Monday, February 8, 2016

Georgios Iatrou to sing Valentine in Essen

Georgios Iatrou
We love it when colleagues suggest that we post someone that they're performing with, which is what soprano Jessica Muirhead did in a recent Twitter post about Georgios Iatrou. In fact, they both shared tweets on the same day about their upcoming performances in Gounod's Faust on March 9 and 11, and April 4 at the Aalto Musiktheater in Essen, Germany. Iatrous will be singing Valentin to her Marguerite. An alternate cast with fellow barihunk Martijn Cornet will open the run on February 13 and run through February 25.

Martijn Cornet
Iatrou is engaged at the Aalto Musiktheater from 2015-17, where he's performing Figaro in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia, Schaunard in Puccini's La boheme, Silvano in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, Kostandis in Martinů's The Greek Passion and the Speaker in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. Performances of Il barbiere di Siviglia run from June 4-July 9 and tickets and cast information is available online

Jessica Muirhead is also in the ensemble at the Aalto Musiktheater where she is performing Violetta in Verdi's La traviata, the title role in Dvorak's Rusalka and Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Alexander Birch Elliott in Valentine's Day Concert; Returning to Portland Opera

Alexander Birch Elliott at the San Francisco Opera
Alexander Birch Elliott, who is wrapping up a run as John Brooke in Mark Adamo's Little Women today, will be featured in a Valentine's concert on Saturday, February 13th with Opera Louisiane. He'll be joined by soprano Chelsea Basler, accompanist Michael Borowitz and cellist Susannah Montandon. They will perform opera arias, duets and Boradway showstoppers. Tickets are available online.

From April 1-5, he'll sing Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte with the Orlando Philharmonic. This summer, he returns to the Portland Opera Festival, where he will perform Anthony in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and the title role in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. He previously performed Frank in Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus and Belcore in Donizetti's The Elixir of Love with the company.

You can read an interview with him on the Madison Opera Blog.

Preview of Gregory Spears' new opera with Joseph Lattanzi

Jospeh Lattanzi in his Barihunk t-shirt at the Seattle Opera (left) and at a Merola Opera performance (right)
Gregory Spears' new opera, Fellow Travelers, will receive a piano-vocal showcase at National Sawdust in Brooklyn on March 20th at 4 PM. This is the composer's first full-length opera, which follows Paul's Case and O Columbia. Paul's Case was a huge success at the 2014 Prototype Festival and subsequently at the Pittsburgh Opera. The opera was originally developed by American Opera Projects. O Columbia was presented last year by the Houston Grand Opera and featured barihunk Ben Edquist.

Fellow Travelers, which was written in collaboration with librettist Greg Pierce and director Kevin Newbury, was developed in a 2013 Opera Fusion workshop. It will feature former Barihunks calendar model Joseph Lattanzi, who will sing both the showcase and the world premiere.

Performances of Fellow Travelers will run at the Cincinnati Opera from June 17-July 10 at the Jarson-Kaplan Theater. In addition to Lattanzi, it will feature hunkentenor Aaron Blake, Mary Johnson, Alexandra Schoeny and Talya Lieberman. Tickets and additional information is available online

 Joseph Lattanzi performs "Our Very Own Home" from Fellow Travelers: 

Fellow Travelers, set in Washington against the backdrop of the McCarthy-era "lavender scare," tells the story of Timothy “Skippy” Laughlin, an aspiring young journalist, and Hawkins “Hawk” Fuller, a handsome, profligate State Department official. A chance encounter with Hawk leads to Tim's first job in DC, and his first love affair. As his involvement deepens, Tim struggles to reconcile his political convictions, his religious beliefs, and his love for Fuller – an entanglement that will end in a stunning act of betrayal. The libretto is based on the novel by American novelist, essayist and critic Thomas Mallon.

On February 27th, Lattanzi will sing the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Arizona Opera with fellow barihunk Ryan Kuster as Masetto and the talented Matthew Burns as his sidekick Leporello. Barihunk Morgan Smith will sing the other performances of Don Giovanni. Additional cast and ticket information is available online.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Reader Submission: French bass-barihunk Sévag Tachdjian

Sévag Tachdjian
A reader just spotted French bass-barihunk Sévag Tachdjian, who was peforming Alidoro in Rossini's La Cenerentola with Opéra de Tours. Tachdjian, who was born in Beirut, Lebanon is of Armenian, but grew up in Nice, France.

While studying French literature in Paris and journalism in Strasbourg, he devoted himself to singing and studied at the National School of Music in Lyon, France with the great French soprano Françoise Pollet. He subsequently joined for the Opera Studio of the Oper Köln, Germany, and the Opera studio of the Opéra national du Rhin, France, where he performed Marullo in Verdi's Rigoletto, Baron Duphol in La traviata, Sciarrone in Puccini's Tosca, the First Apprentice in Berg's Wozzeck, Spencer Coyle in Britten's Owen Wingrave, and Don Annibale in Donizetti's Il Campanello.

 Sévag Tachdjian & Carol Garcia sing 'Là del ciel nell'arcano profondo' from La Cenerentola:

In 2011 he was voted the  “Best Young Talent” by the German opera magazine Theater Pur. In 2012, he performed in Europea 3 & 4, by John Cage at the Holland Festival. In 2013, he made his Italian debut as Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen at the Montepulciano Festival. He won 2nd Prize at the 2015 “Concours international de chant de Canari” and at the “Internationaler Komitas-Wettbewerb” in Berlin.

He now heads off to sing Le Capitaine in Massenet's comic opera Don César de Bazan, which will be be performed at the Opéra de Reims, Théâtre Saint-Martin Paris and Le Théâtre de Saint-Dizier between February 27 and April 29. Don César de Bazan was the composer's first full length opera to be performed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Barihunk switch in Opera Philadelphia's Cold Mountain

Jarrett Ott
Opera Philadelphia has announced that Jarrett Ott will replace fellow barihunk Nathan Gunn as W.P. Inman for all five performances of Jennifer Higdon's Cold Mountain. The opera is being performed from  Februar 5-14 at the Academy of Music.

Nathan Gunn created the role in the August 2015 world premiere at The Santa Fe Opera, but had to pull out of the East Coast premiere due to a serious family illness.

Jarrett Ott, who is a popular singer on this site, is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and a member of Opera Philadelphia’s Emerging Artists Program. He has been involved with the development of Cold Mountain and the character of Inman for more than three years. He performed the role in two workshops in 2012 and 2013, sang with the full cast in March 2015 as part of a Works & Process presentation at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, and covered the role in both Santa Fe and Philadelphia. He began the 2015-2016 Season with Opera Philadelphia as Marchese D'Obigny in Verdi's La traviata.

The opera is based on Charles Frazier’s National Book Award-winning novel, Cold Mountain, which follows the American odyssey of W.P. Inman, a wounded Civil War soldier who deserts the Confederate Army at great peril to reunite with his love, Ada Monroe (which will be sung by mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard). Ada's once privileged life on Cold Mountain has become one of loneliness and deprivation. As Inman makes his way home, he wonders if the violence he has experienced has made him unworthy of love, and is forced to question just where his allegiance lies. Amidst the destruction of the American Civil War, a pivotal conflict in America’s history, the transformative journeys of Inman and Ada go to the very center of their souls.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Vittorio Prato and Anna Caterina Antonacci reunite in Liège

Vittorio Prato
Barihunks calendar model Vittorio Prato will rejoin the amazing soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci in a double-bill of Wolf-Ferrari's Il Segretto di Susanna and Poulenc's La Voix Humaine at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Liège, Belgium. They previously performed the double-bill together at the Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg in 2013, which you can listen to in its entirety. Tickets are available online.

The one-act opera Il Segreto di Susanna is rarely performed, probably due to modern views about glorifying smoking. A newlywed husband suspects his younger wife of infidelity because he frequently smells tobacco on her clothes. She's reluctant to admit her unlady-like habit, and much havoc ensues, but when he catches her in the act, all is resolved, and they happily agree to smoke together. 

The second opera, La Voix Humaine, is a more frequently performed and popular solo vehicle for soprano. In this one-act opera, it is the husband who is unfaithful in the face of a wife who seems willing to compromise for the sake of the relationship.

After the run of Il Segretto di Susanna, Prato heads to Palermo to sing Sgt. Sulpice in Donizetti's La fille du régiment and the title role in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia in Bologna.

Barihunk duo in Nice Côte d’Azur's Barber of Seville

Richard Rittelmann (left) and Mattia Olivieri (right)
Opéra Nice Côte d’Azur's production of Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia will feature the barihunk duo of Mattia Olivieri as Figaro and Richard Rittelmann as Fiorello. Also in the cast is Rossini specialist Daniele Zanfardino as Almaviva, Georgian mezzo Ketevan Kemoklidze as Rosina and Marco Vinco as Basilio. Performances will run from February 24-March 1 and tickets are available online.

Rittelmann who was part of our Barihunks Charity Calendar shoot in France this year, has also launched a new website (which includes a picture of him in his Barihunk t-shirt!). Upcoming performances include the Fauré Requiem in six French cities between March 16-29, Johann Strauss' Der Zigeunerbaron in Turin, Berlioz's Les Troyens in concert with Honorary Barihunk Joyce Di Donato and tenor Bryan Hymel (which will be recorded by Warner Classics) and Puccini's La bohème with San Francisco's Golden Gate Opera in May.

Upcoming performances include Marcello in Puccini's La bohème in São Paulo and Ping in Puccini's Turandot at the Bregenz Festival this summer.