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Classical 101

Two Opera Singers Lost on Germanwings Airbus A320

This week’s crash of a Germanwings plane crash en route from Barcelona to Düsseldorf has reportedly claimed the lives of all 150 passengers on board. Among them were a group of French high school students returning from a week-long cultural exchange visit to Spain.

Also on board and lost two us were two opera singers, bass Oleg Bryjak and contralto Maria Radner. Ms. Radner’s husband and baby were also on the plane.

Mr. Bryjak, 54 was born in Kazakhstan. He was a member of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf. He had been singing in Wagner’s Siegfried in Barcelona, and was on his way home. He sang in Chicago and San Francisco and at the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth. He’d been appearing all over Europe for the past fifteen years.


Maria Radner, 34, was born in Düsseldorf. She made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 2012. She’s been singing in Milan, Vienna, Geneva and Salzburg over the last few years. Her husband-his name not yet realeased-and their baby were also on the plane.


Christopher Meyer, Director of The Deutsche Oper am Rhein stated, “We have lost a great artist and a great man in Oleg Bryjak.” Both artists had appeared in Wagner’s Siegfried at the Teatro Liceu in Barcelona last Saturday night. The Liceu website expressed grief at the loss of these artists, directing the public to a memorial site outside the opera house.

Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.