Eric Owens withdraws from Lyric Opera’s “Ring”

Mon Mar 02, 2020 at 10:47 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Eric Owens is Wotan in Lyric Opera's new production of Wagner's "Das Rheingold." Photo: Todd Rosenberg.
Eric Owens made his role debut as Wotan in Lyric Opera’s 2016 production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold. Photo: Todd Rosenberg.

Eric Owens has withdrawn from all performances of Lyric Opera’s upcoming Ring cycle, the company announced Monday morning.

The bass-baritone, who was scheduled to repeat the role of Wotan in all three cycles of Wagner’s tetralogy next month, has cancelled in order “to undergo treatment for ongoing health issues,” said the company.

The role of Wotan will be split between two singers. Brian Mulligan, who was cast as Donner for these performances, will get promoted to the chief god for Das Rheingold. And Alan Held will portray Wotan in Die Walküre and Siegfried.

“I am deeply grateful to Anthony Freud, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir David Pountney, and all my Lyric colleagues for their support at this difficult time,” said Owens in a statement released by Lyric. “I am also thankful for the enthusiasm and warmth Lyric’s audiences have shown me over the years that I have lived and worked in Chicago. My heartfelt thanks to everyone for understanding, and my best wishes for the success of Lyric’s amazing Ring.”

“All of us at Lyric, along with the creative and artistic teams from the Ring operas, are saddened by this news, but understand Eric’s decision to withdraw from the production,” said Anthony Freud, Lyric Opera’s general director.

Lyric Opera’s Ring cycles run from April 13-18, April 20-25 and April 27-May 3.

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