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The Sexiest Baritone Hunks from Opera
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Hadleigh Adams in rehearsal as Bajazet
If web traffic to our site is any indication, then readers are clearly enjoying the posts about Hadleigh Adams preparing for the Southern Hemisphere premiere of Vivaldi's Bajazet at Australia's Pinchgut Opera. Earlier today, we posted an amazing rehearsal video of him singing "Dov'e la figlia?," which shows why he's more than just a pretty face...the man can SING! We figured that we're share a few photos, as well, because he's clearly as easy on the eyes as the ears.

Adams is returning to Pinchgut after a successful run as Pollux in their production of Rameau's Castor & Pollux in 2012. The company clearly recognizes his marketability, as he's part of their recent advertising campaign, which includes online banners, print ads and outdoor advertising. 

Hadleigh Adams in rehearsal as Bajazet
Bajazet, a rarely performed operatic tragedy, premiered in Verona in 1735 and is a pastiche of Vivaldi's own arias, as well as those by Johann Adolph Hasse, Geminiano Giacomelli, Nicola Porpora and Riccardo Broschi. The opera is also known as Il Tamerlano and the story was also successfully set to music by Handel. The libretto revolves around romantic entanglements and love triangles and the struggle for power between Bajazet, ruler of the Turks, and Tamerlano, ruler of the Tartars.

Performances of Vivaldi’s Bajazet will be on July 4, 5, 7 and 8 at City Recital Hall Angel Place in Sydney.  Also in the cast is Christopher Lowrey as Tamerlano, Helen Sherman as Irene, Emily Edmonds as Asteria and Russell Harcourt as Andronicus. Tickets and additional production information is available online.

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We've posted pretty extensively about barihunk Hadleigh Adams performing in the Southern Hemisphere premiere of Vivaldi's Bajazet, which you can read about HERE and HERE. We recently obtained a video of Adams singing the thrilling aria Dov'è la figlia?, which we wanted to share with readers. In case you live in a restricted area for the video, you can access it HERE. Otherwise, enjoy it below.
Dov'è la figlia? from Hadleigh Adams on Vimeo.
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If you still haven't gotten enough of this thrilling upcoming performance, here is an article from the Sydney Morning Herald.


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Mikhail Timoshenko, Jared Bybee and Zak Kariithi
Four baritones, including American Jared Bybee, who has been featured on this site, have advanced to the finals of the 34th International Hans Gabor Belevedere International Singing Competition in Amsterdam on July 4th. Joining Bybee are Lasha Sesitashvili from Georgia, Mikhail Timoshenko from Russian, and Zachariah Njoroge "Zak" Kariithi from Kenya. Bybee will be singing Prince Yeletsky's aria from Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame.

Lasha Sesitashvili
Finalists will perform with the Het Gelders Orchestra conducted by Ed Spanjaard. First prize receives € 7,000 in honor of Teresa Stich-Randall, second prize receives € 3,500 and third prize takes home € 2,500. Other prizes include an engagement in one of 12 opera houses, a special young artist award of € 500 and and  € 800, awarded by Yasuko Mitsui to a singer of her choice.

Past baritone and bass winners include Dong-Hwan Lee in 2013, Brian Mulligan in 2006, Ilya Kuzmin in 2004, Burak Bilgili in 2002, Vladimir Atanelishvili in 1996, Stanislaw Schwez in 1994, Detlev ROth in 1992, Woiciech Drabowicz in 1990, Peter Edelmann in 1989, Trond Halstein in 1987, Carsten Stabell in 1985 and Harrie Peeters in 1983. 

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Tomislav Lavoie

With all of our excitement about seeing Stéphane Degout ? in Gluck's Alceste at the Garnier, we almost overlooked Canadian bass-barihunk Tomislav Lavoie in the cast. He's caught our eye in the past as Leporello in Don Giovanni and Wagner in Faust, so he's long overdue to being introduced to our readers.

Tomislav Lavoie sings Wagner in Faust:

Lavoie studied at the Conservatoire de Musique in Montréal as a violinist before being hired by several famous orchestras among which the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec. He was called on to replace a singer as Masetto in Don Giovanni and the rest is history. He went on to study voice at  Montréal University and during his first year was asked to sing Figaro in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. He was then invited to tour with Jeunesses musicales du Canada.

His performance as Apollo and two other roles in Alceste marks his debut at the Paris Opera. He now heads off to the Wexford Festival to perform Girot in Hérold's Le Pré aux Clercs. Tickets and additional cast information is available online.

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David Adam Moore as the Pasha in Des Moines

The Des Moines Metro Opera is a stop that we're going to have to add to our tour schedule. Every season seems to be loaded with an ample supply of Midwest, grain-fed barihunks and hunkentenors. This year is no exception. Much of the credit has to go to Michael Mayes, who showed up in 2012 to sing the lead in Mozart's Don Giovanni and decided to get all of the baritones and tenors in shape. Singers were emailing telling us that Mayes was had them on a military regiment of gym training. 

Singers showing up in Des Moines seem to subconsciously realize that they better hit the gym and get their bodies in good as shape as their voices. Last year was no exception, as David Adam Moore set the standard with his ripped Joseph de Rocher in Heggie's Dead Man Walking

Jonathan Blalock: Even the tenors are getting bari-hunky in Des Moines
He's back this year in the non-singing role of the Pasha in Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio and he's bringing the sexy back to farm country. The cast includes two other singers familiar to this site, Matt Boehler as Osmin and hunkentenor Jonathan Blalock as Pedrillo. Blalock has been hitting the gym with barihunk Brent Michael Smith, who is singing Billy Jackrabbit in Puccini's Girl of the Golden West. And wait until you see the guys in that show! We promise that we have plenty of pictures forthcoming. 

David Adam Moore and Amanda Woodbury
Performances are on June 26 and 28, and July, 3, 11 and 19 and additional information is available online

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Philippe Sly and Lisette Oropesa in SF Opera's Le nozze di Figaro
Philippe Sly, who is one of our favorite young artists in the world, was recently featured in his hometown newspaper, which you can read HERE. Our favorite quote from the article comes from conductor Patrick Summer, who captures Sly's artistry perfectly:
“Philippe has a great and rare gift,” notes Patrick Summer, one of the world’s eminent opera conductors, who is on the podium for the SFO Figaro. “And that is his ability to be a storyteller, to illuminate the text and make the music pulsate off the page. He gives me great hope for the future of opera, which is in a vulnerable position. I can’t wait, in fact I hope I have the privilege and the good fortune, to conduct him in (Figaro) in 10 years, in 20 years, and see what he does.”
Performances run through July 5th and tickets and additional cast information is available online

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Andrew Lovato, John Taylor Ward and Nicholas Nelson
The Lakes Area Music Festival in Minnesota is featuring a barihunk trio in this summer's performances of Puccini's La bohème. The Festival features many of the most promising young musicians from America’s top conservatories who perform alongside members of the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in projects ranging from chamber music to orchestral repertoire and fully produced operas.

La bohème will feature Andrew Lovato as Schaunard, John Taylor Ward as Marcello and Nicholas Nelson as Colline. Lovato and Nelson have been featured numerous times on the site, including a recent post about Lovato making his Cincinnati Opera debut in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star as Harry Engel.

Lovato is no stranger to Minnesota audiences, having been a member of the Minnesota Opera’s Resident Artist Program and competing in the Upper Midwest Regional competition of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He made his Minnesota Opera debut as the role of Sonora in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West and performed the role of Young Raymond in the world premier of The Manchurian Candidate by Kevin Puts as well as the role of El Dancairo in Bizet's Carmen. He will be returning to Minnesota Opera to perform the role of Harlequin in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos as well as Sciarrone in Puccini's  Tosca.

Nicholas Nelson recently performed Sarastro in Mozart's The Magic Flute in a co-production between the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Opera in the Rock. Last season he also appeared as Larkens in La Fanciulla del West with Minnesota Opera. From 2010-13, Nelson was a Resident Artist at Portland Opera. Roles in Portland include the Mandarin in Turandot, Inigo Gomez in Ravel's L'heure Espagnole, Masetto in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Angelotti in Tosca and Pistola in Verdi's Falstaff. He also appeared in Portland as The Pope/ Cardinal Barberini in Philip Glass' Galileo Galilei. This production was the basis for the world premiere recording of the opera. Nelson also performs as a guitarist, thereminist, and actor in spoken theater.

John Taylor Ward performs Monteverd's: Ab aeterno ordinata sum with Voices of Music:

John Taylor Ward, who is new to this site, was born into a musical family in Boone, North Carolina that featured bluegrass and Broadway tunes. He is also the associate artistic director of the Lakes Area Music Festival.

Ward appeared as a boy soprano soloist at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, Durham Cathedral in the United Kingdom and Claire and King’s Colleges in Cambridge. He received his Bachelor's Degree from the Eastman School of Music in and went on to pursue his graduate studies at the Yale School of Music, where he is currently a doctoral student.

Ward has recorded popular songs written in, around, and about Connecticut in the years 1880-1915. Taylor is a notable interpreter of the roles of Jesus in Bach’s Passions, having performed them across Europe and America with maestro Suzuki, Juilliard 415, and the Yale Schola Cantorum. His Carnegie Hall debut, singing Schütz’s Fili mi Absalon, was listed among Superconductor’s best concerts of 2012, and, in the realm of vocal chamber music, he has made numerous appearances with the eight-voice ensemble Roomful of Teeth, whose debut album recently topped many 2013 album-of-the-year lists, including WNYC’s Soundcheck. As a founding member of the New Haven-based Cantata Profana, Taylor recently performed Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ 8 Songs for a Mad King.

Performances of La bohème will be on August 8 and 9 at the Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd, Minnesota and are free to the public.

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Morgan Smith (left) and Andrew Lovato (right)
The Cincinnati Opera is presenting its first world premiere in 50 years with Ricky Ian Gordon's Morningstar, which opens on June 30th and runs through July 19th. The cast features two barihunks familiar to readers of this site, Morgan Smith as Aaron Greenspan and Andrew Lovato as Harry Engel. The cast also includes Twyla Robinson as Becky, Elizabeth Pojanowski as Sadie, Elizabeth Zharoff as Esther, Jennifer Zetlan as Fanny and hunkentenor Andrew Bidlack as Irving Tashman.

The libretto was adapted from Sylvia Regan’s 1940 play about Russian Jewish immigrants living in New York City's Lower East Side in the early 20th century. The story revolves are eh 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire where 146 workers perished, most of whom were Jewish and Italian immigrant women. Gordon's grandmother, Rebecca Lieberman, who worked at the sweatshop survived because she was home sick the day of the fire.

Gordon teamed up with libbretis William M. Hoffman, who wrote the play As Is and the libretto for The Ghosts of Versailles to compose the piece for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. That effort failed to materialize, but the opera got a second chance in 2012, when Opera Fusion: New Works teamed up with the Cincinnati Opera and the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music to present the work at a workshop for unproduced contemporary operas.

Tickets and additional cast information is available online

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Oded Reich and soprano Yael Levita (center)
Israeli barihunk Oded Reich, who is new to Barihunks, will open on July 3rd in the world premiere of Yoni Rechter's Schitz, which is part of a double-bill with Haim Permont's The Lady and the Peddler at the New Israeli Opera. Both operas feature all-Israeli casts.

Schitz has a libretto by Hanoch Levin and edited by Muli Meltzer. It tells the story of the Schitz family, a stereotypiccal Israeli family who want to get daughter Shprachtzi married. Desperate to get away from her parents, she meets a former IDF officer Tcharchess, sung by Reich.  She wants a wedding ring and a family, but he wants the family inheritance and schemes to get rid of the parents. War breaks out and things don’t quite go as planned for everyone involved.

The Lady and the Peddler is set in Russia of 1940 and centers on an exiled Jew trying to make his way through life. Performances run through July 10th. For tickets and more information for the double-bill, call (03) 692-7777 or order online.  

Oded Reich and Alla Vasilevitsky sing La ci darem la mano from Don Giovanni: 
Oded Reich studied at the Jerusalem Music Academy before becoming a member of the Israeli Opera Studio in 2011 and the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv. At the Israeli Opera he performed the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni at the Akko Festival, Prince Yamadori and the Imperial Commissar in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Marullo and Usciere in Verdi's Rigoletto, Marchese and Dr. Grenvil in Verdi's La Traviata, Montano in Verdi's Otello, Silvano in Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera,  Luther in Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann and other roles.

He is also a founding-member of Profeti della Quinta, an ensemble of male voices performing a repertoire of Renaissance and early Baroque music.

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Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Dmitri HvorostovskyWe've received numerous inquiries regarding Dmitri Hvorostovsky's health, since a message was posted on his Facebook site and website announcing that he has a brain tumor and canceling all appearances through August.

We contacted his agent Mark Hildrew at Askonas Holt, but he could not provide up much additional information. However, our sources in London tell us that he's arrived there with his wife Florence and two children. He is allegedly receiving treatment at Royal Marsden Hospital, which specializes in cancer treatment. It is not known how long the treatment will take.

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