Owens, Anne-Marie

Born in South Shields, Anne-Marie Owens studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with Laura Sarti and at the National Opera Studio.  She made her professional debut as Mistress Quickly Falstaff for Glyndebourne Touring Opera and joined English National Opera in 1985, where her more recent roles have included Anezka The Two Widows, High Priestess La Vestale, Marfa Khovanshchina, Jezibaba Rusalka, and Judith Weir’s Blond Eckbert (filmed for Channel 4).
As one of Britain’s leading mezzo-sopranos, Anne-Marie Owens has performed for many of the world’s great opera companies, including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Opéra National de Paris,  Théâtre Royale de La Monnaie, Opéra de Lausanne, New York City Opera, Santiago Opera, Arizona Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, Opera di San Carlo, the Komische Oper, Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opera Australia and at the Hong Kong and Saito Kinen Festivals.  Anne-Marie’s vast operatic repertoire has included Brangäne Tristan und Isolde, Amneris Aida, Azucena Il Trovatore, Venus Tannhäuser, Herodias Salome and Santuzza Cavalleria Rusticana.  While maintaining many of these roles in her repertoire, her recent engagements have included Morozova in Tchaikovsky’s Opricnick in Cagliari, Madelon Andrea Chenier for Scottish Opera, Ragonde Le Comte Ory for Garsington Opera, Witch Hänsel und Gretel and Jezibaba Rusalka  for Opera Australia and Herodias in Salome for both Santa Fe Opera and Opera North and Marcellina Le Nozze di Figaro and Mistress Quickly Falstaff for Grange Park Opera.
Anne-Marie is also in much demand on the concert platform where she regularly performs the works of Mahler, Vaughan Williams, Elgar and the choral works of Verdi, Handel, Mozart and Beethoven with such orchestras as the London Symphony Orchestra, OAE, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, CBSO, RSNO, Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, City of London Sinfonia and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Image Credit: 
Julie Kim

English National Opera

English National Opera
English National Opera traces its roots back to 1931 when Lilian Baylis established the Sadler’s Wells Opera Company at the newly re-opened the Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Baylis had been presenting opera concerts and theatre in London since 1898 and was passionate about providing audiences with the best theatre and opera at affordable prices, a belief that remains today at the heart of ENO. During the Second World War the Sadler’s Wells Theatre was closed and the company toured the provinces, returning to its home in June 1945 for the premiere of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, which proved to be the most important British opera since Purcell’s time. Britten remains at the heart of ENO’s repertoire and a new, sold-out production of Peter Grimes in 2009 was universally acclaimed.

Edwards, Sian

The English conductor, Sian Edwards, graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music, and from 1983 to 1985 was a student of Professor A.I. Musin at the Leningrad Conservatoire and it was during this time, in May 1984, that she won the first Leeds Conductors' Competition She has worked with many of the world’s leading orchestras including Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland, Orchestre de Paris, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Berlin Symphony, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, MDR Leipzig, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Royal Flanders Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, the Hallé, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. She has a close relationship with Ensemble Modern in Germany. Edwards made her operatic debut in 1986 conducting Weill's Mahagonny for Scottish Opera and her ROH debut in 1988 with Tippett's The Knot Garden.
Image Credit: 
Katie Vandyck
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Blond Eckbert, Judith Weir's first opera, is based on Ludwig Tieck's folk-like tale of a quiet elderly couple whose secluded life eerily unravels as their fantastical past catches up with them. The music's apparent simplicity, with echoes of Weber's Freischütz - belies its underlying darkness.

Originally released on Collins Classics in 1994.


'Judith Weir's hour-long chamber opera is a miniature masterpiece. Based on a German folktale by Ludwig Tieck, it tells the story of a man who discovers his wife is actually his sister. Weir evokes a folk-like setting against the background of the Harz mountains with simple, undulating patterns, endearing in their repetitive naivety. But underneath one senses something unsettling... It's brilliantly done, and most economically.' London Evening Standard

'a touching and beautiful work by one of Britain's most accomplished composers.' New Classics



Originial recording from the film BLOND ECKBERT

Produced by MJW Productions for Channel 4

Enfineer: Mike Hatch
Producer: Stephen Johns
Remastering: David Lefeber

Cover image: Francois Hall

(P) 1994 Channel 4 Television Corporation

Chester Novello
Catalogue number:
NMC D106
Release Date:
1 October 2005