The American bass, Ben Wager, received his B.A. degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware in Newark in spring 2002. In obtained his Performance Certificate from the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia in spring 2009. His roles there included: Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Enrico in Anna Bolena, the title role in Felix Mendelssohnís Elijah, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte and Padre Guardiano in La forza del destino. He studies with world-renowned voice teacher Bill Schuman. He participated in training programs of the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco in Summer 2008 and of the Lyric Opera Studio Weimar in summer 2009-2010.
Ben Wager spent the summer of 2008 as a member of the prestigious Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, where he sang the role of Il Commendatore in Catherine Malfitanoís production of Don Giovanni. During the 2008-2009 season, he concluded his residency at the Academy of Vocal Arts as Enrico in Anna Bolena, Il Vescovo in La fiamma, and Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, joined Minnesota Opera to sing the bass roles in the North American premiere of Jonathan Doveís Adventures of Pinocchio, and made his debut at Opera Philadelphia as Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia.
For the 2009-2010 season, Ben Wagerís assignments at the Deutsche Oper included Zuniga in Carmen, Angelotti in Tosca, and Sarastro in an abridged version of Die Zauberflöte. Additional engagements for the season included L.v. Beethovenís Symphony No. 9 with the Mozarteum of Salzburg under Ivor Bolton, Rossiniís Stabat Mater with the Oregon Symphony led by Carlos Kalmar, and his debut with the Los Angeles Opera as Julian Pinelli in Schrekerís Die Gezeichneten. During the 2010-2011 season, Wager maintained a presence in both North American and European opera houses. In the USA, he made debuts with Opera Cleveland as Nourabad in Les pêcheurs de perles and the Dallas Opera as Masetto in Don Giovanni, and returned to Minnesota Opera for the role of Hindley Earnshaw in Bernard Herrmannís Wuthering Heights. As a member of the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, which he joined in 2009, he sang Panthus in Les Troyens, Doctor Grenvil in La traviata, Angelotti in Tosca, and Escamillo in Carmen, among other roles.
Ben Wagerís 2011-2012 season included dual appearances at Minnesota Opera, as General Audebert in the world premiere of Silent Night, and Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor. Additionally, he debuted with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra under Music Director Jacques Lacombe for a series of concerts, joined the Oratorio Society of New York for Dvořákís Stabat Mater, returned to the Oregon Symphony as the bass soloist in Haydnís The Creation under the baton of Carlos Kalmar, and covered the Commendatore in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestraís performances of Don Giovanni. The bassís engagements in 2012-2013 included Il Re in Aida with Dallas Opera, the Hotel Manager in Powder Her Face and the Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Philadelphia, Count Rodolfo in La sonnambula with Washington Concert Opera, and the title role in Don Giovanni in a new production with Kentucky Opera.
Most recently, Ben Wager performed the role of Colline in La bohème with PORTOpera. His 2013-2014 engagements include Nourabad in Les pêcheurs de perles with Nashville Opera, as well as a company debut with Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Colline La bohème. Additionally, he returns to the Deutsche Oper this season to perform numerous roles, including: Doctor Grenvil in Traviata, Zuniga in Carmen, Angelotti in Tosca, Der Steuermann in Tristan und Isolde, and Johann in Werther. Future seasons see his debut with Den Norske Opera in Oslo.
Other notable engagements include: Masetto in Don Giovanni for his debut at Chicago Opera Theater, under the baton of Jane Glover; Monterone in Rigoletto and Der Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte with Opera New Jersey; and appearances as Kaspar in Der Freischütz, Gremin and Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin, Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and the bass soloist in Mozartís Mass in C Minor with the Academy of Vocal Arts.