Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dmitri Hvorostovsky adds two concerts to schedule

Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Two new concerts have appeared on the website of Siberian barihunk Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who the Associated Press had recently reported was canceling all performances for the coming season due to “severe illness.”

First up will be a September 22nd recital at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest, Romania, which is already sold out. The concert features a collections of Russian songs, including music by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Borodin and Anton Rubinstein. This will be followed by a September 26th recital with regular collaborator Ivari Ilja at the Moscow Conservatoire. No details are given on the website. His last program with him included music by Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky and Richard Strauss, with a poignant encore of "Farewell, happiness."

Hvorostovsky was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015. He was due to play leading roles in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, Otello and Rigoletto in Vienna this year and next, but canceled those engagements. He also withdrew from performances of the Met's production of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, where he was replaced by fellow barihunks Peter Mattei and Mariusz Kwiecien. In April, he did make an appearance in Toronto with Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Introducing Glimmerglass barihunk Jarrett Porter

Jarrett Porter
We recently featured a post about what we believe to be the largest single gathering of barihunks since we started blogging, as about a dozen hunky low voices are currently performing at the Glimmerglass Festival in upstate New York. A few of the singers in that post have not appeared on our site before, so we thought we'd start with an introduction of Jarrett Porter. 

Porter is currently a Young Artist at The Glimmerglass Festival, where he is singing Sam in Oklahoma! and covering the role of The English Spy in the American premiere of Donizetti's The Siege of Calais, under the direction of Francesca Zambello. 

Porter joins Arizona Opera for their 2017/18 season as a Marion Roose Studio Artist, where he will make his debut in the title role of Patrick Morganelli’s film-opera collaboration Hercules vs Vampires. Other roles with the company will includ Sciarrone in Puccini's Tosca, Maximilian in Bernstein's Candide, and Fiorello in Rossini's The Barber of Seville with fellow barihunk Jared Bybee in the title role.

Jarrett Porter sings Mahler's "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen":

This past season Porter made his NPR debut with selections from Schubert's Winterreise and Die schöne Müllerin with accompanist Taylor Hutchinson, and narration by Graham Johnson and Sir Thomas Allen. He was also seen in recital with Jake Heggie at the German Consulate of San Francisco in a program of Jake's newest works, including selections from his new chamber opera, Out of Darkness
 
Jarrett Porter

Recent roles have included the title role in Don Giovanni, Chevalier des Grieux in Massenet's Le portrait de Manon, and Sid in Britten's Albert Herring. He is the First Prize winner of the 2017 Pacific Music Society Competition, the Ellie Silver Award winner at the Holt Competition, and the recipient of the 2017 Pankonin Art Song Award.

Hunky Pin-Up Guys in Young Vic's HMS Pinafore

CJ Hartung, Joshua Hughes, Jeffrey Williams, John Kaneklides, and with flag (L-R)
Who says that Gilbert & Sullivan can't be sexy? The Young Victorian Theatre Company has assembled a cast of three barihunks and a hunkentenor for their current run of Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore. The pin-up worthy cast includes barihunk Joshua Hughes as Sir Joseph Porter, KCB, First Lord of the Admiralty; barihunk Jeffrey Williams as Captain Corcoran, Commander of the HMS Pinafore; hunkentenor John Kaneklides as Ralph Rackstraw; and, bass-barihunk Christopher "CJ" Hartung as Dick Deadeye.

The show has already proved to be a huge box office success, as Saturday's opening night performance and today's matinee both completely sold out. Fortunately for anyone near the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area, there are three remaining performances on July 20, 22, and 23 at the Sinex Theater in the Roland Park area.

Joshua Hughes, graduated with a Master of Music in Voice Performance from the Peabody Conservatory, and previously appeared in the company's 2016 summer production of Iolanthe. He recently performed in Charpentier's Les Arts Florissants and Purcell's The Fairy Queen with Dallas Bach Society.

Jeffrey Williams and cast
Jeffrey Williams, who won the Middle/East Tennessee District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, will be appearing next season with the Nashville Opera in both Puccini's Tosca and Hercules vs Vampires. He is also an Assistant Professor of Voice at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.

CJ Hartung is a student at the Peabody Conservatory of Music and is a regular young artist with the Berk's Opera Company, where he most recently sang the role of Lodovico in Verdi's Otello.

John Kaneklides has been singing both opera and musical theater, having performed Henrik in Sondheim's A Little Night Music and Tony in Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. This season he made his role debut in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann with the St. Petersburg Opera, where he performed the title role.

Tickets for the remaining shows are available online.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Barihunk duo to reprise Lully's Alceste at Versailles

Douglas Williams (left) and Edwin Crossley-Mercer (right)
Two of operas hottest men are appeared together in Lully's Alceste last night and we somehow missed it! Barihunk Edwin Crossley-Mercer sang Alcide and bass-barihunk Douglas Williams sang Lycomède and Caron at the Festival International d'Opéra Baroque under the baton of Christophe Rousset.

Fortunately, the opera gods are looking over us, as the duo will reprise their performance at the Grandes Eaux Musicales at the Châteua de Versailles on December 10th with Les Talens Lyriques.

Edwin Crossley-Mercer

The opera was originally presented in celebration of King Louis XIV’s victory against Franche-Comté, and the prologue features nymphs longing for his return from battle.

The opera concerns Alceste, princess of Iolcos and queen of Thessaly, who is abducted by Licomède, king of Scyros, with the aid of his sister Thetis, a sea nymph; Aeolus, the god of the winds; and other supernatural forces. In the battle to rescue her, Alcide is triumphant, but Alceste’s husband, Admète, suffers a mortal wound. Apollo agrees to let Admète live if someone will take his place in death. Alceste volunteers herself but is rescued by Alcide, who loves her.

The opera ends with a celebration of Alceste’s return from the underworld and of Alcide’s noble gallantry in returning her to her husband and relinquishing any claims to her.

Friday, July 14, 2017

World's largest gathering of barihunks at Glimmerglass?

Jarrett Ott, Michael Hewitt, Jarrett Porter and Brent Michael Smith (left) and Justin Austin (right)
Once again, director Francesca Zambello has deservedly landed on our site. Longtime readers know that most opera lovers credit her with beginning the barihunk craze and coining the phrase after having Nathan Gunn appear shirtless in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride. Now she may have created the largest single gathering of barihunks ever assembled at the Glimmerglass Festival, where she is the Artistic & General Director, as well as the stage director for Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Donizetti's The Siege of Calais and Ben Moore's Robin Hood.

Norman Garrett in Glimmerglass' Porgy and Bess
There are at least a dozen barihunks who we know of in the various casts and probably a handful more that we've not been made aware of yet. Most of them have appeared on this site in the past. The Glimmerglass artists include:
  • Norman Garrett as Crown in Porgy and Bess 
  • Brent Michael Smith as the cop in Porgy and Bess; Ariodates in Handel's Xerxes; and the Commentator in Derrick Wang's Scalia/Ginsburg.
  • Zach Owen as the English Spy in The Siege of Calais and the detective in Porgy and Bess.
  • Jarrett Ott as Curly in Oklahoma! 
  • Michael Hewitt as Jud Fry in Oklahoma! and Edoardo III in The Siege of Calais
  • Harry Greenleaf as Cord Elam in Oklahoma!
  • Jarrett Porter as Sam in Oklahoma!
  • Justin Austin as Jake in Porgy and Bess
  • Calvin Griffin as the Undertaker in Porgy and Bess and Elviro in Xerxes
  • Conor McDonald as Skidmore in Oklahoma!
  • Eric Shane covering roles in Oklahoma! and Porgy and Bess
The festival opened July 7th and runs through August 22. Additional cast information and tickets are available online.

POST UPDATE: We heard from some of the singers at Glimmerglass that we may have missed a few singers, including Makoto Winkler, Nicholas Davi, Carl DuPont and Adrian Timpau. We also made some casting updates to the list above.

Andrè Schuen making US debut with Schubert concerts

Andrè Schuen
Tyrolian barihunk Andrè Schuen is making what we believe is his American debut with two concerts of Schubert lieder. He joins composer/pianist Thomas Adès for Tanglewood's “Schubert’s Summer Journey,” a six-concert exploration of the music of the composer. The program includes his famous setting of Goethe’s Wanderers Nachtlied II.

Tickets and additional information is available online.

On July 29th, he'll sings Schubert's Schwanengesang at the Aspen Music Festival with pianist Andreas Haefliger. Schuen and Haefliger will perform the songs not in one grouping but as distinct sets, separated by two solo piano works, Beethoven's Piano Sonata op. 101 and Berg's Piano Sonata.  Tickets are available online.

Andrè Schuen sings Hugo Wolf's Goethe Lieder:

In October, he returns to the opera stage at the Opéra national de Lorraine to portray the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni. The cast includes Nahuel di Pierro as Leporello, Levente Páll as Masetto, David Leigh as the Commendatore, Kiandra Howarth as Donna Anna, Yolanda Auyanet as Donna Elvira and Julien Behr as Don Ottavio. Additional information is available online.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Aaron Sørensen back as Sparafucile

Bass-barihunk Aaron Sørensen
Bass-barihunk calendar model Aaron Sørensen will show off his amazing low F as Sparafucile in Verdi's Rigoletto at the Charlottesville Opera (formerly Ash Lawn Opera). Sørensen recently performed the role to great acclaim with the Mississippi Opera. The Charlottesville cast will include Eglise Gutiérrez as Gilda, Matthew Vickers as the Duke of Mantua and Hyung Yun as the ill-fated father Rigoletto.

The opera opens on July 9th at the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre at Virginia Tech University and then heads to the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia for performances on July 14, 16 and 19. Tickets are available online.