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Eric Owens, bass-baritone

Overview

Bass-baritone Eric Owens has a unique reputation as an esteemed interpreter of classic works and as a champion of new music. Equally at home in orchestral, recital and opera performances, Owens brings his powerful poise, expansive voice and instinctive acting faculties to stages around the world.

Mr. Owens began his 2013-2014 season in Berlin, performing Bach's St. Matthew Passion with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle. After mentoring the next generation of opera stars at the American Singers' Opera Project at the Kennedy Center with friend and collaborator Renée Fleming, Owens appeared as Sarastro in Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Metropolitan Opera. He made another role debut as Vodnik in Rusalka at Lyric Opera Chicago at the start of 2014. In the spring, Mr. Owens joins what director Peter Sellars calls his "dream cast" in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Handel’s Hercules as the title role alongside Alice Coote, David Daniels, and Richard Croft. 2013-14 also sees a duo recital with soprano Susanna Phillips presented by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Throughout the season, Mr. Owens will bow as Alberich in the Deutsche Opera Berlin Ring Cycle, and in the summer, he will perform in the Wiener Staatsoper Ring Cycle.

Eric Owens has created an uncommon niche for himself in the ever-growing body of contemporary opera works through his determined approach to 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 Adams’s Nativity oratorio El Nií±o.

Eric Owens’s career operatic highlights include his San Francisco Opera debut in Otello conducted by Donald Runnicles; his Royal Opera, Covent Garden, debut in  Norma; Aida at Houston Grand Opera; RigolettoIl Trovatore and La Bohème at Los Angeles Opera; Die Zauberflöte for his Paris Opera (Bastille) debut; and Ariodante and L’Incoronazione di Poppea at the English National Opera. He sang Collatinus in a highly acclaimed Christopher Alden production of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at Glimmerglass Opera. A former member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Mr. Owens has sung Sarastro, Mephistopheles in Faust, Frère Laurent, Angelotti in Tosca, and Aristotle Onassis in the world premiere of Jackie O (available on the Argo label) with that company. Mr. Owens is featured on two Telarc recordings with the Atlanta Symphony: Mozart’s Requiem and scenes from Strauss’ Elektra and Die Frau ohne Schatten, both conducted by Donald Runnicles. He is featured on the Nonesuch Records release of A Flowering Tree. Eric Owens has been recognized with multiple honors, including the 2003 Marian Anderson Award, a 1999 ARIA award, and second prize in the Plácido Domingo Operalia Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition.

A native of Philadelphia, Eric 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.

"Mr. Owens quickly established his ability to wrap his deep voice around a text and create a distinct sense of character."

-The New York Times

Lawrence Brownlee, tenor; Eric Owens, bass-baritone; Craig Terry, piano

Friday, February 22, 2019 - 7:30 PM

Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

The Program

A program featuring one half of opera arias by Mozart, Donizetti, Verdi, and Bizet and one half of traditional spirituals, American popular songs, and gospel favorites.

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Susanna Phillips, soprano; Eric Owens, bass-baritone; Myra Huang, piano

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

With guest artists Ricardo Morales, clarinet and Jennifer Montone, horn

All-Schubert recital:

Auf dem Strom, D. 943
Die Männer sind méchant D.866 No. 3
Frí¼hlingsglaube, D. 686
Gretchen am Spinnrade, D. 118
Du bist die Ruh, D. 776 
Bei dir allein, D. 866
Prometheus, D. 674
Fahrt zum Hades, D. 526
Gruppe aus dem Tartarus, D. 583
Viola, D. 786
Ganymed, D. 544
Der Wanderer, D. 493
Auf der Donau, D. 553
An die Musik, D. 547
Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, D. 965

 

This performance features a free pre-concert lecture at 6:45pm with Christine Anderson

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Eric Owens, bass-baritone and Warren Jones, piano

Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

WolfDrei Lieder nach Gedichten von Michelangelo
SchumannMein Herz ist schwer, Op. 25, No. 15
SchubertPrometheus, D. 674
DebussyBeau soir
DuparcL'Invitation au Voyage
RavelDon Quichotte í  Dulcinée
WagnerLes deux grenadiers 

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Eric Owens, bass-baritone and Bradley Moore, piano

Date: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 - 8:00 PM

Location: American Philosophical Society, Benjamin Franklin Hall
427 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

RavelDon Quichotte í  Dulcinée
IbertChansons de Don Quichotte
SchumannDichterliebe, Op. 48

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Eric Owens, bass-baritone and Warren Jones, piano

Date: Sunday, March 5, 2006 - 8:00 PM

Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center Auditorium,

Schubert: Five songs
BrahmsVier ernste Gesänge, Op. 121
DurparcLe manoir de Rosemonde; Lamento; Le galop
Wagner: Isolde's Liebstod, from Tristan und Isolde
Wolf: Four songs

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Temple University Concert Choir; Alan Harler, conductor; Marietta Simpson, mezzo-soprano; Eric Owens, bass-baritone

Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2003 - 8:00 PM

Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center Auditorium,

Bach: Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226
Bach: Der Friede sei mit dir, BWV 158
Bach: Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12
Bach: Widersteche doch der Sí¼nde, BWV 54
Bach: Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe, BWV 22

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Eric Owens, bass-baritone and Bradley Moore, piano

Date: Sunday, February 2, 2003 - 8:00 PM

Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center Auditorium,

Bach: Amore traditore, BWV 203
Beethoven: L'amante impaziete, Op. 82, from Vier Arietten, No. 3
Beethoven: In questa tomba oscura
Brahms: Four songs
Hahn: Sept Chansons Grises
Duparc: L'invitation au voyage
Fauré: Chanson du píªcheur
Duparc: La vague et al cloche
Wagner: Les deux Granadiers 

The New York Times

“Mr. Owens quickly established his ability to wrap his deep voice around a text and create a distinct sense of character.”

Chicago Sun Times

“American bass-baritone Eric Owens speaks to you even in his silence and shakes you when he sings.”

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