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.
In the 2015-2016 season, Erik Nelson Werner’s engagements included the title roles of Parsifal in Parsifal, and Tristan in Tristan und Isolde, both with Theater Karlsruhe. His 2014-2015 season included the role of Florestan in Fidelio with the Warsaw Beethoven Festival, as well as Tristan in Tristan und Isolde with Theater Regensburg. In the 2012-2013 season, he essayed Siegmund at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, conducted by Zubin Mehta, and joined the Dayton Opera for an all-Wagner concert. The artist returned to the role of Siegmund in Die Walküre with Britain’s Opera North in summer 2012. 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 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.
Opera North (UK) – Die Walküre
In some respects the evening belongs to Erik Nelson Werner’s Siegmund and Alwyn Mellor’s Sieglinde – glorious, the pair of them, their erotic rapture, heroism and guilt all entirely credible.”
Tim Ashley, The Guardian
…Erik Nelson Werner was a forthright broad-shouldered Siegmund…”
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph
Lyric Opera of Chicago – Boris Godunov
Another fine Lyric debut came from Erik Nelson Werner as Grigori, the ambitious young monk who, as the pretender Dmitri, leads the plot to overthrow Boris. The American tenor’s handling of the role’s high tessitura was clear-voiced and intense, but never forced.”
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
…Erik Nelson Werner made an impressive company debut as the Pretender, singing with dramatic point and firmly focused tone.”
Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review
His fellow monk, Grigori, sung by American Erik Nelson Werner, takes this information and runs, literally, to Lithuania to build resistance to Boris’s ill-begotten throne. His tenor voice is commanding and heroic, perfect for a renegade monk.”
Evan Kuchar, ChicagoNow
Virginia Opera – Die Walküre
Tenor Erik Nelson Werner lavishes an unusually handsome voice on Siegmund.”
Joe Banno, The Washington Post
Although his part, too, was severely cut, tenor Erik Nelson Werner’s mournful yet heroic Siegmund drew the audience deeply into his tragic character in spite of his relative lack of quality time on stage.”
Terry Ponick, The Washington Times
|Korngold||Paul||Die Tote Stadt|
|R. Strauss||Bacchus||Ariadne auf Naxos|
|R. Strauss||Kaiser||Frau ohne Schatten|
|Wagner||Tristan||Tristan und Isolde|
|von Weber||Max||Der Freischütz|
|Mussorgsky||Grigoriy (Dimitri)||Boris Godunov|
|Prokofiev||Count Pyotr Bezukhov||War and Peace|
|Schostakovich||Sergey||Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District|
|Janáček||Boris Grigorjevic||Káťa Kabanová|
|Britten||Peter Grimes||Peter Grimes|