‘Lohengrin’ at Salzburg Easter Festival

On April 9 and 18, Eric Cutler will reprise the title role in Wagner’s Lohengrin at the prestigious Salzburg Easter Festival. This new production, co-produced with Vienna State Opera, has been envisioned by Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito and is set to be remounted in Vienna State Opera’s 2023-2024 season.

Sharing the stage with Mr. Cutler will be Hans-Peter König as Heinrich der Vogler, Jacquelyn Wagner as Elsa von Brabant, Martin Gantner as Friedrich von Telramund, Elena Pankratova as Ortrud and Markus Brück as Der Heerrufer. Staatskapelle Dresden and a trio of choirs (Dresden State Opera Choir, Salzburg Bach Choir, Salzburg State Theater Choir) will also appear under the baton of Christian Thielemann, who will finish his tenure as Artistic Director of the festival this year. 

A radio broadcast will occur on Saturday April 9 at 19:30 on Ö1.

‘Lohengrin’ in concert at Staatsoper Hamburg

This January, Eric Cutler will perform the title role in Wagner’s Lohengrin at Staatsoper Hamburg. Conducted by the illustrious Kent Nagano, the opera will be presented in concert with the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra and the opera company’s chorus.

Quickly becoming one of the world’s leading Wagnerian tenors, Mr. Cutler made his debut as Lohengrin at Brussels’ La Monnaie which was featured on mezzo.tv.

Mr. Cutler will join a talented cast of artists including Simone Schneider as Elsa von Brabant, Wilhelm Schwinghammer as Heinrich der Vogler, Okka von der Damerau as Ortrud, John Lundgren as Friedrich von Telramund and Andrzej Dobber as Heerrufer. 

Performances will take place on January 16, 23, 26, 29.

Bühne Magazin – Liebe am Abgrund: Eric Cutler singt Peter Grimes im Theater an der Wien

Bühne Magazin

Benjamin Brittens Oper „Peter Grimes” bewegt in einer Inszenierung von Christof Loy am Theater an der Wien. Das liegt auch an der fulminanten Darbietung von US-Tenor Eric Cutler.

Auf der Kippe stehen: Das beschreibt die Situation von Außenseiter Peter Grimes aus Benjamin Brittens beliebter Oper. Dieses Motiv findet sich auch im Bühnenbild der Inszenierung von Christof Loy im Theater an der Wien wieder. An einer steilen Rampe wurde ein Bett montiert, das in den Orchestergraben zu kippen droht. Die Premiere der Oper in drei Akten mit den expressiven und berühmten Orchesterzwischenspielen, die immer wieder auch konzertant aufgeführt werden, markierte 1945 den Beginn von Brittens Karriere als einer der prägendsten Opernkomponisten des 20. Jahrhunderts. Der titelgebende Part ist ein Marathon für jeden Tenor. Einerseits handwerklich, als auch psychologisch, wie der US-amerikanische Tenor Eric Cutler im Interview berichtet, der in Wien sein von der Kritik hochgelobtes Debüt in der Rolle gab.

Das Meer als Protagonist

BÜHNE: Peter Grimes gilt als eines der großen musikalischen Meisterwerke des 20. Jahrhunderts. Wie würden Sie jemanden, der sich mit Opern nicht wirklich auskennt beschreiben, warum das so ist?

Eric Cutler: Britten konnte damit eine harmonische und musikalische Sprache entwickeln, die unverwechselbar ist. Es gibt einfach niemanden, der so klingt. Man kann in der Musik hören, dass er lange Jahre an der Nordsee in Aldeburgh an der Ostküste Großbritanniens verbracht hat. Das Meer, der Wind, Stürme, diese Geräusche der Natur waren wohl immer in seinem Hinterkopf und eine ständige Begleitung in seinem Leben. Es ist eigentlich so, dass das Meer selbst ein zusätzlicher Charakter in seiner Oper ist.

Allegorie auf die Unterdrückung von Homosexuellen

BÜHNE: Sie arbeiten bereits zum dritten Mal mit Regisseur Christof Loy zusammen. Diesmal ist das Bühnenbild des Fischerdorfs, in dem Peter Grimes lebt, sehr reduziert. Was war seine Vision für diese Inszenierung?

Eric Cutler: Ja, wir sind mittlerweile gut befreundet. Christofs Wunsch war, die Geschichte von Peter als Außenseiter zu erzählen und wie er mit seiner Identität als Homosexueller ringt – und auch wie er um seinen Platz in der verschlossenen Dorfgemeinschaft kämpft. Es ist ein Blick auf die Geschichte von Peter, wie wir sie zuvor noch nicht gesehen haben.

Es ist bekannt, dass Britten selbst homosexuell war und die Rolle für seinen langjährigen Lebenspartner Peter Pears geschrieben hat. Durch das gesamte Stück ziehen sich subtile Hinweise auf seine sexuelle Orientierung. Aber ich glaube nicht, dass wir jemals eine Produktion gesehen haben, in der es explizit um ein Coming-Out geht.

BÜHNE: Diese emotionale Gratwanderung zeigt sich auch im Bühnenbild. Es sieht nicht ganz einfach aus, darauf zu spielen.

Eric Cutler: Die Bühne ist wie eine Black Box. Drei Wände sind hoch und schwarz. Der Boden ist eine Rampe, die für uns eine tatsächlich eine Herausforderung darstellt. Gleichzeitig profitieren die Zuseher:innen, da es dadurch keinen schlechten Sitzplatz im Haus gibt. Im Zentrum ist ein Bett. Es wirkt, als ob es gleich in den Orchestergraben fällt. Alles ist unglaublich minimalistisch und verdichtet.

Es macht große Freude, hier zu singen. Denn es ist insgesamt ein unglaublich tolles Ensemble. Das Publikum sollte wirklich diese Möglichkeit nutzen, Peter Grimes am Theater an der Wien zu erleben.

Emotionale Höchstleistung

BÜHNE: Apropos Herausforderung: Diese Rolle ist bekannt dafür, dass sie extrem strapaziös ist. Was macht Peter Grimes zu so schwierig?

Eric Cutler: Ich habe bereits sehr viel schwieriges Material gesungen (Cutler ist ein versierter Wagner-Interpret, Anm.). Ich würde gar nicht sagen, dass es die Länge ist. Für Lohengrin, Tannhäuser oder Tristan braucht man einen viel längeren Atem. Bei Peter Grimes spannt sich der Stimmumfang jedoch über zwei Oktaven.

Aber um ehrlich zu sein ist die Schwierigkeit von Peter Grimes nicht das Singen. Es ist das Gefühl. Diese tiefe Einsamkeit, die man fühlen muss, um in den Charakter einzutauchen. Er ist extrem isoliert. Ich wünschte auf eine Art oder Weise, dass ich ihn am Ende des Tages einfach wegpacken könnte. Aber ich nehme ihn mit nach Hause und lebe mit ihm und seiner gequälten Seele während der sechs Wochen dieser Produktion.

BÜHNE: Und nach so einen Projekt – wie schütteln Sie Rollen wie Peter Grimes wieder ab?

Eric Cutler: Ich plane gerne drei oder vier Wochen zwischen Projekten ein, ich kann nicht von Job zu Job springen. Und ich habe auch zwei kleine Kinder. Danach gehe ich also zurück in mein Familienleben. Und so wuselig und ereignisreich wie das ist, wird es mir hoffentlich nicht schwerfallen, Peter wieder loszulassen.

Title role debut in ‘Peter Grimes’ at Theater an der Wien

This month, Eric Cutler will make his highly anticipated title role debut in Britten’s Peter Grimes at Theater an der Wien. This revival of the award-winning 2015 production directed by Christof Loy was requested by Theater an der Wien’s audiences as it was voted as one of the top three productions by the company.

Taking place on October 16, 18, 20, 23 and 25, Mr. Cutler will share the stage with a fantastic cast of artists, including Gieorgij Puchalski as Peter’s new apprentice, Agneta Eichenholz as Ellen Orford, and Andrew Foster-Williams as Balstrode, among others. This dark and thrilling opera will also feature the Arnold Schoenberg Chor with the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, under the baton of Thomas Guggeis.

Debut at Bayreuth Festival in a new production of ‘Der fliegende Holländer’

Eric Cutler makes his highly anticipated debut at the Bayreuth Festival this month, starring as Erik in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer. The festival opens with this new production by Dmitri Tcherniakov, featuring Oksana Lyniv conducting a star-studded cast and the Choir and Orchestra of the Bayreuth Festival.

Performances will take place on July 25, 31, August 4, 7, 11, 14, & 20. Cutler is joined by a fantastic cast on stage, including John Lundgren as the title role, Asmik Grigorian as Senta, Georg Zeppenfeld as Daland, Marina Prudenskaya as Mary, and Attilio Glaser as The helmsman.

Cutler’s previous performance as Erik at the Houston Grand Opera garnered rave reviews with Theater Jones saying, “[Cutler] shows off a real leading man tenor voice perfectly suited to Wagner’s demanding music,” and Texas Classical Review praising, “[he] boasted a voice with ring and security.”

The premiere will be streamed live on 25 July at 6pm CEST via BR-KLASSIK.DE, with a live radio transmission beginning at 6pm via MDR KULTUR. The production will be available to stream via DG Stage, beginning on July 27 and available until 2 August. Additionally, the production will be broadcast live in selected cinemas across Germany. To find a cinema near you, click here.

Debut and new production of ‘Rusalka’ at Teatro Real de Madrid

Eric Cutler returns to the Teatro Real de Madrid to make his highly anticipated debut as the Prince in Christof Loy’s new production of Dvořak’s Rusalka. This magnificent production features set design by Johannes Leiacker, costume design by Ursula Renzenbrink, and lighting by Bernd Purkrabek.

Performances will take place on November 12, 14, 16, 22, 25, 27. Ivor Bolton conducts the Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro Real, and a star-studded cast including Asmik Grigorian as the title role, Karita Mattila as Cizi Knezna, Maxim Kuzmin-Karavaev as Vodnik, and Katarina Dalayman as Ježibaba, among others.

Beethoven’s ‘Fidelio’ at Theater an der Wien – broadcast on March 20

Eric Cutler’s upcoming live performances as Florestan in a new production of Beethoven’s Fidelio at the Theater an der Wien have been canceled due to the COVID-19 virus*. Although all live performances for the public have been canceled, on Friday, March 20, the production will be aired beginning at 7pm CET 2pm ET on myfidelio.at and 10:30pm CET / 5:30pm ET on ORF2 HD. The production was also captured for a DVD release from UNITEL (Release Date TBA).

The internationally celebrated actor, two-time Oscar winner and director Christoph Waltz makes his directional debut in Vienna in this new Fidelio production.

The top-class leading team includes Manfred Honeck leading the Wiener Symphoniker and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir, with stage design by Barkow Leibinger, and costume design by Judith Holste. Joining Mr. Cutler on stage is Nicole Chevalier as Leonore, Gábor Bretz as Don Pizarro, Christof Fischesser as Rocco, Mélissa Petit as Marzelline, Benjamin Hulett as Jaquino, Károly Szemerédy as Don Fernando, Johannes Bamberger as Erster Gefangener, and Dumitru Mădăraşăn as Zweiter Gefangener.

*Cancellation statement from Theater an der Wien: “The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in significant restrictions on public life in Austria. The health authorities have banned indoor events with over 100 people until the beginning of April. Our box offices and theaters remain closed during this time.” For more information, click here

Beethoven’s ‘Fidelio’ with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Eric Cutler starts the new year off singing the title role in concert performances of Beethoven’s Fidelio with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Symphony’s tributes to Ludwig van Beethoven on the 250th anniversary of his birth with his only opera Fidelio. Under the baton of Manfred Honeck, performances will take place on January 24 and 26 at Heinz Hall.

Cutler shares the stage with an exciting roster of soloists, including Nicole Chevalier as Leonore, Alexander Elliott as Don Ferrando, Brian Mulligan as Don Pizarro, Wei Wu as Rocco, Rachele Gilmore as Marzelline, David Portillo as Jacquino, Thomas Shivone as Prisoner, and Don Marinelli as the narrator. Eric Cutler will revisit the title role in a new production by Christoph Waltz at the Theater an der Wien with Maestro Honeck in March.

Les Contes d’Hoffmann – La Monnaie

“Hoffmann nel primo cast è interpretato dal tenore americano Eric Cutler, presenza scenica, voce melodiosa e potente, grandi doti anche d’attore, perfetto per il ruolo che ha, infatti, già interpretato più volte in passato.”

“Hoffmann in the first cast is played by the American tenor Eric Cutler, stage presence, melodious and powerful voice, great acting skills too, perfect for the role he has, in fact, already played many times in the past.”

Il giornale della musica

“Cutler gave us a career-defining performance in the title role of tremendous psychological insight.  He brought out so much detail in the text – whether a Klein-Zack of haunted desperation, shading the tone masterfully as he sang ‘ah! Sa figure était charmante’.  He made his ‘Ah! Vivre deux’ in the Olympia act less a honeyed seduction and more a desperate need to have this figure, whether woman or machine.  Cutler had room to spare in the Giulietta act, singing with ardent generosity, the voice pealing out with obsessive glee.  Both in his vocalism and his acting, Cutler gave unsparingly of himself to us.”

Opera traveller

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The title role of ‘Les Contes d’Hoffmann’ at La Monnaie

Eric Cutler closes out the year with his return to La Monnaie in the title role of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann. With performances on December 10, 14, 17, 20, 29 & January 2, Alain Altinoglu conducts director Krzysztof Warlikowski’s production.

Mr. Cutler’s previous portrayal as Hoffmann at the Teatro Real de Madrid garnered critical acclaim from Gramophone for his vocal “ease, elegance, and passion.” His performance in Madrid was recorded and released on DVD by Bel Air Classiques in 2015, more information, and purchase links are available via Cutler’s Recordings.

In this opéra fantastique by Jacques Offenbach, the writer E.T.A. Hoffmann is the protagonist who wanders through three of his own stories. Cutler will share the stage with a sparkling roster of artists, including Patricia Petibon as Olympia, Antonia, Giulietta and Stella, Michèle Losier as Nicklausse, and La Muse, and Gábor Bretz as the Four Villains. Mr. Cutler will reprise the role of Hoffmann later this season at the Semperoper Dresden in April 2020. 

‘Das Lied von der Erde’ at the Teatro di San Carlo

This month, Eric Cutler sings Mahler’s powerful Das Lied von der Erde at the Teatro di San Carlo, under the baton of Juraj Valčuha. Performances take place on October 12 & 13 with the Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo, featuring contralto Daniela Sindram. Regarded as one of Mahler’s most celebrated works, Das Lied von der Erde was composed following the most painful period of the composer’s life, and the songs address themes as those of living, parting, and salvation.

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A return to Staatsoper Hamburg for Strauss’ ‘Daphne’

Eric Cutler returns to the Staatsoper Hamburg to reprise the role of Apollo in Strauss’ one-act opera Daphne. Described by Strauss as a “bucolic tragedy,” Daphne is based on the ancient Greek myth of the wood nymph who, pursued by both god and mortal, is saved from their amorous intrigues by being transformed into a sacred, laurel tree. Cutler has sung the role of Apollo at the Staatsoper Hamburg twice before. In 2016, he starred as Apollo, which at the time was the premiere of Christof Loy’s brand-new production.

On June 6, 8 & 12, Cutler will share the stage with an esteemed roster of singers including Tigran Martirossian as Peneios, Renate Spingler as Gaea, Christiane Karg as Daphne, Michael Schade as Leukippos, Vladimir Baykov, Ziad Nehme, Julian Arsenault, and Bruno Vargas as the four shepherds, and Katharina Konradi and Ida Aldrian singing the two maids. Christof Prick will conduct the Chor der Hamburgischen Staatsoper and the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg.

‘Das Lied von der Erde’ with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

“Tenor Eric Cutler and baritone Matthias Goerne each distinguished themselves with gripping vocal work, melting into the orchestra’s sound at times and keening and cutting through at others. The PSO, too, was in excellent form, expertly conjuring different feelings and ambiences.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Review: ‘Das Lied von der Erde’ with the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich

“Iowa-born tenor Eric Cutler is a recent Lohengrin (Brussels), Erik (Flying Dutchman, Baden-Baden) and Florestan (Hamburg). A great bear of a man in the mould of John Mitchinson, Cutler was mightily impressive. He had, above all, the sheer volume required to override the vast orchestral forces mounted against him in the first song. Cutler was charming in ‘Youth’, accompanied by chirpy, chattering woodwind. In his final song, also telling of drink, Cutler was lusty, evocative through diction and actions, and brought each song to life. Both soloists were telling a story in each case, not just singing the notes. Top notes were successfully reached and most impressively held.”

Seen and Heard International

Mahler’s powerful ‘Das Lied von der Erde’ in Zürich and Pittsburgh

This month, Eric Cutler performs one of Mahler’s most powerful works, Das Lied von der Erde, with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and then with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. On May 4, François-Xavier Roth conducts the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Cutler shares the stage with mezzo soprano Isabelle Druet. Completing the program is pianist Paul Lewis interpreting Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

Following the engagement, Cutler travels to Pittsburgh for performances on May 10 & 12 in Heinz Hall. Eric Cutler and baritone Matthias Goerne will join conductor Manfred Honeck for Das Lied von der Erde with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Also on the program is violinist Vilde Frang interpreting Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.

Eric Cutler sings Florestan from Beethoven’s ‘Fidelio’ at Staatsoper Hamburg

On April 9, 12, 14, 21 & 24, Eric Cutler returns to the Staatsoper Hamburg to sing Florestan in Beethoven’s Fidelio. Cutler sang at the house earlier this year as Der Kaiser in Die frau Ohne Schatten under the baton of Kent Nagano. Mr. Nagano will conduct the upcoming performances of Fidelio, with production by Georges Delnon.

Cutler shares the stage with an incredible cast of artists, including Kartal Karagedik as Don Fernando, Jochen Schmeckenbecher as Don Pizarro, Simone Schneider as Leonore, Wilhelm Schwinghammer as Rocco, Katharina Konradi as Marzelline, and Sascha Emanuel Kramer as Jaquino. More information and tickets are available via the Staatsoper Hamburg.

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