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The Sexiest Baritone Hunks from Opera
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Kevin Thompson returns to the SF Bay Area as Osmin
Bass-barihunk Aaron Sørensen just wrapped up a successful run singing his first Osmin in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Houston Symphony. Now it's Kevin Thompson's turn to make his role debut in one of the most difficult roles for bass. The opera runs from February 13-22 at West Bay Opera in Palo Alto, California, which is a quick drive for anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area. It certainly will be worth the trip.

Thompson is returning the Bay Area where he was a huge success while with the Merola Opera training program in San Francisco. During his stint with Merola, he performed Falstaff in Nicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor and a stunning Basilio in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia. Eugene Brancoveanu, another former Merola graduate and fellow barihunk, will make his company directing debut with this production. He last appeared with the company singing Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte.

Die Entführung aus dem Serail premiered in 1782 and contains three arias for Osmin, one of which goes down to the lowest reaches of the bass range. Mozart wrote the role of Osmin for the formidable bass Ludwig Fischer, who was a friend of the composer.

The first aria is "Wer ein Liebchen hat gefunden," which advises the listener to reward your loved one with kisses and make her life great,  as well as to locking up your woman's other lovers, lest they tempt her to forget her faithfulness. 

Kevin Thompson sings Beethoven's Agnus Dei from the Missa Solemnis:
In the aria "Solche hergelaufne Laffen" Osmin graphically explains why he does not like Pedrillo. It's is mainly because Osmin and Pedrillo are both in love with Blondchen and Pedrillo is in better favor with both Blondchen and the Pasha.

After Pedrillo, Belmonte, Blondchen, and Konstanze are captured trying to escape, Osmin sings of the delight that he will have when they are all hanged in the aria "O wie will ich triumphieren," which dips down to a Low D (D2). Click HERE to listen to an amazing version by Kurt Moll.

The cast at West Bay Opera also includes Nikki Einfeld (another Merola graduate) as Kostanze, Michael Desnoyers as Belmonte, Tapan Bhat at Pedrillo adn Chelsea Hollow as Blonde. Tickets are available online

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Nicholas Lester (left) & Peter Brathwaite (photos from English Touring Opera)
The English Touring Opera is kicking off their new Spring season with some barihunks in key roles.

Peter Brathwaite, who has been a regular on this site and appeared in two of our charity calendars, will take on roles in two Donizetti rarities, Kaidamà in The Wild Man of the West Indies (Il furioso all'isola di San Domingo) and Incognito in The Siege of Calais. This will be the first staging of The Wild Man of the West Indies in Britain in the modern era.

The Siege of Calais tells the story of the sacrifices under siege of the citizens of Calais – and of the sacrifices of citizens everywhere, forced in extreme situations to decide what to give up for their country and their families.

Jan Capinski
Jan Capinski, who is new to this site will appear as Armando in The Siege of Calais. He recently completed his M.A. in Opera Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, graduating with distinction. He is currently training on English National Opera's Opera Works professional development program. Capinski was spotted by Scottish Opera while still a student and asked to cover the role of Pluto in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, before going on to perform the role twice with the main cast, marking his professional debut.

Click HERE to hear Jan Capinski sing Smirnov's aria from Walton's The Bear. You can also follow him on his blog or on Twitter @JanCapinski.

Nicholas Lester, who is also new to this site, will alternate the role of Marcello in Puccini's La bohème with Grant Doyle, who has appeared on this site numerous times.  He studied at the Adelaide Conservatorium of Music and at the National Opera Studio, London where his studies were sponsored by Glyndebourne Festival Opera as the recipient of the Anne Woods/Johanna Peters Award. He has also appeared with the Welsh National Opera, English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Nationale Reisopera and Opera Holland Park.

The tour opens in London at the Hackney Empire in March and travels through May to Truro, Norwich, Cheltenham, Suffolk, Leicester, Coventry, Exeter and Buxton. Visit their website for additional cast information and performance dates.

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David Shipley
British bass-barihunk David Shipley was one of five applicants out of 370, who were chosen to join the prestigious Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Applicants from 59 countries competed for the coveted slots in a process that started back in August 2014. A shortlist of just twelve singers auditioned in the final round on the Royal Opera House’s main stage, in front of a panel including Royal Opera House Music Director Antonio Pappano and Director of Opera Kasper Holten.

The other four who were selected are a Russian soprano Vlada Borovko, Irish soprano Jennifer Davis, Australian mezzo-soprano Emily Edmonds and Korean tenor David Junghoon Kim. 

As a Jette Parker Young Artist, from September 2015 Shipley will spend two years at the Royal Opera House, performing in a variety of main-stage productions, concerts and recitals; covering lead roles; and receiving world-class coaching in all opera disciplines including languages, stagecraft and role interpretation.

David Shipley is currently a scholar on the opera course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, studying with Janice Chapman. He previously studied at the Royal Academy of Music.

The Royal Opera House has announced five additions to the Jette Parker programme, which trains young singers and pays them a salary for two years.
The five are a Russian soprano Vlada Borovko, Irish soprano Jennifer Davis, Australian mezzo-soprano Emily Edmonds, Korean tenor David Junghoon Kim and a British bass David Shipley (pictured). They were picked from some 370 applicants from 59 countries.
- See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2015/02/just-one-brit-among-five-covent-garden-trainees/#sthash.IhTduqVW.dpuf

The Royal Opera House has announced five additions to the Jette Parker programme, which trains young singers and pays them a salary for two years.
The five are a Russian soprano Vlada Borovko, Irish soprano Jennifer Davis, Australian mezzo-soprano Emily Edmonds, Korean tenor David Junghoon Kim and a British bass David Shipley (pictured). They were picked from some 370 applicants from 59 countries.
- See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2015/02/just-one-brit-among-five-covent-garden-trainees/#sthash.IhTduqVW.dpuf
The Royal Opera House has announced five additions to the Jette Parker programme, which trains young singers and pays them a salary for two years.
The five are a Russian soprano Vlada Borovko, Irish soprano Jennifer Davis, Australian mezzo-soprano Emily Edmonds, Korean tenor David Junghoon Kim and a British bass David Shipley (pictured). They were picked from some 370 applicants from 59 countries.
- See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2015/02/just-one-brit-among-five-covent-garden-trainees/#sthash.IhTduqVW.dpuf
The Royal Opera House has announced five additions to the Jette Parker programme, which trains young singers and pays them a salary for two years.
The five are a Russian soprano Vlada Borovko, Irish soprano Jennifer Davis, Australian mezzo-soprano Emily Edmonds, Korean tenor David Junghoon Kim and a British bass David Shipley (pictured). They were picked from some 370 applicants from 59 countries.
- See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2015/02/just-one-brit-among-five-covent-garden-trainees/#sthash.IhTduqVW.dpuf

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Soloman Howard in Approaching Ali
Bass-barihunk Soloman Howard just wrapped up a reprisal of his performance as boxing great Muhammad Ali in DJ Sparr's Approaching Ali with the North Carolina Opera. Howard sang in the world premiere of the opera in the Summer of 2013 at the Kennedy Center. 

Sparr's one-hour opera was created under the auspices of the American Opera Initiative, Washington National Opera’s program for commissioning contemporary American opera. The libretto is by Mark Campbell and Davis Miller, based on Miller’s own autobiographical novella.

Soloman Howard in Approaching Ali
Fortunately for our readers, a number of amazing pictures appeared in Raleigh's Indy Week magazine of the singer accompanied by this article.

The opera tells the story of a young boy in North Carolina in the early 1960s who overcomes the loss of his mother and the trauma of being bullied when he sees Muhammad Ali on television. More than 20 years later, as a writer on the brink of middle age, he seeks to rekindle that spirit by visiting his boyhood hero in person at the home of Ali’s mother in Louisville.

Soloman Howard had a successful debut this season as the King in Verdi's Aida at the Met. This summer he'll sing Banco in Verdi's Macbeth and Sarastro in Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Glimmerglass Festival

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Dmitri Hvorostovsky onstage and backstage for The Demon
We have photos and we have the video!!!

Yes, we have this sexy backstage photo of über-barihunk Dmitri Hvorostovsky as he readied for his  role debut in Anton Rubinstein’s 1871 opera The Demon this week at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall  in Moscow. There is still one more performance on February 5th, but for those who can't jet off to Moscow, here is the video of the entire performance.

In the semi-staged performances Hvorostovsky sings the haunting and seductive title role under the baton of Mikhail Tatarnikov with the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia accompanying. Also featured in the cast are soprano Asmik Grigorian, contralto Larisa Kostyuk, countertenor Vadim Volkov, tenor Vasily Efimov, and basses Alexander Tsymbalyuk and Dmitry Skorikov. Dmitry Bertman directs.


The setting of the Demon is somewhere between heaven, hell and earth – just as the demon himself is a fallen angel, an inwardly torn character, a negating power and adversary of the angel at the same time. Unable to love and still be humble, he falls in love with Tamara, who is about to marry Prince Gudal’s son, and kills the bridegroom. The bride escapes to a convent and is visited by the demon, who promises to renounce evil and pictures their future as eternity and boundless power. Tamara, yielding to temptation, is killed when he kisses her. In the struggle for her soul, the angel keeps the upper hand, for "he who loves belongs to paradise". For the demon, nothing has really changed: he carries on living in eternal damnation and loses his hope in the shape of Tamara, with whom he shared his solitude, his longing for love, his thirst for knowledge and the sadness resulting from it all.



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David Adam Moore in Winterreise at the Anchorage Opera
Some of the most popular barihunks in the world will be headlining in a number of performances in the just announced 2015-16 Atlanta Opera season.

David Adam Moore, who is currently performing the title role in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin at the Arizona Opera, will bring his critically-acclaimed semi-staged production of Schubert's Winterreise. The production was designed by GLMMR with costumes by Moore's partner Vita Tzykun.

Eugene Opera runs through February 8th at the Arizona Opera and the cast also features barihunk Nicholas Masters as Prince Gremin. Barihunk Chris Carr takes over the title role for one performance on February 7th. Additional information is availabel online.

    .
Matthew Worth will take on David T. Little's Soldier Songs, which David Adam Moore had a critical success with in 2008 when it was presented by Beth Morrison Projects in New York. Worth is currently preparing the role of Sergeant Raymond Shaw in the world premiere of Kevin Puts' The Manchurian Candidate at the Minnesota Opera. The opera opens on March 7 and runs through March 15.
Matthew Worth (left) and Theo Hoffman (right)
Soldier Songs is an evening-length multimedia event that combines elements of theater, opera, rock-infused-concert music, and animation to explore the perceptions versus the realities of the Soldier, the exploration of loss and exploitation of innocence, and the difficulty of expressing the truth of war. The libretto was adapted from recorded interviews with veterans of five wars.

Moving into the standard repertory, rising star Theo Hoffman will sing the role of Schaunard in Puccini's La bohème in a cast that also features Trevor Scheunemann and Leah Partridge. The remainder of their season included Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance and Gounod's Romeo & Juliet. Visit their website for additional information.

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Ryan McKinny in Flying Dutchman rehearsals at Hawaii Opera Theater (far left and right) and Glimmerglass (center)
Back in June 2013 we ran some sexy photos from photographer Karli Cadel of barihunk Ryan McKinny in rehearsals for Wagner's The Flying Dutchman at the Glimmerglass Festival. It became one of our most popular posts and still gets an amazing amount of traffic almost two years later.

That amazing production from Glimmerglass has been transported 4,900 miles to the Hawaii Opera Theater with three of the main cast members repeating their roles, including Jay Hunter Morris as Erik, Melody Moore as Senta and McKinny as the Dutchman. Hawaii even added barihunk Paul Whelan as Daland.

Forunately, there are more rehearsal pictures of Ryan McKinny, so we had to share them with you.

Ryan McKinny in Flying Dutchman rehearsals at Hawaii Opera Theater
Performances run from February 13-17 and tickets are available online. If you were planning on a vacation to Hawaii, this would be the time to go.

Hawaii Opera Theater, or HOT as they're affectionately known, has more barihunks on their season lineup. Wes Mason will sing the role of Jonathan Reed in Jonathan Dove's Siren Song, running from March 20-28. Jesse Blumberg then joins the roster for a run as Anthony Hope in Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd from April 24-28.

We're left muttering HOT is HOT!!!

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Tom Forde in Tosca (left)

Tom Forde has been doing a little bit of everything lately. The last time we posted about him, he was taking time off from his ensemble work at the Zurich Opera to play the 7-11 clerk Omar in a Doritos commercial. He's also been mixing in a lot of musical theater work, singing in The Addams Family and Les Misérables.

This season, he'll be at the Madison Opera in both musical theater and opera. First up he'll portray the evil Judge Turpin in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, which runs from February 6-8 at the Capitol Theater. He'll return in April to sing Don Basilio in Rossini's The Barber of Seville. Tickets for both shows are available online

If you want to learn more about Tom Forde, you can read an interview with him online from the Madison Opera blog.

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Michael Adams at a Barihunks lunch in Ft. Worth (left)
Barihunk Michael Adams took top honors at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Gulf Coast regional finals held in New Orleans. The 24-year-old Texas native wowed the judges with performances of Tomsky's aria from Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame and Schaunard's aria from Puccini's La bohème.

Adams is a second year Resident Artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where he has performed Taddeo in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri, Lescaut in Massenet's Manon, Germont/Marquis and Verdi's La traviata, Count Tomsky in Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame and Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte. Last year, he won First Place in the Mario Lanza Institute Scholarship Competition.

Adams went to school at Texas Christian University (TCU), where he originally was pursuing a career in baseball. A torn Achilles tendon led him to pursue a career in singing. 

Adams wasn't the only baritone who fared well in the Big Easy, as Leroy Davis took Second Place and Ricardo Rivera shared Third Place with tenor Casey Candebat. 

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James Newby as Eugene Onegin in London
British barihunk James Newby is performing two very different lovers, both of whom don't see their stories end too well. He just wrapped up a run in the title role of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin at St Andrews Church in London and will return to the venue from April 11-16 when he sings Don Giovanni with the Moon-Little Theatre. We'll have additional details soon.

We first featured James Newby back in August 2013, when the 20-year-old rugby-playing baritone was brought to our attention via Twitter (follow him @jamesn103) . He is currently in his third year of study at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. Newby previously studied with barihunk Omar Ebrahim, who blew up our site when he went for the Full Monty in a post.

We subsequently featured him with vlogger Davey Wavey as part of the barbershop quartet Short, Back and Sides singing "To Russia With (Gay) Love.” The video showed the worldwide support for LGBT Russians from people across the globe. Check out their website and their selection of soundclips.

If you love great low voices, visiting Artist in Voice at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music Matthew Rose will perform Schubert’s Die Winterreise with pianist Gary Matthewman on February 6th as part of their Chapel Concert Series. The event is free, but requires tickets.




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