Saturday, August 29, 2015

Barihunk duo alternating Count Almaviva's at Bolshoi

Konstantin Shushakov (left) and Andrei Jilihovschi (right)
We have "Barihunk scouts" on three continents who keep us well apprised of singers and productions worldwide, but we rarely get messages from Russia even though we get a lot of traffic from the country. So we were pretty thrilled to receive a message from a fan in Moscow letting us know about the barihunk duo alternating Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at the Bolshoi Theater. 

We originally featured Konstantin Shushakov back in 2011 when he took 2nd place at Operalia, but Andrei Jilihovschi is new to us. 

Shushakov was born in Udmurtia, Russia and began his vocal studies at Izhevsk Music College before moving on to the Russian Academy of Theatrical Art. He has been a regular at the Bolshoi Theatre since 2011, where he's been critically acclaimed as Papageno in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Yeletsky in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades. In the 2012-13 season he made his debut in the title role of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Maribor Opera. Last season, he appeared as Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte at La Scala in Milan. 

Shushakov appears as the Count on September 16, 18 and 20. 

30-year-old Andrei Jilihovschi was born in Moldova and completed his studies in choral conducting at the Ştefan Neaga Music College in the capital city of Chisinau. During his time at school he also studied singing in the opera studio and then continued his studies at the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatoire where he sang he title role in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.


From 2010-2012, he was a soloist with the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg where he appeared as Belcore in Donizetti's L’elisir d’amore, Schaunard in Puccini's La Boheme, Robert in Tchaikovsky's Iolanta, the Prince in Asafiev’s Cinderella, Silvano in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, Baron Douphol in Verdi's La Traviata and Dancairo in Bizet's Carmen.

In October 2012 he joined the Bolshoi Theatre Young Artist Program and become a member of the Bolshoi ensemble two years later. He will be singing Dancaïro in Bizet's Carmen with the company from September 4-9.  Next year, he makes his debut at the Opéra National de Paris as Robert in Tchaikovsky's Iolanata.

He appears as the Count on September 17 and 19.

Dominik Köninger catching birds and debuting baritone Hoffmann

Dominik Köninger as Papageno in the Barrie Kosky production
German barihunk Dominik Köninger is at the Edinburgh Festival reprising his highly-acclaimed Papageno in Barrie Kosky's magical production of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, which has performances remaining on August 29 and 30.

The innovative Barrie Kosky production of Die Zauberflöte is a collaboration with the amazing British theater group “1927," who put together a production that mixes silent movies, Weimar era cabaret, David Lynch and a touch of the Grimm's Fairy Tales.

The oft-shirtless Dominik Köninger
If you can't catch Köninger as Papageno in the U.K., you'll have plenty of additional opportunities as he's singing the role in the same production at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein beginning on September 19th, then again in Barcelona next summer at the Gran Teatre del Liceu.

We've been huge fans of Dominik Köninger since he won the 2011 Wigmore Hall Song Competition and have been enjoying his regular appearances at the Komische Oper Berlin, where he's sung in Monteverdi's Orpheus, Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte, Pantalone in Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges, Oreste in Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride and Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro.  

 Dominik Köninger sings Hai gia vinta la causa from the Marriage of Figaro:

He returns to Berlin on September 11th to sing the title role in Handel's Giulio Cesare with fellow barihunk Günter Papendell as Achilla. On October 2nd, he'll open in Barrie Kosky's new production of Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann. For the first time in the opera's 132-year performance history, the role of Hoffmann will be sung by a baritone, which was Offenbach's original intention.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Erwin Schrott's year all Don Giovanni & Figaro

Erwin Schrott
Erwin Schrott's stage performances for the remainder of the year is nothing but Mozart's Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro. Tomorrow night he performs Don Giovanni in a concert version of the opera in the tent in Gstaad performed by the orchestra La Scintilla from the Zurich Opera under the baton of Pablo Heras-Casado. The cast includes Véronique Gens and Regula Mühlemann.

On September 15ht, he opens at the Royal Opera House in London for seven performances as Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro with fellow barihunk Stéphane Degout as Count Almaviva. The cast includes Ellie Dehn as the Countess, Kate Lindsey as Cherubino and Ann Murray as Marcellina.

In October, he heads to the Wiener Staatsoper to portray Leporello in Don Giovanni with fellow barihunk Mariusz Kwiecien in the title role. The cast includes Andrea Carroll as Zerlina and Juliane Banse as Donna Elvira.

The trend continues into 2016, when he returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich as Don Giovanni in a barihunk-laden cast that includes Alex Esposito as Leporello and Brandon Cedel and Tareq Nazmi rotating as Masetto.

His only U.S. performance is scheduled for December 12th when he performs Rojotango, his show of tangos by Astor Piazzolla and Pablo Ziegler as well as Argentinean and Brazilian folk songs.

Reader Submission: Joe Eletto

Joe Eletto
Our latest Reader Submission is American barihunk Joe Eletto, who will be performing at Opera in the Park on August 29 and September 13 with the Virginia Opera. Eletto is a participant in Virginia Opera's Herndon Foundation Emerging Artist Program, where he will cover the roles of John Styx in Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld and Schaunard in Puccini's La bohème, and beginning in January 2016 will tour with their school outreach production of Little Red Riding Hood.

Eletto completed his Bachelor of Music with Distinction in Research and Creative Works at Rice University and earned his master of music from The Juilliard School and participated in Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute as a Vocal Fellow, Houston Grand Opera's Young Artists Vocal Academy and Aspen Music Festival and School. He won an Encouragement Award from the Opera Index Vocal Competition, first-prize in Classical Singer Magazine’s 2013 competition in the University Division, and second-prize in the inaugural Hal Leonard Vocal Competition in the College/University Voices Division.

Joe Eletto
In March 2016, he will sing his first Fauré Requiem with the Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Georgia. He recently made his debut with the Crested Butte Music Festival singing Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale and returned to the Bard Music Festival for their musical survey of Mexican composer Carlos Chávez, having sung Schubert’s Partsongs the previous year. He created the role of Felix Mendelssohn in Victoria Bond’s new opera Clara with Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival and sang with the New York Festival of Song in a performance curated by composer Mark Adamo.

Opera in the Park is free to the public and will be held at Dogwood Dell Amphitheatre in Richmond, Virginia. The park opens at 6 PM and the concert starts at 7:30 PM on both nights.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Barihunk trio in Kansas City's Don Giovanni

Daniel Okulitch as Don Giovanni at NY City Opera
The Lyric Opera of Kansas City is opening its 58th season with Mozart’s Don Giovanni featuring the barihunk trio of Daniel Okulitch in the title role, Joshua Bloom as Leporello and Rhys Lloyd Talbot as Masetto. Performances are on September 26 and 30 and October 2 and 4 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available online

The trio are also all alumni of the prestigious Merola Opera Program in San Francisco, with Daniel Okulitch taking part in 2002, Joshua Bloom in 2001 and 2003, and Rhys Lloyd Talbot in 2013 and 2014. Elizabeth Caballero, their Donna Elvira, was in the program with both Okulitch and Bloom. 

After Don Giovanni, Bloom will portray The Pirate King in Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance in October at both Théâtre de Caen and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. Okulitch will head to the Manitoba Opera where he will sing Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro. Talbot just completed the Young Artist program at Glimmerglass where he performed the Speaker/Second Priest in Mozart's The Magic Flute and the Apparition in Verdi's Macbeth.

David Adam Moore to make Salzburg Festival debut

David Adam Moore (far left in Dead Man Walking at DMMO) and Barihunk Calendar photos (center, right)
Barihunk David Adam Moore will be making his Salzburger Festpiele debut in the 2015-16 season. He will be creating the role of Colonel Alvaro in the world premiere of Adès’ The Exterminating Angel in a production by Robert Lepage.

The opera, which is a co-commission between the Met, the Salzburg Festival and the Royal Opera,  features a libretto by Tom Cairns who based the work on the 1962 Luis Bunuel film of the same name. The co-commission was originally announced in 2011, but was delayed for unspecified reasons. After Salzburg, it will be performed at London's Royal Opera in the Spring of 2017 and at New York's Metropolitan Opera in the Fall of 2017.

Hunkentenor Ed Lyon
Word has it that Moore will alternate the role with fellow barihunk Simon Keenlyside, who has been sidelined with an illness since withdrawing from Rigoletto in Vienna in December 2014. The remainder of the cast is rumored to include hunkentenor Ed Lyon, Alice Coote, Frederic Antoun, Amanda Echalaz and Audrey Luna. 

 Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel will be premiered in Salzburg next year, ahead of performances at the Royal Opera House, London and the Metropolitan Opera, New York.  

Sexy photo shoot of Ramin Karimloo

Ramin Karimloo
Barihunk Ramin Karimloo is performing the role of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables eight times a week at the Imperial Theatre in New York City. That alone is a workout, but he's also been buffing up at the Columbus Circle Equinox.

Fortunately, The Broadway Style Guide did a feature on his workout routine which includes some amazingly beautiful photos by Matthew Murphy and his assistant Mitch Dean. You can read the entire feature on their website

the Columbus Circle Equinox
Imperial Theatre
Imperial Theatre
Ramin Karimloo
Karimloo, who is classically trained, has spent most of his career singing Broadway musicals. He sang the Pirate King in the U.K. tour of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance. Tickets for Les Misérables are available online.