Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Introducing "Foxy" Barihunk Scott Ballantine

Scott Ballantine
Barihunk Scott Ballantine will be singing the title role in Tobias Picker's Fantastic Mr. Fox at the Emerald City Opera in beautiful Steamboat Springs, Colorado on August 12 and 13. He'll be joined on the podium by the equally foxy conducter Andres Cladera, who also led a performance with barihunk John Brancy in San Antonio. Tickets are available online.

Ballantine received his Master’s of Music in Voice Performance from The Boston Conservatory in 2015 and a Bachelor’s of Music in Voice Performance from Northern Arizona University in 2013. Previous credits at NAU include the title role in Gianni Schicchi and Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte. He was most recently seen as the Mercutio Gounod's Roméo et Juliette with Opera51 in Concord, MA.

Other recent credits in Boston include, John Brooke in Mark Adamo's Little Women with MetroWest Opera, Schaunard in Puccini's La bohème with NEMPAC Opera, Oreste in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride, Taddeo in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri and Junius in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia with The Boston Conservatory and Sid in Britten's Albert Herring with Boston Opera Collaborative.

Ballantine placed first in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Vocal Competition four years consecutively and was a finalist in the Classical Singer Competition. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Zachary James in free performance of "the little match girl passion"

Zachary James, Karim Sulayman, Anne-Carolyn Bird and Brennan Hall
Bass-barihunk Zachary James will be featured in R. B. Schlather performance installation of American composer David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize-winning the little match girl passion at Jack Shainman Gallery in Kinderhook, N.Y. He'll be joined by soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird, countertenor Brennan Hall, tenor Karim Sulayman, percussionist Michael Zell and music director Amanda Crider.

Composer David Lang earned the Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for the little match girl passion. The ground-breaking piece is scored for four solo voices and percussion, and tells Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of a poor young girl struggling with abuse and poverty, but retaining faith, hope, and ultimately redemption. The story is suffused with opposites; a beautiful past with a bitter present, the struggles of poverty and the redemption of hope.

The performance is a continuation of R.B. Schlather’s practice of installing opera and vocal chamber music as an exchange between visitor, musician, and architecture, investigating questions about presentation, duration, and access.

This August 20th performance is free and open to the public. It begins and noon and runs for five hours.

Barihunk Hadleigh Adams featured in Opera News

Hadleigh Adams in Opera News (photo by Dario Acosta)
Barihunk Hadleigh Adams, who will open on July 31 as The Duke in Thomas Adès' "Powder Her Face," is the August feature in Opera News' Sound Bites. The performance in Oakland's historic train station with West Edge Opera has proven so popular with ticket buyers, that the innovative company has just added a fourth performance. The production also includes hunkentenor Jonathan Blalock.

We will be posting a more extensive piece on the production next week. Tickets are available online.

David Adam Moore to make Salzburg debut in new Adès opera

David Adam Moore
On July 28th, barihunk David Adam Moore will be making his Salzburger Festpiele debut in the world premiere of Adès’ The Exterminating Angel.  He will be creating the role of Colonel Alvaro and will be joined by fellow barihunk Rafael Fingerlos as Enrique and hunkentenor Ed Lyon as Eduardo. The remainder of the all-star cast includes Alice Coote, Frederic Antoun, Amanda Echalaz and Audrey Luna, Charles Workman, Frédéric Antoun, Sir Thomas Allen, John Tomlinson and Anne Sofie von Otter.  

The opera, which is a co-commission between the Met, the Salzburg Festival and the Royal Opera,  features a libretto by Tom Cairns who based the work on the 1962 Luis Buñuel film of the same name. The co-commission was originally announced in 2011, but was delayed for unspecified reasons. After Salzburg, it will be performed at London's Royal Opera from April 24-May 8, 2017, New York's Metropolitan Opera in the Fall of 2017 and eventually at the Den Kongelige Opera in Copenhagen.
Rafael Fingerlos
Adès was inspired by Luis Buñuel’s surrealist film El ángel exterminador, which deals with the social rituals of an elite upper class, stating, “It’s territory that I like very much because it looks as though the people are in a room, but it’s not really about the room, they’re actually trapped in their own heads.“  

Performances will run from July 28 through August 8th and tickets are available online.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Introducing barihunk Michael Maliakel

Michael Maliakel
Michael Maliakel, who stands at 6'4", was this year's winner of the American Traditions Competition in Savannah, Georgia and is new to the site. He also took first place in the 2014 National Music Theater Competition, 3rd Prize at the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition and was a finalist in the Philadelphia Orchestra Albert M. Greenfield Competition.

A native of New Jersey, Maliakel received his earliest vocal training as a treble in the American Boychoir before pursuing a BM from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. He currently lives in New York City.

Last June, he performed an evening of Kurt Weill at Feinstein’s/54 Below with the Light Opera of New York. Other opera credits include Monsieur Presto in Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias, the Shoe Salesman in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco, Raimondo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and the baritone in Philip Glass’ Hydrogen Jukebox.

Maliakel’s concert appearances have included the baritone solos in Handel's Messiah, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, Fauré’s Requiem, Rossini's Petite messe solennelle, Bach's Magnificat, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.

In addition to his solo pursuits, Maliakel teaches voice privately and performs regularly with some of New York City-based vocal ensembles.

The American Traditions Competition is currently taking applications for singers over the age of 21to compete in their 2017 competition. You can apply HERE. In addition to Maliakel, other barihunk winners of the competition include Andrew Garland in 2003 and Douglas Carpenter in 2011.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Introducing British Barihunk and Model Matthew Thistleton

Matthew Thistleton
British barihunk Matthew Thistleton caught our eye as José Castro in the Grange Park Opera production of Puccini's La fanciulla del West that closed over the weekend. This season, he was also one of the monks in Verdi's Don Carlo that featured. Clive Bayley as Filippo II, David Stout as Rodrigo, Stefano Secco in the title role, Ruxandra Donose as Eboli and Virginia Tola as Elisabetta.  During the 2014 and 2015 summer seasons he was a member of the Grange Park Opera chorus in Britten's Peter Grimes, Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades, Saint-Saens' Samson et Delilah (where he also sang the Second Philistine) and Puccini's La Boheme (where he covered Colline).

The Wilmslow native finished his Master’s at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) where he was the recipient of The Riga Heesom Award and was supported by the Laurison School Trust. He made his operatic debut in the RNCM’s production of Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria. He went on to sing in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Opera on Location as Snug the Joiner, scenes from Smetana's The Bartered Bride, Massenet's Cendrillon and Rossini's L’italiana in Algeri and Il Turco in Italia.
After performing in the Italian Cultural Institute's Pinocchio as Geppetto Matthew has recently finished the 2016 season with Grange Park Opera where he performed as Castro in la Fanciulla Del West and as one of the six monks in Don Carlo.

He is also a model with Maverick Models

Rodney Earl Clarke to perform at historic Tatton Estate

Rodney Earl Clarke to appear at Tatton Park
Barihunk Rodney Earl Clarke will be appearing with the Hallé Symphony Orchestra on the grounds of the spectacular Tatton Park Estate on July 30th. For nearly 400 years the 1,000 acre estate was the property of the Egerton family until it was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1958.

Along with soprano Ashleigh Gray, he'll be performing some of the most beloved songs and arias from musicals and opera. Among the selections that Clarke will be singing are "Some Enchanted Evening" from Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific, the Torreador Song from Bizet's Carmen, and "Ol' Man River" from Jerome Kern's Show Boat.


Clarke is also a member of the male singing quartet Vox Fortura, a classical crossover group who were semi-finalists on Britain's Got Talent.

Tickets for the outdoor concert are available online.