Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Introducing Bass-Barihunk Sergey Khalikulov

Sergey Khalikulov
Meet Sergey Khalikulov, who will be singing the title role in the Waffle Opera's upcoming performances of Mozart's at the Creativity Theater in San Francisco. Waffle Opera is a brand new opera company founded by young artists with the purpose of promoting young artists. He'll be performing the role on October 24 and November 1 and alternating with Spencer Dodd, who performs on October 25 and November 2. Tickets are available online.  

Sergey Khalikulov attended the San Francisco School of the Arts in the vocal department
and participated in many of their musical productions. A dean’s honor roll graduate from the UCLA
Herb Alpert School of Music, he received his B.A. in music, studying voice with Vladimir Chernov.

At Opera UCLA he performed Mr. Gobineau in Menotti’s The Medium, Antonio in Mozart’s
Le Nozze Di Figaro, Pallante in Handel’s Agrippina, and Hercules in the West Coast premieres of
Cavalli’s Giasone and the Immigration Officer in the West Coast premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Flight.
Sergey Khalikulov
He recently received his Master of Music degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, studying voice with César Ulloa. Past SFCM productions include Betto in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, the Narrator/Mysterious Man  in Sondheim’s Into the Woods, Kander and Ebb’s And the World Goes Round, Friedrich Bhaer in Adamo’s Little Women, Ariodate in Handel’s Serse, Man with the Cornet Case in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco, and the title role in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro.

Recently, Sergey played Lt. Cable in Foothill Music Theater’s production of South Pacific. This year, Sergey is completing a Post Graduate Diploma at SFCM. Upcoming roles include, the title role in Don Giovanni, Sam in Trouble in Tahiti, George in Sunday in the Park with George, Dulcamara in Donizetti's L’elisir d’amore, and Superintendent Budd in Britten's Albert Herring.

Monday, September 22, 2014

WSJ: "As Met's Fall Season Opens, Booming Basses Take Center Stage"

Ildar Abdrazakov (Julie Platner, The Wall Street Journal)
In opera, tenors are the men falling in love, singing their hearts out and basking in ovations after hitting the high notes.

But operatic basses, with low voices suited to kings, gods and villains, rarely get the girls—or popular attention. Which can lead to some friendly ribbing.

"Tenors always cry like babies," said Ildar Abdrazakov, a bass, who rolls his eyes at all the onstage whining from his artistic frenemies. "Wimps."

On Monday, Mr. Abdrazakov will hit a career milestone: He is the title character in the Metropolitan Opera's season opener, a new production of Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro. "

At age 37, the Russian-born Mr. Abdrazakov's relative youth makes his ascent atypical, since the bass voice typically reaches maturity later in life. He has already anchored major productions at the Met, including Verdi's "Attila" and Borodin's "Prince Igor," and he is now marketable enough that he was featured in the Met's advertising for the 2014-15 season.

"Ildar is unusual because he has been singing leading roles for years," said the Met's general manager, Peter Gelb. "With Ildar, you have the new great bass."

There will be plenty of opportunities for comparison, with several other basement-rattling voices featured this season. For the first time since 1984, the Met is presenting a bass in concert: the 50-year-old René Pape, who sings on Sept. 28 in addition to appearing in "Macbeth" and "The Magic Flute." Then in March comes "Don Carlo," which will include two basses: Ferruccio Furlanetto and James Morris, both in their 60s.


Don Giovanni at Perm Opera gets 18+ age rating

Simone Alberghini in Don Giovanni, on stage and in rehearsals

We love it when an opera is listed as appropriate for those 18 and older. That's a pretty sure sign that it's going to be a sexy production and the Don Giovanni at the Perm Opera in Russia is no exception.

This production is the final opera in their Mozart-Da Ponte trilogy and it's being promoted as "a feminine view" of the opera. The role of Don Giovanni will be alternated between two barihunks, Simone Alberghini and Andrè Schuen, who many might remember from his shirtless and sexy performance in Donizetti's Elixir of Love in Graz.

Andrè Schuen as Don Giovanni in Vienna (right)
Argentinean director Valentina Carrasco, who was behind Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen in Buenos Aires and Britten’s Turn of the Screw in Lyon, is directing this production. Carrasco plans to stylize the production in Perm in the spirit of film noir and populate the stage with mannequins and ‘surrogate’ people, among whom the only real person to be found is Don Giovanni. The production is the concept of the Catalan troupe “La Fura dels Baus,” which reproduces the "soul of the music in effective scenic images."

We have to raise our number one gripe with opera company websites, which is not listing casts. The Perm Opera list all of the technical staff, but not a single singer. We had to go to Operabase to find the cast. Let's hope that they fix this oversight soon.

Performances are September 21, 22, 24, 25, 27 and 28 and tickets are available at http://permopera.ru/en/playbills/playbill/detail/4963.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Introducing bass-barihunk Andrew Potter

Andrew Potter

We recently posted about barihunk Colin Ramsey singing The Speaker in Mozart's The Magic Flute at Opera NEO. The Sarastro in that production was Andrew Potter who we're featuring for the first time on our site.

Potter received his BA in Vocal Performance from Liberty University where he performed the Pirate King in Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance, Poo Bah in The Mikado, and Baron Mirko Zeta in Lehar's The Merry Widow

Since 2012, he's appeared with Opera on the James in Strauss' Die Fledermaus, The Magic Flute, Betto in Gianni Schicchi, Mr. Dashwood in Mark Adamo’s Little Women, and the Big Bad Bully in Stop Bully - an outreach opera performed in schools and community centers.

Since 2013, Potter has been a member of Opera Roanoke’s Young Apprentice Artist Program, where he sang the Sergeant the Pirates of Penzance and Curio in Handel's Julius Caesar. This year he'll sing the Second Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte and covering the role of Sarastro. He performed Ariodate, in Handel’s Serse and Le fauteuil/L’abre in Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges with Bel Cantanti Opera in Washington, D.C.

Upcoming roles in the 2014-15 season for Andrew include Simone in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi with Tidewater Opera Initiative, the Frog King in the World Premiere of Lori Laitman's The Three Feathers, Osmin in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Opera Roanoke, Ramfis with Undercroft Opera in Verdi's Aida, Mephistopheles in Concert Opera Philadelphia’s production of Gounod's Faust, Zoroastro in Handel's Orlando with Boulder Opera Company, Colline in La Bohéme with Connecticut Lyric Opera, and Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni with Bel Cantanti Opera.

Glyndebourne's La finta Giardiniera broadcast on BBC Radio 3

Gyula Orendt
BBC 3 radio will broadcast Mozart's La finta Giardiniera on their initial Opera on 3 offering on Monday, September 22 at 7:15 PM GMT/2:15 PM EST. The performance is from this summer's Glyndebourne Festival and includes barihunk Gyula Orendt as Nardo and hunkentenor Joel Prieto as Count Belfiore with the Age of Enlightenment Orchestra conducted by Robin Ticciati.

Written when he was only eighteen, Mozart comic opera La finta Giardiniera on Goldoni's is based on the play Pamela nubile. The story follows seven characters in search of love, involving disguise, and recognition of both identities and emotions - trying to discover what is real and what is 'finta'.

Gyula Orendt sings Gounod's "Queen of Love":

Martin Handley presents, and during the interval discusses the opera with Mozart specialist Professor Cliff Eisen. You can tune in HERE.

Gyula Orendt, who is of Hungarian-Romanian  descent, studied singing at the Transilvania Music University in Brasov, Romania, and completed his studies at the Academy of Music Franz Liszt in Budapest, where he was also trained as a singing teacher. He won at the Francisco Viñas Competition in Barcelona the Mozart Prize and the prize for oratorio/lieder.

Since 2013, he has been a member of the Berlin State Opera, where his roles since have included Silvano in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, Papageno, Figaro in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia, Cesare Angelotti in Puccini's Tosca and Tempo/Consiglio in Cavalieri's Rappresentatione di anima et di corpo. He made his Royal Opera debut in 2012 singing the Gamekeeper in Dvorak's Rusalka. He returns to London this season to sing the title role in Monteverdi's Orfeo at the Roundhouse.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Two Barihunks in Eva Marton Singing Competition Finals; Aghenie Alexandru takes 1st Prize

Aghenie Alexandru

Two barihunks have made it to the final round of the International Eva Marton Singing Competition being held on Saturday, September 20th at the Hungarian State Opera, with one taking 1st Prize.

29-year-old Romanian Aghenie Alexandru who studied voice at the Academy of Music Transylvania in Brașov, took 1st Prize over 10 other singers. In the finals he'll be performed "Avant de quitter ces lieux " from Gounod's Faust and "Il balen del suo sorriso" from Verdi's Il trovatore

In 2012 he appeared on stage in various performances in Italy, including the Teatro Sociale di Stradella, Teatro Lirico di Magenta, Teatro Sociale di Como and Teatro Alighieri in Ravenna. He recently sang  Silvio in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci  and Puccini's Gianni Schicchi at the Brașov Opera House.  He has won several prizes at singing competitions in Piatra Neamț in Romania, Manfredonia in Italy and Bucharest, Romania.
Danylo Matviienko
24-year-old Ukrainian Danylo Matviienko made it to the final round performing "Per me giunto è il dì supremo… Lo morro, ma lieto in core" from Verdi's Don Carlo and "O du, mein holder Abendstern" from Wagner's Tannhäuser.

Matviienko began his vocal studies in 2005, continuing at the Donetsk Music Academy since 2007. He has performed at the Donetsk National Dramatic Theatre and the Donetsk National Opera House.

Joining Eva Marton on the jury were tenor Vittorio Terranova and mezzo Elena Obraztsova. There will be a grand finals concert on Sunday night with additional prizes being awarded.

Three CASH prizes for Barihunks Calendar

More prizes have been announced for the best Barihunks Charity Calendar submissions.

A reader in the UK has offered additional prize money for photo submissions to our 2015 Barihunks Charity Calendar. In addition to the $500 for the sexiest photo, $250 for the best Italian themed photo, we now have $100 for the "Falstaff Prize" for the funniest/wittiest sexy contribution.

Baritones (and basses) should get their photos in to Barihunks@gmail.com by Sept. 26. Readers will be voting, so everyone can get in on the action.