Opera singers among French Alps air crash victims: theatre

24th March 2015, Comments 0 comments

Two star opera singers, one of them accompanied by her baby, were among 150 people killed in the German airliner that crashed in the French Alps Tuesday, theatre officials said.

Bass-baritone Oleg Bryjak, 54, and contralto Maria Radner, 33, were flying to their home city of Duesseldorf after starring in Richard Wagner's opera "Siegfried" at Barcelona's opera house, the Gran Teatre del Liceu.

The theatre said Radner was travelling with her husband and baby -- one of two infants to perish on the flight, according to officials.

"The Liceu theatre wishes to express its condolences for the passing of the singers Oleg Bryjak and Maria Radner, as well as her husband and baby in the accident suffered by the plane bound from Barcelona to Duesseldorf," it said.

Radner was born in Duesseldorf and was heading back to her home. She had played the part of Erda in Wagner's opera in her debut at the Liceu which ended on Saturday.

She came to international attention in January 2012 in Wagner's "Gotterdammerung" at the New York Metropolitan Opera, according to her online biography.

The same year she sang at the Scala opera house in Milan and has since performed at London's Royal Opera House and other top venues.

Kazakh-born Bryjak lived in Duesseldorf and was a member of the city's opera. He had played the part of Alberich in "Siegfried" in Barcelona.

"We have lost a great artist and a great man ... We are shocked," said Christoph Meyer, general director of the Duesseldorf opera house, announcing Bryjak's death earlier.

Bryjak performed on opera stages including in Paris, Zurich, London, Los Angeles, Chicago, Vienna, Berlin, Munich, Sao Paolo and Tokyo, according to his website.

French officials said there were no survivors among the 144 passengers and six crew aboard the Germanwings Airbus 320 jet when it crashed near the ski resort of Barcelonnette in southeastern France.

The Barcelona theatre said it had put its flags at half-mast and called a gathering for a two-minute silence at its main entrance on Wednesday at 12:00 (1100 GMT).


© 2015 AFP

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