Operatic Star Eric Owens Makes UGA Presents Debut With Up-and-Coming Singers

September 30, 2022

Eric Owens wears a yellow shirt and smiles while looking off to the side

“His powerful voice, with its earthy textures and resonant sound, is ideal.”—New York Times

What do Porgy, Hercules, and the Norse god Wotan have in common? They’ve all been portrayed by big-voiced American bass-baritone Eric Owens. A frequent star of the Metropolitan Opera, Owens is sharing the Hodgson Concert Hall stage Thurs., Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. with students from Philadelphia’s elite Curtis Institute, where he serves as director of vocal studies and the Curtis Opera Theatre.

The vocal quartet will perform gems from the art song repertoire, anchored by Brahms’s lilting and pensive Neue Liebeslieder waltzes for four voices and four-hand piano. After intermission, the singers present thrilling ensemble pieces and bittersweet Broadway numbers, including “If I Loved You” from Carousel.

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 has brought his powerful poise and expansive voice to stages around the world in the 25 years since his own graduation from the Curtis Institute.

At the Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Owens has appeared in leading roles in Dvorák’s Rusalka, Mozart’s Idomeneo, Strauss’s Elektra, and John Adams’s Doctor Atomic; and as Alberich and Hagen in Wagner’s Ring cycle. He is in the midst of a Ring cycle as Wotan/Wanderer for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he has also appeared in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and Dvorák’s Rusalka and serves as a community ambassador. He appears regularly in leading roles at LA Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, and the Glimmerglass Festival, where he is artistic advisor.

Joining Owens in this performance are student singers — soprano Sarah Fleiss, mezzo-soprano Lucy Baker, and tenor Joseph Tancredi — and pianists Miloš Repický and Ting Ting Wong.

Curtis on Tour is the Nina von Maltzahn Global Touring Initiative of the Curtis Institute of Music. Grounded in the school’s “learn by doing” philosophy, tours feature extraordinary emerging artists alongside celebrated alumni and faculty.

This performance is the first in a set of memorable vocal concerts in this UGA Presents season. Oct. 27, Hodgson Concert Hall welcomes the Belgian early music ensemble Vox Luminis, with a program of music by members of the Bach family. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Chorus appear Dec. 21 with the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah and other seasonal works. And the celebrated men’s ensemble Chanticleer makes a return visit to Athens Mar. 2, 2023.

For a complete list of UGA Presents performances, click here.

Three Ways to Order Tickets

  1. Purchase tickets online 24/7 online here.
  2. Call the Performing Arts Center Box Office at (706) 542-4400, Mon.-Fri., 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  3. Visit the UGA Performing Arts Center Box Office, Mon.-Fri., 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (5 minute parking is available in the drop off circle at the Performing Arts Center for purchasing or picking up tickets.)