Praised for his “heroic intensity” and “rich and emotive voice” in the New York Times, American-born tenor Erik Nelson Werner is emerging as a genuine heroic singer specializing in the German and Slavic repertory.
The artist returned to the role of Siegmund in Die Walküre with Britain's Opera North in summer 2012. In the 2012-2013 season, he essays Siegmund at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, conducted by Zubin Mehta, and joins the Dayton Opera for an all-Wagner concert. Mr. Werner began the 2011-2012 season with his debut as Grigori in Boris Godunov at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
In the 2010-2011 season, Erik Nelson Werner joined New York City Opera as Kapelmeister Stroh in Strauss' Intermezzo, sang his first Siegmund in Die Walküre with Virginia Opera, and debuted at Opéra national de Lorraine, Nancy in Weinberg's rarely performed The Portrait.
Mr. Werner spent the fall of 2009 covering for the Metropolitan Opera, in Patrice Chereau’s acclaimed production of Janáček’s From the House of the Dead, and continued the season with his debut for Houston Grand Opera in the role of Tchekalinsky in Pique Dame, while covering Vladimir Galouzine in the challenging role of Herman.
The 2008/2009 season saw his return to Carnegie Hall with the chamber music ensemble MOTYL, singing rediscovered works by Miecezlaw Weinberg and Robert Kahn; his staged opera debut as a tenor in the role of Ctirad in the U.S. premiere of Leos Janáček’s first opera Šárka in New York; and his assumption of the role of Sergey in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District for the Upper Austrian State Theater in Linz.
Having trained as a baritone in Berlin and Munich, Mr. Werner had a successful career as an operatic performer and recitalist, with performances at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the New York City Opera, the Dallas Opera, and elsewhere, as well as concerts and recitals at Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, and the Aldeburgh Festival. He has been recognized by the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition, the Geneva International Music Competition, the Marilyn Horne Foundation and the Richard Tucker Foundation, among others.
After making the switch to heldentenor, Mr. Werner was quickly awarded First Prize in the Liederkranz Singing Competition’s Wagner division, gave his recital debut as a tenor at Carnegie Hall, and was heard in excerpts from Lohengrin and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in gala concerts throughout California. He was featured in a concert performance of Act I from Die Walküre in New York, and sang the role of Lykov in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Tsar’s Bride for Opera Orchestra of New York’s (cover) concert. He also reprised his starring role in Long Beach Opera’s staged Schubert cycle Winterreise/Werther, which was presented for the third time to great acclaim at the Austin Chamber Music Festival.
Headshot by Arielle Doneson.