Saturday, November 18, 2017

Joa Helgesson truly suffers for his art in L'Orfeo

Joa Helgesson in L'Orfeo
No singer will ever be claim the statement "I really suffer for my art" after barihunk Joa Helgesson's performance of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo at the Malzfabrik in Berlin. The production was part of the Body Suspension Symposium, which focuses on the practice as an artform.

Berlin's symposium was the third one, following one in Oslo in 2012 and New York in 2015, all of which a co-production with Anchors Aweigh/SKIN.
"The inexpressible depth of music, so easy to understand and yet so inexplicable, is due to the fact that it reproduces all the emotions of our innermost being, but entirely without reality and remote from its pain... Music expresses only the quintessence of life and of its events, never these themselves." - Arthur Schopenhauer
A suspension is the act of suspending a human body from hooks that have been put through body piercings. These piercings are temporary and are performed just prior to the actual suspension. Body suspension is frequently used for spiritual purposes or for entertainment, most famously by the magician and illusionist Criss Angel.

Helgesson also appears in our 2018 Barihunks Calendar and Photo Book, but without the hooks!
Joa Helgesson and Derek Chester from 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!


Listen to Mariusz Kwiecien's Zurga live from Chicago

Mariusz Kwiecien as Zurga (Photo: Todd Rosenberg)
Mariusz Kwiecien, who was one of the inspirations for his site, will open as Zurga at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Sunday, November 19th. He'll be joined by tenor Matthew Polenzani as his friend Nadir, the booming bass Andrea Silvestrelli as Nourabad and soprano Marina Rebeka as Leïla.


Kwiecien last appeared in the role with the Met in January 2016, which also featured Polenzani, as well as German soprano Diana Damrau. 

There will be seven performances running through December 10 and tickets are available online.

However, if you can't make it to Chicago (where it's cold and rainy right now), you can listen to the opening performance of The Pearl Fishers can be heard live on 98.7WFMT beginning at 1:45pm CST/11:45 AM PST/2:45 EST.

Upcoming performances for Kwiecien included Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale at Opera Krakowska in March, the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni in Dallas and London, and Enrico in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor in Munich. 

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!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Björn Bürger stars in world premiere of Herrmann's Der Mieter

Björn Bürger as Georg in Der Mieter
Composer Arnulf Herrmann’s Der Mieter, premiered on November 12th at the Frankfurt Opera with a riveting performance by barihunk Björn Bürger as the suicidal main character Georg.

Arnulf Herrmann's opera is based on Roland Topor's Kafka-esque novel Le locataire chimérique which was made into The Tenant, a psychodrama/thriller movie by Roman Polanski. Unlike the book and film the opera concentrates on being forced to conform to norms by society. The opera's libretto, written by Händl Klaus, delves into the darkest regions of the human psyche probing issues of guilt, paranoia, and sexual obsession. 

Herrmann created a haunting soundscape with shattering glass in slow motion, creaking doors, sinking trees, crawling cockroaches and other sounds emanating from forty loud speakers. Bürger's vocal part calls for a wide dramatic range spanning a cappella murmurs to screams of despair.

The opera also features barihunk Sebastian Geyer in two small roles. Additional performances run from November 16-December 7th.

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, November 10, 2017

Barihunk trio in San Francisco world premiere of John Adams opera

Davóne Tines, Ryan McKinny and Elliot Madore
On November 21, San Francisco Opera will present the world premiere of American composer John Adams' Girls of the Golden West, which will feature the barihunk trio of Davóne Tines as the fugitive slave Ned Peters, Elliot Madore as Ramón and Ryan McKinny as Clarence. The opera will run from November 21-December 10 and ticket and additional cast information is available online.

Bass-barihunk Davóne Tines, who is new to this site, makes his first local appearance in a fully staged opera as Ned Peters, an African-American cowboy and fugitive slave who is drawn to the promise of the frontier. At age 30, Tines has had three operas composed with his voice in mind: Matthew Aucoin's Crossing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music,  Kaija Saariaho's Only the Sound Remains at the Dutch National Opera, as well as Adams' Girls of the Golden West. Last year, he performed John Adams' El Niño at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Davóne Tines sings 'True Fire" by Kaija Saariaho:


This is Ryan McKinny's debut with the San Francisco Opera. He recently performed the role of Richard Nixon in Adams’ Nixon in China with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Elliot Madore returns after his successful debut with the San Francisco Opera as Anthony Hope in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd in 2015.

With a libretto drawn from historical sources by director Peter Sellars, Girls of the Golden West explores the true stories of pioneers on California's Gold Rush frontier during the 1850s. The collaboration between San Francisco Opera and John Adams began with the 1992 West Coast premiere of The Death of Klinghoffer, followed by the acclaimed world premiere of Doctor Atomic in 2005.

Part of the cast of Girls of the Golden West
Girls of the Golden West takes place in the historic mining camps of Rich Bar and Downieville during California's transition from territory to American statehood, a period which coincided with the Gold Rush and its unprecedented migration of people from around the world attracted by the prospect of striking it rich in the region's gold fields.

Sellars' libretto draws from sources illuminating multiple perspectives of this global event, including the California history classic The Shirley Letters, a collection of 23 letters by Louise Clappe penned under the name "Dame Shirley" describing the rugged conditions and clash of cultures in the gold mining camps from 1851 to 1852; the diary of Chilean miner Ramón Gil Navarro; memoirs of fugitive slaves; poems of Chinese immigrants; the Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni; Frederick Douglass' speech "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?"; gold miner songs; and Mark Twain's Roughing It.

2018 Barihunks Calendar/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!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Mariano Gladic turns a swamp frog into a sexy prince

Mariano Gladic as Vodnik
Bass-barihunk is turning heads at the Teatro Colon with his shirtless, sexy performance of the water goblin Vodnik in Antonin Dvořák's Rusalka. The opera is best known for the soprano aria
"Song to the Moon" sung by the title character, which is being shared by Ana María Martínez and Daniela Tabernig in Buenos Aires. Performances run through November 14th and tickets are available http://www.teatrocolon.org.ar/en/2017/opera/rusalka

Gladic's sexy portrayal of Vodnik is an impressive transformation, because in Slavic mythology the character appears as an old man with a frog-like face, greenish beard, long hair, with his body covered in algae, muck, and covered in black fish scales. He has webbed paws instead of hands, a fish's tail, and eyes that burn like red-hot coals.

Although it has become popular in recent years, with Renee Fleming and Gabriela Beňačková having great success as Rusalka, the Czech opera was not performed in the U.S. until 1975, when it was produced by the San Diego Opera. It didn't make its way to the Metropolitan Opera until 1993 and the San Francisco Opera until 1995. 

Mariano Gladic as Vodnik
Mariano 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.



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!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Barihunk Luis Alejandro Orozco makes his Nashville debut

Luis Alejandro Orozco
Barihunk Luis Alejandro Orozco, who has made El Payador in Piazzolla's Maria de Buenos Aires his signature role, will return to the role for what he estimates to be the fifteenth time. The Mexican-American barihunk will make his company debut with the role at the Nashville Opera from November 10-12.

Despite its reputation as the Capital of Country Music, it appears that this night of Argentinian opera and dance is the hottest ticket in town, as all three performances are sold out. However, there is a wait list that you can get on.

The production will be directed by John Hoomes and will feature Argentine dancers Mariela Barufaldi and Jeremías Massera (founders of Miami's Tango Axis Argentine Tango School) along with bandoneón player Rodolfo Zanetti and soprano Cassandra Zoe Velasco as Maria.

The opera has become popular in Germany, where is has been performed in apparently every city that starts with the letter "B": Berlin, Bonn, Braunschweig, Biel and Bremen. The opera can next be seen at the San Diego Opera with barihunk Paul La Rosa as El Payador from January 26-28 and then at the Fort Worth Opera Festival on April 27 and May 5 (performers have not been announced, but we've learned that it will be Luis Alejandro Orozco). Both productions are directed by John de los Santos.

Malte Roesner, 2018 Barihunks Calendar/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!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

"Little Women" features barihunk duo

Alexander Elliott, Rachel Arky, Sarah Mesko, Claudia Rosenthal, Ariana Wehr and Ethan Greene (Clockwise)   (Photo courtesy of the Annapolis Opera)
We love the idea that an opera named "Little Women" features two beautiful barihunks! The Annapolis Opera's production of the Mark Adamo classic stars Alexander Elliott as Meg's soon-to-be-husband John Brooke, while bass Ethan Greene as Jo March's husband Friedrich Bhaer. They are joined by Sarah Mesko as Jo March, Rachel Arky as Meg March, Claudia Rosenthal and Ariana Wehr as Amy March. 

There is one remaining performance at 3 PM on Sunday, November 5th and tickets are available online.

Ethan Greene, who is new to this site, is a 2017 Bonfils Stanton Foundation Studio Artist at the Central City Opera and was a Des Moines Metro Opera Apprentice Artist. 

Alexander Elliott can next be seen in Haydn's Creation with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on December 1st and 3rd, as well as Handel's Messiah on December 2nd. He returns to the opera stage next Spring as Figaro in Rossini's The Barber of Seville with Opera Santa Barbara.


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!

Christiaan Smith to make Carnegie Hall debut

Christiaan Smith
American barihunk Christiaan Smith (he dropped the Kotlarek from his name), will make his Carnegie Hall debut with “Songs We Know" on Saturday, November 18 at Weill Recital Hall. Smith will perform the music of The Beatles, Maroon 5, Adele, John Legend, John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, Simon & Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. Tickets are available online.

Smith co-wrote his first solo album "All The Way" with British songwriter Chris Eaton, which will be released later this year.  Eaton has written for Janet Jackson, Keith Urban and Amy Grant. The album’s title song was the first single from the album and was released last month.

Christiaan Smith sings "All The Way" from his new album:

Christiaan Smith recently starred as Gaston in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast National Tour. His songwriting was featured when he opened for one of President Obama’s campaign speeches after being spotted singing in a martini bar in Madison, Wisconsin.

His opera roles have included Schaunard in Puccini's La Bohème, Joseph DeRocher in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking and as Charlie in the composer's Three Decembers, Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, and Dancaïre in Bizet's Carmen.

Derek Chester and Marco Vassalli from the 2018 Calendar/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!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A birthday tribute to Mariusz Kwiecien

Mariusz Kwiecien as King Roger (left) and Don Giovanni
Few singers are more popular on this site than Polish barihunk Mariusz Kwiecien. He was also one of the early inspirations for creating this site along with Dmitri Hvorostovsky. He's developed a cult following with opera fans around the world and today we're celebrating his 45th birthday. Like Simon Keenlyside, Rod Gilfry and Thomas Hampson, he seems to get better with every passing year. As regular readers of this site know, we've dubbed him "The Hot Pole."

Kwiecien was born in Kraków, Poland in 1972, but has a long history with New York, beginning with his participation in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and then becoming one of the biggest box office draws at the Metropolitan Opera. He made his debut with the company in 1999 as Kuligin in Janáček's Káťa Kabanová. During the 2011/12  Met season, he amazed everyone with his resilience when he returned to take on the demanding title role of  Don Giovanni after injuring his back in rehearsals. The performance was also broadcast live in HD worldwide. 

He is next slated to appear as Zurga in Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers) at the Lyric Opera of Chicago from November 19-December 10. He returns to The Met on December 29th for a run as Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro opposite Ildar Abdrazakov in the title role.  

Mariusz Kwiecien sings "Deh, vieni alla finestra" from Don Giovanni:


Kwiecien is probably best known for his sensuous and sexually charged portrayal of Don Giovanni. In this golden age of baritones, he's considered one of the two or three best exponents of the role. He is slated to sing Don Giovanni as the Dallas Opera from April 13-29, 2018 and then at the Royal Opera House in London from June 30-July 17, 2018

He's also made his mark in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, as Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale, Riccardo in Bellini's I puritani, Belcore in Donizetti's L’elisir d’amore, Marcello in Puccini's La bohème and the title role in Szymanowski's King Roger.

Many of his performances have been preserved on DVD including his stunning Eugene Onegin from the Bolshoi Opera and Met broadcasts of Donizetti's L’elisir d’amore and Lucia di Lammermoor. His recording of “Slavic Heroes” is arguably one of the best recordings of Eastern European arias on CD.  



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!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Michael Mayes and the Atlanta Opera go a little bit country

Michael Mayes' poster for his former podcast
Barihunk Michael Mayes and the Atlanta Opera are teaming up for “From Opera to Opry: Liquor, Love, and the Lord," which will mix music from Puccini, Verdi and Mozart with Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and George Jones. The December 5th concert will be at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse in Atlanta.

Also featured on the program will be soprano Leah Partridge, barihunk Corey Crider (who will also play bass guitar), and tenor Jonathan Burton. The performance will be accompanied by Rolando Salazar, who is Assistant Conductor, Interim Chorus Master, and the Music Administrator for The Atlanta Opera. The promo asks whether “I loved her and she left me" is a line from a country song or an aria. 

Corey Crider and Cletus McHatfield and the McHatfield Fambly Singers (who mysteriously look like Crider, Salazar, Mayes, Partridge and Burton)
The program was previously performed in December 2016 and from all accounts was hilarious. It features the country stylings of Cletus McHatfield and the McHatfield Fambly Singers.

Dinner and drinks are available for the performance and tickets are available online.

Michael Mayes will return to the Atlanta Opera on June 12, 2018 in the title role of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, which also features fellow barihunk Joseph Lattanzi as Anthony Hope.

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!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Aaron Sørensen to perform first Stabat Mater with Oakland Symphony

Aaron Sørensen from past Barihunks calendars
Bass-barihunk Aaron Sørensen will be performing his first bass solo in Rossini's beautiful Stabat Mater with the Oakland Symphony. He'll be joined by tenor Thomas Glenn, mezzo-soprano Betany Coffland and soprano Shawnette Sulker under the baton of Michael Morgan.  There will be a single performance on Friday, November 17th and tickets are available online.

The program also includes Jonah M. Gallagher's Vocare and Mozart's Symphony #40. The program's theme is "love and loss," as the Stabat Mater recounts Mary's devastation over the death of Jesus, Vocare was written after the composer lost his mentor to cancer, and Mozart's Symphony #4o is one of only two of symphonies written in minor keys, reflecting his interest in the Sturm und Drang movement (Storm and Stress), in which darker and stronger emotions were showcased. 

After the production of William Tell in 1829, Rossini wrote no more operas. During a visit to Spain two years later, he reluctantly accepted a commission to write a Stabat Mater for the archdeacon of Madrid, Don Manuel Fernandez Varela. Rossini feared comparisons with Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, and stipulated that Varela retain sole possession of the score and never allow publication.

The Stabat Mater was premiered in Paris at the Théâtre-Italien's Salle Ventadour on January 7, 1842, with the Italian premiere occurring three months later in Bologna led by composer Gaetano Donizetti.

Samuel Ramey sings Pro peccatis...Eja, Mater from Rossini's Stabat Mater:


Rossini's extensive operatic career had divided the public into admirers and critics. The announcement of the premiere of Rossini's Stabat Mater provided an occasion for a wide-ranging attack by Richard Wagner, who was in Paris at the time, not only on Rossini but more generally on the current European fashion for religious music and the money to be made from it. A week before the scheduled concert Robert Schumann's Neue Zeitschrift für Musik carried the pseudonymous essay, penned by Wagner under the name of "H. Valentino", in which he claimed to find Rossini's popularity incomprehensible.

The first theme in the tenor solo "Cujus animam" was quoted note-for-note in the 1941 Woody Herman jazz number, "Blues on Parade." The bass has the solo Pro peccatis and Eja, Mater sung with chorus.
Zachary Gordin & Gianluca Margheri from the 2018 Barihunk Calendar/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!
 

Barihunk quartet in Boston Lyric Opera's killer world premiere

Jesse Blumberg and Craig Colclough (Photo: Liza Voll)
The world premiere of Boston Lyric Opera's The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare may be about missing cadavers, but it's certainly not missing its fair share of barihunks. Jesse Blumberg and Craig Colclough portray the title characters Mr. Burke and Mr. Hare, while David McFerrin sings Ferguson and David Cushing is Donald, one of the unfortunate victims of the duo.

Set in 1820s Scotland – when the city’s famed schools of anatomy faced a severe shortage of fresh cadavers for their lectures – the opera follows William Burke, William Hare and their accomplices who discover a money-making opportunity by murdering disenfranchised citizens and selling their corpses to Dr. Robert Knox at his renowned medical academy.


David McFerrin and David Cushing
The chamber opera will be the first full-length piece in Boston Lyric Opera's New Works series. Performances will be staged at the Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama, an historic building whose neoclassical Victorian style reflects the story’s 19th century time period, and whose circular interior recalls early operating theaters where observers watched medical procedures.

We also hear that Jesse Blumberg performs the climactic scene in nothing but skivvies. 

The cast also includes tenors William Burden and Michael Slattery, sopranos Marie McLaughlin, Michelle Trainor and Antonia Tamer, as well as mezzo-sopranos Emma Sorenson and Heather Gallagher. Performances are on November 8, 9 and 12 (matinee and evening) and tickets are available online.

Brad Baron from Barihunks Calendar and 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!

Barihunk duo featured in fundraiser for Pulse nightclub survivors

Nathan Stark and Brian James Myer
The Timucua Arts Foundation and Opera Orlando have joined forces for “One Voice Orlando,” a benefit concert for Proyecto Somos Orlando. The organization brought the Latino and LGBTQ community together to provide social services and mental health care after the devastating shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016. Proceeds will also be directed to those in need after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico.


The shooting at the gay bar was one of deadliest mass shootings by a single gunman in U.S. history, and the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since the events of September 11, 2001, killing 49 people and injuring another 53. 

Gabriel Preisser, Brian James Myer and Nathan Stark sing 
"Can't Help Falling In Love WIth You":

Opera Orlando is providing the talent for the show, including barihunks Brian James Myer and Nathan Stark, who will be joined by soprano Maria Laetitia Hernandez. Selections will include “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” from Les MiserablesNo Puede Ser" and selections from Zarzuela.

The event is on Sunday, November 4th at the Timucua White House in Orlando. Tickets are available online

Those wishing to donate can visit the Proyecto Somos Orlando website

Derek Chester & Marco Vassalli from Barihunks Calendar and 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!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Joyce DiDonato teams up with Ildebrando D'Arcangelo for Semiramide

Honorary Barihunk Joyce DiDonato and Ildebrando D'Arcangelo
Perhaps the hottest opera ticket in Europe for the remainder of 2017 is the run of Rossini's Semiramide at the Royal Opera House in London. The all-star international cast is led by mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in the title role, bass-barihunk Ildebrando D'Arcangelo as Assur, tenor Lawrence Brownlee as Idreno and mezzo-soprano Daniela Barcellona as Arsace. There probably isn't a better quartet of Rossini specialists in the world today and they'll be performing the entire run from November 19-December 16.

D’Arcangelo made his Royal Opera 21 years ago as Colline in Puccini's La bohème, and since performed a number of roles with the company, including Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen, Selim in Rossini's Il turco in Italia, and Figaro in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro. This season, he is also performing Banquo in Verdi's Macbeth and reprising his Leporello with the company.

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo and Edita Gruberova in the duet from Semiramide:

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo sings Assur's aria from Semiramide:

The opera is based on Voltaire's tragedy Semiramis, which in turn was based on the legend of Semiramis of Assyria. After composing the opera, Rossini moved to Paris and wrote mostly opera in French, except for his comedy Il viaggio a Reims. It is considered one of the last operas to include the baroque tradition with highly decorative singing and vocal pyrotechnics.

The opera was premiered at La Fenice in Venice in 1823 and found its way to London a year later The U.S. premiere was at the St. Charles Theatre in New Orleans on May 1, 1837. By the late 1800s, the opera had virtually disappeared from the repertoire. However, it was chosen in 1880 to inaugurate the Teatro Costanzi in Rome and appeared as part of the Cincinnati Opera Festival 1882, which was attended by Oscar Wilde. The Metropolitan Opera revived Semiramide in 1892, 1894 with Nellie Melba, and again in 1895.

Although the overture is one of several of Rossini's to be widely recorded, the opera is only occasionally performed in modern times. Presentations at La Scala in Milan in December 1962 with Joan Sutherland and Giulietta Simionato required the re-assembly of the entire score from the Rossini autograph, since no other texts were known to exist.

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo appears on two recordings of the opera, one with Edita Gruberova and Juan Diego Flórez, and the other with Ángeles Blancas and Daniela Barcellona.

Barihunks Calendar cover boy Jason Duika
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!



Barihunks Calendar Model Zacharias Niedzwiecki in COT's The Consul

Zacharias Niedzwiecki on the cover of our 2018 Barihunks Photo Book
Zacharias Niedzwiecki, who is prominently featured in both our 2018 Barihunks calendar and photo book, will be appearing next week in the Chicago Opera Theater's production of Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul. Niedzwiecki appears on the cover of the photo book.

The Consul will feature the great American soprano Patricia Racette making her role debut as Magda Sorel, a strong-willed and passionate woman who will do anything to ensure her family’s safety.

Niedzwiecki will perform the roles of Assan, a friend of Magda's husband, and the Plainclothesman. Cedric Berry, who has also appeared on this site, sings the role of the secret police officer. Performances are on November 4, 10 and 12 and tickets and additional cast information are available online.

The Consul was Menotti's first full-length opera. It premiered on March 1, 1950 with Patricia Neway as Magda, Cornell MacNeil as John Sorel and Marie Powers as the mother. It went on to have a successful eight month run on Broadway, winning the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Music, as well as the 1950 New York Drama Critics' Circle award for Best Musical.

2018 Photo Book featuring Zacharias Niedzwiecki (right)
If you want to enjoy Zacharias Niedzwiecki and 19 other barihunks year around, you can purchase our 2018 Barihunks Calendar HERE or our Barihunks Photo Book HERE.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Barihunk quartet in Madison Opera's "Carmen"


Corey Crider, Charles Eaton, Thomas Forde and Erik Larson
The Madison Opera will be performing Bizet's Carmen on November 3rd and 5th with a quartet of barihunks. The group is led be Corey Crider as Escamillo, along with Thomas Forde as Zuniga, Charles H. Eaton as Moralès and Erik Earl Larson as Dancäire.

They will be joined by Aleks Romano in the title role, hunkentenor Sean Panikkar as Don José and Cecilia Violetta López as Micaëla. Tickets are available online.

Thomas Forde from the first Barihunks Calendar
Three of the barihunks have appeared with the company before, with Corey Crider performing Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, Thomas Forde in Verdi's Un ballo in Maschera and Erik Earl Larson appearing in Heggie's Dead Man Walking. Charles H. Eaton is making his company debut and was recently interviewed on the company's blog. With all of these sexy men to choose from, one has to wonder why things don't end better for Carmen!

Longtime followers of this blog will recall that Thomas Forde appeared in our original Barihunks Calendar with two photos, both sporting one of our tee shirts. Forde, who lost 100 pounds on his journey from BariChunk to BariHunk, also counsels singers about fitness. Visit his website for more information.

Click HERE to listen to Thomas Forde sing "I'm a lonely man" from Carlisle Floyd's Susannah.
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!