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Opera Philadelphia’s New Don Carlo Stars Philadelphia’s Own Eric Owens in Role Debut as Philip II (April 24–May 3)

After launching the 2013-14 season with a grand-scale Nabucco that was simulcast to an outdoor audience of thousands, Opera Philadelphia returns to Verdi with a new staging of Don Carlo from Laurence Olivier Award-winning British director Tim Albery. The production is built around superstar bass-baritone Eric Owens, who makes his role debut as King Philip II. The Philadelphia Inquirer notes, “If any single individual represents many of the city’s institutions, it’s bass-baritone Owens, who is Philadelphia-born and trained in several of them.” Verdi’s grand opera of passion and political intrigue will be presented in five performances at Philadelphia’s Academy of Music (April 24-May 3).

Educated at Philadelphia’s Central High School, Temple University, and the Curtis Institute of Music, Eric Owens has been hailed as “one of the greatest bass-baritones in the world” (Bloomberg News) and “an American marvel” (Chicago Sun-Times). Besides making his Opera Philadelphia debut in 1994 and singing the Friar in a 2004 production of Don Carlo, he created the title role of General Leslie Groves in John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, and has turned in star performances all over the globe in roles including Alberich in Wagner’s Ring cycle, Porgy in Porgy and Bess, and the title role of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman. “I am so excited to come back home to Philadelphia to make my role debut as King Philip,” the bass-baritone explains. “When I get a chance to sing Verdi it seems like a homecoming for my voice. To do this role that I have wanted to do for so long, at home, it’s just the perfect match.”  Owens discusses the role in further detail in this preview video.

In Opera Philadelphia’s new staging of Don Carlo – a co-production with Washington National Opera and Minnesota Opera – Owens anchors a powerhouse cast. Under the leadership of Opera Philadelphia’s Jack Mulroney Music Director Corrado Rovaris, tenor Dimitri Pittas and soprano Leah Crocetto make company debuts as Don Carlo and Elizabeth de Valois. Grammy Award-winning mezzo Michelle DeYoung sings Princess Eboli, baritone Troy Cook makes his role debut as Rodrigo, and bass Morris Robinson, a highlight of last season’s Nabucco, returns in his signature role as the Grand Inquisitor.

Full casting information, photos and videos, a synopsis, biographies, ticketing services and more information about Opera Philadelphia’s Don Carlo are provided here.

About Opera Philadelphia
Opera Philadelphia creates outstanding productions of both classic and new operatic works that resonate within the community; assembles the finest international creative artists; and presents a wide array of programming that educates, deepens, and diversifies the opera audience in Philadelphia and beyond. Opera Philadelphia is leading the field in the development of new opera. In partnership with Gotham Chamber Opera and Music-Theatre Group, the company runs the nation’s first collaborative Composer-in-Residence program, made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with talented composers Lembit Beecher, Missy Mazzoli, Andrew Norman, and David T. Little each involved in several years of intensive, hands-on work to develop an understanding of the many facets of developing and producing opera. In tandem with the Composer-in-Residence program, the American Repertoire Program is aimed at fostering a new generation of opera composers and telling authentically American stories. It is steered by the American Repertoire Council, a committed group of volunteer advisors overseen by operatic baritone Nathan Gunn. In recognition of Opera Philadelphia’s innovative thinking, the company was chosen as the only American finalist for the 2015 International Opera Award for Accessibility; as Opera News notes, “Things are looking up, operatically speaking, in the City of Brotherly Love.” More information is available at


Opera Philadelphia presents Verdi’s Don Carlo
New co-production with Washington National Opera & Minnesota Opera
April 24, 26m, 29; May 1, 3pm
Academy of Music

Conductor: Corrado Rovaris
Director: Tim Albery

Don Carlo: Dimitri Pittas
King Philip II: Eric Owens
Elizabeth de Valois: Leah Crocetto
Princess Eboli: Michelle DeYoung
Rodrigo: Troy Cook
The Grand Inquisitor: Morris Robinson

This production is underwritten in part by Ms. Barbara Augusta Teichert.

Media Contacts
Opera Philadelphia: Frank Luzi, [email protected], (215) 893-5902
21C Media Group: Glenn Petry, [email protected], (212) 625-2038

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© 21C Media Group, March 2015

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