Sunday, February 7, 2016

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.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Timothy McDevitt in Haydn rarity at Lincoln Center

Tim McDevitt
On February 23, Timothy McDevitt will will perform a semi-staged version of Haydn's L'isola disabitata (Desert Island) with the American Classical Orchestra. He'll be joined by soloists Sherezade Panthaki, Sarah Brailey and Owen McIntosh. The performance is at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and tickets are available online.

L'isola disabitata was Haydn's 10th opera and the only one with a libretto by popular 18th-century Italian poet Pietro Metastasio. The opera was first performed in 1779 and is an Enlightenment parable about the relationship between humanity's natural instincts and society. The opera was performed a few times during the composer’s life and rarely since, having only eight productions in recent years.

Tom Corbeil and Martijn Cornet in L'isola disabitata
You also may want to check out the sexy photos of barihunk Tom Corbeil that we posted from Gotham Chamber Opera back in 2009. 

Blond barihunk duo in Don Giovanni

Bastian Thomas Kohl
Bastian Thomas Kohl, who we introduced to readers back in September, will be performing Masetto in Mozart's Don Giovanni along with fellow barihunk John Chest at the Nantes-Angers Opera from March 4-May 8. Tickets and additional cast information is available online.

Kohl, began his musical career at the age of four and received his formal training at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Leipzig and in Vienna at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst.

His international career began at the age of nineteen as a member of the Opernchor Leipzig appearing frequently with Gewandhausorchester under the direction of Riccardo Chailly. Kohl, who has been a member of the ensemble at the Opernhaus Zürich since the 2014-15 season, will be performing Der König in Schiphorst's Die Gánsemagd, an Armored Man in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte and Narumov in Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades.

John Chest
Upcoming performances for John Chest include the Marchese d'Obigny in Verdi's La traviata at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Albert in Massenet's Werther at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Valentin in Gounod's Faust at the Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse with fellow barihunk Alex Esposito as Méphistophélès. He is a member of the ensemble at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

The Angers-Nantes Opéra was created in January 2003 through the merger of the opera companies of Angers and of Nantes.  The company uses a variety of performance spaces in the two cities, and across the region, but the main spaces are the 728-seat Grand Théâtre in Angers, and the 784-seat Théâtre Graslin in Nantes.