Saturday, June 25, 2016

Cody Quattlebaum wins James Toland Vocal Arts Competition

Cody Quattlebaum
Bass-barihunk Cody Quattlebaum took home $5,000 for winning the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition in Oakland, California on Saturday. He also won another $1,000 for winning the audience prize.

The New York singer sang "Se vuol ballare" from Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and "O du, mein holder Abendstern" from Wagner's Tannhäuser. Soprano Yelena Dyachek came in second, followed by tenor Arnold Livingston Geis.

Quattlebaum is earning is Master's Degree in Voice Performance at The Juilliard School of Music, where he has performed Der Lautsprecher in Viktor Ullmann's Der Kaiser von Atlantis and Sylvano in Cavalli's La Callisto.

He is currently at the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco, where he will perform Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte. Performances are August 4 and 6 and tickets are available online.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Introducing Bertie Watson; Performing Guildhall Hall recital

Bertie Watson
British Bass-Barihunk is recently graduated from the Guildhall School of Music, where he has performed Figaro in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and Belcore in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore. He will join the Opera Studies course in September.

At Guildhall, he has performed Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Milton Court Concert Hall, as well as Marcello, Puck and Jupiter in Offenbach's Orphée aux enfers. He was the bass soloist in Handel's Messiah at the Christ Church in Radyr, Wales earlier this year.

On Tuesday,  June 21st at 1:00 pm, he will be joined by pianist Dylan Perez in a program of songs based on Walt Whitman’s poetry. The recital includes composer Clint Borzoni's gorgeous song, "I dreamed in a dream," as well as selections by Rorem, Hoiby, Bernstein, Ruth Schönthal and James H. Rogers. The recital is in the Guildhall lecture hall and admission is free.

He is also finalist in the 2016 Dean & Chadlington Festival Singing Competition along with fellow barihunk Morgan Pearse. The competition will be held from June 23-26.

James Quilligan as photographed by Bertie Watson
He is also a photographer, who specializes in head shots using natural light. One of his subjects was fellow barihunk James Quilligan. You can check out his work HERE.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Padraic Rowan unanimously wins Bernadette Greevy Bursary Award

Padraic Rowan
Irish bass-barihunk Padraic Rowan has won the Bernadette Greevy Bursary Award for 2016. The judges were unanimous in their decision.

As overall prize winner, Padraic receives a bursary of 5,000 euro towards his singing career and will have the opportunity to perform a solo recital at the National Concert Hall to take place next year. 

Twenty-six year old Padraic Rowan graduated from the Royal Irish Academy of Music in 2013 with a Masters in Music Performance and is currently studying with Robert Dean in London. A Jerwood Young Artist at the 2014 Glyndebourne Festival, he made his Wigmore Hall debut in November 2015 as a finalist in the Maureen Lehan Vocal Awards. In June 2015, he reached the semi-finals of the 34th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Amsterdam.

Upcoming engagements include the summer Young Artist programme with Les Azuriales Opera in France. This September, Padraic will join the Opera Studio of Oper Stuttgart in Germany, performing a number of roles across the 2016/17 season.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Question & Answer with Tyler Resto

Tyler Resto
Today is Tyler Resto's birthday, so we thought that it would be a great opportunity for our readers to get to know this amazing young man a little better. Unlike many of our featured singers, his focus on being healthy and in shape comes from his diet, not from a grueling workout routine.

Tyler Resto first caught our attention as an emerging talent to watch when he was named a semi-finalist in the Presidential Scholar in the Arts program straight out of high school. He was one of only a handful of National YoungArts Foundation to be selected to spend a week in Miami to hone their skills. He was subsequently accepted to the prestigious vocal training program at the University of Cincinnati–College-Conservatory of Music.

1. Tell us about your time at the University of Cincinnati and your acceptance as an Emerging Artist at Oberlin in Italy?

CCM has been an enriching experience for me this past year. My time with my teacher, Dr. Gwen Detwiler was the pinnacle, of course. She's very good at what she does. Likewise, working with Amy Johnson and Kenneth Shaw was brilliant in the production of Maria Stuarda in the Spring. Professor Johnson was the director and Kenneth Shaw did an unfathomable list full of titles creating an amazing experience for the audience and the singers.

Tyler Resto
2. What has been your favorite performance that you've been a part of?

I look forward to returning in August to perform Mr. Gedge, the vicar in the Fall production of Britten's comedy, Albert Herring.

Last summer, I was in Arezzo studying with Joan Patenaude, Danielle Orlando, and Anna Frey to name a few in an Emerging Artist program. I studied Italian every morning for three hours and continued throughout college. I will continue studying Italian and German again next year as well. The opera, Le nozze di Figaro, was a huge success and my acting skills truly improved under the direction of Kay Castaldo who was so gracious, detailed, and insightful.

This summer, I will be attending the summer academy masterclass sessions at the Mozarteum Universität in Salzburg. I will be studying Mozart, Bel canto, and lieder with Helen Donath, Helmut Deutsch, and Rudolf Piernay. I will also be continuing my studies in Italian and German there. Those sessions will be in Salzburg for 7 weeks starting in early July and running through August.

3. We talk a lot about fitness on this site, but you stay healthy through diet. Tell us about that.

I became a vegan in January of this year through the shocking realizations of what human beings do as far as allowing the exploitation of animals, although mostly unknowingly or uninformed. Due to a conditioned culture, at least the one I was raised in, we were taught collectively that using animals for clothing, food, and entertainment is necessary, natural, and accepted; however, that couldn't be further from the truth. I'm hoping to strengthen my activism in the future.

Tyler Resto
4. Do you feel that being in shape helps you on stage with directors being more demanding?

I definitely use diet as a way to stay fit mentally and healthfully, which I consider one the most important things while training and doing a production and for a long, happy life in general. Being a vegan has helped me do this.

5. Do you have any dream roles? Favorite composers?

My ultimate dream role is Prince Yeletsky in Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades, although I connect musically with Wagner's compositions — specifically, Tristan und Isolde, which is my favorite opera.

Tyler Resto sings Butterworth's "Is my team ploughing?"

6. How did you first find out that you were on Barihunks and what was your reaction?

I was first contacted by you for my first publication as a Barihunk and was thrilled. I didn't expect it at all! I saw the article posted on the Facebook page and was so excited to be considered a part of opera's good-looking men — which I had already been following since high school.

7. Tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to know.

Something most people don't know about me, if they aren't close to me, is how I want to use my work. I find it ideal that the artists job is to inspire thought into their audience, and taking that a step further, I wish to incorporate charity with my work through music, such as animal rights and equality for human beings alike. For example, I would love to eventually be singing with organizations such as Sing for Hope.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Gianluca Margheri's Sexy Stranger in Fairy Queen

Gianluca Margheri as The Stranger in The Fairy Queen
Italian über-barihunk Gianluca Margheri plays The Stranger in the Erkel Theaters' updated and revised version of Purcell's The Fairy Queen. He spends much of the opera in various states of undress, including a sexy scene in his tighty whities. 

The composiiton was was originally a “semi-opera,” a series of musical passages created for a production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream which did not relate an independent story, but only took on true meaning in conjunction with the prose work.  

Purcell wrote The Fairy-Queen for the 15th wedding anniversary of England's King William III and Queen Mary II, with its initial performance taking place in grand fashion at London's Queen's Theatre in 1692. The composer died three years later at the age of 36. The score to The Fairy-Queen was lost for centuries,  until it was rediscovered in the early part of the 20th century.

Gianluca Margheri as The Stranger in The Fairy Queen
Director András Almási-Tóth conceives the work as an opera and incorporates the music into a new story. This version of A Midsummer Night's Dream takes place in an urban woodland, with lonely characters, crime, murder and love. The figure of the Fairy Queen here is a kind of femme fatale: a woman in search of herself and her own happiness and finding neither as she flees from one relationship to the next.

Tickets are available online

Margheri can next be heard at the Musicale Trapanese on July 27 and 29 as Raimondo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Barihunk Trio in Dresden Don Giovanni

Evan Hughes (photo Leela Rose) and with Guido Loconsolo in Don Giovanni
The Semperoper Dresden just opened Mozart's Don Giovanni with the barihunk trio of Lucas Meachem as the Don, Guido Loconsolo as Leporello and Evan Hughes as Masetto. The production runs through July 3rd and the cast includes Maria Bengtsson as Donna Anna, Aga Mikolaj as Donna Elvira, Peter Sonn as Don Ottavio, Christina Bock as Elvira and Michael Eder as the Commendatore. Tickets are available online.

Guido Loconsolo sings the Catalog Aria from Don Giovanni:

Lucas Meachem can next be seen at the San Francisco Opera as Dr Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale, Chorèbe in Berlioz's Les Troyens at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Sharpless in Puccini's Madama Butterfly at the Dallas Opera.

Evan Hughes is now a member of the ensemble at the Semperoper Dresden and can be seen in upcoming performances as Schaunard in Puccini's La bohème, Cesare Angelotti in Puccini's Tosca and Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte.

Guido Loconsolo can next be seen as Publio in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito at the Teatro Real de Madrid. He also appears on an new CD of Don Giovanni on Sony Classics with Andrei Bondarenko in the title role.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wilhelm Schwinghammer in sexy Daphne in Hamburg

Wilhelm Schwinghammer, Hanna Schwarz and the Daphne ensemble
Bass-barihunk Wilhelm Schwinghammer is singing Peneios in director Christof Loy's sexy production of Richard Strauss' Daphne at the Staatsoper Hamburg. The production includes Agneta Eichenholz in the title role, Eric Cutler as Apollo, Peter Lodahl as Leukippos and the amazing Hanna Schwarz as Gaea. Performances are running tonight through June 23 and tickets are available online.

Schwinghammer recently made his first U.S. appearance since his 2013 King Mark in Tristan und Isolde at Washington National Opera, when he appeared as Sarastro with the Los Angeles Opera as Sarastro in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte in February and March 2016. He returns to the U.S. to make his debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Fasolt in Wagner's Das Rheingold from October 1-22, in a cast that includes Eric Owens as Wotan.

Later this season, he returns to his home base at the Staatsoper Hamburg to sing Sarastro, Heinrich in Lohengrin, the title role in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and Osmin in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail. In 2017, he will perform the Nachtwächter in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Teatro La Scala Milano.