Friday, October 24, 2014

Wexford sells out for European premiere of Silent Night

Matt Worth
Kevin Puts' Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night got its long-awaited European debut today at the Wexford Opera Festival. Opening night was completely sold out and tickets are going fast for the remaining performances through November 2.

The cast is a mix of Europeans and Americans and is loaded with barihunks. Wexford has cast Matthew Worth as Lieutenant Audebart, Quirijn de Lang as the lovable Poncel, Ian Beadle as William Dale and Jamie Rock as Gueusselin.

Tickets are available online.

Commissioned by the Minnesota Opera and first performed in 2011, the opera was inspired by the 2005 film Joyeux Noël about the spontaneous Christmas truce between enemy combatants during the First World War. Its core message is that war is not sustainable when you come to know your enemy as a person.

Opening night of Silent Night at Wexford
On October 25th, composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell will present a talk about the work at 11 AM. The film Joyeux Noël will be screened in the Jerome Hynes Theatre in Wexford Opera House at 10:30 am on the days of the Silent Night performances. There is no charge but tickets must be booked through the Box Office.

The current production is presented with the support of the American Friends of Wexford Opera with the support of the French Embassy in Ireland.

HOT OFF THE PRESSES!!! Don't forget to buy the sexy new Barihunks Charity Calendar: VIVA, ITALIA! It features 19 of the sexiest men from the world of opera. Click on the LULU button below to order your copy now.

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Mirco Palazzi back in Dallas; Live simulcast tonight

Mirco Palazzi
Italian bass-barihunk Mirco Palazzi, who made his U.S. debut at Leporello in 2010 with the Dallas Opera, returns to the company in the title role of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro. The opera opens tonight and runs through November 9th.

Mirco Palazzi talks about his upcoming performances as Figaro:

Opening night is also an opportunity to share the opera with family and friends, as the performance will be simulcast live from the Winspear Opera House to Klyde Warren Park.The action begins at 6:30pm and will include a screening of the 1945 Three Stooges classic “Micro-Phonies”, the “Worst Bridesmaid’s Dress Ever” contest and a bouquet toss.

European fans of Palazzi can see him in the role at the Teatro Regio in Turin from February 12-25. The cast also includes fellow Italian barihunk Ildebrando D'Arcangelo. 

If you love everything and anything Italian, make sure to purchase our Viva, Italia! Barihunks Charity calendar featuring some of the hottest Italian and Italian-American singers in the world, as well as some Italian themed photos. Click on the LULU button below to buy yours today!

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Zachary Gordin to appear in Carmina Burana

Zachary Gordin
Über-barihunk, who once again is featured prominently in our Barihunks Calendar, will be performing Carl Orff's Carmina Burana on Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25. It should be a thrilling performance, as Maestra Marika Kuzma is leading both the University of California Chorus and Chamber Chorus along with soprano Candace Johnson and hunkentenor Thomas Glenn.

Also on the program are Bach's B Minor Mass Sketches, Sanctus, BWV 238, Cantata BWV 12 and Cantata BWV 2.

Performances are at Hertz Concert Hall in Berkeley, California. Click HERE for tickets and additional information.

Click on the button below to order you Barihunks Charity Calendar and enjoy Zachary Gordin all year!

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Teddy Tahu Rhodes featured in Anzac Day concert

Teddy Tahu Rhodes (left) and and Australian soldier from Gallipoli in WWI (right)
The Melbourne Symphony announced their upcoming 2015 season this week and it includes a fascinating concert scheduled for April 23rd and 24th. The concerts lead up to Anzac Day on April 25, which honors the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

The concerts, which includes both Beethoven’s Egmont and the Ninth Symphony, commemorate the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli. The Ninth Symphony will include British soprano Susan Gritton, Australian mezzo Fiona James, New Zealand bass-barihunk Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Turkish hunkentenor Bülent Bezdüz who respectively represent the main combatant nations.

The Battle of Gallipoli was a campaign of World War I that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula in the Ottoman Empire between April 24, 1915 and January 9, 1916. The peninsula forms the northern bank of the Dardanelles, a strait that provides a sea route to what was then the Russian Empire, one of the Allied powers during the war. Intending to secure it, Russia's allies Britain and France launched a naval attack followed by an amphibious landing on the peninsula with the eventual aim of capturing the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul).
Turkish hunkentenor Bülent Bezdüz
The naval attack was repelled and, after eight months' fighting, with many casualties on both sides, the land campaign also failed and the invasion force was withdrawn to Egypt.  The campaign was one of the greatest Ottoman victories during the war and a major Allied failure. 
In Turkey, it is regarded as a defining moment in the nation's history: a final surge in the defense of the motherland as the Ottoman Empire crumbled. The struggle formed the basis for the Turkish War of Independence and the founding of the Republic of Turkey eight years later under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who first rose to prominence as a commander at Gallipoli. 
Anzac Day remains the most significant commemoration of military casualties and veterans in Australia and New Zealand, surpassing Remembrance Day.

Click HERE for tickets.

Don't forget to order your 2015 Barihunks Charity Calendar by clicking the button below. It features 19 of the hottest singers in opera, including Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek (featured above). 
Support independent publishing: Buy this calendar on Lulu.

Listen to Andrew Foster-Williams as Rossini's Pharaoh

Andrew Foster-Williams as the Pharaoh
For the next four weeks you can listen to Andrew Foster-Williams in Rossini's rarely performed opera Moses in Egypt. The British baritone sang the role of the Pharaoh in this production from the Welsh National Opera.

Although not as well known as the Barber of Seville, La Cenerentola, or William Tell, Moses in Egypt is among Rossini's greatest musical achievements. First heard in Naples in 1818, Rossini's telling of the Old Testament story pulls focus between the epic and the intimate, as the story of an entire people persecuted by a cruel tyrant is juxtaposed with the forbidden love of two young people on either side of a religious divide.

The Pharaoh refuses to free the Hebrews from slavery and allow them to leave for the Promised Land. Moses, with God's help, brings down plagues on the Egyptians until eventually he and his people are freed. But Pharaoh's son, Osiris, is in love with a Hebrew girl, Elcia, and he is punished when he attempts to have Moses killed.

The Hebrews reach the Red Sea and are rescued from the pursuing Egyptians by divine intervention.

Click HERE to listen to the broadcast. 

During the holiday season, you can catch Foster-Williams singing Handel's Messiah under the baton of the great contralto Nathalie Stutzmann at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées.

Don't forget that our 2015 Barihunks Charity Calendar is now on sale. You can purchase a copy by clicking the image of Donovan Singletary.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Aubrey Allicock featured in OUT Magazine

Aubrey Allicock (Photographed by Roger Erickson for Out)
By Julien Sauvalle

In the Metropolitan Opera staging, the gay baritone plays Mahmoud, a Palestinian terrorist. Allicock tackles the controversy surrounding the production—and explains why everybody should see it.

Last year, Aubrey Allicock played the role of gay boxer Emile Griffith in Champion, Terence Blanchard's opera-in-jazz, in St. Louis. A Tuscson native of Guyanese and African-American descent, Allicock has since graduated from Juilliard's top-tier program for opera singers, and performed in productions of Rinaldo and Alice in Wonderland. This fall, he makes his debut on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in a new production of The Death of Klinghoffer. 

Directed by Tom Morris (War Horse) and composed by John Adams (Nixon in China, Doctor Atomic), The Death of Klinghoffer is based on the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro by Palestinian terrorists, which resulted in the killing of a wheelchair-bound Jewish passenger, Leon Klinghoffer. 

Since its premiere in Brooklyn in 1991, the work has drawn praise and criticism for its libretto, which some Jewish organizations have called anti-semitic. While this new staging hasn't failed to anger protesters outside Lincoln Center, Allicock, who plays one of the Palestinian terrorists, tells us why Klinghoffer should be required viewing, regardless of where one stands on current affairs. 

Out: The Death of Klinghoffer marks your stage debut at the Met. How are you feeling?  Aubrey Allicock: I worked at the Met back in 2010 as an understudy, but this is my first time singing on the stage. Surprisingly, I feel really comfortable. I know the music because I’ve sung the role before for six productions of Klinghoffer. I know what my voice is able to do with it, and I’m actually finding myself being able to explore my character further. It’s more about being more comfortable with the character—because the music is no problem.

[Continue reading interview at OUT Magazine]

Philippe Sly featured in Huffington Post

PHILIPPE SLY (Photo by Adam Scotti)
San Francisco Opera's fourth presentation in the 2014/15 season is Handel's hit from 1730, Partenope. Directed by Christopher Alden, the production debuted in 2008 and is a joint effort with the English National Opera and Opera Australia. In 2009, it won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production. Back in Handel's day, the title character was linked to Parthenope, "Queen of Naples" - a girl named for one of the sirens and with suitors on every side. The opera involves a trio of princes from Corinth, Rhodes, and Cumae - and a caller who arrives unexpectedly, a certain "Eurimene" who is - not like the rest of them, anyway. Alden beams the provocative Partenope and her ensemble to Paris of the 1920's. No longer a queen, Partenope is transformed into the queen bee of an avant garde, intimate and artsy salon. Canadian bass-baritone Philippe Sly - praised for his stunning performance as Guglielmo in the Company's 2013 production of Cosi fan tutte - portrays Ormonte, no longer the Queen's guard, but a sharp-eyed partisan in Madame's daily eudaemonia.

"The way Christopher has set the production," says Phil, "it makes complete sense for me to be this other kind of insinuating character. What is available to me is quite ominent. Because the text can be quite vague, we can do what we want with it. It's a great use of Handel and shows how versatile his operas really are. Once there are no more boundaries, there is so much that can be done. Within one aria you could have people either frozen or actively participating with other characters who are not singing. The character who is singing could be repeating the same thing over and over again, but going through an entire transformation while singing it."

[Continue reading at Huffington Post]

There are five performance of Handel's Partenope remaining and tickets are available online.