Cher Public

Leather underground

Putting in a little face time (and what faces!) at Charles Castronovo‘s cabaret at 54 Below last night were barihunk trifecta Erwin Schrott, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Ildar Abdrazakov. Note the  leather jeans. The tenor repeats his show tomorrow night following that evening’s Met performance of Don Ottavio. (Photo: Charles Martin)

  • Now we can indulge in a playful round of “Marry/Fuck/Kill/Hear a performance of Hugo Wolf songs by.”

    • armerjacquino

      ‘Opera Hot’

      • thirdlady

        Personally, I think it’s kind of adorable how they obviously coordinated (if that is in fact the right word?) their outfits beforehand. Except for Charles, who looks as though he got some style advice from Hamish Bowles…

  • Belfagor

    Erwin looks like he’s blimping out. Losing his lustre -- he’s turning into Mr Blobby. Good job he can sing (?)

    • bassoprofundo

      He can sing?

      News to me based on the last few years.

      He can be hammy, that’s for sure.

      But sing?…

    • MontyNostry

      There’s something about Schrott that makes me think he’s made of foam rubber. A bit like David Cameron in that respect.

      • phoenix

        They could do an all baritone Così fan tutte -- all they would need is Don Alfonso & Despina -- roles I am sure Borondina & Netrebko (respectively) would excel in. For me, Schrott (although the foto does him no favors) is the main attraction -- Castronovo is a close second; the two of them could be courted by Dima & Ildar, a believable pair of Albanians.

        • I think that has already been done:

          The School for Lovers [NSFW]

          • phoenix

            Ah, but can they sing?

          • PushedUpMezzo

            Is this next year’s intake for a Young Artists programme somewhere? Cosi has never looked so cosy.

      • armerjacquino

        Naah, Cameron is all shiny, like wax.

        • MontyNostry

          But both he and Erwin look sort of peeled. Yuk.

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      Pardon! Have you forgotten what Erwin used to look like?

      I like all of his incarnations.

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

        Talk about subtexts and inflections… Bravo Erwin.

        • Rowna

          Wow -- that was great!

      • Wonderful rendition. Thank you for sharing.

    • Veloce49

      Just trying to keep up with the Missus

  • atomicwings

    How many does this closet accommodate?

    • Often admonished

      Where’s Nikitin and his ink gallery?

    • Signor Bruschino

      favorite comments in ages!

  • tannengrin

    he’s neither goldi nor has he locks, but he’s got the three bears…

  • perfidia

    Godness, Ildar looks like the kind of man who would build you a log cabin with his bare hands, dragged you inside and…. curtains fluttering on the breeze.

    • messa di voce

      That’s nothing compared to performing one’s husbandly duties with Olga.

      • All-knowing Earth Goddess

        To say nothing of one’s (former) boyfriendly duties with Carol.

        • Bianca Castafiore

          Who’s Carol? Vaness?

          • MontyNostry

            It was usually Carol Vaness, wasn’t it?

          • MontyNostry

            Why do you think Hans-Peter Blochwitz retired so young?

  • perfidia


  • Bianca Castafiore

    OT (or maybe not):

    Just heard that Ch. 13 in the NY area will broadcast the Tucker Gala next Thursday, 12/13 in the evening. Check your local listings (possibly on PBS in other cities as well).

  • bassoprofundo

    Pity that each singer in that photo is devastatingly overrated.

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      Maybe overrated in your opinion, but 50% of them are vastly wealthy.

      • bassoprofundo

        Well, yes, but there are many wealthy people in all walks of life whose talents do not match their bank accounts. :)

        • Quanto Painy Fakor

          But it is because of their excellent talents that they have been rewarded with wealth, great gigs and happiness.

        • Benedetta Funghi-Trifolati

          I’m with bassoprofundo on this one. Paraphrasing and with apologies to the sublime Tina Turner, “What’s wealth got to do with it?” Andrea Bocelli, Katherine Jenkins, Lindsay Lohan and the Koch Brothers are wealthy too. Anyone can make big bucks today and that doesn’t necessarily guarantee greatness, artistic credibility or even talent. These 3 “barihunks” (I HATE that word almost as much as “Park and Bark”) are big operatic names in 2012 and more power (and wealth) to them. I wish them well. None of them do much for me and IMO not one of them is worth a pimple on the ass of young Ettore Bastianini or Cesare Siepi in either the voice or hunkometer categories.

          • phoenix

            I will do the inspection for pimples on their 4 asses -- I assume Benedetta did the same for Bastianini & Siepi a half century back.

    • RosinaLeckermaul

      Devastatingly overrated? Oh, please!!!

    • Yes but you say that about 95% of the singers mentioned on here so it really doesn’t seem to mean much.

      • bassoprofundo

        I’d really love to hear you argue with a straight face that Hvorostovsky, Schrott, etc, are exceptional talents who deserve all of the press and plaudits that they receive.

        $50 says you can’t do it without breaking into riotous laughter.

        • RosinaLeckermaul

          In this day and age, we should be happy when anything related to opera gets a few inches of press attention. If it takes some celebrity singers who may not be the greatest artists in history to keep opera on the map, we shouldn’t get too riled up. I hate to sound as repetitive as the gang on this site who are always waiting for greats from the past to rise from the dead, but where are all the singers today who are so much better than these guys?
          There were a lot of folks back in the day who thought Bastianini was a tasteless bellower (they probably would have been posting that to this site if such things had existed back then). I was raised on Siepi (BORIS with Siepi was the first opera I saw at the MET), but he’s long gone. His Met days ended in the early 70s supposedly because Levine was not a fan.
          Exceptional talents? Depends on who one is comparing them to. I have heard them all give fine performances.

  • Nerva Nelli

    Was that the The Four Seasons’ 1980 Reunion Tour?

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Now you can say you went to Yale and studied opera!

    • Quanto Painy Fakor


  • OT, but since the greatest of the Bobolinks announced her far-too-premature retirement last week, I’ll mention this here:

    Operacast tells me that tomorrow there will be a radiocast from Stuttgart of Edison Denisov’s l’Ecume des jours , after a novel by Boris Vian. Denisov was a Russian composer of the same generation as Schnittke and Gubaidulina, but his music, more abstract and subtle than Schnittke’s, has won fewer admirers in the US. But l’Ecume des jours is quite interesting -- shifting back and forth between Vian-style jazziness and Bergian harmonies. I think it’s a lot of fun. I wrote about this opera once on Denisov’s birthday, but it appears that comment got swallowed up at some point. Denisov discusses the opera at some length in Jean-Pierre Armengaud’s with him. If there’s interest in the material, I’ll retype some of it here.

    You can sample the opera here .

    • phoenix

      Thanks for the Denisov recommendation -- I will try it over here.
      -- Best wishes!

      • Great photo! Be sure to have a couple packs of Gauloises on hand, as I understand that their consumption is required during the performance of this opera.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    The Russians have uploaded the new Lohengrin video!

  • Quanto Painy Fakor


    • Quanto Painy Fakor

  • What does “kolbasnaia tusovka” mean?

    • messa di voce

      Suck a big kielbasa.

  • blanchette

    QP- can we get the russian download? It won’t download for me. thanks

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      The files are still there (all 6 parts) once you have the omponents you have to run UNRAR and the two parts of the opera will open in a separate folder. Take a very long time for the downloads and the files have Russian subtitles and host.

  • blanchette

    thanks qp- I am hopeless- i got one to download but now can’t open it. I just don’t get how computers work. how do they fit La Scala inside. ?no really I’ll keep trying

    • ljushuvud

      blanchette -- the entire opera as streamed is now available on youtube.

      • FragendeFrau82

        Link please? My search couldn’t find it. Thanks!

        • ljushuvud

          FragendeFrau – I didn’t post the link in case the film was removed. If you search youtube for ‘Barenboim Scala Lohengrin’ it appears about second on the list.

  • ljushuvud

    FragendeFrau -- I didn’t post the link in case the film was removed. If you search youtube for ‘Barenboim Scala Lohengrin’ it appears about second on the list.

  • jatm2063

    I think they all look like they are having a good time. Abdrazakov could probably stand to lose 20 pounds (at least), but most men do at that age. It’s a handsome group (we all know Schrott looks better than this). Does Castronovo have adorable little dimples? I can’t quite tell.

    • lorenzo.venezia

      If “Abdrazakov could probably stand to lose 20 pounds (at least), but most men do at that age” then perhaps your concept of what “men at that age” should weigh is off by about 20 pounds?

    • Enzo Bordello

      Abdrazakov looks absolutely edible and emphatically does not need to lose 20 pounds (why? so he can look like an androgynous twig?) He exuded virile sexuality when I saw his shirtless Attila in Rome this summer.

  • Feldmarschallin

    Abdrazakov looks the best of the lot to me. Tastes differ. And with my cooking he wouldn’t loose any weight anyhow but perhaps gain a few more. :)