Close-season transfers: Curtis signs Met star

Close-season transfers: Curtis signs Met star


norman lebrecht

May 10, 2018

The Curtis Institute has hired Eric Owens as joint head of its opera department.

He will share duties with vocal choach Danielle Orlando.

The new team take over from Mikael Eliasen, who has held the post for 30 years.




  • Sharon says:

    I believe that he has hosted some of the Opera in HD programs. Does this mean that he will stop singing for the Met?

  • MacroV says:

    It seems a good transition to a post-singing career, but is he anywhere near done with his performing days?

  • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

    Mikael Eliasen is a pianist and vocal coach who put the department on the map since the late 1980s. Danielle Orlando is an excellent pianist and vocal coach. Eric Owens,, from Philadelphia, has a nice career and is too young to retire. Here’s my analysis subject to the astute opinions of the redoubtable readers of this blog:

    Eric will continue his career and still sing at the Met and in in other important venues. He will provide star quality and artistic guidance to the opera and vocal studies department at Curtis. Danielle will be in the trenches making the day-to-day decisions while coaching and guiding the troupe of c.25 students (a mix of undergrad and grad students). It’s a valid solution but only time will tell if it will work starting in Fall 2019.

    FYI: Eric Owens began his musical life as on oboist (as a teenager) and can actually read music and count, LOL.

    Best wishes to Mikael as he goes out to pasture (and if you know him, you know how silly that sounds). His response to my comments will be the 6th letter of the alphabet followed by the 17th letter.

  • frank says:

    Glad to see that Eliasen is leaving. He is a lousy pianist but continues to accompany Curtis’s promising vocal students. He has ruined several vocal recitals at Curtis by his dreadful playing.

    • Jg says:

      Eliasen’s actual pianistic technique is transcended by a profound knowledge of Lieder and the music and the singing line.

  • AMetFan says:

    I think Eric has looked to expand his role in the business for a while, probably more in the vein of exploring future possibilities than looking toward vocal retirement.

    In addition to his superb artistry, he is incredibly intelligent and articulate, not mention a sincerely pleasant guy. No inside information here, but I highly doubt he intends to retire from the stage anytime soon. What a shame the Met never used him in the Verdi rep, which I know was something he wanted. Their loss. (There is still time…Petey).

    Great coup for Curtis.