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The Sexiest Baritone Hunks from Opera
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Joseph Lattanzi
The Arizona Opera will be live streaming today's sold out performance of composer Clint Borzoni's The Copper Queen, which won the company's Arizona Sparks competition for new works in a runaway. The piece was also featured on the front page of the Arizona Republic's arts section last weekend.

The opera's libretto, written by director John de los Santos and based on a true story, revolves around the ghost of a prostitute haunting a historic hotel in Bisbee, Arizona.

The performance will feature barihunk Joseph Lattanzi as Peter Ackerman, who is fresh of a heralded performance as Hawkins Fuller in Gregory Spears’ gay themed opera Fellow Travelers at Cincinnati Opera. This season at Arizona Opera, Lattanzi will also perform the Gamekeeper in Dvorák's Rusalka, Yamadori in Puccini's Madama Butterfly and Dandini in Rossini's La Cenerentola.

Clint Borzoni's "Stufen" with barihunk Marco Vassalli:
The opera also features Lacy Sauter as the prostitute Julia Lowell, Alyssa Martin as Addison Moore, barihunk turned hunkentenor Chris Carr as Teddy Billings, Loren Battieste as Sugar Dog and Zachary Owen as Mr Floyd and Daddy Lowell.  You can hear Alyssa Martin sing "Waiting for a Whisper" from the opera on Soundcloud, as well as Sarah Tucker sing "Still Pretty."

The live stream will begin at 3 PM PST/6 PM EST at the company's Facebook page

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2 days ago | |
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Dario Shikhmiri, Rocco Cavalluzzi, Federico Benetti and Paolo Ingrasciotta (l-r)
Our heads almost exploded when we saw the cast list for Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Teatro Amilcare Ponchielli Cremona, as it features a record number of six barihunks and bass-barihunks in one production. Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears are undoubtedly smiling down on this production from heaven. The eye candy cast includes  Zachary Altman as Bottom, Nicholas Masters as Quince, Dario Shikhmiri as Starveling, Rocco Cavalluzzi as Snug, Federico Benetti as Theseus and Paolo Ingrasciotta as Demetrius.

Zachary Altman and Nicholas Masters
The final four on that list have not even appeared on Barihunks before. There are only two performances of the show, which runs on October 7 and 9. Tickets and additional cast information is available online.

Nicholas Masters sings Bottom's aria from A Midsummer Night's Dream:
The production is a co-production with the Teatro Sociale di Como/Aslico, Fondazione Teatro Grande di Brescia and  the Fondazione Teatro Fraschini di Pavia. Most of the cast will perform at the Teatro Municipale Valli di Reggio Emilia on November 18 and 20. There are also performances on November 4 and 6 in Brescia and in Pavia on October 28 and 30, but no cast lists are available or posted. The websites for Zachary Altman and Nicholas Masters show them performing in all of the productions.

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7 days ago | |
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Rafael Fingerlos as Harlekin (photo by Marco Borggreve)
Austrian barihunk Rafael Fingerlos is touring as Harlekin with the Nederlandse Reisoper in their production of Richard Strauss’Ariadne auf Naxos. The production is directed by Laurence Dale with stunning costumes by Gary McCann and features Soojin Moon as Ariadne, Jennifer France as Zerbinetta, Martin Momrich as Bacchus and Karin Strobos as the Composer.

Performances are remaining on September 20 and 22 in Zwolle, 24th in Arnhem, 27th in Maastricht, 29th in Breda and October 1st in Den Haag, 6 and 8 in Amsterdam. Tickets are available online.

Trailer for Ariadne auf Naxos at the Nederlandse Reisoper:

Fingerlos will become a fest ensemble member at the Vienna State Opera beginning with their 2016/17 season. His first role will be Figaro in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia on November 12 opposite the Rosina of Isabel Leonard and Almaviva of Pavel Kolgatin. Performances run through December 20.

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7 days ago | |
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Günther Groissböck
Günther Groissböck, who debuted at Bayreuth in 2011 as Landgrave Hermann in Wagner's Tannhäuser and sang Fasolt in their 2013 Das Rheingold, is coming back for three major roles in coming seasons.

Perhaps the biggest announcement is his role debut as Wotan in their 2020 season. Groissböck says that he has been approached by other houses to sing the epic role. He's been learning the role on long car trips and feels he's reached the right age to sing the fatherly role. He'll be just shy of his 44th birthday in the Summer of 2020. 

Günther Groissböck sings Lohengrin: 
In 2017, he'll be at Bayreuth to sing Veit Pogner in Barry Kosky’s Die Meistersinger, followed by Gurnemanz in Parsifal in 2018, where he will replace Georg Zeppenfeld.
On September 18th, he wraps up a runs as Heinrich  Vogler in Wagner's Lohengrin at the Vienna State Opera. He then heads to the Bavarian State Opera for Rocco in Beethoven's Fidelio in Calixto Bieito's production, which runs from October 1-6.  
We hear that Bayreuth has signed biceps baritone Günther Groissböck to sing Veit Pogner in Barry Kosky’s new Meistersinger next summer.
He will follow that with Gurnemanz in the 2018 Parsifal, building up to Wotan in the 2020 Ring.
- See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2016/08/bayreuth-books-a-longterm-wotan/#sthash.xCPQgfjj.dpufWe hear that Bayreuth has signed biceps baritone Günther Groissböck to sing Veit Pogner in Barry Kosky’s new Meistersinger next summer.
He will follow that with Gurnemanz in the 2018 Parsifal, building up to Wotan in the 2020 Ring.
- See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2016/08/bayreuth-books-a-longterm-wotan/#sthash.BWoQVHIr.dpufWe hear that Bayreuth has signed biceps baritone Günther Groissböck to sing Veit Pogner in Barry Kosky’s new Meistersinger next summer.
He will follow that with Gurnemanz in the 2018 Parsifal, building up to Wotan in the 2020 Ring.
- See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2016/08/bayreuth-books-a-longterm-wotan/#sthash.BWoQVHIr.dpufWe hear that Bayreuth has signed biceps baritone Günther Groissböck to sing Veit Pogner in Barry Kosky’s new Meistersinger next summer.
He will follow that with Gurnemanz in the 2018 Parsifal, building up to Wotan in the 2020 Ring.
- See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2016/08/bayreuth-books-a-longterm-wotan/#sthash.BWoQVHIr.dpuf

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10 days ago | |
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Alessio Arduini
Italian barihunk Alessio Arduini, who made his made his Royal Opera debut in 2013 as Schaunard in Puccini's La bohème, will return to the company from September 22-October 20 as Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte. His castmates includes Corinne Winters as Fiordiligi, Angela Brower as Dorabella, Daniele Behle as Ferrando, Johannes Martin Kränzle as Don Alfonso and Sabina Puértolas as Despina.

German director Jan Philipp Gloger will make his Royal Opera debut with the new production using librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte’s alternative title for the opera: "The School for Lovers." Tickets are available online

 Alessio Arduini sings 'Hai già vinta la causa!' from Le nozze di Figaro:
The November 12th performance of Così fan tutte will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 at 6.30pm GMT.

After his run at the Royal Opera House, he heads to New York to perform Marcello in Puccini's La bohème.


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American bass-barihunk Kyle Ketelsen is the cover boy on the October 2016 edition of OPERA magazine.

The article points out that Ketelsen has sung all four low-voiced roles in Mozart's Don Giovanni, but that Leporello has become his signature role. We've also called Ketelsen the "definitive Leporello" in previous posts. The magazine article quotes three famous Giovanni's on singing the title role next to Ketelsen's Leporello. Here's what they had to say:

Russel Braun said, "...there are so many ways in which he identifies with Leporello; his kind of patience, very useful onstage, gives strength to the character."

Rod Gilfy stated, "Kyle's Leporello was boyish, sprightly, troubled, playful; very modern...He's a rock-solid, handsome, athletic bass-baritone who sings beautifully; he could sing a myriad lyric bass and bass-baritone roles."

Kyle Ketelsen talks about singing Leporello:&
Finally, Simon Keenlyside added, "Kyle's voice is one of the most beautiful bass-baritone sounds around; he wields the instrument with consummate legato and artistry to match. On stage he is everything a colleague could want...When I know I have Kyle alongside me as Leporello, I know I will be in safe hands. Any Giovanni with a great Leporello alongside him will be so much more than he could ever have been on his own."

Kyle Ketelsen can next be seen at the Opernhaus Zürich in Gounod's Faust, which runs from September 20-October 7. The all-star cast includes Charles Castronovo in the title role, Anita Hartig as Marguerite, Lilly Jørstad as Siebel and Kyle Ketelsen as Méphistophélès.

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11 days ago | |
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Barihunk Benjamin Appl has won Gramophone Magazine's coveted "Young Artist of the Year" award. James Jolly of Gramophone wrote the following in his nomination for Appl's award:

For the past few years, British music-lovers have been aware of a major new singing talent in their midst, Benjamin Appl. Listeners to BBC Radio 3 have had a particularly privileged ring-side seat as this young German baritone was a New Generation Artist for the class of 2014-16; but he’s an increasingly visible figure on the concert scene, and once seen – tall, blond, handsome and with a commanding stage presence – he’s not easily forgotten. The last private pupil of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (there’s a YouTube clip of the two baritones, nearly a half century apart in age, working on Lieder together), Appl has been named an ECHO Rising Star and, earlier this year, he signed a contract with Sony Classical, the first fruits of which will appear early next year.

Benjamin Appl accepting his Grammophone award (Photo: Benjamin Ealovega)
Appl has appeared on a number of recordings, often alongside other singers – in the Mendelssohn song series with the pianist Malcolm Martineau for Champs Hill or in songs by Schumann alongside Ann Murray for Linn (‘With clear, incisive diction, he characterises vividly in the narrative “Ballade des Harfners” and catches both the Lear-like weariness of soul and the accusatory bitterness of “Wer sich der Einsamkeit ergibt”, wrote Richard Wigmore in March last year). But 2016 saw the appearance of his first two solo recordings.


Champs Hill’s May release, entitled ‘Stunden, Tage, Ewigkeiten’, linked Schumann’s song-cycle Dichterliebe with other songs to words by Heine. As Richard Fairman wrote, ‘Appl has a baritone voice with its own character and a natural appreciation of the essentials of singing Lieder’. Barely a month passed before his next disc, a Wigmore Hall Live recording – with Graham Johnson at the piano (Appl has worked with just about every major accompanist on the British scene) – of Lieder by Schubert. Hugo Shirley, who reviewed it, felt a marked advance even on that first disc: ‘His instinctive feel for these songs is immediately striking and manifests itself in the sort of artlessness that distinguishes the finest Lieder singers: a lack of tension, an easy relationship with the poetry, a confidence in the words and Schubert’s melodies to communicate with nothing but the gentlest helping interpretative hand.’

This young singer has huge potential and we look forward to following the exciting journey that lies ahead. As Richard Fairman concluded, in his May review: ‘Sample his debut solo disc and you will hear the current front-runner in the next generation of Lieder singers.’

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11 days ago | |
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Evan Bravos
Barihunk Evan Bravos was recommended to us by one of our Southern California readers, who pointed out that the Greek-American singer will be performing in two upcoming free concerts.

Bravos recently joined the Mosher Studio Artists at Opera Santa Barbara along with soprano Elizabeth Kelsay, mezzo-soprano Molly Clementz, baritone Evan Bravos, and pianists/coaches Christopher Turbessi and Catherine Miller. The artists will be featured in two concerts, the first on October 10 at Shepard Hall at the Santa Maria Public Library and the second on October 12 at the Solvang Public Library. Both performances will begin at noon and are free to the public.

Bravos is a St. Charles, Illinois native, who was a 2015-2016 Emerging Artist at Virginia Opera, where he performed in A Trickster Trilogy, the company’s fall Education Tour. In the previous season, he was an Apprentice Artist at the Central City Opera, where he recieved an Apprentice Artist Award. He was also the recipient of an Encouragement Award in the 2014 Metropolitan National Council auditions.

During his time as a Mosher Studio Artist, Bravos will sing Dancairo and cover Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen, sing Harashta in Janácek's The Cunning Little Vixen and Rabonier in Puccini's La Rondine).You can listen to him at his website.

Other recent performances include Count Almaviva in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro with Central City Opera, Figaro in Rossini's The Barber of Seville with Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Martin in Bernstein's Candide at the Aspen Music Festival.

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13 days ago | |
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Colin Ramsey (left) and Kian Freitas (right)
Bass-barihunk Colin Ramsey, who has been featured regularly on this site, will relinquish the final performance of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor at Opera San José to Kian Freitas, who is new to this site. Ramsey will perform the role on September 18 and 23, while Freitas will perform on closing night, September 25. The cast also includes Sylvia Lee as Lucia and Kirk Dougherty as Edgardo. Additional information and tickets are available online.

Other roles Freitas has performed include Ferrando in Il Trovatore with Opera Forza, Angelotti in Tosca at the Martha Cardona Opera Theater, Schaunard in La bohème, both Figaro and Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Escamillo in Carmen at NY Opera Exchange, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, as well as Raimondo with the NY Opera Exchange. He created the role of Stefano in the world premiere of La Tempesta, an operatic adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest presented in Italy.

He is also covering the role of the British Major in the West Coast premiere of Kevin Puts's Silent Night for Opera San José. On January 28th, he'll join the South Dakota Symphony as  Leporello in their semi-staged performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Freitas was a participant in the 2015-16 Venture Opera Young Artist Program.

Colin Ramsey will perform Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville with Opera San José beginning on November 12. He then sings Father Palmer in Silent Night with the company, which runs from February 11-26, 2017.

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13 days ago | |
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Ed Parks
Ed Parks, who sang a successful Mercutio in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette at the Atlanta Opera last season, will reprise the role halfway across the globe later this month. He'll be joining tenor Jean- François Borras and soprano Nino Machaidze at the Opera de Monte Carlo at the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman for three performances on September 29 and 30, and October 1. Tickets are available online.

Next season, he'll be singing a very different role, as he performs the title role in the world premiere of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs at The Santa Fe Opera from July 22 July to August 25, 2017. He'll be joined by Sasha Cooke as Laurene Powell Jobs, Wei Wu as Kôbun Chino Otogawa and Garrett Sorenson as Woz. The opera will be directed by Kevin Newbury with sets by Victoria Tzykun.

 Ed Parks sings Avant de quitter ces lieux from Faust 
The opera is composed by Mason Bates with a libretto by Mark Campbell. It examines the life of Apple founder Steve Jobs, an innovator who simplified communication with sleek devices, but who paradoxically learned that  complex human relationships require more than one button to work. The opera starts at a moment in Jobs’ life  when he must face his own mortality and circles back to the events and people in his past that shaped and  inspired him: his father Paul, Zen Buddhism, his relationship with a woman whose child he initially disowned,  his quick rise and fall as mogul, and – most importantly – his wife Laurene, who showed him the power of love  and connection.    

In between, Parks is singing Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen with Nashville Opera and Marcello in Puccini's La bohème at the Minnesota Opera.

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15 days ago | |
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