Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wes Mason on "Before Night Falls"

One of our favorite opera companies in the United States is the Ft. Worth Opera. They always combine great repertoire with wonderful young singers. Once again, they've put together a great season with Don Giovanni, The Elixir of Love, and the world premiere of Before Night Falls.

Every year the opera world is abuzz about a new opera and this year it appears to be Jorge Martin's "Before Night Falls" about the gay Cuban counter-revolutionary Reinaldo Arena. They have engaged the hunky Wes Mason to take on the title role in his first leading role on a major stage. From what we've heard of Mason, he will undoubtedly be a smash hit. Here is some video of the emerging barihunk singing and talking about the role.

By the way, the other operas at Ft. Worth have their fair share of barihunks, as well. Don Giovanni has Michael Todd Simpson in the title role, fresh off his critically acclaimed performance in the Tales of Hoffman at The Met. His sidekick will be Tom Corbeil who created quite a sensation on this site when he first appeared last year. Even the Elixir of Love has the adorable Christopher Bolduc cast as Belcore.


  1. This sounds a most intriguing project. Wes is so charming and sexy

  2. If you like Wes, check out Wes is on there often, commenting on other opera star's videos (Michael Mayes has a hilarious one that posted yesterday), posting updates--and he responds to questions and comments on his page!

  3. Wes is the most gracious, affable guy on the planet. He has a huge fan base in Philadelphia, where he studies. He once sang part of Silvio's duet with Nedda as an aria, with such conviction, communication and passion directed to the audience, that we, like Nedda, felt ecstatically seduced.
    He practically stole AVA's "Falstaff" as the non-singing Taverniere, who in this production did some "extra" stage business in each act.
    Hopefully, this season he will add Olivier and Marcello to his AVA credits, although the "Boheme" rehearsal period may coincide or overlap with rehearsals for "Before Night Falls".
    You can check out Wes's artistry in cameo and principal roles via the following "private" recordings circulating among opera buffs:
    "La Traviata"
    "Albert Herring"
    "Eugene Onegin"
    "La Boheme"
    University of Michigan Graduation Recital
    AVA New Student Recital
    Giargiari Competition

  4. I don't even have these recordings!

  5. It often happens that fans will surprise and delight singers with tapes or CDs of in-house or live off-the-air performances which the singers themselves believe had gone unarchived. "Wow, I'm so glad this was recorded. I was in good voice that day, and it's the only time I sang the role" is a frequent comment. Or, "This was my first professional engagement, my debut in staged opera. I was promised a copy by the opera company, but never got one." When we respond to a singer's art, we become loyal, adoring, even life-long, protective fans, eager to preserve every note sung in public, from first to last.

  6. Yet another early Mason performance has surfaced, a "Romeo et Juliette" with Wes (probably still in his teens!) as an ardent Paris.

  7. OMG..Wes, marry me. I understand relationships and we can work through it, please. Don't give up..come to Baltimore and we'll make it work, I promise. I'll wait for you. ;)

  8. Wes is 19 years old in that recording.

  9. Wes was outstanding last night in the premiere of Before Night Falls. I hope he gets to sing this role again at many other companies!!