In the course of the past thirty years, Eric Weimer has established himself as one of the pre-eminent coach/Assistant Conductors in the international opera world. Through his work at some of the world’s leading companies—primarily Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Metropolitan Opera, but also the Bayreuth Festival, San Francisco Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Cleveland Orchestra—he has prepared some 200 productions, collaborating with most of the world’s greatest opera maestri: James Levine, Sir Andrew Davis, Bruno Bartoletti, Donald Runnicles, Zubin Mehta, Daniel Barenboim, Franz Welser-Moest, Antonio Pappano, James Conlon, Christian Thielemann, and Georg Solti. In this work, he has coached and worked closely with virtually all the major singers active on the international opera stage.
While famous as a German specialist—he has prepared no less than thirteen complete cycles of Wagners’s Der Ring des Nibelungen—he is highly esteemed also for the depth of his experience in other repertoires, particularly the Baroque and the Italian. A fluent speaker of German and Italian, he has prepared most of the German and Italian repertoire that Lyric Opera of Chicago has mounted since 1987. Highlights of his work at Chicago Lyric have included the numerous productions of the Puccini masterpieces conducted by Bruno Bartoletti as well as the productions of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, in which Mo. Weimer has played harpsichord continuo for innumerable performances.
A former musicologist—Dr. Weimer holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and is the author of Opera seria and the Evolution of Classical Style—he is also in great demand as a coach of young singers. He joined the music staff of the Ryan Opera Center (training wing of Lyric Opera of Chicago) in 1992 and has ever since functioned as one of its principal coaches, preparing young singers for their mainstage role assignments and conducting six of its most recent summer opera workshops. He has also had numerous residencies with the other principal opera training programs in this country and Canada: the MET’s Lindemann Young Artists Development Program, the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists Program, the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, and the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio.
Mo. Weimer also appears often as recitalist with singers and instrumentalists. Past engagements have included recitals with Danielle DeNiese, Andrea Silvestrelli, and Salvatore Licitra. He often serves as accompanist for the Ryan Opera Center Recital Series broadcast by WFMT and has performed in various chamber groups on Live from WFMT.
To his activities as pianist, harpsichordist, and opera coach, Mo. Weimer has been engaged with increasing frequency as conductor, serving as cover conductor for numerous productions at Chicago Lyric as well as for the San Francisco Ring cycle of 2011. Performances that he has conducted include recent productions of The Marriage of Figaro and Hansel and Gretel with the DePaul Opera Theatre (of DePaul University School of Music), student matinee performances of Il barbiere di Siviglia with Lyric Opera of Chicago, as well as numerous summer opera workshops with the Ryan Opera Center.
In all of his work—accompanist, coach, conductor—Eric Weimer endeavors to provide a link between young singers and the numerous distinguished Italian and German singers and conductors with whom he has worked for so many years.