Audiences worldwide were thrilled by Eric Owens’ nuanced and powerful portrayal of the vindictive Nibelungen lord Alberich in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, shown in the Met’s Live in HD series in its 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.
Considered by many to be the finest American bass-baritone performing today, Philadelphia-raised Eric Owens has a unique reputation as an esteemed interpreter of classic works and a champion of new music. Equally at home in orchestral, recital, and operatic repertoire, Mr. Owens brings his powerful poise, expansive voice, and instinctive acting faculties to top opera houses to stages around the world.
John W. Freeman of Opera News has said, “Owens has an opera singer’s ability to conceive of each song as an expression from an individual person. Within the compass of his deep, rich tone lies a reserve of gentleness as well as power. …Artistry of such gentility is rare, the more so from a voice whose nature wants to be big and burly, but whose owner has other plans.”
In addition to hosting Eric Owens live on stage in April, The Paramount has also broadcast his performances in two Met Live in HD broadcasts during the 2016-17 Met Live in HD season, including the Met premiere of Kaijo Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin. Owens also starred in a new production of Dvořák’s beautiful mythical opera Rusalka opposite the brilliant soprano Kristine Opolais, conducted by Sir Mark Elder.
Mr. Owens will be accompanied by internationally renowned pianist Craig Terry. Lauded for his “sensitive and stylish” (The New York Times) and “superb” (Opera News) playing, Craig Terry has launched an international career regularly performing with some of the world’s leading singers and instrumentalists. Currently Mr. Terry serves as Music Director of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago after having spent eleven seasons at Lyric as Assistant Conductor.
More About American Bass-Baritone, Eric Owens:
Eric Owens launches the 2016-17 season with his role debut as Wotan in David Pountney’s new production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Other highlights include recitals with Susanna Phillips at Carnegie Hall and Lawrence Brownlee at Lyric Opera of Chicago, a gala celebrating the Metropolitan Opera’s 50th anniversary at Lincoln Center, and for the third time he joins the Chicago Symphony’s Negaunee Music Institute to present an interactive recital for incarcerated youth with Riccardo Muti and Joyce DiDonato. Mr. Owens rounds out his season singing Rimsky-Korsakov’s Le Coq d’Or at Santa Fe Opera.
Mr. Owens has created an uncommon niche for himself in the ever-growing body of contemporary opera works through his determined tackling of new and challenging roles. He received great critical acclaim for portraying the title role in the world premiere of Elliot Goldenthal’s Grendel with the Los Angeles Opera, and again at the Lincoln Center Festival, in a production directed and designed by Julie Taymor. Mr. Owens also enjoys a close association with John Adams, for whom he performed the role of General Leslie Groves in the world premiere of Doctor Atomic at the San Francisco Opera, and of the Storyteller in the world premiere of A Flowering Tree at Peter Sellars’s New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna and later with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Doctor Atomic was later recorded and received the 2012 Grammy for Best Opera Recording. Mr. Owens made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut under the baton of David Robertson in Adam’s El Niño.
Mr. Owens has been recognized with multiple honors, including the 2003 Marian Anderson Award, a 1999 ARIA award, second prize in the Plácido Domingo Operalia Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition.
Mr. Owens began his musical training as a pianist at the age of six, followed by formal oboe study at age eleven under Lloyd Shorter of the Delaware Symphony and Louis Rosenblatt of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He studied voice while an undergraduate at Temple University, and then as a graduate student at the Curtis Institute of Music. He currently studies with Armen Boyajian. He serves on the Board of Trustees of both the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and Astral Artistic Services.