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The Sexiest Baritone Hunks from Opera
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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.


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Ola Eliasson as Don Giovanni (photo: Markus Gårder)
Ola Eliasson as Don Giovanni with Sara Widén as Zerlina
(Photo: Markus Gårder??) 
A reader in Stockholm recently saw Ola Eliasson in the title role of Mozart's Don Giovanni and weas surprised that the Swedish barihunk had never been featured on the site. Well, that's an omission that we're more than happy to rectify.  Eliasson originally studied percussion, guitar, French horn and piano at the Royal College of Music before settling on vocal studies. We're not sure how he's slipped past our eagle eyes, as he's been a member of the Royal Opera ensemble since 1997, singing such roles as Count Almaviva in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro), Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, Figaro in Rossini's Barber of Seville,  Olivier in Richard Strauss' Capriccio, Silvio in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci and Schaunard in Puccini's La bohème.  Ola Eliasson sings Grieg's "Jeg elsker Dig": His career has been predominantly on the stages of Sweden including appearances with the Göteborg Opera and Drottningholm Court Theater There are two performances of Don Giovanni remaining at the Royal Opera on April 22 and 27, and then it returns to the repertory in the Fall.  This summer, he can be been seen as Alberich in Wagner's Das Rheingold at the Dalhalla Opera Festival form August 8-17. 
You can follow him on Twitter @Ola_Eliasson.

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Aimery Lefèvre
Our latest reader submission is 30-year-old French barihunk Aimery Lefèvre. A reader notified us after buying tickets for the world premiere of Philippe Hurel's Les Pigeons D'Argile at the Théâtre du Capitole, in which Lefèvre is singing Toni. Performances run from April 15-22 and additional information is available online.

Lefèvre studied piano and organ performance as well as singing at the Centre de Musique Baroque in Versailles, where he specialized in 17th- and 18th-century music performance. He continued his education at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Lyon under the direction of Brian Parsons, and then became a member of the Paris Opera’s Atelier Lyrique.


His debut was the male title role in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas under the direction of Kenneth Weith. In 2010,  he made his Paris Opera as Fiorello in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, as well as Momus in Rameau’s Platée, the latter under the baton of Marc Minkowski. He returned in 2011 to sing Curio in Handel's Giulio Cesare and in 2012 to sing Arcas and Parque in Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie.

This summer, Lefèvre heads to Santiago, Chile where he will sing Frédérick in Delibes' Lakme. Performances run from July 5-14 and tickets are available online


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Andrew Lovato and the Spring Tour singers
Barihunk Andrew Lovato is hitting the road for the 2014 Santa Fe Opera Spring Opera Tour. He'll be joining former apprentices Abigail Mitchell, Rachel Hall, Joshua Dennis and legendary coach Kirt Pavitt in bringing opera to the backroads of New Mexico, Texas and Colorado.

The traveling opera troupe will perform a new piece called “True North,” which explores the relationship of the young singers whose characters were featured in Written in the Stars and Avastar, the original operas performed on previous tours.

The popular Spring Opera Tour has been going on for about 20 years bringing opera to students and families who might not otherwise experience live opera. The tour began yesterday in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico and travels to Lubbock, Texas for a performance on Sunday. Over the next three weeks they'll travel to Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Albuquerque, Pagosa Springs, Farmington, Socorro and Moriarty.

Andrew Lovato sings Wagners "Der Engel" from the Wesendonck Lieder:

Andrew Lovato has participated in young artist programs with Santa Fe Opera and Central City Opera where he performed and covered roles in Morrison's Oscar, Offenbach's La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein, Puccini's La Bohéme, Oklahoma and Mozart's Don Giovanni.  He is currently in the young artist program at the Minnesota Opera.

The Waukesha, Wisconsin native received his Bachelor of Music in Voice from Lawrence University and a Master of Music in Voice from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he performed roles in Stravinsky's The Rake’s Progress, Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, Britten's Peter Grimes, Robert Ward's The Crucible and Mozart's Don Giovanni.

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8 days ago | |
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Ryan McKinny
If there was any doubt left that Ryan McKinny has emerged as a major talent it was erased with the announcement that he'll sing Stanley Kowalski opposite megastar Renée Fleming in Andrè Previn's Streetcar Named Desire at the Los Angeles Opera. It also cements his budding reputation as a major barihunk, adding the notoriously sexy Stanley to his growing list of barihunk roles that includes Hercules, Escamillo and Jochanaan.

McKinny truly emerged last summer as the Dutchman in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer at the Glimmerglass Festival under the direction of Francesca Zambello. McKinny's Dutchman was the sexiest portrayal of that role in operatic history and it worked masterfully. Regular readers know that we consider Zambello the "Queen Mother" of barihunks for her early and enthusiastic concept of casting baritones as not just villains and angry fathers, but as genuine sex symbols.

Ryan McKinny as the Dutchman
Streetcar Named Desire is being performed in a semi-staged concert production under the baton of Patrick Summers. The cast also includes the riveting tenor Anthony Dean Griffey as Blanche’s guileless suitor Mitch and the wonderful soprano Stacey Tappan as Stella. Performances are on May 18, 21 and 24 and tickets are available online.

It's nice to see Ryan McKinny return to the LA Opera, as it's the company that provided him many opportunities early in his career. He debuted there in 2008 as Montano in Verdis's Otello, and subsequently appeared as the Servant in Ullmann's The Broken Jug, Dr. Grenvil in Verdi's La Traviata, Don Basilio in Rossini's Barber of Seville and Leone in Handel's Tamerlano.

He can currently be seen in two productions at the Houston Grand Opera. He's currenlty singing Donner in Wagner's Das Rheingold, also conducted by Patrick Summers, which runs from April 11-26 and then he switches to Escamillo in Bizet's  Carmen from April-May 10. McKinny is a former participant with the Houston Grand Opera Studio. (We should also mention that you don't want to miss Stefan Margita as Loge in Rheingold. His is the definitive performance!).

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