Monday, September 15, 2014

We Just Keep Chunkin Along

And a good morrow to the Bari-Chunks Nation! Today we have threesome of new members of the Bari-Chunks Nations.  Full of beefy tones and hearty laughs.  Enjoy

Andrew Wilkowske

Baritone Andrew Wilkowske has been lauded for his "charming, energetic, and pleasant tone," and his "rich tenor" (yes, he's a baritone, and yes this goes to prove my long standing mistrust of critics).  Despite the critics obvious gaff, Andy is the real deal.  He has the uncanny abiility to bring any character to life.  Whether it be Figaro and Taddeo or Noah (Grapes of Wrath) and Ponchel (Silent Night), Wilkowske brings a light to the character that shines through.  You can't help but watch his every movement.  He draws you in, and won't let you go.  Kind of like a kidnapper.  

Seen here is his early failed porn career

Besides his badassness on stage, his off stage persona is what makes Andy great.  Whether he's letting you try one of his home brewed beers, playing with his 2 kids, or creating a rock recital entitled "Guns N Rosenkavalier"- the melding of art song and rock songs. Mash-ups and songs include Brahms, Bruce Springsteen, Guns N’ Roses, Strauss and Van Halen.  "Guns N’ Rosenkavalier will confound your expectations and celebrate the universal in music. A great song is a great song, no matter the genre!"  Sounds like a winner to me.  

Footnote- Andrew Wilkowske is the only man I've ever kissed on stage.

Many of you might have seen Tenor Chad Shelton's calendar shoot for Bari-Chunks.  If not, here's a quick peek-

Shelton has a piercing tenor sound, and not in that "loud obnoxious way", in the "you will never have to tell the orchestra to play softer" way.  He's been praised for his "vocal acuity" and "rich, ringing tenor."  Shelton has mastered roles such as Pinkerton, Don Jose, and Alfredo.  He is now using his booming voice to reach into the Wagner repertoire with roles such as Froh (Das Rheingold) and Georg (Flying Dutchman).  

Get that high note

On top of being good and loud on stage, he is a man's man.  If it's time to watch a football game, or you need some wings, or someone to shoot 18 holes with, or if you just need some one to have a beer (or several, or too many, or HOLY CRAP HOW DID I GET STUCK IN THIS TWISTY SLIDE AND WHERE IS THAT CHEESY BREAD I WAS EATING) with, Chad Shelton is your man.  Never a dull moment with this guy.  NEVER.  There was this one time, before a show... Well, you get the idea.

Bass Kevin Burdette might be the craziest man I've ever seen on stage and I mean that in the best possible way.  His comedy is brilliant.  If you clicked on his name above and visited his website, you might have seen that he has easter eggs on his page (easter eggs as in hidden treasures).  Apparently, there are 70 throughout the page.  I just wasted 15 minutes looking for some of them.  His comedic performances have been compared to Jim Carrey, Groucho Marx, and Jerry Lewis.  And those guys couldn't sing the way Kevin can.  His commanding and versatile bass voice allows to him to sing a gambit of roles.  From Osmin and Leporello, to Mustafa and Bartolo, to Bottom and Mr Scattergood.

Kevin's golden comic personality onstage is only surpassed by his comic and caring personality offstage.  Fellow colleagues can attest to the kind of man Kevin is.  As a young pup straight out of grad school, I had the chance to work with Kevin.  I learned much from my time with him, and only most of it was comedy.  The first time I introduced him to my girl friend at the time, he threw a grape in her cleavage before even saying hello.  THAT'S comedy...  Also, follow Kevin on Twitter @Burdettekevin.  You won't regret it.

Kevin as Bottom and some other dude as Quince