Friday, August 22, 2014

Dating a Hunk, or Dating a Chunk

Recently, an article entitled "How to Date an Opera Singer" has been making the rounds on the interwebs.  You might have missed it due to the enormous amount of ALS #IceBucketChallenges, but it was a good quick read.  This got me and some of my friends thinking about the different types of opera singers and what it is like to date them.  And if there is two types of opera singers we know know best, it is Barihunks, and Bari-Chunks.

There are many differences between the Bari-Chunks Nation and the Barihunk World.  This is painfully obvious to anyone with eyes...or ears...or mouths filled with kale instead of cake balls.  But what's it like to date one?  What makes Barihunks tick, and what makes Bari-Chunks tock. Jessica Rosen, thedeparted, and Etta van Bourbon sat down and composed this comparison.  Now granted, this is only based on our experiences and wild accusations, but we feel this is something everyone will benefit from reading.

1. Barihunk: If you've fallen head over heels for a Barihunk, you've fallen for a leading man, or someone hoping to be a leading man.  This is important to know.  Because with a leading man, IT'S ALL ABOUT HIM.  Remember that.

Bari-Chunk: If you've fallen for a Bari-Chunk, you've fallen for a secondary man.  It's rarely about him, unless it's his Birthday.

2. Barihunk: If he has a show that day (or within the next calendar month), do what ever he needs you to do.  This includes sex, food, water, sleep, etc.  "I have a performance tonight that could make my career!"

Bari-Chunk: If he has a show that day, you might want to remind him.  There are many more important things in the world than a show.  "I have a show tonight?  Better put on pants."

3. Barihunk: Always carry hair products for him.  A bad hair day for him could cost him 10's of fans.

Bari-Chunks: Always carry bacon.

4. Barihunk: Flirting with other people is part of the job.  As a handsome leading man, he HAS to flirt with girls, boys, dogs, cats, Grandma, those baristas, that squirrel over there, etc.  His flirting could lead to a gig, or free hair care.  And it makes him feel good about his image.  This is one of those things you are just going to have to deal with.  (See #1)

Totally asking for it.

Bari-Chunk: You might have to get used to the fact that he talks dirty to pizza. There was also that one incident of croissant fondling...

so warm....

5. Barihunk: Sex is important to him, and he needs it.  Especially before gigs.  It might seem demanding, but he knows what he needs to have a good show.

Bari-Chunk: Sex is awesome.  We will do anything for you if you let us have it. Seriously. Anything.

6. Barihunk: After a show, you must be prepared to stroke the ego.  Tell him how good he looked on stage and how wonderful he sounded.  Also, be patient as he talks to donors, patrons, and fans.  It's best just to stay out of his way during this.

Bari-Chunk: Be prepared to tell him where the nearest open bar is.  It's way past beer:30.

7. Barihunk: If you get sick, please understand that he can't get what you've got.  He might stay in a hotel for awhile, but it's nothing personal.

Bari-Chunk: "I know you're sick, but can we still make out?"

8. Barihunk- Respect his gym time.  This is important.  His chiseled physique is one of his greatest weapons in the operatic world.
And what if this is the day he gets that coveted Bowflex endorsement?!

Bari-Chunk: Respect his video game time.  This is important.  His 14-0 season on Madden '14 is one of his greatest bragging rights.

9. Barihunk: Understand that while rehearsing and performing a show, he might seem distant.  He might seem to spend more time with his other leading colleagues than you.  It's ok.  This is still part of the job.

Bari-Chunk: Understand that he might lose some money in the backstage poker games.  He is sorry about that.
Not my whole "La cena e pronta" fee again!

10. Barihunk: Be willing to listen to him explain who the greatest Baritone of the 1980's was.

Bari-Chunk:  Be willing to listen to him explain who would win in a fight between Batman and Ironman.  (It would totally be Batman)

So, there you go.  We hope this helps all of you in the operatic dating pool.  There might be many differences between the Barihunk World and the Bari-Chunk Nation, but what is more impressive is what unites us - our love for the art form that is opera.  And pizza.  Everybody loves pizza.

Post Script-
Please remember that this is a satirical blog.  We're just having a little fun.  I feel I need to reiterate
this fact because most of the Barihunk world is a lot stronger than me, and could kick my ass.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

ALS #IceBucketChallenge

Hello Bari-Chunks Nation!  Thought I'd take a bit of a break from the opera world and talk about something serious for a couple of seconds - people dumping ice over their heads.  It's a serious problem in America.  Hundreds, if not thousands, are dumping ice cold water over there head while being recorded.  It has gotten out of control...

But seriously, this challenge is a good thing.  The purpose of the #IceBucketChallenge is to raise awareness and funds for a worthy cause, ALS.  Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is very serious and fatal disease that affects 30,000 Americans.  It is a motor neuron disease that causes nerve cells to break down and die. There is no treatment or cure, and victims of the disease slowly lose control of their body.  It is not a fun disease.  My grandfather, Kenneth Albertson, passed away from ALS in 1985.  I remember as a young child, watching him slowly lose his ability to speak, walk, swallow food, etc.  It was not pretty.

Not enough is known about ALS.  The #IceBucketChallenge is helping to raise awareness about a disease that FAR too little is known about.  Many theories have surrounded about how the #IceBucketChallenge came to be, and why people are doing it, and whether you have to donate if you do the #IceBucketChallenge, etc etc etc.  But does any of that really matter?  A disease that gets little attention is becoming part of the national vocabulary.  People are now aware of this disease's name, if nothing else, and that's a huge step.  Plus, donations for the ALS Association are up $3 million dollars from the same point last year!  That's great!  Money=research=progress.  And for anyone who has seen this disease up close, any step is a good step.

People have also wondered why the #IceBucketChallenge is even relevant.  Well, ice therapy is a valid and helpful therapy for ALS patients.  You can store that info away for Jeopardy one day :)

Below are some of my friends and my #IceBucketChallenge's.  Being performers, some of these are pretty damn funny and feature members of the Bari-Chunk Nation.  I hope you enjoy, and maybe consider starting your your own #IceBucketChallenge or donating yourself.  It is a good cause.  
Kyle Albertson

Danielle Pastin

Corey Bix

Alissa Anderson

David Portillo

Sarah Beckham-Turner

Susanna Phillips

Will Ferguson

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Merchandise!

T-Shirts for ALL voice types now available at;




Also, feel free to design your own.  I know these are a bit expensive, but I don't set the prices.  If I did, they all be $4.

Join the Bari-Chunks Nation.  Or not, up to you.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Information is probably important #BoycottParterreBox

So a few days ago, I put up a quick post about my plan to boycott Parterre Box.  I didn't really say much more than that, because, well, I was busy.  But now I've got a few moments, and would love to give you a few of the reasons why.

On July 30th, Baritone Michael Mayes posted an article from Huffington Post on Facebook written by a Met chorister.  The title of said article was "I have not had a Christmas with my family for 15 years." 

La Cieca (I'll call him that because I guess anonymity is a thing to be respected for bloggers) was the first to comment "Your buddy (name omitted) colleague really should have taken moment to glance at the Met's calendar before he accepted a job there."  Ouch, that seemed unnecessarily harsh. Besides being outright negative to begin with, that statement completely ignores the fact that the author obviously knew what the Met's schedule was like before he signed his contract.  He was just making a point to show the amount of time he worked, and on holidays to boot.

Mr Mayes explained the Christmas quote (much better than I did) and La Cieca commented "ER doctors make $200K a year."  Um, ok.  I state random facts too. "A horses penis, when erect, grows 3 to 4 times the size from when it is limp, proving that horses are growers, not showers." Unlike La Cieca's random fact, mine is true.  ER doctors in NYC average $300K a year.  And that doesn't include benefits, or overtime pay for working on holidays etc.  I'll assume LC (tired of typing La Cieca so damn much) was referring to Peter Gelb's claim that Met choristers make $200K a year.  That too, is incorrect.  I know this because 1- I read more than just Mr Gelb's press releases, and 2- I ASKED AN ACTUAL CHORISTER. More than one, in fact. Even with benefits included, the sum doesn't equal $200K a year.

The conversation continued, with other posters jumping in, mainly supporting Mr Mayes's post.  The main argument seemed to be LC saying Met choristers were overpaid, and needed to suck it up and quit their bitching.  Ok, he/she is entitled to their opinion.  I will say this though, your opinion is highly uniformed.  You should take a second out of your obviously busy schedule to read some other articles on the Met labor situation besides the ones Gelb sends to you to back.  Just a thought.

The conversation did veer off topic a bit, and LC seemed to take the stance that singing opera was something everyone could do. "Right: Singing is a magic art given to a very few; the rest of the world is Muggles."  Uh, not really a magical power, but it is a specific set of talents and skills that not everyone posesses.  Just like being a doctor, or a lawyer, or a teacher, or a janitor.  Not everyone has the skills or talent to be anything they want.  Singers were born with, and have worked very hard and long, to cultivate those talents.  That's how they got to be where they are.  If everyone could do anything they wanted, I would be a professional Lottery winner.  This opera thing is hard!
Harry Potter: Wizard, counter tenor

LC later in the conversation said "pointless to argue with singers."  Why, because you don't like losing arguments?  For someone who runs a blog about opera and singers, your lack of respect for singers seems unusual to say the least.

Back on the topic of the Met's labor negotiations, LC said "You're right: the Met should pay the chorus a million dollars a year and pick them all up in limousines to take them to work. Cancel all the new productions and for that matter don't stage any of the operas: just line the chorus up and let them make those sweet, sweet noises God put in their throats. And after the performance from the chorus dressing room the very first thing you will hear is, 'Uh, I asked for a PLATINUM toilet seat, not gold!'"  Are there such a thing as gold and platinum toilet seats?  I want one!  I'm sure LC was being facetious, but thats not even close to what the choristers are looking for.  They are looking for pay equal to the work they do.  And they are looking for honesty and accountability from the management of the Met.

Once again the conversation went off topic, and LC began making his point that "artist doesn't just mean singers."  His belief is that audience members are artists too, saying "the audience works almost as hard as the people on stage -- harder sometimes I think."  Wow.  LC must have never been on stage before in his life.  That shit is hard!  I know sitting in the audience is hard too, those chairs are so uncomfortable!  And listening?!  Don't even get me started.  Takes a true artist to use one of his 5 senses...

Other great quotes form this epic Facebook conversation include "I feel like I'm punching fog" in reference to having this conversation he/she instigated, and "Nobody is arguing that the chorus should be thrown out in the street or that their children should have their penicillin taken away."  In reference to this last quote, actually, Gelb is arguing that.  From Alan Gordon's Facebook page;  "During AGMA negotiations yesterday with the Met, we reminded Peter Gelb that there were several single mothers in the chorus who had severely disabled children needing constant medical care and other choristers who had children needing special medications, all of whom would be endangered if their health insurance was cut off when he locks out the performers, and we proposed that even if he fulfills his lockout threat on 8/1 he should keep health insurance in effect until an eventually negotiated deal, so as not to intentionally and unnecessarily hurt his own people.  Gelb's response was that he had to cut off their health insurance to give him 'leverage' in the negotiations."  Ouch...

The conversation ran to a close as Mr Mayes grew annoyed with the pointlessness of the conversations, and told LC to bugger off.  LC ended his contributions to the thread by saying, "okay, you asked for it."  Mr Mayes asked him if that was a threat, LC never responded.

This kind of negative, ill informed crap is just too much for me.  That's why I'm boycotting Parterre Box.  To be completely honest, I never really read it before.  Just too negative.  This business is hard enough without people sitting on the sidelines throwing feces.  So, I'm boycotting, and I hope you do too.

Oh, and then there is this- after posting on this blog a few days ago that I was boycotting, I received this comment.

Wow.  Threats?  Really?  That is one loyal following LC has there.  I have a quick response to this "anonymous" poster.  Fuck you.  Don't threaten me.  If this is how you spend your time, threatening people who write satirical blogs with a limited following, I suggest you find yourself a better hobby.  Maybe dressing up cats, or just masturbating to old opera recordings. Maybe finding someone willing to hug you. Something.  In the mean time, kiss our Bari-Chunk ass.


Friday, August 1, 2014


After reading an extremely lengthy thread on Facebook about how spoiled the Met choristers are, I have decided to take a stand on this whole issue. My position is this- Boycott Parterre Box. That's right. You heard me. Boycott It's owner stated that the choristers wages are too high, and all they want is platinum covered toilet seats, so I think his viewership is too high, and someone needs to crap on him, and Bari-Chunks is full of crap. So I'm starting the hashtag #BoycottParterreBox. Join the revolution. Blogs are dumb anyway.

Post script-
Any blog that calls Bari-Chunk David Portillo 'the poor man's Stephen Costello' is clearly out of touch...