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The Sexiest Baritone Hunks from Opera
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Rodolfo Nieto
American barihunk Rodolfo Nieto, who we introduced to readers during his run as Jose Castro in Minnesota Opera's La Fanciulla del West two months ago, will be giving a free recital on Friday, November 21st. The free concert at Bemis Rehearsal Hall will include love songs by Richard Strauss, Schubert, Chausson, Fauré, and Tosti.

The concert is free, but an RSVP is requested.  If you can't make the recital, you can listen to him HERE singing some Schubert songs.

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Xavier Rivera


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Pietro di Bianco, Sam Roberts-Smith and Xiaohan Zhai
Baritones are once again dominating a major singing competition, as a third of the finalists at the prestigious Paris Opera Awards were from our favorite voice range. Pietro di Bianco, Sam Roberts-Smith and Xiaohan Zhai have all advanced to the final round and di Bianco walked away with the top prize for male singers. Soprano Daria Terekhova took the top prize for women. 

In fact, all three of the top prizes plus the audience prize went to the low voices. Xiaohan Zhai took second place and Sam Roberts-Smith won both third place and the Special Jury Prize for the best performance. Marina Nachkebiya and Leonie Renaud took second and third place for the women. 

Di Bianco will receive €5000 ($6300 US) for taking the top prize, Zhai receives €3000 ($3800 US) and Roberts-Smith €1000 ($1250 US) for each of his prizes.

Pietro di Bianco, Michael Hewitt and Michael Scarcelle in the Barihunks Calendar
You can enjoy Pietro di Bianco for the entire month of February in our new Viva, Italia! Barihunks Calendar, which is available by clicking below. 
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Jonathan Estabrooks
Canadian barihunk Jonathan Estabrooks is returning to his native country to perform with the Vancouver Symphony. He'll be making a familiar foray from opera to the world of musical theater, as he joins soprano Amy Wallis and tenor David Curry in an evening of music by Lerner and Loewe. They'll perform under the baton of Steven Reineke on Friday, November 21 and Saturday, November 22 at the Orpheum Theater. Tickets are available online.

The duo is known for creating some of the greatest musicals of all time, including Camelot, My Fair Lady, Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, and Gigi. Estabrooks will be performing such familiar hits as If Ever I Would Leave You, They Call the Wind Maria and Gigi.

Estabrooks will also be signing copies of his debut album ‘These Miles’ after the show in the main lobby.

If you can't make it to Vancouver, you have plenty of time to buy tickets for his performances with the Seattle Symphony and Steven Reineke when he takes on the Broadway classics of Rodgers & Hammerstein from March 6-8, 2015. Tickets are available online


Jonathan Estabrooks isn't in this year's Barihunks calendar, but he has appeared in previous years. However, you can still enjoy 19 more of the hottest guys in the opera world by ordering your copy today. Just click the handy LULU button below.
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Donovan Singletary, Christopher Temporelli and Keith Miller
Sterling, Colorado probably doesn't get many Metropolitan Opera stars performing in their town of 18,000 people. The city, which was a stop on the Overland Trail during the mass migration to California after the Gold Rush is a good two hour drive northeast of Denver on the way to rural Nebraska. But fortunately for the good citizens of Sterling, Met star Keith Miller grew up a little further down the road in Ovid, Colorado.

On Saturday, November 22, he will perform at First Presbyterian Church in Sterling at 2 PM. The concert is free with a suggested offering to the church. He will be joined by soprano Melissa Zapin and pianist Konstantin Soukhovetski in a program of holiday standards, as well as music from Gounod's Faust, Puccini's La boheme and Gianni Schicchi, and Mozart's Don Giovanni and Le nozze de Figaro

Miller, has deep roots in the area, having played fullback for the University of Colorado and being drafted into the NFL. It's also no coincidence that Sterling would want someone with his background in sports and music, as the Valley School District has won awards for having some of the best music and athletic programs in Colorado.

Miller is featured in our Barihunk calendar for the second year in a row. This year as part of our Viva, Italia! theme, he was part of a photo shoot in New York City's Little Italy with fellow barihunks Donovan Singletary and Christopher Temporelli. You can order you calendar by clicking below.

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Benjamin Werth in West Side Story
American barihunk Benjamin Werth, who has made his career in Europe in recent years, is making his debut with the opera at Theater Aachen in Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. Werth is singing Riff, the gang leader of the Jets who suggests the rumble with the Sharks.

Since 2009, Werth has been part of the ensemble of the Landestheater Coburg where he sang Orest in Gluck's Iphigenie auf Tauris, Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale, Renato in Verdi's Un ballo in Maschera, Figaro in Rossini's Barber of Seville, Zurga in Bizet's The Pearl Fishers and the title role in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. This won't be his first foray into Broadway musicals, as he performed Sam in George Gershwin's Crazy for You in 2011.

Jochen Kool
An additional bonus in this production is the physical dancing of Jochen Kool, who portrays fellow Jets gang member A-Rab. 

Performance begin on Friday, November 21st and run through the Spring of 2015. Tickets and additional cast information are available online.

The 2015 Barihunks Charity Calendar is available in plenty of time for the holidays. Order yours today!
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Kelly Markgraf
Kelly Markgraf is returning to Madison Opera this season, a year after his successful debut with the company in Mozart's Don Giovanni. He'll be going from seducer to sinister, as he takes on the villainous Don Pizarro in Beethoven's Fidelio opening on Friday, November 21st with an additional performance on Sunday, November 23rd.

This will be Madison Opera's first fully staged performance of Beethoven's only opera in their 53-year history. He'll be joined by soprano Alexandra LoBianco as Leonore and tenor Clay Hilley as Florestan. Tickets and additional cast information are available online.

The opera is being performed almost on the anniversary of its premiere in Vienna on November 20, 1805.

Markgraf as Don Pizarro
Markgraf grew up 100 miles away in Cedarburg, Wisconsin where he was captain of his high school soccer team. Markgraf currently resides in Houston, Texas with his wife, the amazing mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke. When not singing, he runs a tea import business.

You can read an interview with Kelly Markgraf on the Madison Opera blog by clicking HERE.

You can follow him on Twitter @KellyMarkgraf.

 Have you bought your Barihunks calendar. 2015 is fast approaching, so order yours today. 
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Richard Alexandre Rittelmann
German-Hungarian barihunk Richard Alexandre Rittelmann has won our online contest for the Best Italian-Themed photo in our 2015 Barihunks Charity Calendar. He will be awarded $250 for his winning photo. Rittelmann's photo shows him posed as the popular fantasy of a shirtless pizza delivery guy holding his a box.

Rittelman just closed a four night run as the Mandarin in Puccini's Turandot at l’Opéra de Nice. He'll be flying back to San Francisco next month, where his photo shoot took place, and promises a "surprise" appearance, possibly with another barihunk.

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Cameron McPhail in The Rape of Lucretia at Yale
We recently included Cameron McPhail in a post about the nine baritones performing in the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions at Merkin Hall in New York City on November 18 and 19. After the post went up, we were told about some sexy pictures of him as Tarquinius in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia at Yale during the 2011-12 season. 

Of course, we had to find them and provide a better introduction to this fast rising Canadian baritone, who holds both an Artist Diploma in Voice and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from The University of British Columbia. He spent the 2011-12 season completing his Masters of Music at the Yale Opera Studio where he studied with American bass Richard Cross.

A 2014 winner of the George London Foundation Competition, McPhail joined the Canadian Opera Company for the 2012-13 season as a member of the Ensemble Studio where he made his company debut as the Premiere Officer in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites. During the 2013-14 season he returned to Canadian Opera Company with mainstage appearances as Schaunard in Puccini's La bohème, Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte, and Silvano in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera.


He just finished four performances of Orff's Carmina Burana with the Florida Orchestra under the baton of Danail Rachev. He returns to his native Canada on December 5th for Handel's Messiah with the Edmonton Symphony. On February 25, 2015, he'll create the role of Reverend Colgate in a world premiere concert staging of Gregory Vajda’s comic opera Georgia Bottoms with the Huntsville Symphony. The opera about the modern South, is based on the national best-seller by Alabama author Mark Childress.


If you want to enjoy 19 of opera's sexiest and most talented singers all year, make sure to order your own copy of the 2015 Barihunks Calendar by clicking below.
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The Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions will be held at Merkin Hall in New York City on November 18 and 19. This year, nine of the 82 singers are baritones, including SeokJong Baek, Vladimir Tsyglian, Robert Balonek, LaMarcus Miller, Kidon Choi, Takaoki Onishi, Ryan Torino, Anthony Caputo and Cameron McPhail.

A number of the singers have appeared on Barihunks, including Takaoki Onishi who we introduced to readers in May 2014, Robert Balonek who we featured in our Met Auditions overview earlier this year and Cameron MacPhail who is in our recent post about upcoming Messiahs (he's performing with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra).

The singers will perform before judges Susan Ashbaker, Richard Bernstein and Cori Ellison for a spot in the Region Finals to be held on January 14, 2015. The judges for the Finals will be Gayletha Nichols, Richard Bado and Susan Graham.

Cameron McPhail
Canadian baritone Cameron McPhail was the 2014 winner of the George London Foundation Competition. He joined the Canadian Opera Company for the 2012-13 season as a member of the Ensemble Studio where he made his company debut as Premiere Officer in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites. During the 2013-14 season he returned to Canadian Opera Company with mainstage appearances as Schaunard in La Bohème, Guglielmo in Così fan Tutte, and Silvano in Un Ballo in Maschera.

Robert Balonek
Robert Balonek attended SUNY Purchase College and the Mannes School of Music. During his two years at Mannes he performed Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte as well as ?Ford in Falstaff. He also performed with the Mannes Baroque Ensemble as the bass soloist for the Bach's St. Matthew Passion and the Fauré Requiem soloist for the Westchester Choral Society.  ?In 2014, he performed in scenes from Le Chevalier Saint George's L'amant Anonyme with the Little Opera Theater of NY, Paul Revere in the Boston Tea Party Opera at the NY Fringe Festival and Castro in Victor Herbert's only grand opera, Natoma.


LaMarcus Miller
In 2012, LaMarcus Miller won First Place at the Nico Castel International Master Singer Competition at Carnegie Hall. That same year he won the Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition (Eastern Region). He made his Kennedy Center Center debut singing the leading role of USMC Philip in the new Opera “Fallujah” by Tobin Stokes & Heather Raffo.
In August, he performed Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus with the Sugar Creek Symphony.

Anthony Caputo
New York City native Anthony Caputo recently completed his Graduate work at SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Music where he studied under the tutelage of Jacque Trussel. While there he performed Balthazar and Melchior in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, Antonio in Mozart's La Nozze di Figaro, Mercurio in Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea, Prince Ferdinand in the East Coast Premiere of Holby's The Tempest, Father Francis in the World Premiere of Lucas' Confession, Pappageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Le Directeur in Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tiresias, Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen and Pandolfe in Massenet's Cendrillon.


Vladimir Tsyglian
Canadian Vladimir Tsyglian earned his Performance Degree from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music. He was a 1st Prize winner in the Concert Recital category at the Kiwanis Music Fesival. He made his professional debut in the world premiere of "A Dickens of a Christmas." He recently performed Zuniga in Bizet's Carmen with Opera by Request in Toronto.

Takaoki Onishi
Takaoki Onishi won the Top Prize in the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, and the First Prize in both the Opera Index, Inc. Vocal Competition and the Licia Albanese - Puccini International Vocal Competition. He also received a prize in the 2013 Loren L. Zachary Competition, as well as two Grants from the Giulio Gari Foundation.  He made his Lincoln Center debut in the Julliard Vocal Arts Honors Recital at Alice Tully Hall. In February, he performed the title role in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin with Julliard Opera and in March he performed Jesus in Bach's St. Matthew's Passion.

Kidon Choi
Kidon Choi is a first-year Master's student at Manhattan School of Music and a recipient of the Joseph F. McCrindle Scholarship. He completed his B.M. in vocal performance at Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea. In April 2013, Choi made his Sejong Art Center debut with Seoul Metropolitan Opera as Amonasro in Verdi's Aida. Choi released his own CD ‘Soar’ with Sony Music Entertainment.
Ryan Torino and SeokJong Baek
We don't have bios for Ryan Torino and SeokJong Baek.

Suggested admission to the Metropolitan Opera District Auditions is $20.  You are welcome to attend both days and come and go as you please. Tickets are available online.


Make sure to order you 2015 Barihunks Charity Calendar today. Each year, the money raised from the calendar goes to support young artists like those featured above. This year's calendar features 19 of the hottest singers in opera today. Order by clicking below.
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Cyril Rovery
The European edition of Men's Health magazine recently featured French barihunk Cyril Rovery in a feature called "Baryton Man." He's new to this site.

Rovery studied at the Marseilles Conservatoire graduating in 2000. In 1999, he won 1st Prize at the Symphonies d’Automne International Competition in Mâcon and in 2002 he won the Siena International Competition for Singers.

Men's Health featuring Cyril Rovery
He made his professional debut in 2001 as Germont at the Avignon Opera House with Patricia Cioffi in Verdi's La Traviata.  He subsequently appeared as Golaud in Debussy's Pelleas and Melisande at the Massy Opera house and Puccini's Madame Butterfly at the Marseilles Opera House. His performance in Richard Strauss' Salome at the Montpellier Opera House was recorded by Universal Music.
Cyril Rovery
Earlier this year he appeared at l’Opéra de Marseille as Giocanto Castriconi in the premiere of Jean-Claude Petit's Colomba, about a Mediterranean heroine with an insatiable desire for vengeance. He's been a regular at Marseille singing Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca, the Duke of Verona in Roméo et Juliette and Monterone in Verdi's Rigoletto.

His career has been primarily centered in France.


Have you ordered your 2015 Barihunks Charity Calendar yet? It features 19 of operas hottest stars, including Doug Carpenter and Richard Alexandre Rittelmann (shown above). Click below to order now.
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