On May 24 in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, bass-baritone Eric Owens joins soprano Nina Stemme, conductor Franz Welser-Möst, and The Cleveland Orchestra for a concert performance of Richard Strauss's revolutionary Salome. We recently spoke with Owens, who expressed his excitement at the prospect of performing the work.
I am so looking forward to Salome with The Cleveland Orchestra. I love Strauss, and it will be my first time singing Jochanaan [John the Baptist]. Strauss's music is so incredible. I remember, as a teenager, being an oboe player and playing Don Juan for the first time, and Till Eulenspiegel and all these wonderful tone poems.
And I also remember quite vividly having this cassette recording of—I think—Rudolf Kempe and the Staatskapelle Dresden, playing the Richard Strauss tone poems, and thinking, "Wow!" That became my favorite—the standard of Strauss performance for me. I was just listening to that all the time ... Death and Transfiguration.
To sing this role now with The Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst, I'm excited. I'm looking forward to the process. I love the piece. I love the orchestra. I love the Hall. I hope to keep my end of the bargain up and sing well. That'd be nice!
That role, and getting a chance to sing with Nina Stemme? Wow. That's really cool. See, I'm smiling! (And he was!)
Related:May 24, The Cleveland OrchestraA Video Introduction to R. Strauss's Salome