It's no secret that I enjoy the young hunks that now make up opera. It may well be that opera as shown now on HD in movie theaters and on television, it's necessary for singers to be attractive as well as to have outstanding voices. Now there is a blog devoted to baritones in particular (Barihunks) and I pushed to have hunky Ryan McKinny featured as the fierce and sexy Flying Dutchman. Viewership doubled. Recently Ryan was again featured (without my pushing) as Stanley Kowalsky in San Francisco's staging of "Streetcar." He played opposite Rene Fleming -- the Big League! And he was shirtless and ripped! Ryan will appear this summer in Cooperstown as Billy Bigelow in "Carousel." It's too much to hope that he takes his shirt off, but perhaps it's best if he keeps it on, as one woman of mature years in the audience may have a heart attack then and there....
Then there's the tenor heartthrob, Jonas Kaufman, who appeared recently in HD movies as "Werther." What I'd have done with young Werther would been heavily censored. As it was, the last 7 minutes of the production was lost to viewers and the Met subsequently put it on-line, so I saw the riveting death scene over and over again. The producer claimed that Kaufman was as good an actor as Al Pacino or Liam Neeson. And he sings. Sings? That's like saying Rembrandt paints.
Of course there is Dmitri Hvorostovsky, the gorgeous Siberian who recently appeared at the Met in Rigoletto as bald and paunchy! Check out his newly revised website and be prepared to swoon.
Who knew opera could be so much fun???
Aka: M. E. Kemp