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The Sexiest Baritone Hunks from Opera
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Christopher Dylan Herbert
Christopher Dylan Herbert will be the featured soloist in two performances of Ralph Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs and the Fauré Requiem in New York City next week.

The first performance is at Hunter College in Lenox Hill on Thursday, April 16 with a subsequent performance on April 18 at Our Savior's Atonement Lutheran Church in Washington Heights.

Ralph Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs were written between 1906 and 1911 to texts by the seventeenth-century Welsh-born English poet and Anglican priest George Herbert (1593–1633). The poems come from his 1633 collection The Temple: Sacred Poems.

While Herbert was a priest, Vaughan Williams himself was an atheist at the time, though this did not prevent his setting of verse of an overtly religious inspiration.

Andrew Garland sings Easter from Five Mystical Songs:
The songs supposed to be performed together as a single work, but the styles of each vary quite significantly. The first four songs are quite personal meditations in which the soloist takes a key role, particularly in the third - Love Bade Me Welcome, where the chorus has a wholly supporting role, and the fourth, The Call, in which the chorus does not feature at all. The final Antiphon is probably the most different of all: a triumphant hymn of praise sung either by the chorus alone or by the soloist alone; unlike the previous songs, a separate version is provided for a solo baritone. It is also sometimes performed on its own, as a church anthem for choir and organ: Let all the world in every corner sing.

On May 24th, Christopher Dylan Herbert rejoins the group New York Polyphony for their European tour, which takes them to Amsterdam and then Germany. Check out their website for dates and locations.

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Waltteri Torikka singing Whitesnake
Waltteri Torikka continues to take Finland by storm on the vocal competition show Tähdet, Tahdet on MTV. This week he sang Whitesnake's Still of Night and got so into swinging the microphone that he hit his mouth, cut his lip and drew blood, but kept on singing.

Over the weeks he's had to perform a number of different genres, including country, punk, tango, Latin pop and even some opera. For heavy metal week he actually worked with David Coverdale from Whitesnake to hone his performance skills, including mic management.

 Waltteri Torikka sings Whitesnake's "Still of the Night"
There are five other singers remaining in the competition, who covered a wide range of heavy metal classics. Laura Voutilainen sang Rainbow's I Surrender, Roope Salminen sang Motörhead's Ace of Spades, Krista Siegfrids sang Def Leppards Pour Some Sugar on Me, Arja Koriseva sang Stratovarius' Eagleheart and Jarkko Ahola sang Metallica's The Unforgiven
He's still performing classical music during the taping of the show. He has three dates left on his tour with the Concert Band of the Conscript Band of the Finnish Defence Forces, where he's the featured soloist on their Finlandia Tour. On April 11th they'll be in Tampere, with additional shows on April 13th at the Hyvinkää Church and April 14 in Lahti. 

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Alessio Arduini as Silvio in Pagliacci
You can't get much sexier than the combination of über-hunkentenor sensation Jonas Kaufmann and barihunk Alessio Arduini. The two teamed up for a double-bill of Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci at the Salzburg Easter Festival last month. Arduini's Silvio and Kaufmann's Canio were joined by Dimitri Platanias as Tonio, Tansel Akzeybek as Beppe and Maria Agresta as Nedda under the baton of Christian Thielemann.You can watch the entire performance of Pagliacci HERE.

Alessio Arduini and Maria Agresta in Pagliacci
Director Philipp Stölzl probably secured his place in our year-end "Best of the Year" feature by having Alessio Arduini shirtless in his scene with Maria Agresta. The Italian barihunk showed why he has quickly become one of the most popular singers on the site. He certainly gives new meaning to the term "chest voice."

Jonas Kaufmann as Canio
Alessio Arduini is curently at the Vienna State Opera where he's singing Doctor Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale from April 26-May 11 and then Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni from June 11-19. On April 26, Jonas Kaufmann performs an evening of German operetta in Baden-Baden.

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Ed Parks and Walt Whitman
Two barihunks will be sharing the role of Walt Whitman in Matthew Aucoin's new opera Crossing at The American Repertory Theater at Harvard University.

The opera was inspired by the diary that poet Walt Whitman kept as a nurse during the Civil War. Crossing explores how the individual experiences of soldiers are remembered and told. As Whitman listens to wounded veterans share their memories and messages, he forges a bond with a soldier who forces him to examine his own role as writer and poet.

Rod Gilfry will sing the role of Whitman on May 29, 31, June 2, 4 and 6, with Edward Parks taking on the role on June 5.  Also in the cast are barihunks Davone Tines, Michael Kelly and Matthew Patrick Morris, who will be joined by Alexander Lewis as John Wormley, Davone Tines as Freddie Stower, and Jennifer Zetlan as the Messenger.

Michael Kelly, Davone Tines and Matthew Patrick Morris (L-R)
Barihunk Edward Parks is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artists Development Program, and made his Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2009-2010 season as Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia. He since appeared at the Met as Schaunard in La bohème, Larkens in La fancuilla del West and returned this season for La Bohème, Don Carlo, and Die Zauberflöte. Future seasons will see his debut with Virginia Opera and a return to the Metropolitan Opera.

Bass-barihunk Davone Tines is building an international career commanding a broad spectrum of opera and concert performances. Recent performances include programs of Bach and Rameau at Alice Tully Hall and the U.S. premiere of Meanachem Zur's Cartoons at Lincoln Center.  Upcoming engagements include concerts with the Boston Pops, Tanglewood Music Festival, two one-man shows entitled American Gothic and The Black Clown, and the premier of two chamber operas by Kaija Saariajo at the Dutch National Opera and Ojai Music Festival. He is a 2009 graduate of Harvard College and received a Masters degree in voice from The Juilliard School in 2013.

Additional information and tickets are available online.

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Davide Luciano
For yet another season, it would be virtually impossible to avoid seeing a barihunk on stage at this year's Rossini Festival in Pesaro, which runs from August 10-22.

On opening day you can catch the world's greatest Leporello, Alex Esposito, in Rossini's La gazza ladra, which is best remembered for it's lively overture these days.  The next night, you can catch the charming young barihunk Andrea Vincenzo Bonsignore in the rarely performed La gazzetta. The following night, Davide Luciano, who lit up our pages with some shirtless pictures, performs in another of Rossini's rarities, L’inganno felice.

Andrea Vincenzo Bonsignore
 On August 14 and 17, the students from Alberto Zedda's Accademia Rossiniana will perform in Il viaggio a Reims, providing attendees to see the next great generation of Rossini singers. 

On August 15 and 18, Mirco Palazzi joins hunkentenor Juan Diego Florez in the composer's Messa di Gloria.

Alex Esposito show off why he's not just popular for his singing
The singers have become popular fan favorites over the last few seasons and all of the barihunks are returning from previous seasons, including Esposito, Luciano, Palazzi and Bonsignore. You can check out our feature from last season.  Bonsignore first appeared as a student from the Accademia Rossiniana program in 2011.

The festival also includes a number of concerts by various performers. Additional information and tickets are available online.

Davide Luciano is a regular at the Berlin Opera this season where he is performing Sid in La fanciulla del West, Marcello in La boheme, Ping in Turandot, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Sgt. Lescaut in Manon Lescaut. Alex Esposito is serving up another full plate of Mozart this year, singing Papageno in Venice and Munich and Leporello in Munich. Mirco Palazzi switches to Bellini, singing Giorgio in I puritani in Catania and Rodolfo in La sonnambula in Bilbao.

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David Adam Moore in Des Moines' Dead Man Walking
You have two chances to listen to barihunk David Adam Moore's performance of convicted killer Joseph de Rocher in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking. Iowa Public Radio will broadcast last season's performance of the opera from the Des Moines Metro Opera. Performances will air at  7 PM CST/8 PM EST/5 PM PST. on Saturday, April 11 and 10 PM CST/11 PM EST/8 PM PST. on Sunday, April 12.

The American baritone is joined in the cast by mezzo soprano Elise Quagliata as Sister Helen Prejean,  bari-chunk founder Kyle Albertson as George Benton, Karen Slack as Sister Rose, Margaret Lattimore as Mrs. de Rocher, Wayne Tigges as Owen Hart and bari-chunk to bari-hunk Kasey Yeargain as the Prison Guard. You can tune in HERE.

Kasey Yeargain
Heggie’s work, based on the book of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean, tells the story of a nun acting as a spiritual guide to a death-row inmate who was found guilty of murder. It offers a haunting inside look at capital punishment in America.

David Adam Moore returns to the Des Moines Metro Opera this summer as Pasha Selim in Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio from June 26-July 19

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Trevor Martin
Barihunk Trevor Martin, who is singing Fiorello opposite fellow barihunk Tom Forde's Don Basilio in Madison Opera's Barber of Seville, was asked ten (well eleven) questions for the company's blog. You can see both of these amazing young talents on April 24 and 26. Tickets and additional cast information are available online.

1.  Where were you born / raised?
I was born and raised just south of Atlanta, Georgia.

2.  If you weren't a singer, what profession would you be in?
If I weren't able to do anything in the field of music, I think I would like to be a history professor.  I've always loved it, and some of my history teachers in school were some of the most influential teachers I ever had.

3.  My favorite opera is...
Otello.  Although if you ask me tomorrow, it could just as easily be something completely different.

4.  My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is...
I usually don't eat a whole lot before shows, which always leaves me ravenous afterwards.  Being from the South, I hadn't ever experienced cheese curds before coming to Madison (don't shun me - I didn't know!), so I am sure that will be a big part of my post-show feast here.

5.  People would be surprised to know that...
As much as I travel by plane, I am still terrified to fly!

Trevor Martin in the famous "Bevy of Barihunks" photo from Seagle Music Colony
6.  What is your favorite song to belt out in a bar / the shower / at karaoke?
My go-to karaoke song has always been "My Way" by Mr. Sinatra.  Always tugging on the heartstrings of the audience with that one.

7.  What is your pop culture guilty pleasure?
I always feel so disconnected with current pop culture references around my friends, but recently I have become obsessed with podcasts, especially Serial, The Moth, and This American Life.  Really, anything that tells a compelling story, and I am sold!

8.  A few of my favorite films are...
In no particular order:  Shawshank Redemption, all of the Lord of the Rings (extended versions, of course), Clue, Moonrise Kingdom, and Rudy.

9.  If we were to turn on your ipod right now, what five artists/songs would we see on your recently-played list?  
Nickel Creek, Piero Cappuccilli's "Best Of" album, Childish Gambino, The Goat Rodeo Sessions, and The Nth Power.

10.  What is the worst costume you've ever worn?
I never went trick-or-treating as a child, so I remember getting really excited to go to a costume party in college in Georgia dressed as the only thing I knew I could pull off... a redneck.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure people knew that I had actually put on a costume.

11.  Bonus:  One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer):
Q:  Which is superior, Star Wars or Star Trek?

A:  I'm so glad you asked.  Star Wars obviously has the better story and characters (Jar Jar Binks notwithstanding), although Star Trek has superior acting and sheer volume of content.  I have many more opinions about this if anyone would care to ask.

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Michael Kelly as he appeared in the Barihunks Calendar
Former Barihunks calendar model Michael Kelly will be part of the two-night Hugo Wolf Project in New York City.

The program is part of the Brooklyn Art Song Society's multi-year survey of the complete songs of Hugo Wolf with all 51 settings from the Goethe-Lieder.  This songbook, the least performed of Wolf's works, features some of his most extended and ambitious songs (Prometheus, Der Sänger) and also features Wolf's unique, quirky brand of humor (Epiphanias, Frech und Froh I).  

Kelly will be joined by sopranos Kristina Bachrach and Sarah Brailey, tenors Dominic Armstrong and Nils Neubert, and fellow baritone Kyle Oliver.  Part one will be held at the Old Stone House as part of the new Art Song at the Old Stone House series, and part two will be a free concert at the Deutches Haus on the campus of New York University.  Tickets are available online.

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Joshua Jeremiah
Barihunk Joshua Jeremiah will be playing David in Vital Opera's production of Samuel Barber and Gian-Carlo Menotti's Four Hands of Bridge! 

A Hand of Bridge--a nine minute opera that briefly, but powerfully, touches on themes of societal expectation, commercialism, marital infidelity, greed, repression, isolation, and loss of love... all over one hand of bridge.  It premiered as a part of Menotti’s Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto on June 17, 1959 at the Teatro Caio Melisso. 

The piece is possibly the shortest opera that is regularly performed: it lasts about nine minutes. However, Vital Opera will present four consecutive performances of A Hand of Bridge by the same cast, for the same audience. Audience members will be encouraged to change seats if they like, in order to gain an additional perspective as the evening progresses. These performances will then be followed by a guided conversation between audience and performers about the whole experience.

Jeremiah will be joined by tenor Brent Reilly Turner as Bill, Jeremy Carlisle Parker as Geraldine and mezzo-soprano Jennifer Panara as Sally. Performances are on April 21 and 22, at 8pm. Tickets are $20 ($15 for seniors and students) and are available online.


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The many faces of Waltteri Torikka on Finnish MTV
Barihunk Waltteri Torikka is competing on a voice competition called Tähdet, Tähdet (Stars, Stars) on Finnish MTV and this week's challenge is Heavy Metal. So he took some time out with David Coverdale from White Snake to work on his rocker technique. You can watch the video HERE.

Over the weeks he's had to perform a number of different genres, including country, punk, tango, Latin pop and even some opera. He's currently one of the finalists in the competition. You can enjoy his performances below.

Country version of "Ring of Fire":

Punk rock song "Hei hei mitä kuuluu" (Hey, hey, what's up?):
The Finnish Tango "Satumaa" (Fairyland):

Singing "Livin' La Vida Loca":
He even sang an Ozzy Osbourne-esque version of Scarpia!:
You can hear Waltteri Torikka live this month on tour with the Concert Band of the Conscript Band of the Finnish Defence Forces. He's the featured soloist on their Finlandia Tour, which plays April 10th in Mikkeli, April 11th in Tampere, April 13th at the Hyvinkää Church and April 14 in Lahti. 

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