A new word has appeared on the Classical Music Scene which is “Barihunks”. Usually it is the tenors that set the hearts fluttering but as Rupert Christiansen says in the Telegraph “another erotic phenomenon in classical music has gone wild on the internet: the cult of the “barihunk”. Its pitch is that the more palpitating charm in opera emanates not from purveyors of high Cs but gym-buffed baritones with smouldering voices to match their six-pack abs”
There is even a blog dedicated to the subject called....not surprisingly.....barihunks
The bad boys of the Opera world have now become the heart throbs with the physiques to match
This month sees a new production of Don Giovanni at Covent Garden with the Baritone Mariusz Kwiecien in the role as the great Don and Alex Esposito as his long-suffering man- servant Leporello. Although the production is sold out, it is possible to see it broadcast to one of the many cinemas throughout the country - see Royal Opera House website.
Don Giovanni is the story of a young sexually promiscuous nobleman who travels around using and abusing every member of the cast until he comes across something he cannot dodge, outwit or kill......the statue of the Commendatore who takes him down to hell.
If you are new to Opera and prepared to give it a go then Don Giovanni is an excellent place to start. It is one of Mozart’s three great masterpieces that he wrote with the Italian Librettist Lorenzo da Ponte (the other two being The Marriage of Figaro and Cosi fan tutte).
The recording I am recommending was released in 2012 and has an all-star cast with the bass-baritones lldebrande D'Arcangelo as Don Giovanni, whose deep velvety voice has a commanding presence and Luca Pisaroni another warm deep distinctive voice as Leporello and Rolando Villazon with an amazing bravura performance as Don Ottavio. There are top class voices in the leading female roles too with Diana Damrau who is a powerful and sensitive Donna Anna and the wonderful Mezzo Joyce DiDonato as Elvira with her glorious vocal fluency. You don't get better and this is a must have recording.