Artist of the Week: Eric Owens

Bass-Baritone Begins Artist in Residence at Glimmerglass Festival

By Francisco Salazar

This week the Glimmerglass Festival will open in Cooperstown, New York presenting a month-long program of inventive productions and repertory staples. The season will also feature some of the world’s biggest stars including Eric Owens, who will work as the festival’s Artist in Residence for the Young Artist Program. He will also perform in two of the company’s highly anticipated productions.

Owens will open the season with his acclaimed interpretation of Sarastro in the company’s new “The Magic Flute.” The bass-baritone has performed the role at the Metropolitan Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and the Opéra National de Paris, among others, and has been acclaimed for his interpretation. And this will be the first time Owens performs the opera in New York since the 2013-14 season.

Owens will also take on the short but crucial role of Ferrando in “Il Trovatore,” an opera he previously performed for his LA Opera debut in 1998. This will be the first time in years that he performs the work so audiences are in for a treat in this cameo role.

His final assignment during the festival will be in “Gods and Mortals” where audiences will get a chance to show his Wagnerian skills. Owens has become one of the great interpreters of the repertoire especially in The Ring Cycle and previous reviews of his work by OperaWire noted that his Wotan was “wonderful” and “his characterization is great.”

A master of his craft and one of today’s most highly regarded artists, Owens currently serves on the Board of Trustees of both the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and Astral Artistic Services. In 2019, the singer became the co-chair of the Curtis Institute’s opera department and in 2017, the Glimmerglass Festival appointed him as its Artistic Advisor.

For audiences not in Glimmerglass this summer, Owens will return to the Metropolitan Opera for Verdi’s Requiem and “Porgy and Bess.” He will also sing Wotan in “Das Rheingold” at the Seattle Opera and will reprise his Porgy at the English National Opera.


Owens has a number of recordings to his name most famously “Porgy and Bess” and “Dr. Atomic” which both won Grammys. He is also part of the Metropolitan Opera’s Ring Cycle and San Francisco Opera’s “Porgy and Bess.”

Here is in his acclaimed “Porgy and Bess:”

Here he is as King Philip in “Don Carlo:”

Here is a clip of his Wotan:


Artist of the Week