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Eric Owens, bass-baritone

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Bass-baritone 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 stages around the world.

In the 2019-2020 season, Mr. Owens opened the Metropolitan Opera 2019-20 season, starring as Porgy in James Robinson’s production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. He returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Wotan in Sir David Poutney’s production of Wagner’s complete Ring Cycle conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. He also made his role debut as King Marke in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde at Santa Fe Opera conducted by James Gaffigan. Concert appearances include Brahms’s Requiem at Palau de la Musica conducted by James Gaffigan, Jochanaan in Strauss’s Salome with the Malmö Symfoniorkester conducted by Robert Trevino. He will also go on a recital tour performing Schubert’s Winterreise with Jeremy Denk.

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’s career operatic highlights include Alberich in the Metropolitan Opera’s Ring cycle directed by Robert Lepage; Orest in Patrice Chereau’s production of Elektra conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen at the Met; Water Spirit in Rusulka conducted by Sir Mark Elder at the Met; Voice of Neptune in Idomeneo conducted by James Levine at the Met; Jaufre Rudel in Robert Lepage’s production of L’Amour de Loin conducted by Susanna Malkki at the Met; the title role of Der Fliegende Höllander and Stephen Kumalo in Weill’s Lost in the Stairs at Washington National Opera; his San Francisco Opera debut in Otello conducted by Donald Runnicles; his Royal Opera, Covent Garden, debut in Norma; Vodnik in Rusalka and Porgy in Porgy and Bess at Lyric Opera of Chicago; the title role in Handel’s Hercules with the Canadian Opera Company; Aida at Houston Grand Opera; RigolettoIl Trovatore, and La Bohème at Los Angeles Opera; Die Zauberflöte for his Paris Opera (Bastille) debut; the title role of Macbeth at the Glimmerglass Festival; 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, and Aristotle Onassis in the world premiere of Jackie O (available on the Argo label) with that company. He is featured on the Nonesuch Records release of A Flowering Tree. Mr. Owens is an avid concert singer, who collaborates closely with conductors such as Alan Gilbert, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sir Simon Rattle, Donald Runnicles, and Franz Welser-Möst.