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The Sexiest Baritone Hunks from Opera
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Sean Michael Plumb (Karli Cadel Photography)
American barihunk Sean Michael Plumb has joined the ensemble at the Bavarian State Opera, where he will kick off his fest contract as the Porter in Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Fellow barihunk Alexander Tsymbalyuk will also perform in the production as the Police Inspector and the Old Convict. 

This season Sean Michael Plumb will go on to perform a variety of roles with the company, including Servitore and Sicario in Verdi's Macbeth opposite fellow barihunk Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, Morales in Bizet's Carmen, Olav Bjaaland in Srnka's South Pole, Harlekin in Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos with Karita Mattila in the title role, Yamadori in Puccini's Madama Butterfly and Dandini in Rossini's La Cenerentola.

Sean Michael Plumb sings Rene Orth's Empty the House:
Last summer, he was part of the Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project. Prior to that, he racked up a number of impressive wins at vocal competitions, including the Grand Prize at the 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Top Prize at the 2016 Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, a 2016 Shoshana Foundation Grant, the 2015 Sullivan Foundation Award from The Sullivan Foundation, Top Prize at the 2015 Opera Index Competition, a 2015 Sara Tucker Grant from The Richard Tucker Foundation, First Prize at the 2015 Gerda Lissner Liederkranz Competition, and the 2015 Theodor Uppman Prize from the George London Foundation.
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Malte Roesner

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David Jones (Photo left: Alejandro Tamagno)
British barihunk David Jones is reprising his performance of "Unknowing," a turbulent love tale told through the interweaving of two Schumann song cycles: Dichterliebe and Frauenliebe und Leben. He originally performed the piece with Teatime Opera at Cambridge, but on November 29 and December 3, he'll perform the piece with soprano Christine Cunnold at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London.

Olivier-Award winning libretti translator and composer David Parry created the new English translation of Schumann's most well known song cycles.

David Jones performs The Salley Gardens:
Jones studied at Oxford University and Trinity Laban and was prizewinner in the 2015 AESS Patricia Routledge English Song Competition. He enjoys a fruitful ongoing collaboration with Cantata Dramatica, with whom he has given the first performances of four substantial works, most recently Nick Bîcat’s Red Dragon, White Dragon.

Operatic roles have included Jesus in Jonathan Harvey's Passion and Resurrection  at the Voices of London Festival, Edward VIII in the premiere of Josh Spear's That Woman at the Tête-à-Tête Festival, Pritschitsch in Lehar's The Merry Widow with Opera Danube, Jamie in the world premiere of The Sleeper with the Welsh National Youth Opera and Ko-Ko in Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado with Co-Opera Co.

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Malte Roesner

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Johan Reuter hits the gym (and a faux magazine cover from the production)
Johan Reuter, who last appeared on this site shirtless in Carl Nielsen's Saul and David, has been buffing up for his performance as the Flying Dutchman at the Finnish National Opera. The opera opened this week and continues through December 30 with two cast. Reuter has sung the Dutchman in Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Madrid and Copenhagen

Tickets and additional cast information is available online.

Der fliegende Holländer, Richard Wagner’s first masterpiece, is the story of the Dutchman, a captain cursed to sail the seas of the world forever; he is only allowed to make landfall once every seven years. This curse can only be broken by the love of a faithful woman.

The Finnish National Opera has enlisted director Kasper Holten for their production, which sets the opera in an urban environment and the tempestuous world of the international art trade. In this production, the Dutchman is a famous Dutch artist who travels the world. The sea, storms and ships are all evoked in the production, but never present.

Johan Reuter sings Die frist ist um from Der fliegende Holländer:
Barihunk (bear-a-hunk) Johan Reuter studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Academy of the Royal Theatre in his hometown of Copenhagen. Since 1996 he has been a soloist at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen. Last season, in addition to Saul and David,  he performed in Oscar nominee Atom Agoyan's production of Wagner's Die Walküre in Toronto and a new co-production of Alban Berg's Lulu by artist William Kentridge in Amsterdam and the Metropolitan Opera.

In 2017, Reuter will make two role debuts. On January 21, he debuts in a new production of Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking at the Royal Danish Opera. In May, he'll make his role debut in Hans Werner Henze's Elegy for Young Lovers at the Theater an den Wien.

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Malte Roesner

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Thomas Meglioranza and Jeremy Ayres Fisher
Odyssey Opera and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project will present Lowell Liebermann's The Picture of Dorian Gray in a semi-staged version. The opera will feature Thomas Meglioranza in the role of Lord Henry Wotton and Jeremy Ayres Fisher in the small role of the Gamekeeper. Lord Wotton is a witty and urbane nobleman, who critcizes the moralism and hypocrisy of Victorian socitey. His philosophy of New Hedonism plays a big part in Dorian Gray's development.

The opera is one of two by Liebermann and is based on Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. It had its premiere at the Monte Carlo Opera in 1996 in a co-production with Opera Pacific, but the American premiere was canceled due to company's financial problems. The subsequent American premiere took place on February 5, 1999 at the Florentine Opera in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Trailer for Dorian Gray at Odyssey Opera:
The story revolves around the wealthy and attractive Dorian Gray, who has gained immortality by having his soul trapped within a painting. He is well known for his extravagance and debauchery. The picture of Dorian Gray not only took on the ravages of Dorian’s age, but also became the physical manifestation of his evil deeds - a heinous portrait of his true self.

The performance is on Friday, November 18, 2016 at Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory and will include a pre-concert talk with Lowell Liebermann one hour prior to concert. Tickets are available online.

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Vincent Simonet (Photos: JF l'Oiseleur des Longchamps)

Hunkentenor turned barihunk Vincent Simonet is a native of Bayonne in the Basque region of France. He is a decendent of the famous 19th century baritone Paul Barroilhet (aka Paolo Barroilhet), whose bust still graces the Opera Garnier in Paris. Barroilhet created a number of Donizetti roles, including Eustachio de Saint-Pierre in L'assedio di Calais, Lord Duke of Nottingham in Roberto Devereux, Alfonso XI of Castile in La favorite and Camoëns in Dom Sebastien
This summer at the Centre Européen de Musique, Simonet performed Dandini in Rossini's La Cenerentola coached by the great Spanish mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza. He has also been heard in Joseph Haydn's Isola Disabitata in Saint-Denis, as Fritz in Jacques Offenbach's La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein at the OPERACADEMY in Paris and in Rekviem 3, which staged Verdi's Requiem in an adaptation of Josef Bor's novel The Terezín Requiem at the Opera de Paris Bastille Amphitheater. 
Vincent Simonet (Photos: Bruno Melegari)
Simonet was asked by French composer Philippe Mazé to sing at the 100-year anniversary of the Cathedral of Monaco (Saint Nicholas Cathedral). The cathedral is home to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Monaco where many of the Grimaldis are buried, including Prince Rainier III and his wife Grace Kelly.

Simonet is also one of the initiators of the charity recital "Ensemble pour les Enfants Malades" (Recital for the Sick Children) which was a benefit for the Pediatric Immuno-Hematology Department at the Hôpital Necker de Paris.

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Joe Haddow, Jamie Henare, Will King & William McElwee (counterclockwise top left)
Four barihunks will compete on November 16th in the first annual Battle for the Barithrone at St Andrew's on The Terrace in Wellington, New Zealand. The lunchtime concert and competition will include Joe Haddow, Jamie Henare, Will King and William McElwee singing sprituals, comic opera, and operatic arias by Verdi and Mozart.

The promo for the event states: "
Since King Christian I abdicated his seat as the finest young baritone in Wellington, there has been no order in the Barikingdom! Where will the public look to find the Baritone Claw? Who will rise? Will the dark arts of the Bass-Barihorde prevail or will one of the true-hearted baritones ascend to the seat of Bariking?
British born Joe Haddow is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Music in Classical Performance at the New Zealand School of Music. He began his musical studies playing the saxophone at Aotea College when he decided to join a barbershop chorus, which prompted his interest in singing. He was the winner of the Robin Dumbell Memorial Trophy for young Aria entrant at the Wellington Regional Vocal Competitions.

Jamie Henare is a Graduate of The New Zealand School of Music, finishing up his post graduate diploma at the start of 2015.  He has been involved in music from an early age, playing guitar with various bands and singing barbershop. He sang the role of King Stanislaus in the Orpheus Choir’s 2012 production of Bernstein's Candide, Giovanni in The New Zealand School of Music's 2013 production of Verdi's early opera Il Corsaro and Leporello in Eternity Opera’s production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. In 2015, he won the New Zealand singing school Opera Australia award.

Auckland native Will King began singing as a boy soprano, getting his initial training with the Auckland Boys Choir and King’s School Chapel Choir. He realized his true passion for music after joining the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir in 2011. He is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Music in Classical Performance Voice at Victoria University of Wellington. He made his professional debut as Lorenzo in the Days Bay production of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi. With The New Zealand School of Music, he has performed in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges, Mr Gedge in Britten's Albert Herring and Bartolo in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. 

Wellington native William McElwee grew up playing the trumpet and piano, and also singing in his local church children’s choir. He has performed with numerous choirs, including the  Orpheus Choir, the Cathedral of St Paul’s Choir, Tudor Consort, and the St Mary of the Angel’s Choir. He has also played the guitar and bass guitar in local rock and rap bands. His interest in the guitar led him to take up the renaissance lute, playing with Straynge Discorde, New Zealand’s lute quartet, and other early music ensembles. He has a Post Graduate Diploma in Classical Voice from the New Zealand School of Music. He has appeared in The New Zealand School of Music's productions of Verdi's Il Corsaro and Britten's A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
He has been a member of the New Zealand Opera Chorus since 2013. He also has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Latin and English Language.

Additional information about the Battle for the BariThrone is available on their Facebook event page. 

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Salomón Zulic del Canto in Riders to the Sea
Chilean barihunk Salomón Zulic del Canto is new to this site. He came to our attention as part of a double bill at the Coburg Landestheater where he will sing Aeneas in Purcell's Dido & Aeneas and Bartley in Ralph Vaughan Williams Riders to the Sea.  Performances are on November 17 and December 2 and tickets and cast information is available online.

Composed in 1927 but not premiered until December 1937, Riders to the Sea is based almost verbatim on J.M. Synge’s early twentieth­century drama of the same name. Music of eerie, elegiac beauty illuminates the theme of elemental and watery death as experienced by the Aran Islanders, west of Galway.

Salomón Zulic del Canto sings the role of Bartley, the youngest of Maurya's six sons, who becomes the sole support of the household after her other sons are lost at sea. He earns income by riding horses into the sea to the steamer anchored far offshore, so that they can be sold at the mainland fair. Preoccupied with practical exigencies, he ignores his mother’s request that he not go to sea. He nevertheless asks God’s blessing on the family and rides off on the red mare, leading the pony.

His mother foretells his death and omits the giving of a blessing to him, an omission considered bad luck. When his mother subsequently stands on the path trying in vain to say the blessing, he gives her his blessing. Bartley is knocked into the sea by his pony, becoming the sixth and final son of Maurya's to die at sea.

Salomón Zulic del Canto in Dido & Aeneas
Purcell's Dido & Aeneas is based on Book IV of Virgil's Aeneid. It recounts the love of Dido, Queen of Carthage, for the Trojan hero Aeneas, and her despair when he abandons her. A monumental work in Baroque opera, Dido & Aeneas is remembered as one of Purcell's foremost theatrical works.

Salomón Zulic del Canto joined the ensemble at the Landestheater Coburg this season after two years as a member of the Thüringer Opera Studio. He studied at the Konservatorium der Universidad de Chile and continued his studies at the Musikhochschule Lübeck. As a student, he performed Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Marcello in Puccini’s La Bohème. He was a finalist in the “Felix Mendelssohn-Bartoldy Hochschulwettbewerb" 2014 in Berlin.

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Glen Seven Allen & Edwin Crossley-Mercer







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Baritone Michael Kelly
American barihunk Michael Kelly will perform Franz Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin in an arrangement for guitar and voice, arranged by his accompanist David Leisner. The piece was originally written for voice and piano. Schubert was a guitarist himself, and most likely used the guitar to compose many of his songs.

Franz Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin is a cycle of twenty songs set to poems by the German  poet Wilhelm Müller. It tells the tale of a young boy whose journeys bring him to take an  apprenticeship at a mill, where he falls instantly in love with the miller's daughter. His love, and advances are sadly unrequited, and when she turns her attention to a hunter he bemoans losing her. Left with only the brook that guided him along the way, he succumbs to a watery grave as the brook lulls him to his final  rest.  

You can hear Kelly and Leisner perform Der Müller und der Bach HERE.

Kelly will perform the Brahms Requiem with Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra on April 21 and 22 next year. He previously performed Mohammed Fairouz’s Zabur with the orchestra, joined by the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir.

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William Berger
We celebrated International Redhead Day yesterday and included barihunk William Berger in our post. Somehow we overlooked his upcoming as Caleb in Handel's Joshua with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.

Handel's oratorio Joshua was completed in 1747 and is the last of a consecutive run of four oratorios with military themes (the others are The Occasional Oratorio, Judas Maccabaeus, and Alexander Balus). The libretto by Thomas Morell is taken from the Old Testament book of Joshua, and conflates a number of episodes that relate to the hero's campaigns against Jericho, Ai, and the five Kings. To avoid what would otherwise have been an almost continuous succession of warlike episodes, Morell expands the biblical roles of the young warrior Othniel and his betrothed Achsah, the daughter of the elderly patriarchal warrior Caleb.

James Rutherford sings "Shall I in Mamre's fertile plain":

Joshua is divided into three acts, the first of which immediately establishes the grand scale of the work in the opening scenes celebrating the Jews' miraculous passage across the Jordan, the conclusion of 40 years in the wilderness. In Act II, Joshua is in the process of laying siege to Jericho, and orders the famous final trumpet call and the walls fall. Act III includes some of Handel's best music, including Caleb's "Shall I in Mamre's fertile plain" and the great choral showstopper "See the conq'ring hero comes." It also includes one of the composer's most famous arias, Achsah's "Oh! had I Jubel's lyre."

Performances are on December 1 in San Francisco Friday December 2 in Palo Alto, December 3 in Berkeley and December 4 in Lafayette. Tickets are available online

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Robert Brouwer
Dutch barihunk Robert Brouwer, who is featured in January in the 2017 Barihunks in Bed calendar, will be singing Handel's Messiah on Sunday, November 6th in Texel (pronounced Tessel) in The Netherlands. He'll be joined by the Amici Cantus Choir along with soloists soprano Paulien van der Werff, contralto Anne-Marieke Evers and tenor Adrian Fernandes. Tickets are available online.

Brouwer began singing at age 10 with the Koorschool Noord Nederland and a year later with the Roder Jongenskoor. He sang boy soloist roles, including the Third Boy in Mozart's The Magic Flute with the Nationale Reisoper under Ton Koopman. He graduated from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and continued his studies at the Utrecht School of the Arts, pursuing a Master of Music classical singing. He made his debut in 2011 as Aeneas in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas with Opera Mosset.

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Marco Vassalli, Bora Balci and Robert Brouwer


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