Ben Edquist

Ben Edquist

Hailed as one of Opera Now Magazine’s “10 Young Singers to Watch,” baritone Ben Edquist is a star on the rise. Most notably, Mr. Edquist created the role of Edward Kynaston in the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players with Houston Grand Opera. Of his performance, Opera Warhorses writes “Edquist is a lyric baritone with the vocal expressiveness to convincingly convey passion, anger and despair. Edquist’s characterization of Kynaston provides him with a wide range of opportunities to display his manifest acting abilities. That he has proved successful in this role will be recognized by the world opera community, and suggests he is at the threshold of a major career.”

2020 engagements were to include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with New Orleans Opera, and a return to Houston Grand Opera for their production of Breaking the Waves. In 2021, he returned to the stage as Hannah Before in As One with Painted Sky Opera, and Anthony Hope in Sweeney Todd with Des Moines Metro Opera. Next, he will perform the role of Georg Norwack in She Loves Me with Madison Opera and as Virgil/Alexios in a double bill of Lavinia/Anna Komnene in concert at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center.

Calendar

Event Date
Feb 18
to
Feb 20
She Loves Me
Georg Nowack
Madison Opera
Madison, Wisconsin

Artist Bio

Hailed as one of Opera Now Magazine’s “10 Young Singers to Watch,” baritone Ben Edquist is a star on the rise. Most notably, Mr. Edquist created the role of Edward Kynaston in the world premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players with Houston Grand Opera. Of his performance, Opera Warhorses writes “Edquist is a lyric baritone with the vocal expressiveness to convincingly convey passion, anger and despair. Edquist’s characterization of Kynaston provides him with a wide range of opportunities to display his manifest acting abilities. That he has proved successful in this role will be recognized by the world opera community, and suggests he is at the threshold of a major career.”

2020 engagements were to include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with New Orleans Opera, and a return to Houston Grand Opera for their production of Breaking the Waves. In 2021, he returned to the stage as Hannah Before in As One with Painted Sky Opera, and Anthony Hope in Sweeney Todd with Des Moines Metro Opera. Next, he will perform the role of Georg Norwack in She Loves Me with Madison Opera and as Virgil/Alexios in a double bill of Lavinia/Anna Komnene in concert at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center.

Mr. Edquist has established himself as a contemporary opera juggernaut, creating leading roles in several world premieres including Mayo Buckman in Tom Cipullo’s newest opera Mayo, Manfred in Jake Heggie’s Out of Darkness: Two Remain with Atlanta Opera, Sir Walter Raleigh in Gregory Spears’ opera O Columbia with Houston Grand Opera, and, in his European debut, the role of Remo in David Sawyer’s The Skating Rink with Garsington Opera.

As a Filene Artist with Wolf Trap Opera, Mr. Edquist performed the role of William in The Fall of the House of Usher, the Father in The Juniper Tree, Kaiser Overall in Der Kaiser von Atlantis and Pierrot in L’ile de Merlin. Mr. Edquist made his Glimmerglass Festival debut in 2014 as Jigger Craigin in Carousel and returned to the festival the following season to perform Papageno in a new production of Die Zauberflöte.

Other notable performances include a role debut as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Painted Sky Opera, Hawkins Fuller in Fellow Travelers with Madison Opera, Older Thompson in Glory Denied with Houston Grand Opera and Opera Fayetteville, William Dale in Silent Night with Austin Opera, Angel in the world premiere of Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life, Bernardo in West Side Story with Grand Teton Music Festival, and as a studio artist with Houston Grand Opera, the roles of Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Pilot in Portman’s The Little Prince, The Captain in Eugene Onegin, and Sciarrone in Tosca.

Mr. Edquist has been named a top prize winner in the William Matheus Sullivan Competition, first place winner of the Lotte Lenya Competition, and a finalist in both the Meistersinger Competition in Graz and the HGO Eleanor McCollum Competition & Concert of Arias. He earned a Master of Music from Rice University in 2015 and a Bachelor of Music from Vanderbilt University in 2013.

Updated September 1, 2021.

Press

"...a rich, robust baritone and impressive acting..." – Texas Classical Review

Glory Denied – "Ben Edquist, in the role of Older Thompson, was exceptional in embodying the different aspects of his character with a rich, robust baritone and impressive acting. The range of expression he achieved was astounding—a voice of glinted steel as the tormentor in Act I, an increasingly desperate voice full of confusion, bitterness, and anguish, rambling out a list of things he no longer understands about his country in the “Welcome Home” solo—moving from a self-assured, controlled voice in his address to the congregation, to his aching solo as a drunken, broken man.”

"...warm, soothing voice..." – Opera News

Prince of Players – "Edquist’s warm, soothing voice and youthful, fresh-faced appearance, were effective in realizing Kynaston's ambiguous sexuality and his gender-shifting performances, either as passive female (when playing Desdemona in an onstage Othello) or aggressive and murderous male (as Othello)."

"...a vivid (and well sung) impression..." – Opera Warhorses

Carousel – "Texas baritone Ben Edquist played the part of Jigger Craigin with appreciable swagger, creating a vivid (and well sung) impression of the incompetent rogue."

"...distinctive flair..." – OK Art Scene and Hurd

Il barbiere di Siviglia – "The barber is played by Ben Edquist with distinctive flair. Edquist makes the jack-of-all-trades character quite believable and the confident con-artist comes to life with humor and charm. Edquist creates an irresistible Figaro with his elastic voice.”