Eric Owens

Born in 1970 in Philadelphia, the bass-baritone Eric Owens initially studied oboe before he took up vocal studies with George Massey at the Boyer College of Music at Temple University and with Armen Boyajian at the Curtis Institute of Music. He began his career in the Young Artist Program at Houston Grand Opera, where he made his debut as Ramfis in Verdi’s Aida. Engagements since then have been with the opera companies in San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Royal Opera House and English National Opera in London, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York – in recent years he has appeared at the latter as Sarastro in Mozart’s Magic Flute and as Alberich in Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung. Owens’s repertoire begins historically with Monteverdi and Handel but ranges through Mozart and works of the 19th century to music of today. For example, he has taken part in the world premieres of Elliot Goldenthal’s Grendel at Los Angeles Opera and of Michael Daugherty’s Jackie O. at Houston Grand Opera, and he works regularly with John Adams and Peter Sellars, as in productions of Doctor Atomic in San Francisco and of The Flowering Tree at the New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna; in addition, he has recorded Adams’s Nativity oratorio El Niño with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under David Robertson. Owens’s credits in the 2013-14 season have included performances as the Water Goblin in Dvorák’s Rusalka at Lyric Opera of Chicago and Alberich in Ring productions at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and at the Vienna Staatsoper, and he worked with Peter Sellars in a production of Handel’s Hercules for the Canadian Opera Company. Owens has garnered two Grammy Awards; in 2003 he won the Marian Anderson Award.

August 2014