Two barihunks who have been featured on our site are now part of Vox, the newest "boy band" to hit the airwaves. The twist is that they're all classically-trained opera singers. Baritones David Castillo, Kevin Blickfeldt and DeMar Neal, along with tenor Arnold Geis. Castillo and Blickeldt are the Barihunks almuni. They are competing on NBC's “America’s Got Talent” and advanced past the audition round with a rousing rendition of Puccini's Nessun Dorma. The winner of the competition gets a $1 million prize.
In the five years since graduation, Castillo has performed Los Angeles Opera, New Orleans Opera, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Green Mountain Opera Festival, Aspen Opera Theatre, Le Salon de Musiques, The Industry, USC Thornton Opera, and other major opera companies and orchestras. This season he's performing in two world premieres: one with The Industry in HOPSCOTCH and another in a work by Jeffrey Parola. He makes his European debut performing Winterreise with Francois Chouchan at the Mairie du Troisieme Arrondissement in Paris an next year performs Anthony Hope in Sweeney Todd with Fresno Grand Opera and Townsend Opera directed by John De Los Santos.
Kevin Blickfeldt is on the faculty of the 88 Keys Music Academy and performs in opera, musical theatre, oratorio, recital, and concert works. Recent performance credits include El General in La Curandera, Maximilian in Candide with Opera Pasadena, and The Prodigal Son with LA Opera’s Britten 100/LA festival. In 2011, Kevin won the Citadelle Aard at the 6th annual Alltech Voice Competition in Kentucky. For three seasons, Blickfeldt was an artist in residence at the Ohio Light Opera. Many of the productions he performed in were made into cast recordings on the Albany label, where he can be heard as a soloist. Kevin earned his doctorate degree from the University of Southern California.
DeMar Austin Neal IV is a graduate of Florida State University, the Boston Conservatory, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Neal has appeared as a soloist with symphonies and in festivals throughout North Carolina and abroad, including both the Raleigh and North Carolina symphonies and in the Tiber Sinfonia Festival in Monterchi, Italy. He was also seen as a featured soloist at the 2010 Robert Schumann Bicentennial Festival at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, as well as at their 2012 Debussy Sesquicentennial Festival.