Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gianluca Margheri featured as "barihunk" in I Puritani article

Italian barihunk Gianluca Margheri was featured in Forum Opera's plug for today's broadcast of Bellini's I Puritani from the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Firenze today. The broadcast was on Italian radio Rai 3 and available worldwide. Margheri was singing the role of Lord Walton (apparently with his shirt on!). Performances run through February 15th.

He next heads to Budapest, where he will sing the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni from March 20-26. The last time he performed the role he was shirtless and you can find a clip HERE.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Keith Miller's sexy Riolobo in Florencia en al Amazonas

Keith Miller as Riolobo
Keith Miller just wrapped up a 3-performance run as Riolobo in Daniel Catán's Florencia en al Amazonas with the Nashville Opera. We had to share this amazing picture of the bodybuilding barihunk, who become a regular in our annual calendar.

Back in August, director John Hoomes told us this about the production:

"As opposed to some productions of the work, our production with focus more of the magic-realistic, sensual, fever-dream aspects of the piece, with extensive dreamlike immersive HD video, and a living, writhing, singing river...As Riolobo, [Keith Miller] will sing the role of the steersman of the steamship, and he will also appear as a manifestation of a mystic Amazon River god.  His river god costume will be inspired by the male costumes from Trinidad Carnival."
In 1996, Florencia en al Amazonas was the first Spanish-language opera to be commissioned by a major American opera house. It premiered at the Houston Grand Opera, and was subsequently performed at the Los Angeles Opera and the Seattle Opera. Daniel Catán died in 2011 at age 62, shortly after the premiere of his last opera, Il Postino, based on the popular Italian film. At the time of his death, he was at work on a new piece, Meet John Doe, inspired by Frank Capra’s classic film of the same title.

The two-act opera Florencia en al Amazonas is set on the steamboat El Dorado in 1910, where the famous opera singer Florencia is traveling down the Amazon to perform in Manaus. Florencia desires to encounter her lost love, a butterfly hunter who entered the jungle and never returned. The dramas aboard the steamboat weave love, conflict, loss, a violent storm, and ultimately a cholera epidemic that keeps the passengers quarantined and Florencia’s dream apparently dashed.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Watch Ildar Abdrazakov in Richard Tucker Gala

Ildar Abdrazakov
If you missed the broadcast of the Richard Tucker Gala on PBS a few days ago, you can still watch it online. Barihunk Ildar Abdrazakov is one of the featured performers, singing “Infelice!..e tuo credevi” from Verdi's Ernani, “Là ci darem la mano” from Mozart's Don Giovanni with Ingeborg Gillebo and the sextet from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.

Also featured on the broadcast is baritone Željko Lučić, soprano Pretty Yende, soprano Angela Meade and the thrilling tenor Michael Fabiano.

If you're in New York, make sure to check out Ildar Abdrazakov's upcoming recital. Clink on his image to the right to buy tickets.

Introducing Frankfurt Opera's Iurii Samoilov

Iurii Samoilov as Masetto at Oper Frankfurt
We've been following Björn Bürger ever since we first posted him, as he was instantly a hit with our readers. When we were scouring his upcoming performances, we ran across Ukrainian Iurii Samoilov often sharing the same roles or operas with Bürger at the Frankfurt Opera.

Samoilov joined the ensemble at the Frankfurt Opera this season after having been part of their Opera Studio since 2012. This season, he performs sings Marcello in Puccini's La Bohème, the 2nd Knight of the Holy Grail in Wagne's Parsifal, Dandini in Rossini's La Cenerentola and Masetto in Mozart's Don Giovanni. His debut with the company was as the Embittered Gambler in Prokofiev's The Gambler.

 Iurii Samoilov sings Rachmaninov's Do not sing, my beauty:

Samoilov graduated from the National Music Academy of Ukraine in 2011 and in 2009 he was the youngest singer to ever reach the finals at theNeue Stimmen Competition in Germany.

Last season, he also appeared in Rossini's Il viaggio a Reims at the 2014 Rossini Opera Festival. From April 18-26, he'll be at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo to perform in Adolphe Adam's Le Toréador opposite fellow barihunk Andrea Concetti.

Björn Bürger
You can catch him as Marcello in Puccini's La Bohème at the Frankfurt Opera on March 19th, as well as alternating the roles of Masetto in Mozart's Don Giovanni and Dandini in Rossini's La Cenerentola with Björn Bürger later this season. 

Craig Irvin's shirtless Zurga at Utah Opera

Craig Irvin and soprano Andrea Carroll
Pictures have finally shown up of barihunk Craig Irvin, who has been singing shirtless in the Utah Opera production of Bizet's The Pearl Fishers, which has its final performance today. Now we hope that some audio shows up, so that we can hear his thrilling voice sing Zurga's "L'orage s'est calmé." 

If you missed him Utah, you can catch him from February 21-March 1 with the Lyric Opera Kansas City where he reprises his portrayal of Lieutenant Hortsmayer in Kevin Puts' Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night. Irvin practically own the role, having sung it at the Cincinnati Opera, Fort Worth Opera Festival and at the world premiere with the Minnesota Opera. In Kansas City, he'll be reunited with fellow barihunk Liam Bonner, who reprises his performance of Lieutenant Audebert from the initial production.

Craig Irvin and soprano Andrea Carroll
On March 14, Utah Opera will stage their next complete opera with another barihunk, when David Adam Moore takes on Guglielmo on Mozart's Così fan tutte. Performances will run from March 14-22.

In March, Craig Irvin moves into lighter fare, as he sings the Pirate King in the Pensacola Opera production of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance. Tickets are available online.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Smoldering Dan Kempson in Townsend Opera's Streetcar

Dan Kempson and Carrie Hennessey in Townsend Opera's A Streetcar Named Desire
Whenever we run a shirtless picture of Dan Kempson, the traffic to our site doubles or triples. So we were thrilled to get this picture of the 2015 Grammy Award nominee from rehearsals for this weekend's run of André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire, which opens for two performances at the Townsend Opera tonight in Modesto and then heads to the Fresno Grand Opera for a single performance on February 15th.

Although the role of Stanley Kowalski was originally sung by fellow barihunk Rod Gilfry, the role seems like it was written for Kempson. Blessed with one of the most beautiful baritone voices in opera, he also has the same smoldering sexual charisma that Marlon Brando brought to the movie role.  In a stroke of genius casting, Townsend Opera in conjunction with the Fresno Grand Opera were the first to cast him in this role, affording people in Northern California to get the first glimpse of Kempson in a role that will certainly become a signature part for him in his rising career.

Scenes from A Streetcar Named Desire at Townsend Opera
Although Modesto and Fresno are 90 minutes and 3 1/2 hours away from the Bay Area, they are rapidly becoming a key part of the Northern California music scene.  Founded in 1983, Townsend Opera has taken off under Artistic Director Matthew Buckman who launched the Opera Remix Initiative, which is bringing the art form into the 21st century by experimenting with how it can blend the musical styles of today’s world.

Rod Gilfry (left) and Marlon Brando (right)
Fresno Grand Opera, which was founded in 1999, has attracted some of the biggest names in opera, including Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Renée Fleming.  In another example of the changing economics of the opera world, the two companies have joined forces in sharing season and production costs, despite remaining separate entities with their own board of directors.

The remainder of the cast includes Carrie Hennessey as Blanche DuBois,  Kiera Duffy as Stella, James Callon as “Mitch,”  Sharmay Musacchio as Eunice Hubbel and Robert Norman as Steve Hubbel. Tickets for the January 23 and 25 performances at Townsend Opera are available online, as are tickets for the February 15th performance in Fresno.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Barihunk® Malte Roesner face of Staatstheater Braunschweig ad campaign

Malte Roesner (photo on left by Jens Bartels)
People in the Lower Saxony region of Germany were wondering who the handsome face was adorning ads for the Staatstheater Braunschweig. Reporter Alkmini Laucke figured out that it was ensemble member Malter Roesner and promptly invited him out for an interview and photo shoot with Jens Bartels from JayBe Photography.

In the interview, which you can read in German online, he reveals that his 10 year stint at the Staatstheater Braunschweig is coming to an end after this season. He'll be freelancing and moving to Vienna (any General Directors or Artistic Administrators out there should take note - this charismatic singer is available for casting!).
Malte Roesner (photos by Jens Bartels)
He also discusses partaking in martial arts and yoga to find balance in his life, and he showed up for his interview on his bicycle. Clearly, he has the barihunk routine down to an art.

The ads, it turns out, are for the Staatstheater Braunschweig's annual gala, which is themed "Ein Maskenball" (A masked ball). The two night affair will be held in Braunschweigs Burgplatz on January 30 and 31. The event will include music and dancing and tickets are available online.