Thursday, July 31, 2014

Interviews, information, and insanity

Well hello there, Bari-Chunk nation.  How are you today?  That's good to hear.

I wanted to point your attention to a friend of mine's YouTube Channel.  The friend- badass, baller soprano Tamara Wilson.

The YouTube Channel- Exit Stage Left.  Filled with useful information about the biz, hilarious insights, and fantastic interviews (including Bari-Chunk Jamie Barton), this Channel has it all.  I highly recommend you spend some time watching, learning, and laughing.

 Exit Stage Left

I became inspired with Ms Wilson's interviews, and decided to give it a shot myself.  Below is my interview with Bari-Chunk, Wayne Tigges.  Don't think I quite got the hang of interviewing yet...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Our Roots are fading. Better get back to them

Where're the Real Men?  Looking over the past few months of Bari-Chunks posts, that's the question I find myself asking.  It seems like we have been neglecting our roots.  Best tend to them.  So without further ado, more low voices for the Bari-Chunk Nation.

First up- David Adam Moore

Well, hello handsome

David Adam Moore, baritone, and poster boy for the Barihunk world (the top search on Barihunk this past month was "David Adam Moore shirtless") has been praised for his "virile command" and "big, handsome voice," David is known for his portrayals of roles such as Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette, Zurga in Pearl Fishers, Silvio in Pagliacci, and a slew of modern opera roles.  This past summer he debuted the role of Joseph DeRocher in Dead Man Walking at Des Moines Metro Opera.  David's portrayal was intellectual, passionate, and just plain badass.  That earns him the Bari-Chunk title.  That, and his devotion to L. Caprice and personal sponsorship of Depends Undergarments.  

Dead "Sexy" Man Walking


Next up- Jason Howard
I don't always sing opera, but when I do it looks this good

International Baritone Jason Howard is known for his powerhouse portrayals of roles such as Wotan, Jochanaan, Rigoletto, Macbeth, Tonio, Emile de Beque, Scarpia...shit, the guy has done everything.  And done it really well.  Called by reviewers, "the Wotan of our age," and "having a substantial range of vocal color," Jason has set his mark upon the opera world, and in a badass way. 


I was not aware of Mr Howard's badassery until a friend was turned on to him. I had the pleasure of sharing a beer with him, and his amazing personality surpasses his fantastic baritone.  Barely.  That makes him an easy addition to the Bari-Chunks Nation.

Lil Wotan

Post Script-
In our continuing endeavor to promote good young singers (ok, its only the second time, but I hope to make it a thing) I'd like to give a quick shout out to young Bari-Chunk Jeff Byrnes.  Known as Hoss to no one but me, Jeff is an up and coming Verdi baritone.  He is the real deal.  Besides his amazing instrument, Jeff is known for his amazing cheap t-shirts.  He is seen here posing in one.  


You will hear this man's name again. World Class.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Sexy Side of Bari-Chunks

The ladies looooooove the Bari-Chunks.  Below is Soprano Danielle Pastin (friend of the Chunks) posing in her brand spanking new Bari-Chunks t-shirt.  This is definitely going on the calendar.  For some reason I really want some pasta now...

Get your Bari-Chunk swag HERE

On a quick serious note, lots of serious and dramatic stuff is happening at The Metropolitan Opera.  An imminent lockout looms, and things are getting extremely heated on both sides.  Because I want to have a career and fear being blacklisted, I am taking the chicken shit way out and not voicing my true opinion.  All I will say is opera is not dying.  It is evolving.  Its not an easy process, but anyone who says the art form is dying, is lying.  And if they lie about one thing, they probably lie about other things.  Stay strong. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tenors are people too

I had a weird dream last night.  It was surreal.  So vivid.  In this dream, I was having a drink and conversation with Gandhi, Verdi, and Moe from the Three Stooges.  Verdi was going on and on about the vocal virtues of having tenors as his leading men, and not baritones.  Gandhi observed that tenor's voices don't represent the voice of the common man, and that their needs don't align with the needs of the many.  Then Moe jumped in saying that "Regardless of what range they sing, they all are people, and therefore represent some aspect of humanity, you knuckle heads."  Wow.  Deep.  Tenors are people too.  I know, I was as shocked as you when I came to this realization.  And if tenors are people, then they can be Bari-Chunks.  Mind=blown.

Moe the Wise Sage

Well, I guess I better nominate some tenors.  Sigh.  So with a great sense of reluctancy, here are the first ever tenor Bari-Chunks, or Chunkin-Tenors.  (Before I start receiving hate mail, I love the tenors, especially the ones who aren't asses.  Like these fine gents...)  

Native Texas tenor David Portillo, world renowned for his "glorious tenor singing" and "graceful tenor tone," has sung all over the US and Europe. Renowned for his Bel Canto voice, he is a high commodity in the opera world and well respected to boot.  His singing is inviting, and polished, urging audience to follow him on what ever journey he has begun.

Sh!t.  I'm on Bari-Chunk

Despite being a fantastic tenor, David is a fantastic colleague and friend.  Whether it be volunteering to help friends move (best non professional mover out there), always having a fantastic party mix ready at a moments notice, or leading a group in barbershop tags, PORTILLO (which if you know him, is the only proper way to type his name) is always the life of the party, or any other gathering.  His positive energy radiates from him and you can't help me affected by it.  Good times are always around David, and for that, we are proud to call him a Bari-Chunk.

Fellow Iowan, Corey Bix, is becoming internationally known for his "powerful tenor" and "sweet-spot high notes." Renowned for his portrayals of characters such as Lennie in Of Mice and Men, Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos, and Erik in The Flying Dutchman, Corey is becoming wildly respected and sought after in the opera world.

I have no idea what this pic is from, but I'll be damned if I wasn't going to put it up

Corey, along with being a world class tenor, is also a world class riot. His infectious energy, is well, infectious. He is always up for a good time, whether it be drinking till the wee hours over the morning, heckling passers by, or serving up a mean game of flatu- tennis (don't ask, you don't want to know). He is the life of the party, even when you don't want him to be. 

Despite his light hearted nature, he takes his craft seriously. On stage he is totally immersed in his character. If you are in a fight scene with him, watch out. He has already crippled one bass-baritone...

Don't Mess With Bixy

Well, there you go. The first Chunkin-Tenors. I'm sure there will be more. After all, where would the opera world be without tenors? Excuse me while I go back to sleep and ask Moe what he thinks of this quandary....

Post script-
Who should be the next Bari-Chunks member?

Friday, July 4, 2014

Good Sangin is Good Sangin

Dear Bari-Chunks Nation-

As I have stated before, Bari-Chunks is NOT a site for fat singers.  Let me repeat that.  BARI-CHUNKS IS NOT ABOUT FAT SINGERS!  It is a place for us to come together as a group and celebrate good singing, regardless of body shape or size.  Yes, my friends and I sometimes use this site as a soapbox and vent (hopefully comically) about issue in the opera world (if you'd like to be a contributor, let me know), and yes we cast opera singers in movies and TV shows that have already been made (more to come soon, I'm sure, as I will be unemployed again soon) and yes we make Bad Singer Reviews (send your submission to, and yes we promote our new line of merchandise (Bari-Chunk Merchandise.  Get yours now!), but the main purpose of this site is to celebrate good singing!  Why do people always think its about fat singers?!?!?  Its probably the blog's name, isnt it?  (Damn my keen sense of humor).  I named it Bari-Chunk as a little sarcastic jab at the much more popular Barihunks blog.  Thats really it.  My personal belief (and therefore this blogs) is that good opera can come from anyone who has the talent and the balls to go out on stage move the audience.  I don't believe having a 6 pack of abs or nice set of fake bewbs is a requirement for good opera.  And THAT is the purpose of this blog.

In the past we have featured singers like Bryn Terfel, Laurent Naouri, Todd Thomas, and Wayne Tigges.  We've featured actual Barihunks too- Craig Verm and Greer Grimsley.  Some of the aforementioned people actually wear the term Bari-Chunk with pride.  Literally.

Wayne Tigges poses in his Bari-Chunks T-Shirt 
(He's actually happy about, just looking tough for the camera)

And now, Bari-Chunk would like to prove its all inclusiveness by taking it a step further.  Today we would like nominate the first ever women Bari-Chunks.

First up- Jamie Barton

The Woman.  The Legend.  The Barton.

Opera News has praised her for "...sumptuous voice." and lauded her as "... a rising star."  But we don't need to debate her talent.  Hell, she won the Singer of the World Competition!  And she has her own Wikipedia page! (Jamie, you might want to update that.  I just put that you invented Tide Color Safe Bleach)
That thing looks more expensive than the World Cup

More importantly, Jamie is the bees knees.  Not only is she a true artist and force to be reckoned with on stage, she is one of the best people you could ever have the pleasure of meeting.  Whether she is recommending good BBQ, or laughing till she cries while playing Cards Against Humanity, or polishing off a bottle of wine (or two) with you, Jamie makes all things better.  Her smile lights up a room, just as her presence lights up the stage.  And did I mention she's the FRICKIN SINGER OF THE WORLD?!?!

Well hello Ms Mezzo

For those of you who aren't familiar with Ms Quagliata's work, boy are you missing out.  I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Elise, and I shall not soon forget it.  Her voice is like a silk set of sheets you slip into after a hard days work.  And her stage presence is like aloe on a sunburn.  Soothing, powerful, effective, and green.  (sorry, the sheets I was mentally picturing were green)

Elise regretting having that second G and T, 
or as Sister Helen in Dead Man Walking. Not sure which one.

To top off the amazingness that is Elise on stage, as a person, she's da-bomb (did I type that right?  Sorry, not really a phrase I often use).  Her wicked sense of humor, amazing personality, and willingness to always give a hug, are only of the few reasons why she is a Bari-Chunk.  Also, if the mood strikes her, and she has the time and energy, she will absolutely tear up a dive bars dance floor with reckless abandon. 

So there you go.  Proof yet again that ANYONE can be a Bari-Chunk.  So join in the fun and the Bari-Chunks nation.  Buy a T-shirt (men's and women's available), submit a photo for the upcoming Bari-Chunks Calendar, submit a video for Bad Singer Reviews, suggest a Bari-Chunk, or just read and enjoy.  

Post Script-
Quick shout out to Kenny "Guns" Stavert.  He was the first brave soul to purchase a Bari-Chunks T-shirt.  As you can see, even gingers can be Bari-Chunks :)


Kenny is performing the role of the Motorcycle Cop in Des Moines Metro Opera's production of Dead Man Walking.  He's also cover Joseph de Rocher.  He's the real deal, and you'll be sure to be hearing his name in the business a lot more in the near future.