Ben Wager is a graduate of the University of Delaware, where he studied criminology, and the prestigious Academy of Vocal Art, as well as an alumnus of the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera.
Mr. Wager’s 2022-23 season featured concert appearances with the Springfield Symphony and Topeka Symphony. Previous seasons included a return to his hometown company Opera Philadelphia as Monterone in Rigoletto, while during the COVID-19 impacted 2020-21 season, the bass again returned to Opera Philadelphia for a concert at the Mann Center in place of Tosca, in which he was slated to sing Angelotti.
A former member of the ensemble at the Deutsche Opera Berlin, his roles performed in the prestigious house include Escamillo in Carmen, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Panthus in Les Troyens, Angelotti in Tosca, Der Steuermann in Tristan und Isolde, Doctor Grenville in La traviata, and Johann in Werther.
Mr. Wager created the role of General Audebert in the critically acclaimed world premiere of Silent Night with Minnesota Opera, with whom he has also performed Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Hindley Earnshaw in Wuthering Heights, and the Bass Roles in the North American Premier of Jonathan Dove’s Adventures of Pinocchio. He has also enjoyed multiple performances with Opera Delaware as the Commentator in Scalia/Ginsburg, the Warden in Dead Man Walking, the Usher in Trial by Jury, Lo Spettro and Luciano in Amleto, and the Bass soloist in Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle; Farfarello in Love for Three Oranges with Opera Philadelphia; Edwin Cheney in Shining Brow with UrbanArias; Blitch in Susannah with Baltimore Concert Opera; Escamillo with Den Norske Opera; the Hotel Manager in Powder Her Face with Odyssey Opera and the Opera Company of Philadelphia; Taddeo in L’italiana in Algeri, the Police Sergeant in Pirates of Penzance, Colline in La boheme, and Angelotti in Tosca with Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Il Re in Aida with Dallas Opera; the title role in Don Giovanni with Kentucky Opera; Julian Pinelli in Die Gezeichneten with Los Angeles Opera; Count Rodolfo in La sonnambula with Washington Concert Opera; and Nourabad in Les pêcheurs de perles with Nashville Opera and Opera Cleveland.
Equally at home on the concert stage, Mr. Wager has been heard with the Oregon Symphony in Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Haydn’s The Creation; the Albany Symphony and the Oratorio Society of New York for Dvořák’s Stabat Mater; the Mozarteum of Salzburg for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; the Grant Park Music Festival for Haydn’s Seasons; and in a solo recital with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
During the 2008-2009 season, he concluded his residency at the Academy of Vocal Arts, where engagements included Enrico in Anna Bolena, Il Vescovo in La fiamma, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Kaspar in Der Freischütz, Gremin and Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and the bass soloist in Mozart’s Mass in C Minor.