reader demand, we've also added a Barihunks Photo Book this year, which includes additional photos that don't appear in the calendar. You can purchase that HERE. The New Year is approaching faster than you think!

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