It's difficult to make inroads into opera, but this year is already proving to ease the challenge through a talented (and attractive) group of all-stars.
In this Jan. 11, 2013 photo provided by the Metropolitan Opera, Juan Diego Florez, performs as Count Ory with Pretty Yende as Countess Adele during a dress rehearsal of Rossini's "Le Comte Ory," at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. (AP Photo/Metropolitan Opera, Marty Sohl)
Perhaps it's not a surprise that this year marks some big anniversaries for opera as well. The striking Polish tenor Piotr Beczala will star in the Metropolitan Opera's unusual staging of "Rigoletto" set in 1960s Las Vegas to honor Verdi's 200th birthday. In May, Jonas Kaufmann -- Germany's sexiest tenor -- will play the title role in "Parsifal" to mark the 200th anniversary of Wagner's birth.
Edward Benjamin Britten will also be ringing in a birthday in 2013. At this year's Glyndebourne Festival in London 'Billy Budd' returns to mark Britten's centennial birthday. The hot tenor from South Africa Jacques Imbrailo will play the title role.
This must be the year for South African singers because aptly-named Pretty Yende made a splash at her Met debut last week. Also in the spotlight at the Met this month is the blonde beauty Kristine Opolais, who appears in Puccini’s "La Rondine."