Opera Singers Among Germanwings Crash Victims

A Germanwings plane tragically crashed into the French Alps Tuesday morning, killing 150 passengers and crew members. Recovery efforts are still underway in the mountains, but authorities have begun piecing together who was aboard the flight. Tragically, among the victims of the Germanwings crash were German opera singers Maria Radner and Oleg Bryjak, along with Radner's husband and child.

According to the Associated Press, the Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house in Barcelona said Radner, 34, was returning to Dusseldorf after performing in its production of Richard Wagner's "Siegfried." An opera house in Dusseldorf said fellow opera singer Bryjak, 54, who performed in "Siegfried" with Radner, was also on the downed plane. A contralto, Radner played the goddess Erda in her debut at the Liceu opera house and Bryjak, a bass-baritone, played the evil dwarf Alberich.

Authorities don't expect that anyone survived the crash, as the plane was torn into small pieces and wreckage is strewn across a large area. Radner's child was one of two babies on board the flight — another baby and his mother, Marina Bandres, were returning to their home in Britain from a funeral in Spain.

The Gran Teatre del Liceu commented on the crash on Twitter, writing: "Liceu Barcelona Opera House deeply mourns the death of Oleg Bryjak and Maria Radner in #GermanWingsCrash" and "Oleg Bryjak and Maria Radner just performed in Siegfried the roles of Alberich and Erda. RIP." The opera house also lowered its flags to half-staff in mourning.

Radner, from Dusseldorf, made her professional debut in January 2012 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Both in operas and concerts, Radner performed all over Europe, singing works from Beethoven, Mahler, and other well-known composers. She was scheduled to perform in "Les Troyens" at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires in April and at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany in August.

Bryjak, originally from Kazakhstan, was also internationally acclaimed, having performed in numerous European and American cities, as well as Tokyo and Sao Paolo. He was most well-known for his Alberich in "Siegfried," the role he last played in Barcelona.

It's still unclear what caused the Germanwings flight to rapidly descend in altitude and crash into the Alps, but a black box from the plane has been recovered, which might lead to some answers. The recovery efforts are expected to extend into Wednesday, as the location of the crash and the winter weather made it difficult for search and rescue teams to reach the crash site on the ground.