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The Sexiest Baritone Hunks from Opera
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Edward Nelson (Photo by James Darrah)
The Merola Opera Program has cast barihunk Edward Nelson in their upcoming performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni. The opera is being directed by James Darrah and conducted by Martin Katz.

The California native studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and took 1st Place at the 2013 Mid-South Region Metropolitan Opera Auditions. He has performed the title role in Britten's Owen Wingrave, Dandini in Rossini's La Cenerentola, the Forester in Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen and Le Podestat in Bizet's Le docteur Miracle.

Edward Nelson with Yujin Kim

Edward Nelson
The remainder of the cast includes Szymon Wach as Leporello, Rhys Lloyd Talbot as Masetto, Scott Russell  as the Commendatore, Amanda Woodbury as Donna Anna, Yujin Kim as Zerlina, Benjamin Werley as Don Ottavio and Karen Chia-Ling Ho as Donna Elvira.

Performances are on Thursday, July 31 and August 2 at the Everett Auditorium in San Francisco. Tickets are available at the San Francisco Opera website.

You can follow Edward Nelson on YouTube or Facebook.

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Seth Carico in King & I
We've been following Seth Carico since his amazing turn as Victor in Jorge Martin's Before Night Falls at the Fort Worth Opera Festival. We followed him from his larger-than-life portrayal of the Castro-esque revolutionary leader to his fitness obsession and invitation to appear in our Barihunks calendar.

He eventually landed for a year at the prestigious Merola Opera Program in San Francisco before being snatched away by the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where he has impressed audiences in Billy Budd, Les Troyens, Don Giovanni, Tosca, Die Zauberflöte, Otello, Rigoletto, Le nozze di Figaro, and Champert’s Hoffmann. 

Carico recently returned to his hometown of Signal Mountain, Tennessee to perform in the "King and I," where he started his career as one of the King's children in 1991. This time he'll be the king and perhaps surrounded by some children who dream of following in his footsteps. 


He was recently interviewed by Chattanooga's Chatter magazine about his career and his return to his hometown, which you can read in its entirety HERE

In the article he also talks about his obsession with fitness, stating:
"I’d say the biggest part of my life other than singing is fitness. It’s become a real obsession of mine. I was really unhealthy a few years ago. I was doing a show, and I felt really terrible and decided that something had to change. I had to get in shape. It was actually The King and I in Virginia that gave me my deadline to get in shape, because I knew I would be shirtless for that show. I lost 75 pounds, and I kept it off. Now it’s become an important part of who I am as a performer and who I am as a person."
On August 14th, he'll be appearing in Richard Strauss' Salome at the Proms in London under the baton of Donald Runnicles. He then returns to the Deutsche Oper Berlin where he'll be performing Junius in Brittens' The Rape of Lucretia, Zuniga in Bizet's Carmen and The Speaker in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte.

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Peter Brathwaite rehearsing "Flat Pack"
Tête à Tête, a British opera company that produces new works and find new ways of producing old works is presenting a new 30-minute micro-opera called "Flat Pack." The piece stars Barihunk Calendar model Peter Brathwaite as Simon and Aled Jones as Viola. Tête à Tête has produced over 70 stage works by more than 50 different composers for audiences throughout the UK and abroad.
The piece, which has an "adults only" warning, is described as a microdrama about putting together IKEA furniture. Part of the text reads, "Insert screw A into hole G on shelf E using Allen Key 2."'
We've heard that Brathwaite has been sensational in rehearsals and even managed to get a picture of him working through the piece.
The Festival in the White Lab of Central St. Martin's College of Art and Design, with performances on Thursday, July 31and Friday, August 1 at 8pm. Tickets are available online.

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Bottom Row - Austin Siebert, George Arvidson, Clay Thompson, Nate Mattingly, Mason Jarboe, Michael MillerTop Row - Keith Browning, Trevor Martin, Michael Hewitt, Damian Faul
The Seagle Music Colony in upstate New York, which was one of our first recipients of a grant from our calendar sales, has assembled quite a bevy of barihunks this season. The minute we saw the roster, we offered to ship off some of our tee-shirts in exchange for a group of photo. Wow, were we pleased when the photos arrived.

The training program just wrapped up performances of Lerner & Loewe's Camelot, a children's performance of Hansel & Gretel, Rossini's The Italian Girl in Algiers and Side by Side by Sondheim. From July 30-August 2, they'll present Carlisle Floyd's Susannah, followed by Bernstein's West Side Story and a Vespers concert.

L to R = Michael Miller, Mason Jarboe, Austin Siebert, Trevor Martin, Michael Hewitt, Keith Browning, Damian Faul, George Arvidson, Nate Mattingly and Clay Thompson
The critical role of Olin Blitch in Susannah will be shared by Nathaniel Mattingly (July 30, Aug. 1), William Clay Thompson (July 31, Aug. 2), Trevor Martin will sing Elder McLean and George Arvidson will sing Elder Ott. In West Side Story Trevor Martin will sing Bernardo, William Clay Thompson will sing Detective Schrank, George Arvidson is Riff and Austin Siebert as Diesel.

In the recently completed performances of The Italian Girl in Algiers, directed by John De Los Santos, the role of Mustafa was alternated between Austin Seibert and Michael Hewitt (who has appeared in the Barihunks calendar), while Mason Jarboe sang Haly.

Michael Hewitt as he appeared in the 2013 Barihunks calendar
Camelot featured Damian Faul as Merlyn, Trevor Martin as Arthur, Michael Hewitt as Lancelot nad William Clay Thompson as Mordred.

Seagle Music Colony is the oldest summer vocal training program in the United States and was awarded the "Best Cultural Event" in the Adirondacks by the Adirondack Local Government Conference Committee.  We highly suggest that you join Barihunk in financially supporting this great program. If you're interested in making a donation, please click HERE.

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We posted about the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Mozart -Da Ponte Trilogy with a barihunk in Le nozze di Figaro trio back May. The main eye candy in that production, which also included Christopher Maltman and Brandon Cedel, was an oft-shirtless Edwin Crossley-Mercer as Figaro.

The production set was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, with costumes by couturier Azzedine Alaïa. On alternating nights you barihunk connoisseurs feasted their eyes on a Don Giovanni cast that included barihunks Mariusz Kwiecien and Ryan Kuster.

(Click to enlarge)
We posted a semi-shirtless of picture of Crossley-Mercer back in May, but we now have additional photos from the production. We can see why we received a generous amount of emails begging us to find some photos.

If you want to catch Crossley-Mercey live, on August 10th, he'll be performing a song recital with accompanist Fernando Pérez at the Sala Verdi in Montevideo, Uruguay. From October 13-21 he reprises his huge success as Pollux in Rameau's Castor et Pollux at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris. Tickets and additional cast information are available online

Edwin Crossley Mercer sings Brahms' "Wie soll ich die Freude"

Also, don't forget about his upcoming release of Michael Linton's 17-movement song cycle Carmina Catulli, which we posted about last week. 

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Ildebrando D'Arcangelo and the Hollywood Bowl
The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s performance of Verdi's Requiem from last summer, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth will be broadcast on PBS's Great Performances, Friday, August 1 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).

The performance features Italian barihunk Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, a favorite of Los Angeles audiences, where he has performed in Bizet's Carmen and Mozart's Don Giovanni. He'll be joined by soprano Julianna Di Giacomo, mezzo Michelle DeYoung and hunkentenor Vittorio Grigolo, as well as the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the L.A. Philharmonic under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel.

D'Arcangelo is currently at the Salzburg Festival performing the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni, which he will then perform in Oslo. He returns to the United States in the same role in February 2015 at the newly revived and reorganized San Diego Opera.

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Zachary James in PBS' "Sweeney Todd" (right)
Keep an eye out for a tall, sexy, bald guy with a muscle shirt during the September 26th broadcast of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street on PBS. That's Zachary James, who has sung the title role in Sweeney Todd, but appears as part of the ensemble in this production.

The show, which stars Oscar winning actress Emma Thompson and legendary opera singer Byrn Terfel, will air as part of public television's Live From Lincoln Center.  Audra McDonald, who hosts the broadcast, also appears in the uncredited role of the beggar woman.

The production, directed by Lonny Price and conducted by Alan Gilbert, played to sold out crowds at Avery Fisher Hall from March 5 through March 8.

Zachary James returns to the operatic stage from September 15-20, when he portrays Abraham Lincoln in Philip Glass' The Perfect American. The opera imagines the final months of Walt Disney’s life, including mythical imaginings of Abraham Lincoln and Andy Warhol. British baritone Christopher Purves will be portraying Walt Disney. Additional information and tickets are available online.

In October, he returns to the United States to take on the title role in Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle opposite soprano Megan Nielson at Opera Ithaca

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Doritos Loaded and barihunk Tom Forde as "Omar" the 7-11 clerk
Doritos has a new ad campaign out for their Doritos Loaded product, which is a warm, nacho-cheese-filled, triangular cheese stick coated with Dorito powder?

A few weeks ago, the product was launched in Los Angeles before the nationwide July 2nd launch of the product. The is even a fan website and a hashtag on Twitter (#DoritosLoaded) where consumers can post their reactions to the new snack.


At 1:24 of the ad barihunk Tom Forde makes a hysterical appearance as Omar the 7-11 clerk.

For those of you trying to keep your barihunk figures, we should warn you that a box of four bites has 6 grams of fat, 360 calories and 1,080 milligrams of sodium.

You can catch more of Tom Forde on both television and in the theater. On August 16, he'll appear on the National Geographic show "Brain Games." He'll be appearing in two shows with the Madison Opera next year, Judge Turpin in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and Basilio in Rossini's Barber of Seville. Sweeney Todd runs will be performed on February 6, 7 and 8 and the cast includes the amazing Meredith Arwady as Mrs. Lovett. The Barber of Seville will be performed on April 24 and 26. Visit the Madison Opera website for additional information.

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Ryan Kuster as Escamillo at Virginia Opera
Bard SummerScape 2014 is presenting Carl Maria von Weber's rarely performed Euryanthe with barihunk Ryan Kuster as Lysiart. There will be five performances running from July 25-August 3. Revivals of the complete opera are rare, especially in the United States, where it has not been seen since the Metropolitan Opera’s 1914 staging 100 years ago. A check on Opera Critic showed the last fully staged performance at the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe, Germany in 2010. Oper Frankfurt will present the opera next April with Erika Sunnegardh, Eric Cutler, Heidi Melton and James Rutherford.   

Ryan Kuster, who was part of the prestigious Merola Opera Program and Adler Fellows in San Francisco, has become an audience favorite on the West Coast.  In 2012, he made his symphonic debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic singing the role of Masetto in their highly acclaimed production of Mozart's Don Giovanni, directed by Christopher Alden and conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. At the San Francisco Opera he has performed the Mandarin in Puccini's Turandot, Astolfo in Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia, Masetto in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Escamillo in Bizet's Carmen (for families), Count Ceprano in Verdi's Rigoletto, the 4th Noble in Wagner's Lohengrin,  Angelotti in Puccini's Tosca.



The rest of the cast, which will be directed by Kevin Newbury,  includes Ellie Dehn as Euryanthe, William Burden as her fiancé Adolar, Wendy Bryn Harmer as Euryanthe’s rival Eglantine and Peter Volpe as King Ludwig. Performances will be at the beautiful Frank Gehry-designed Sosnoff Theater at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.T Tickets are available online.

Weber's greatest single success was probably his 1821 opera Der Freischütz. With his next opera, Weber wanted to break new ground. So in Euryanthe the spoken dialogue disappeared, replaced by continuous music. However, even the composer's great music couldn't save the opera from a ridiculous libretto, which has attributed to its relative obscurity. Perhaps the most well-known music from the opera is its overture, which is often performed by orchestras. It uses material from the opera, including Adolar's rebuttal of Lysiart and his second act romance.

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Vittorio Prato working out and in Rameau's Les Indes Galantes
Italian barihunk Vittorio Prato just made his debut in Bad Kissingen, Germany as Belcore in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore (Der Liebestrank for our German readers).  Prato was a replacement for Fabio Capitanucci, who had a scheduling conflict with the Montpellier Festival. From all accounts Prato was a huge success and we have some rehearsal footage of him singing the village sergeant's aria "Come Paride vezzoso."


Post by Vittorio Prato.
Prato will be singing some obscure Donizetti this Fall at the Bergamo Music Festival when he sings Max in Betly, ossia La capanna svizzera. It's been a busy year for him singing Donizetti, having performed Doctor Malatesta in Munich and Verona.

Betly is a one act opera giacosa that was composed during the summer of 1836. It is a love story full of pastoral naïveté, whose humor is both gentle and pointed. There are a number of comic scenes for Max and his regiment, as they try to intimidate Betly, and turn the quaking Danielle into a hero for her. The text for Betly was adapted from a libretto by Eugene Scribe for an opera called La Chalet

Betly premiered on August 24, 1836 at the Teatro Nuovo of Naples. It was very well received, and remained popular until the middle of the century when its popularity died out. It has begun to regain favor in recent years and Donizetti intended it to be performed with another of his one-act operas, Il Campanello.

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