Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tareq Nazmi to make Carnegie Hall debut

Tareq Nazmi
Kuwaiti born barihunk Tareq Nazmi will make his Carnegie Hall debut on October 24th performing in Mozart's Requiem in D Minor,” K. 626 and Bach’s Magnificat in D Major, BWV 243 in a 1733 revision of the original, in E-flat Major, BWV 243a, which was written ten years earlier. He'll be backed by the KlangVerwaltung Orchestra and Chorgemeinschaft Neubeuern Chorus and soloists soprano Susanne Bernhard, mezzo-soprano Anke Vondung and tenor Daniel Johannsen. Tickets are available online.

He also had two role debuts this year, Zaccaria in Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco in St. Gallen in April 2017 and Basilio in Gioachino Rossini’s Barber of Seville at Berlin’s Komische Oper in July 2017.

You can hear samples of his singing on his website, including Tuba mirum from Mozart's Requiem. Click HERE.

Tareq Nazmi has been a permanent member of the Bavarian State Opera since the 2012-13 season where he's performed the Minister in Beethoven's Fidelio, Masetto in Mozart's Don Giovanni, the Speaker in Mozart's The Magic Flute, Colline in Puccini's La bohème, Silvano in Cavalli's La Calisto, Mitjucha in Mussogsky's Boris Godunov, First Nazarene in Richard Strauss' Salome, Zuniga in Bizet's Carmen, Truffaldin in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, Obrist in Bernd Alois Zimmermann's Die Soldaten, and Astolfo in Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia.

Don't forget to order you 2017 Barihunks in Bed calendar, which is now on sale by clicking HERE

Malte Roesner

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Barihunk Michael Hewitt raising money and awareness for cancer

Michael Hewitt training for The Decath10n
Barihunk Michael Hewitt is raising money for an event called The Decath10n , which raises money for pediatric cancer research. Hewitt is specifically raising money for the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

He has to raise $2,500 to compete in the Decathlon, although the ever-competitive singer has set his goal at $7,000. If he doesn't reach his goal, he can't compete in the challenge, which includes ten events that he's been training for over the last few months.

The Barihunks family would like to help him reach his goal and is hoping that our readers will chip in. Go to his Decath10n page and support him in this noble effort.

Michael is also featured in July in our 2017 "Barihunks in Bed" calendar. We will donate any money from calendar sales in the next 48 hours to his Decath10n effort, so donate now. Click HERE to order your calendar.

Michael Hewitt, Gianluca Margheri and Jared Bybee

Monday, October 17, 2016

Calendar model Aaron Sørensen reprises Sarastro

Aaron Sørensen
Aaron Sørensen, who is featured in our new 2017 Barihunks in Bed calendar, will be returing to his signature role of Sarastro in Mozart's The Magic Flute, which opens the new Fargo-Moorhead Opera season. Performances are on October 28 and 30 and cast information and tickets are available online.

The production is updated to a STEAMPUNK theme, a subgenre of science fiction that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. In this production, Tamino is an intrepid Victorian-area explorer who stumbles into the frozen realm of the Queen of the Night.

Upcoming roles for Sorensen include the title role in Donizetti's Don Pasquale with Brava! Opera in Medford, Oregon, and Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni with Kalamazoo Symphony.

Edward Miskie, Aaron Sørensen and Glenn Ayars
Sørensen appears in October in our new calendar along with Edward Miskie and Glenn Ayars. The calendar is available for purchase HERE.

Andrea Mastroni sings bass lead in new opera Aquagranda

Andrea Mastroni (photo: Nicodemo Luca Lucà)
Italian bass Andrea Mastroni will open the new season at La Fenice on November 4th  with the world premiere of Filippo Perocco's new opera Aquagranda. The opera recalls the 1966 tragedy when the sea level rose 194 cm (6.4 feet) and flooded Venice.

Librettists Roberto Bianchin and Luigi Cerantola set the opera on the island Pellestrina, which was hit the hardest by the rains and winds. The opera marks the 50th anniversary of the floods that caused 3,000 people to flee the city.

Mastroni sings the lead role of Fortunato in the opera, which was written for a true bass. It includes a madrigal for Fortunato, Acque, atroci acque, which is one of the emotional highlights of the piece. Mastroni's character also has a scene where he tells his son Ernesto that people cannot escape due to the rising tides.

Venice, as city of canals, has regularly been affected by rising sea levels, known as Acqua alta, but the 1966 levels were almost unprecedented and devastated much of the city. The flood left thousands of residents without homes and caused over six million dollars worth of damage to the various art throughout Venice. The city remained isolated for 24 hours with more than 75% of businesses, shops, and artisans' studios either seriously damaged or destroyed completely.

Performance run until November 13 and tickets are available online.

Mastroni returns to the Metropolitcan Opera after his run in Venice, where he will sing Sparafucile in Verdi's Rigoletto. Performances are on January 20, 26, 30 and February 4th and tickets and cast information is available online.

The 2017 Barihunks in Bed calendar is now on sale. Purchase your copy here

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Two barihunks advance in Met Midwest Auditions

Austin Sanders
Barihunks Austin Sanders and Reuben Lillie were two of the four singers to advance in today's Metropolitan Opera Upper Midwest Region National Auditions. The other two singers to advance were soprano Emily Pogorelc and soprano Ariana Douglas. Baritones Nathaniel Hill and Joshua Cook both received Encouragement Awards. 

Austin Sanders, a native from Onalaska, Wisconsin, is a Baritone in his final semester at Viterbo University as a student of Daniel Johnson-Wilmot. Austin just finished performing Acis and Galatea this October and he starred as the role of Polypheme. He’s also been Ko-Ko in The Mikado, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, and Don Annibale in Il campenello di note throughout his time at Viterbo. He placed second at the NATS competition last year, a finalist and an honorable mention at the Schubert Club Audition, and received an encouragement award at the MONC Auditions as well.

Reuben Lillie
Reuben Lillie is a singer, composer, and scholar of music and theology. His stage credits include performances with The Santa Fe Opera, Sugar Creek Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera in addition to concerts throughout Chicago. He is a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University's School of Music and the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Reuben recently completed his Master of Divinity studies at McCormick Theological Seminary with The University of Chicago Divinity School.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

BARIHUNKS featured in Canada's National Post

Malte Roesner and Marco Vassalli as seen in the National Post and the Barihunks Calendar
Canada's National Post has written a feature on the barihunk phenomenon, which includes extensive comments from site co-founder Jack Michaels. Canadian barihunks Philippe Sly and Phillip Addis are mentioned, along with Italian bass-barihunk Luca Pisaroni and Germans Marco Vassalli and Malte Roesner.
"Look at what we watch on television. Police detectives look like supermodels! We live in a culture where aesthetics are important. I don’t want to ever say it’s more important – voice is always the most important – but it’s become an important factor." - Barihunks co-founder Jack Michaels
The article mentions our charity calendar, which has funded numerous projects for low voices, including the West Coast premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's opera "Green Sneakers" and Marco Vassalli's U.S. debut. 2017 will mark the tenth anniversary of the site, which was originally conceived as a fan site for Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Mariusz Kwiecien.
“It’s about the music first – that’s why I got into this. Any fitness things that are related, I do try to deliver them, but only as much as they serve the actual work. I’m definitely not thinking, ‘How will this pose look on Barihunks?'" -Barihunk Phillip Addis
Author Catherine Kustanczy does a great job of explaining that the "hunks in opera" phenomenon predates the creation of Barihunks almost a decade ago. She cites such historic opera figures as Cesare Siepi, Theodor Uppman, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Samuel Ramey, who all were operatic "pin up boys" decades ago.

You can read the entire article online.

Glenn Seven Allen and Edwin Crossley-Mercer in the 2017 Barihunks calendar

Support independent publishing: Buy this calendar on Lulu.

Edwin Crossley-Mercer featured in Opera News and new Barihunks Calendar

The Opera News feature on Edwin Crossley-Mercer
We've been following barihunk Edwin Crossley-Mercer since early in his career, mesmerized by his good looks, dark creamy voice and charming stage presence. The singer, who is Northern Irish on his father's side and French Alsatian–Jewish on his mother's side, has rapidly emerged as a major talent in the world of opera.

He is currently featured in the October 2016 issue of Opera News, where he talks about his career, which has focused mostly on lieder and Mozart operas, as well as his desire to sing Handel. Remarkably, he claims that no one has asked him. Opera News also recognized the attention that he's received from fans of Barihunks, where he has an enthusiastic following [see quote below]'
"THOUGH NOT YET A HOUSEHOLD NAME in the opera world, Edwin Crossley-Mercer is certainly well known where it matters. All kinds of connoisseurs—from devotees of some quite recherché song repertoire to barihunk fans—admire this French lyric baritone; more crucially, so do those in charge of casting at several of the best opera house addresses." - OPERA NEWS

He is so popular with our readers that we asked him to appear in our upcoming 2017 "Barihunks in Bed" calendar, which he graciously agreed to do. We hired a photographer in France to take a photo and made him our December feature, since his stunning prematurely gray hair evoked a perfect wintry night. You can purchase a copy online.

Glenn Seven Allen & Edwin Crossley-Mercer in 2017 Barihunks in Bed calendar
He next appears as Polydorus with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in Berlioz's L'enfance du Christ on October 20 in Edinburgh and October 21 in Glasgow. He'll be joined by bass-barihunk Jérôme Varnier as Herod (who also appears in this year's calendar in April).The performance is conducted by Emmanuel Krivine and tickets are available online.

On November 5th, he'll appear at the Deutsche Oper Berlin's 22nd Grand Opera Gala in support of the AIDS Foundation. The event also features fellow barihunk Andrea Mastroni, Patrizia Ciofi, Gregory Kunde and a host of other operatic luminaries. Tickets are available online.