Who’s on first (bass)?

Some sudden cast changes may be in store among the Met’s low-voiced singers. Is Dimitri Kavrakos about to jump into Padre Guardiano’s sandals, replacing Vitalij Kowaljow? And what about Philip Ens — he’s in town for Luisa Miller, but is he going to make a surprise appearance in Fidelio as well?

13 Responses to “Who’s on first (bass)?”

  1. Baritenor Says:

    You know, I’ve never heard Philip Ens. He’s coming to town for Elliot Goldenthall’s new Opera GRENDEL as a late addition to the cast (I think he’s replacing someone, not sure who), joining Eric Willison, Deyance Graves and Richard Croft). Does anyone have a report on his voice, stage manor, etc?

  2. papagenodz Says:

    We saw him in the Ring in Chicago. As I recall, very large voice, pretty good actor.

  3. Bill Bookbinder Says:

    What part did Ens play in the Ring in Chicago? I saw all three cycles last year and don’t recall him at all.

  4. ilbarbiere Says:

    Ens is not replacing anyone in Grendel, the role wasn’t cast until the last minute. Taymor and her husband heard everyone under the sun for the role, and were only able to find him at the last second with major caveats for him to arrive late to the rehearsal process.

  5. papagenodz Says:

    Ens was Hunding in 2003. I guess that wasn’t when we had the complete cycle, but when they did Walkuere leading up to the cycle.

  6. He has sung Wurm in Luisa Miller and Fafner in the Ring at C.Garden. A dark incisive bass.Impressive stage presence.

    Is he playing Grendel?

    Must be specialising in creeps and monsters.

  7. Baritenor Says:

    No, Eric Wilson is playing Grendel; Mr. Ens is playing the role of King Hrothgar, which seems to be the villan of the peice (I am unfamiliar with the sorce material, I’m afraid). But thanks for clearing up the confusion about his casting, ilbarbiere. How do you know this info?

  8. Baritenor Says:

    Sorry, Eric OWENS, not Eric Wilson, is singing the title role in Grendel. No Idea where my head is today. The principle cast list reads as follows:

    Eric Owens GRENDEL
    Phillip Ens KING HROTHGAR
    Richard Croft THE BLIND HARPIST (THE SHAPER)
    Jay Hunter Morris UNFERTH
    Denyce Graves THE DRAGON
    Desmond Richardson BEOWULF
    Laura Claycomb QUEEN WEALTHEOW

  9. Baritenor Says:

    Oh and speaking of Artists coming to LA who’ve I’ve never heard, what do people think of Joseph Calleja, who is our Alfredo opposite Liz Futral?

  10. intheboonies Says:

    Saw Calleja in Boheme in Frankfurt. He has a gorgeous large warm voice that took my breath away when he sang “Nei cieli bigi”. Unfortunately his musical intelligence didn’t seem to match and his high notes were nothing special. But his wife Tatiana Lisnic was a wonderful Mimi. Impeccable phrasing. I’d go hear her again any day.

  11. Boringwhitegirl Says:

    When/where is Grendel happening. I swear it’s been 10 years since Elliot Goldenthall, Paul Plishka, et al sat behind me while Benjamin Bagley sang Beowulf in Old English and I’ve begun to think the forthcoming opera is a myth. I’ve heard rumors about it on the West Coast, but is it really happening here in NYC?

  12. ilbarbiere Says:

    Yes, it is going to be performed this summer as part of the Lincoln Center summer festival.

  13. Baritenor Says:

    Grendel has it’s world performaned in May in LA. I have tickets for Opening Night.

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