Eric Owens: From Oboist to Opera Singer

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Eric Owens in 'Lost in the Stars' at the Glimmerglass Festival Eric Owens in 'Lost in the Stars' at the Glimmerglass Festival (Karli Cadel)

The bass-baritone Eric Owens was always a talented performer, but it wasn't until he played Alberich in Wagner's Ring des Nibelungen at the Metropolitan Opera that he was firmly nudged into the public eye. The New York Times proclaimed his performance "riveting" and The New Yorker's Alex Ross called him "the chief glory of [the] production." Since then he's sung in Verdi’s Aida, Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars and the San Francisco Opera's I Capuleti e i Montecchi.

On today's Operavore Marilyn Horne explores Owens' youth in Philadelphia as an ambitious oboe player and how listening to opera on Saturday mornings led him to pursue a singing career. 

Owens will be playing Sarastro this year in the Met's children's version of The Magic Flute. He discusses the upcoming show as well as past performances at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York. The show concludes with a new chapter in “The Operavore Field Guide to Singers,” The Bass Baritone.


Scroll to the bottom to watch Eric Owen's top five opera characters and music entrances.

Playlist:

Richard Wagner
Das Rheingold “Weia! Waga! Woge, du Welle!”
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
James Levine, conductor
Lisette Oropesa, soprano
Jennifer Johnson, mezzo-soprano
Tamara Mumford, mezzo-soprano
Eric Owens, bass-baritone
Deutsche Grammophon 001724902

Richard Wagner
Das Rheingold “Alberich’s Curse”
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
James Levine, conductor
Eric Owens, bass-baritone
Deutsche Grammophon 001724902

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The Magic Flute “Isis and Osiris”
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Asher Fisch, conductor
Eric Owens, bass-baritone
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Opera | January 1, 2009

Kurt Weill/Maxwell Anderson
Lost in the Stars “Thousands of Miles”
Maurice Levine, conductor
Todd Duncan, baritone
Decca Broadway 088110302

Kurt Weill/Maxwell Anderson
Lost in the Stars “O Tixo, Tixo, Help Me”
Maurice Levine, conductor
Todd Duncan, baritone
Decca Broadway 088110302

Kurt Weill/Maxwell Anderson
Lost in the Stars “Lost in the Stars”
The Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra
John DeMain, conductor
Eric Owens, bass-baritone
Courtesy of The Glimmerglass Festival | 2012

Operavore’s Field Guide Bass-Baritone
Produced by Aaron Cohen, written by Aaron Cohen and Will Berger, and narrated by James Lurie.

Richard Wagner Die Walküre
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; James Levine, conductor; James Morris, bass-baritone
Deutsche Grammophon 427359

Gilbert & Sullivan The Mikado
Welsh National Opera Orchestra; Sir Charles Mackerras, conductor; Donald Adams, bass-baritone
Telarc 80284

Giuseppe Verdi Don Carlos
La Scala Orchestra and Chorus; Claudio Abbado, conductor; Ruggero Raimondi, bass-baritone
Deutsche Grammophon 415316

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Don Giovanni, K 527
Mahler Chamber Orchestra; Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor Diana Damrau, soprano; Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, bass-baritone
Deutsche Grammophon 477 9878

 

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Comments [2]

Pam

Ditto on Suzanne's comment. I'm unable to listen at the time of the original broadcast and was eagerly awaiting this installment with Eric Owens.

Dec. 16 2013 12:24 PM
Suzanne from New York

Aren't you going to offer the entire Operavore installment featuring Mr. Owens? You usually do with the others.
Here's hoping--

Dec. 15 2013 10:43 AM

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