Sunday, April 20, 2014

Barihunk trio in Opera Parallèle Double-Bill

Gabriel Preisser, Hadleigh Adams and Daniel Cilli at a dress rehearsal
Regular readers of this site know that we have a particular fondness for Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tirésias. Apparently, our readers do, as well, as the production from Barcelona remains one of our most visited posts (barihunk Gabriel Bermudez appearing in the buff may account for some of that traffic!).

San Francisco's innovative young opera company Opera Parallèle has assembled three popular and talented barihunks for their double-bill of Weill's Mahagonny Songspiel and Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tirésias for their three performances at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts from April 25 - 27 under conductor Nicole Paiement. Gabriel Preisser performs Bobby in Mahagonny and Le mari in the Poulenc, Daniel Cilli is Billy and Le directeur/Presto, and San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow Hadleigh Adams sings Le gendarme.

Gabriel Preisser and Hadleigh Adams (left); Hadleigh Adams and Daniel Cilli (right)
Director Brian Staufenbiel has seamlessly combined the two works, beginning with Mahogonny set in a future where water is in scarce supply and a theater troupe dragging an old boat (that the company found in the Santa Cruz Mountains) stops to perform Les Mamelles. The Poulenc opera is about a woman who becomes a man and changes the submissive role of women in her world, as her husband overpopulates the world by giving birth to thousands of babies.

The Poulenc, which includes members of the San Francisco Girls Chorus to great effect, will be presented in the re-orchestration for smaller orchestra for the first time in the United States.

Hadleigh Adams and Renee Rapier
Gabriel Preisser took the opera world by storm with his portrayal of Lt. Gordon in the world premiere of Kevin Putz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night with Minnesota Opera and Opera Philadelphia. He will reprise the role this summer with the Cincinnati Opera with tenor Thomas Glenn, who is Charlie/Lacouf/Le Journaliste/Le fils in the Weill/Poulenc double-bill. He'll also be joined by fellow barihunks Joseph Lattanzi, Philip Addis, Craig Irvin and Andrew Wilkowske. Performances are on July 10 and 12 and tickets are available online.

Hadleigh Adams made his debut with the San Francisco Opera as Luther and Schlémil in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann and in several roles in the world premiere of Mark Adamo's The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. He'll appear with the company again this season as the Jailer in Puccini's Tosca.

Daniel Cilli heads to the Utah Opera Festival this summer to sing Javert in Les Misérables. During the 2012-13 season, he performed the title role Carlo Gesualdo in the premiere of  Dante DeSilva's Gesualdo: Prince of Madness with Opera Parallèle.

For those unfamiliar with Opera Parallèle, it's a company that you should keep an eye on, as they are doing some of the most innovative and interesting opera on the West Coast. They've produced Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti in a double-bill with Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge, the world premiere of Jacques Desjardins’ re-orchestration of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby, the San Francisco Bay Area premiere of Philip Glass’ Orphée, the first West Coast performances of John Rea’s chamber version of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, the world premiere of Lou Harrison’s opera Young Caesar with a nude scene featuring barihunk Eugene Brancoveanu, Virgil Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts and the world premiere of Luciano Chessa’s A Heavenly Act.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cairan Ryan and Nathan Wyatt headed to Tanglewood


Cairan Ryan and Nathan Wyatt
Nathan Wyatt and Cairan Ryan, two talented young artists who were recently featured on this site have been accepted into the 2014 Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Arts Program.

They will work with three legendary singers, Phyllis Curtin, Dawn Upshaw and Stephanie Blythe, as well as other coaches. During their residency they will hone their skills in art song, contemporary music, chamber music, and orchestral projects under the instruction of resident and visiting faculty artists.

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This season, they will participate in a performance of Bernstein's Candide with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the Koussevitsky Music Shed, as well as performances with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, which will perform Berlioz's Les nuits d'été and other works.

Cairan Ryan was born in Lier, Belgium and emigrated to Calgary, Alberta. He is currently in his second year as a young artist at the Atelier Lyrique de L'Opéra de Montréal. Ryan makes his French debut on May 10 at Choregies d'Orange in a free concert of arias and duets with soprano Marlene Assayag, mezzo-soprano Beste Kalender and tenor Enguerrand De Hys.


In March, Wyatt performed the world premiere of Nico Muhly's work for baritone and orchestra, Pleasure Ground, with the Cincinnati Symphony as part of the MusicNOW Festival. In May, he sings the role of the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro with the American Dream Theater.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tom Corbeil live from Australia this Sunday

Tom Corbeil, music director Erin Helyard, soprano Anna Davidson, countertenor Daniel Bubeck and director Chas Rader-Shieber waiting at the airport
You can listen to barihunk Tom Corbeil sing Zoroastro in Handel's Orlando from the Hobart Baroque Festival in Australia this Sunday, April 20th at 7 PM AEST (Australian time)/2 AM PST/5 AM EST. The broadcast is on ABC Classic FM.

This is the same production by director Chas Rader-Shieber and designer David Zinn that premiered at Glimmerglass Festival and was later shown at Lincoln Centre in New York. This opera features one of Handel's most famous mad scenes sung here by the gifted countertenor Randall Scotting. The  text of the opera is derived from Ludovico Ariosto’s sixteenth century epic poem, Orlando Furioso.

Ildebrando D'Arcangelo sings Zoroastro's "Lascia amor":

The plot is the usual Baroque entanglement of love both requited and unrequited. Orlando, a great hero in Charlemagne's army, has been undone by love. Angelica, the Queen of Cathay and his former lover, now loves the African prince Medoro. Medoro, who once promised love to the shepherdess Dorinda, now requites Angelica's love. In other words, we have two spurned lovers – Dorinda, whose reaction is seriocomic, and Orlando, whose reaction is to fall into madness. Dorinda is clever enough to fend for herself, but the magician Zoroastro must put Orlando back together again. This he successfully does, and Orlando is restored to his former military glory at the end of the opera.

Chris Herbert hits some heavenly high notes as Jesus

Chris Herbert hitting some heavenly high notes as Jesus
Christopher Herbert, who in addition to his solo career and tours with New York Polyphony, also performs with Music at Trinity Wall Street on many Sundays. On Palm Sunday, the ensemble improvised the Passion according to Matthew and he sang the role of Jesus.  

And if you thought Jesus walking on water was impressive, wait until you hear his high B-flats. The Passion starts in Trinity Wall Street's streaming video at 20:15. The heavenly high notes take place around 31:00 and 57:00. 

Herbert is also performing today for Good Friday and singing the role of Pontius Pilate in Bach's Saint John Passion. They will perform it in liturgical context with a sermon in the middle and the congregation singing the chorales in English. It will also be available online.

[Pontius Pilate and Jesus in the same week! There's a joke in there somewhere.]

Herbert and New York Polyphony begin their tour of The Netherlands and Germany next week beginning on April 22 and running through May 3. On May 11, he returns to the U.S. as a soloist when he performs Handel's Israel in Egypt with Princeton ProMusica.

Reader Submission: Alexander Elliott

Alexander Elliott preparing for Pirates of Penzance
The Portland Opera Resident Young Artist Program was one of the first recipients of a Barihunks Grant from our annual calendar proceeds. So we were particularly delighted when our latest reader submission was one of the young artists performing Samuel in Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance with the company.

Alexander Elliott is a second year young artist who has performed in recital with the company, as well sung the Shoe Salesman in Dominick Argento's Postcard from Morocco. He was also their cover for Enrico in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.  Our reader also shared this great photo of Alexander Elliott get used to his sword for the show, which opens on May 9 and runs through May 17. Tickets are available online. The Pirate King is being sung by one of the most famous barihunks in the world, Daniel Okulitch.

Elliott was previously an apprentice artist with the Central City Opera, where he sang the role of Frank in Ned Rorem’s Our Town. This summer, he joins the prestigious Merola Opera Program in San Francisco. They are performing Mozart's Don Giovanni and a reduced orchestral version of André Previn's Streetcar Named Desire.

Other career highlights have includes the Captain in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and Périchaud in La Rondine with Des Moines Metro Opera as well as Count Almaviva in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro with the Tulsa Opera opposite fellow barihunk Seth Carico.

You can hear audio of him at his website.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexy Don Giovanni with Zach Altman in San José

Cecilia Violetta Lopez as Donna Anna & Zach Altman as Don Giovanni
Every so often there's a Don Giovanni that comes along where one can actually believe the sexual conquests listed in Leoporello's catalog aria. (In Italy, six hundred and forty; In Germany, two hundred and thirty-one; A hundred in France; in Turkey, ninety-one; But in Spain already one thousand and three).

Such is the case with Zach Altman's sexy and shirtless portrayal at the San José Opera. Regular readers will recall a photo of Altman in a towel that we ran, which for almost a year was one of our most clicked on photos. That photo ran four years ago and Altman still looks great, but he has also emerged into one of the most compelling entertainers and singers on stage.


By the way, the catalog aria in this production is sung by Eugene Brancoveanu, who has also appeared shirtless on this site. There are two casts for Don Giovanni, and Altman can be seen on April 19, 24, 27 and May 2. Tickets and additional cast information are available online.

He was also featured in this article from the San José Mercury News where he discusses the role and his time on the roster at the San José Opera. 

Altman has been a resident artist at the San José Opera for the last two years, where he has sung Zurga in Bizet's Pearl Fishers, Dr. Falke Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus, Count Di Luna in Verdi's Il trovatore, and the title role in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi.

Altman can next be seen this summer at the Caramoor Festival as Astolfo in Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia opposite soprano Angela Meade and Marullo in Verdi's Rigoletto.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kyle Ketelsen's Easter Messiah to be broadcast worldwide

Kyle Ketelsen as Méphistophélès (right)
American barihunk Kyle Ketelsen will make his debut with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra in a special Easter version of Handel's Messiah that his being broadcast worldwide.

The concert from Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah will be performed live on Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19 at 7:30 PM MDT. The Friday performance will be available live online and then for free on-demand until midnight on Monday, April 21st.

Ketelsen, who has become the preeminent Escamillo in the world, is not new to oratorios. He made his Carnegie Hall debut with Haydn’s Creation with the Oratorio Society of New York and repeated the work with Music of the Baroque in Chicago. His concert repertoire also includes the Verdi Requiem, Brahms' Deutsches Requiem, Fauré's Requiem, Dvorák's Te Deum, the Bach St. Matthew and St. John Passions and the Mozart C-Minor Mass.

From June 20-28 he returns to the opera stage in his signature role of Escamillo at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma. In September, he returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Leporello opposite the Don Giovanni of fellow barihunk Mariusz Kwiecien.