Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jake Heggie's "The End of the Affair" comes to Berkeley

Carrie Hennessey and Keith Phares
The West Edge Opera in Berkeley, California, is following up their critically-acclaimed production of Philip Glass' Hydrogen Jukebox with another 20th Century work, as they open Jake Heggie's The End of the Affair this Sunday, August 3rd.

The End of the Affair premiered ten years ago at the Houston Grand Opera with barihunk Teddy Tahu Rhodes in the lead role of Maurice. The West Edge Opera has hired barihunk Keith Phares for the role of the writer writer Maurice Bendrix. The libretto's last ten minutes were revised to alter the ending for performances at the Seattle Opera and the Madison Opera (with barihunk Philip Cutlip).

Carrie Hennessey and Keith Phares
Based on the Graham Greene novel of the same title, it is set in London in 1944 and 1946 and focuses on Maurice and Sarah, who vows to end their illicit affair if his life is spared in a bombing. His survival leads to Sarah's religious conversion and Maurice's railing against God for it. After returning to her husband, Maurice hires a private detective to investigate her under direction of her cuckholded husband Henry. 

For those unfamiliar with the work, there is a quartet for lovers of the male voice that includes three baritones and a tenor. In the quartet the four men share their feelings about how Sarah has changed their lives.

Keith Phares in The End of the Affair
Performances are on Sunday, August 3 at 3:00 p.m.. Thursday, August 7 at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, August 9 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are available online. There are also two performance of Hydrogen Jukebox remaining on August 2 and 8, as well as performance of Puccini's La bohème on August 1 and 10. 

Opera Australia hits the road

Sam Roberts-Smith
Opera Australia is taking a Mozart's The Magic Flute and transporting it to a modern day archaeological dig in Egypt, even including a mummy in the cast.

But the real transporting is of the sets and cast, as they take the production across the vast Australian outback to parts unknown. The opera will be performed in 26 cities, including Morundah with a population of ten. The town had no place to perform, so a farmer built a pig shed, which has been dubbed the Paradise Palladium. 

Starring as Tamino, and on alternating nights the Armed Man 1, is barihunk turned hunkentenor turned barihunk Sam Roberts-Smith. If you're confused, check out our recent post about Sam Roberts-Smith's fach change. Christopher Hillier, is singing Papageno and on alternating nights the role of Armed Man 2.

This is Opera Australia's third production to hit the road and it already appears to have been a hit with audiences in Ballarat, Bendigo, Dandenong, Marysville and Nunawading. There are alternating casts, so check out the Opera Australia website for cast information and tour dates.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Barihunk Trio in Salzburg Don Giovanni

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo and Luca Pisaroni
The Salzburg Festival has assembled three of the most popular barihunks for their production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Ildebrando D'Arcangelo is singing the title role, Luca Pisaroni is his sidekick Leporello and Alessio Arduini is Masetto. Fans of a pulchritudinous men will be pleased to know that Don Giovanni and Masetto both show off their upper torsos liberally in Sven-Eric Bechtolf's production. 

There are six performances remaining between July 30 and August 18, but two of the shows are already completely sold out. If you plan on attending, go to the Festival website and order your tickets today.

If you can't make a live performance, the production is being recorded by ServusTV in cooperation with UNITEL CLASSICA and will be broadcast as live on Sunday, August 3 at 7:30 PM. If you live in Europe, you can download the ServusTV app to your iPad.

If you're in the United States, you can catch Alessio Arduini at the Metropolitan Opera in Puccini's La bohème as Schaunard this November with Kristine Opolais as Mimi. Luca Pisaroni's next U.S. performance in a complete opera is also at the Met in their Don Giovanni, which runs in February and March 2015. Ildebrando D'Arcangelo's next U.S. stage appearance is also in Don Giovanni, but on the other coast, when he sings the title role at the revived San Diego Opera. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Edward Nelson to sing title role in Don Giovanni

Edward Nelson (Photo by James Darrah)
The Merola Opera Program has cast barihunk Edward Nelson in their upcoming performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni. The opera is being directed by James Darrah and conducted by Martin Katz.

The California native studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and took 1st Place at the 2013 Mid-South Region Metropolitan Opera Auditions. He has performed the title role in Britten's Owen Wingrave, Dandini in Rossini's La Cenerentola, the Forester in Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen and Le Podestat in Bizet's Le docteur Miracle.

Edward Nelson with Yujin Kim

Edward Nelson
The remainder of the cast includes Szymon Wach as Leporello, Rhys Lloyd Talbot as Masetto, Scott Russell  as the Commendatore, Amanda Woodbury as Donna Anna, Yujin Kim as Zerlina, Benjamin Werley as Don Ottavio and Karen Chia-Ling Ho as Donna Elvira.

Performances are on Thursday, July 31 and August 2 at the Everett Auditorium in San Francisco. Tickets are available at the San Francisco Opera website.

You can follow Edward Nelson on YouTube or Facebook.

Seth Carico returns to hometown for "King and I"

Seth Carico in King & I
We've been following Seth Carico since his amazing turn as Victor in Jorge Martin's Before Night Falls at the Fort Worth Opera Festival. We followed him from his larger-than-life portrayal of the Castro-esque revolutionary leader to his fitness obsession and invitation to appear in our Barihunks calendar.

He eventually landed for a year at the prestigious Merola Opera Program in San Francisco before being snatched away by the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where he has impressed audiences in Billy Budd, Les Troyens, Don Giovanni, Tosca, Die Zauberflöte, Otello, Rigoletto, Le nozze di Figaro, and Champert’s Hoffmann. 

Carico recently returned to his hometown of Signal Mountain, Tennessee to perform in the "King and I," where he started his career as one of the King's children in 1991. This time he'll be the king and perhaps surrounded by some children who dream of following in his footsteps. 

He was recently interviewed by Chattanooga's Chatter magazine about his career and his return to his hometown, which you can read in its entirety HERE

In the article he also talks about his obsession with fitness, stating:
"I’d say the biggest part of my life other than singing is fitness. It’s become a real obsession of mine. I was really unhealthy a few years ago. I was doing a show, and I felt really terrible and decided that something had to change. I had to get in shape. It was actually The King and I in Virginia that gave me my deadline to get in shape, because I knew I would be shirtless for that show. I lost 75 pounds, and I kept it off. Now it’s become an important part of who I am as a performer and who I am as a person."
On August 14th, he'll be appearing in Richard Strauss' Salome at the Proms in London under the baton of Donald Runnicles. He then returns to the Deutsche Oper Berlin where he'll be performing Junius in Brittens' The Rape of Lucretia, Zuniga in Bizet's Carmen and The Speaker in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Peter Brathwaite in "Adults Only" Micro-opera

Peter Brathwaite rehearsing "Flat Pack"
Tête à Tête, a British opera company that produces new works and find new ways of producing old works is presenting a new 30-minute micro-opera called "Flat Pack." The piece stars Barihunk Calendar model Peter Brathwaite as Simon and Aled Jones as Viola. Tête à Tête has produced over 70 stage works by more than 50 different composers for audiences throughout the UK and abroad.

The piece, which has an "adults only" warning, is described as a microdrama about putting together IKEA furniture. Part of the text reads, "Insert screw A into hole G on shelf E using Allen Key 2."'

We've heard that Brathwaite has been sensational in rehearsals and even managed to get a picture of him working through the piece.

The Festival in the White Lab of Central St. Martin's College of Art and Design, with performances on Thursday, July 31and Friday, August 1 at 8pm. Tickets are available online.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Bevy of Barihunks at 2014 Seagle Music Colony

Bottom Row - Austin Siebert, George Arvidson, Clay Thompson, Nate Mattingly, Mason Jarboe, Michael Miller
Top Row - Keith Browning, Trevor Martin, Michael Hewitt, Damian Faul
The Seagle Music Colony in upstate New York, which was one of our first recipients of a grant from our calendar sales, has assembled quite a bevy of barihunks this season. The minute we saw the roster, we offered to ship off some of our tee-shirts in exchange for a group of photo. Wow, were we pleased when the photos arrived.

The training program just wrapped up performances of Lerner & Loewe's Camelot, a children's performance of Hansel & Gretel, Rossini's The Italian Girl in Algiers and Side by Side by Sondheim. From July 30-August 2, they'll present Carlisle Floyd's Susannah, followed by Bernstein's West Side Story and a Vespers concert.

L to R = Michael Miller, Mason Jarboe, Austin Siebert, Trevor Martin, Michael Hewitt, Keith Browning, Damian Faul, George Arvidson, Nate Mattingly and Clay Thompson
The critical role of Olin Blitch in Susannah will be shared by Nathaniel Mattingly (July 30, Aug. 1), William Clay Thompson (July 31, Aug. 2), Trevor Martin will sing Elder McLean and George Arvidson will sing Elder Ott. In West Side Story Trevor Martin will sing Bernardo, William Clay Thompson will sing Detective Schrank, George Arvidson is Riff and Austin Siebert as Diesel.

In the recently completed performances of The Italian Girl in Algiers, directed by John De Los Santos, the role of Mustafa was alternated between Austin Seibert and Michael Hewitt (who has appeared in the Barihunks calendar), while Mason Jarboe sang Haly.

Michael Hewitt as he appeared in the 2013 Barihunks calendar
Camelot featured Damian Faul as Merlyn, Trevor Martin as Arthur, Michael Hewitt as Lancelot nad William Clay Thompson as Mordred.

Seagle Music Colony is the oldest summer vocal training program in the United States and was awarded the "Best Cultural Event" in the Adirondacks by the Adirondack Local Government Conference Committee.  We highly suggest that you join Barihunk in financially supporting this great program. If you're interested in making a donation, please click HERE.