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The Sexiest Baritone Hunks from Opera
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Ian Beadle (right)
Kevin Puts' Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night is getting its long-awaited European debut at the Wexford Opera Festival from October 24-November 2. The cast is a mix of Europeans and Americans, with two singers who have been featured on this site, Matthew Worth as Lieutenant Audebart and Quirijn de Lang as the lovable Poncel. There are also a few singers in the cast new to this site. 

Ian Beadle, a graduate from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, performs William Dale on the Scottish side of the war. He recently finished a year in the English National Opera’s Opera Works program and performed as part of The Big Barber Bash at the London Coliseum.

His operatic roles have includes Belcore in Donizetti's Elisir d’amore at the Wexford Festival Opera, the Imperial Commissioner in Puccini's Madama Butterfly at Opera Holland Park, Crébillon in Puccini's La Rondine at Go Opera, Leporello in Mozart's Don Giovanni with Sinfonia D’amici, Guccio in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi at Opera Holland Park and Morales in Bizet's Carmen with Co-Opera Co.

Jamie Rock
Irish baritone Jamie Rock sings the role of Gueusselin on the French side of the war. He has performed the roles of Figaro in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, Sid in Britten's Albert Herring, Papageno in Mozart's The Magic Flute, Schaunard in Puccini's La Boheme, Dancaire in Bizet's Carmen, Tarquinius in Britten's Rape of Lucretia and General Belliard in the world premiere of the original version of Prokofiev's epic masterpiece War and Peace. He has performed with the Wexford Festival Opera, Opera Theatre Company, Opera Ireland, Opera North, Grange Park Opera, Opera de Bauge and British Youth Opera.

He is also a member of the vocal ensemble Quartet. The group, under the patronage of Malcolm Martineau, is made up of graduates from the Alexander Gibson Opera School who draw on years of conservatoire training to explore a range of music and look for new ways of presenting the vocal repertoire.

Jamie began his studies at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama . He is an alumnus of the OTC Young Artist Programme (Dublin), Wexford Festival Opera Young Artist Programme, Leeds Lieder+ Young Artists, Oxford Lieder Young Artists and Josephine Baker Trust. 

Tickets are available online.

Daniel Okulitch (left) and Joseph Lattanzi (right)
Silent Night, which has been performed to great acclaim in Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Fort Worth, now heads to the Cincinnati Opera and north of the border for its Canadian debut.

The Cincinnati cast includes many singers familiar to the piece, including the powerful voice of Craig Irvin as Lt. Horstmayer, Gabriel Preisser as Lt. Gordon and Andrew Wilkowske as Ponchel. New to the cast are Joseph Lattanzi as Gueusselin and Phillip Addis as Lt. Audebert. There are only two performances of the opera on July 10 and July 12. Tickets are available online.

Addis also will be performing Lt. Audebert in the Canadian premiere from May 16-23 at the Opéra de Montréal. The cast includes a barihunk favorite in the Lieutenant Horstmayer of Canadian Daniel Okulitch. Tickets go on sale in August 2014, so mark your calendars.
GueusselinGueusselin and Phil

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Sasha Waltz's Dido & Aeneas (left) & Douglas Williams
Choreographer Sasha Waltz is bringing her provocative and entertaining work back to opera when she takes on Monteverdi's Orfeo with the Dutch National Opera. Waltz had great success with Purcell's Dido & Aeneas in 2005 and 2011 with her brilliant combination of dancers and opera singers.

Orfeo promises to have a lot of singing and dancing and the cast is lead by one of the most popular barihunks on our site, Douglas Williams. Williams has made a specialty of baroque music, singing   Orcone in Alessandro Scarlatti’s Tigrane, Purcell's Apollo e Dafne, Aeneas in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis and Galatea and  Purcell’s King Arthur.

We can't imagine a singer better suited to a Sasha Waltz production. Performances are on September 3, 5 and 6 and tickets are available online.

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Elliot Mador, Brandon Cedel and Edwin Crossley-Mercer
If you followed any of the press around Tara Eraught's treatment by British reviewers concerning her appearance as the Octavian in Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier at Glyndebourne, you can rest assured that no such criticism will be hurled at director Jonathan Kent’s updated production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. The company has assembled an ensemble of great singers who also look like they were cast for a Baz Luhrmann blockbuster Hollywood film.


Edwin Crossley-Mercer and Elliot Madore (photo: Robert Workman)
In the title role is the rising Canadian star barihunk Elliot Madore, who is joined by Edwin Crossley-Mercer as Leporello and Brandon Cedel as Masetto. Madore returns to Glyndebourne after his successful 2012 Festival debut in Ravel's L’heure espagnole. Madore joins a distinguished roster of Don's that dates back to the legendary performances of John Brownlee in the 1930s and includes Giuseppe Valdengo, Kim Borg, Enest Blanc, Ruggero Raimondi, Benjamin Luxon, Brent Ellis, Sir Thomas Allen, Richard Stilwell, Olaf Bar and Gerald Finley.

The current cast also includes the sensational young British tenor Ben Johnson as Don Ottavio,  Canadian soprano Layla Claire reprising her 2012 appearance as Donna Anna, Italian soprano Serena Farnocchia as Donna Elvira, Lenka Máciková as Zerlina and Andrés Orozco-Estrada making his Glyndebourne debut conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Lenka Máciková, Elliot Madore and Brandon Cedel
If you can't make the performance, you can watch their 2010 production featuring Gerald Finley as Don Giovanni, Luca Pisaroni as Leporello and Guido Loconsolo as Masetto on July 6th. Later today, you can watch the aforementioned production of Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier live from Glyndebourne, starring Kate Royal, Teodora Gheorghiu and Tara Erraught, and conducted by Robin Ticciati. The broadcast begins on Sunday June 8 at 4.30pm GST/11:30am EST/8:30am PST. Click HERE to watch.

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James McOran-Campbell and Nicolas Dwyer
Barihunks James McOran-Campbell and Nicolas Dwyer will be part of the first cast to ever perform a professional opera at the 12th century Great Barn at Manor Farm in the U.K. A touring company from Opera Vera will perform Mozart's Don Giovanni on June 28 and 29

The production comes from the Actor's Church at Covent Garden where it was performed to great acclaim in November 2013. McOran-Campbell will take on the title role and Dwyer will play Masetto. 


Manor Farm has been described as a mini-Glyndebourne and patrons are encouraged to pack a picnic and enjoy refreshments on the grounds before the opera. The bar will open an hour before the 7 PM performance.
The remainder of the cast includes Susan Jiwey, Stefanie Kemball-Read, Peter Brooke, Rebecca Dale, Alexander Anderson-Hall and Will Kwiatkowski, Further information about the production or to purchase tickets, visit the Compass Theatre online.  

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Hadleigh Adams: Headshot and in Castor & Pollux
New Zealand barihunk Hadleigh Adams is profiled by Jason Victor Serinus in this week in San Francisco's Bay Area Reporter:

Tall, rugged baritone Hadleigh Adams, 29, must be one of the straightest spined and proudest bearinged singers on the planet. Both his appearance and his lower-pitched, resonant voice make it hard to believe that during his youth in a small New Zealand farm town, two decades before he journeyed to San Francisco and was chosen for San Francisco Opera's prestigious Adler Fellow apprentice program, he was teased mercilessly for being gay.

"I acted very different," he explained during an hour-long chat in a cafe near the War Memorial Opera House. "I acted very effeminately. Not by choice; it's just how I was."

This didn't make life easy for him at an all-boys school.

"I wanted to fit in," he says. "I was two years ahead in my academic work because I was a smart kid. I played hockey and tennis, which were the gayer sports from a high-school boy point of view. I also did a lot of music, and I loved music. If you loved music, that meant you were gay.

"So it was horrible. I was teased a lot, and had very few friends. But I didn't really mind it or care, because while I loved my family and my country, which is the most beautiful place in the world, I always knew I was destined for more than a lot of my classmates. Not to say that more is better, or being on the stage or escaping is better, but I knew, from the age of 12 or 13, that I was destined for more in my life."

ARTICLE CONTINUES HERE

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Theater Lübeck and Kong Seok Choi
Two young artists, who are both new to this site, will be featured in a double-bill of operas by George Antheil at the Theater Lübeck. Korean bass-barihunk Kong Seok Choi and German bass-barihunk Christian Henneberg will be featured in The Brothers and Venus in Africa, running from June 5-19. 

Kong Seok Choi studied singing at the Yonsei University, the Royal Academy of Music in London and at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. He was a winner or finalist in numerous international vocal competitions, including the Richard Lewis Singing Competition, Blyth-Buesst Singing Competition London and the Giordano International Singing Competition.

He has performed as a Priest and as Papageno in Mozart's The Magic Flute in Seoul, King René in Tchaikovsky's Iolanta and Bartolo and Figaro in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro in London. He is a member of the Opernelitestudios des Theater Lübeck. He performs the role of the ex-soldier Ran in The Brothers and the Innkeeper in Venus in Africa.

Christian Henneberg
28-year-old Christian Henneberg studied at the Saxon State School of Music and with his father Matthias Henneberg. He performed with the children's choir of the Dresden State Opera where he also appeared as the young Gottfried in Wagner's Lohengrin. He also studied oboe and piano.

As a member of the choir of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, he has toured the Bodensee Festival, the Rheingau Music Festival, the Handel Festival in Halle and to Brazil.

In 2010, he furthered his studies at the Folkwang University in Essen with the noted bass Jan-Hendrik Rootering. As an ensemble member at the Dortmund Opera he has performed the Prince in Kurt Schwertsik's Eisberg nach Sizilien, Figaro in Rossini's Barber of Seville and three roles in the German premiere of Marc-Anthony Turnage's Anna -Nicole. He performs the male lead of Charles in Venus in Africa.

The Brothers is one of three one-act operas that Antheil composed in 1954. The opera is the retelling of the story of Cain and Abel, set not long after World War II in a middle-class American kitchen. Venus in Africa, is one of Antheil's later operas. It's a comedy about the visit of two young lovers (Charles and Yvonne) to Tunisia where Charles asks an ancient statue of Venus to teach him about love.

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Franco Pomponi and the Herod Atticus Theatre
Franco Pomponi, who recently created a rush in sales for opera glasses, when he appeared nude in Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet at La Monnaie in Brussels, is now taking on the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni in Greece.  The performances will be in the open-air Herod Atticus Theatre as part of the Athens Fesitval. The opera is being staged by the Greek National Opera.

The production is directed by Yannis Houvardas, an acclaimed Greek director and until recently director of the Greek National Theatre. Pomponi will alternate the role with Greek baritone Dionyssis Sourbis. Pomponi performs on June 11 and 13. Tickets are available online.

Pomponi is back in the United States on Novemeber 14 and 16 with the Kentucky Opera as Jack Rance in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West.

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Laika and Thomas Oliemans
Dutch barihunk Thomas Oliemans is starring in the world premiere of Martijn Padding's new opera Laika at the Dutch National Opera in a co-production with the Holland Festival 2014.

Martijn Padding and librettist P.F. Thomése poke fun at the superficiality of ratings-obsessed television programs. Oliemans stars as Robbert, a famous TV personality who is tired of his fame and popularity and his superficial life.

Behind the scenes at Laika with Martijn Padding & Thomas Oliemans: 

Robbert still lives with his domineering mother, who keeps the embalmed body of his father on display in the living room. He dreams of abandoning TV and aspires to a more peaceful life with personal privacy.  Since his early youth he has immersed himself in the cosmos. After meeting astronaut Yuri Gagarin and a Laika, the first living animal to be sent into space, Robbert decides to embark on his own journey into space.

Performances run from June 3-8 and tickets are available online.

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Toni Braxton and Sidney Outlaw
We make no secret about our love for Sidney Outlaw. He's not only an amazing singer, but one of the smartest and most interesting people in the business. When we saw him on Facebook posting pictures of himself serenading R&B icon Toni Braxton, we asked him to tell us the story. Here it is in his own words:
"Toni Braxton is one of the greatest contemporary R&B singers of our time. When I was a child, she was one of the singers I looked to for inspiration. So, when I learned she was to appear to do a signing for her memoir at the Barnes & Noble at The Grove in Los Angeles, I knew I had to be there.

I arrived early because I knew there would be a crowd gathered to see the iconic Ms. Braxton. I was right - not only were scores of her fans present, also at the store were several media outlets and the camera crew for her hit reality show, Braxton Family Values. I waited patiently in line for my turn to greet her. I watched as several fans attempted to impress her by singing their renditions of her songs.
Toni Braxton and Sidney Outlaw
When it was my turn to greet her, I told her about our mutual connection with the Lupus Foundation and of how she inspired me to become a singer. When she asked what I did, I informed her I was an opera singer and her eyes lit up. She asked me to sing for her. And she would not hear me sing any of her music. She wanted to hear opera! I sang the first verse of Mozart's "Deh vieni alla finestra" and she told me to keep going so I sang Stepfano Donaudy's "O del mio amato ben". Before I knew it, everyone in the bookstore was fixated on my voice - shoppers, fans, media, the camera crew, and, of course, Ms. Braxton.

She seemed to really enjoy my gift, and it was an honor to share it with her."

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Jens Søndergaard
Our latest "Reader Submission" is Danish barihunk Jens Søndergaard, who a reader informed us will sing Aslak in the world premiere of composer Magnar Åm's Is-slottet (The Ice Castle). The opera, which is based on author Tarjei Vesaas' award-winning novel of the same name, opens on September 16 at Den Ny Opera.

The legendary Norwegian story tells the tale of two friends who despite having spent only one evening together, finds the life of one of them shattered when the other inexplicably disappears.

In 2003, Søndergaard graduated from the Royal Opera Academy in Copenhagen, and debuted in 2005 from the Royal Danish Academy of Music. From 2004-2007 he was a member of the ensemble at Das Deutsche Nationaltheater Weimar. His operatic repertoire has ranged from the baroque to contemporary Danish music.

In addition to Is-slottet, Søndergaard's current season includes his debut as Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca at the Aalborg Opera Festivaland Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte at Jyske Opera opening February 2015.

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