Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ben Wager Declared King in Dallas

Ben Wager: In and Out of costume as the King
One of our greatest regrets is that we don't post more Verdi. The great Italian composer wrote many of his baritone roles for fathers, deformed jesters or old kings. Occasionally, we get a sexy Germont père like Dmitri Hvorostovsky, which actually makes sense. If Violetta is a young courtesan (say 24), then her father could easily be a handsome and distinguished late 40s guy.

Rarely do we get to post anything about his ever-popular opera Aida, even though it includes three roles for low voice: Amonasro (king of Ethiopia), Ramfis (the high priest) and the King of Egypt. We were thrilled when we saw Ben Wager would be singing the King of Egypt at the Dallas Opera (even though he's not listed on the cast list on their website - hint, hint).*

The dueling women will be Latonia Moore and Nadia Krasteva and performances will run from October 26 through November 11. Visit their website for tickets and additional performance information.

Grace Bumbry & Simon Estes sing the Aida/Amonasro duet in a 1992 telecast:

* Note: We rarely criticize anything on Barihunks, but omitting cast lists entirely or omitting singers is our pet peeve. Singers invest too much time, money and blood, sweat and tears to remain anonymous. Opera is about singing and opera companies should always post complete cast lists.


  1. I'm with you about incomplete cast lists. I got left off one because I was singing the "maid." When I said something to management, they responded, "No one comes to see the maid." I said, "What about my families, friends and colleagues? Are they nobody." It was up the next day.

  2. He's actually, of course, her "father-in-law," not her father, but Alfredo's naive enough that he's probably also in his early 20s, so the relative age difference still holds.

    Marie Duplessis, the model for those literary and operatic wayward ladies, had just turned 23 when she died.

  3. by adding a simple"check to see if your friends are singing tonite"phrase at end of the offending "selective cast list"then reproach the wayward reviewer might work The closed review becomes a story & Event,interacted with by theatergoer/family/friends.