Carnegie Hall Debut
"The works to be performed are In Real Life (text by David Cote), Batter's Box, (text by Kenny Berkowitz and Bridget Meeds) and Crossing the Hudson (text by Mark Campbell), and three world premieres: Night Songs (settings of poems by W. H. Auden, Michael Collier, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dana Gioia, and Ted Kooser), CAPTCHA (premiere of a version for mezzo soprano and piano), and Spring Songs (settings of poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Richard Wilbur, Ann Stanford, William Carlos Williams, and Sara Teasdale).
The program's performers are Marnie Breckenridge, soprano; Blythe Gaissert, mezzo-soprano; Alok Kumar, tenor; Robert Wesley Mason, baritone; David Neal, bass-baritone; Geoffrey Burleson, piano; and Blair McMillen, piano."
Read more here.
Last Moment of Clarity wraps filming in Virginia
Wes recently wrapped filming in Virginia for his role in the upcoming thriller Last Moment of Clarity:
"The story centers on a man played by Zach Avery who witnesses the murder of his fiancée, portrayed by Weaving, in Brooklyn and flees to Paris to forget. Three years later, he finds himself a paranoid drifter, until one day at a Parisian cinema, he spots an actress who, to his mind, looks uncannily like his dead ex-love. He returns to Los Angeles, reconnects with his old friend (Chaikin), and together they try to avoid the Albanian mafia while uncovering the truth about his fiancée."
The cast includes Samara Weaving, Carly Chaikin, Brian Cox, Udo Kier, Pasha Lychnikoff, Hal Ozsan, and Zach Avery.
You can read more about the film here in Variety.
AS ONE REVIEWS
"Wes Mason, baritone, and Blythe Gaissert, mezzo-soprano, did a wonderful job of jointly portraying the central figure of the work. Together, they certainly acted as a single unit at times, but even when singing separately, each displayed shared characteristics that made the split illusion believable. Throughout the show, as well, both demonstrated a heartfelt sense of compassion and concern for the other. Mason impressed me with his direction of lines, especially when in the rich lower portions of his range. The few moments when he sang with extreme power were stunning, including his defiant declaration against John Donne with 'I am an island!'
An incredible addition was Mason’s circling of the audience while reading of names and causes of death of transgender persons senselessly murdered, including that of Tamara Dominguez who was killed in Kansas City in 2016."
"Fortunately, the character of 'Hannah' is given voice by not one but two capable singers Wes Mason ('Before') and Blythe Gaissert ('After'). Normally at this point this reviewer will launch into a tirade about casting cisgender (that is, non-transgender) persons in transgender roles, but in this case one must concede the lack of operatically-trained transgender singers available. This of course is another problem on its own, but one that can (and, we hope, will) be fixed in the fullness of time. In the meantime, It must be stated that Mason & Gaissert do an excellent job of bringing 'Hannah' to life."
AS ONE opens this week in Kansas City
"The Lyric Opera of Kansas City will present “As One,” a contemporary chamber opera this weekend that follows the journey of a boy growing up and becoming a woman named Hannah.
But pretty much everyone involved in the production agrees: This tale transcends transgender issues and offers something for anyone who has struggled with issues of identity. And that, they all point out, is pretty much everyone."
Continue reading the feature here.
THREE WAY cast recording now available!
"An Il trittico for the Tinder generation, THREE WAY is a new opera on the present and future of sex and love with music by Robert Paterson (The Whole Truth) and a libretto by David Cote (The Scarlet Ibis). In three playful one-acts, average heroes explore the worlds of android lovers, BDSM and multiple partners in their searches for the emotional connections that are ever-elusive in today s romantic world. Featuring Nashville Opera, conducted by Dean Williamson. Original cast recording."
American Modern Recordings
ADULTHOOD makes festival rounds and wins award!
Adulthood, the newest series from writer-director-actor Rob Alicea in which Wes lends vocals as an anonymous dating guru, has been making the festival rounds this past fall from the New York Latino Film Festival to the YoFiFest and more! Recently, Adulthood won best short at this year's Freehold Film Festival!
"An anonymous dating guru. A single dad. A struggling musician. And a slacker in love with his paid escort. Four best friends living in Astoria, Queens band together to take on man's greatest challenge: their thirties."
All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go Staged reading
Wes recently joined Broadway veterans Bradley Dean, DeMone Seraphin, Joan Barber and Julie Benko, along with Aneesh Sheth, Jennifer Fouché and Ronald Peet for a new musical reading of All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go. Music and Lyrics by Jimmy Roberts (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change), with additional Lyrics by John Daggett and Book by Catherine Filloux. The reading was directed by Hannah Ryan (Hamilton).
Saratoga Opera and role debut The Consul
"Last seen at Opera Saratoga (as Lake George Opera) in 1984, The Consul remains as timely as when it was written, taking on renewed relevance for contemporary audiences. Artistic and General Director Lawrence Edelson directs this new production, conducted by Andrew Bisantz (Le nozze di Figaro, 2016). The production will feature soprano Meghan Kasanders, a distinguished alumna of Opera Saratoga’s Young Artist Program, as Magda Sorel, alongside baritone Wes Mason as John Sorel, and mezzo soprano Deborah Nansteel as John’s Mother, both in their company debuts." Read more at Opera Saratoga.
Press for Wes AS Billy in CAROUSEL in St. Louis
"Baritone Wes Mason looked good and sang well as Billy, bringing complexity, charm, solid vocal technique and washboard abs to the role; it's easy to see why both the mill girls and his employer, Mrs. Mullin, would fall for him, and he gave a masterfully nuanced account of Billy's Soliloquy."
-Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis-Dispatch
"You will never hear finer voices than these singing the roles of Julie Jordan and Billy Bigelow..."
"...we meet Billy Bigelow, the barker who runs the carousel. He's handsome, tough, always ready for a fight -- and all the girls are simply drooling over him. Wes Mason, who did such fine work as Fr. Flynn in last season's Doubt, triumphs as Billy. He's physically perfect for the role and his voice is rich, clear and strong, seeming to grow in endless power when it rises to those highest notes. His 'Soliloquy,' where he sings his macho anticipation of being a father is a highlight of the evening. "
-Steve Callahan, KDHX
"...the roguish charmer..."
"Mason shines as well with the delightful Soliloquy, in which Bigelow extrapolates about his role as a dad for “young Bill” or a ‘father’ for his not-yet-born daughter, a tune that showcases both Mason’s fine voice and his nice turn acting the role of the ill-fated barker."
-Mark Bretz, Ladue News
Wes talks Carousel with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Wes recently sat down with Sarah Bryan Miller of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to discuss the upcoming Union Avenue Opera production of Carousel. Read the full interview here.
"I think it’s more important than ever to be doing pieces like this today, because we’re in a time when we really need to be teaching each other, to be open to empathy. ‘Carousel’ is all about empathy and vulnerability."
SIX DEGREES OF MURDER second season appearance airs
This past week Wes appeared on Investigation Discovery's second season of Six Degrees of Murder as Robert Lewis. Be sure to check local listings for future reruns.
Three Way cast album recording at ocean way studios
On June 21st, 2017 the Kickstarter campaign for the cast album of Robert Paterson and David Cote's Three Way was fully funded and the team went straight into the studio to get started. Recording took place at the world famous Ocean Way Studios, with Grammy® Award-winning "Producer of the Year" Blanton Alsaugh behind the board, and Dean Williamson conducting. The album will be released on the American Modern Recordings (AMR) label, and distributed by NAXOS later this year.
Praise for Wes in the Brooklyn run of Three Way
"Tough to single out individual performances from an ensemble evening, but particularly solid were the deeper-voiced cast members, with mezzo-soprano Bonet and baritone Mason both giving resonant, high-point renderings in their roles. (As Larry in act three, the latter turned up the pathos for his tortured impotence aria. “I could take that magic pill but I’d rather use my will,” indeed.)"
"The role of the technician Dax was performed by the fine baritone Wes Mason. Dax is quite a salesman--("Prince Charming is just an upgrade away") and also expresses his belief that "People are just broken machines". The theme of "The Companion" is one of loneliness; it is rather a commonplace and barely needs mentioning but with all our devices connecting us with the world we are becoming increasingly isolated and, in a vicious cycle, ever needier for more connection. Our culture persuades us that perfection is just around the corner and mates are shed regularly for a newer better model. Behind the light-hearted comedy were some trenchant observations about our contemporary society."
"Mr. Mason had his great moment singing about his "failure to perform" in "I'm angry at myself", performed in tango rhythm. We repeat--all the performances were superb, both dramatically and verbally."
-Voce di meche
"...baritone Wes Mason had some great moments in a tragic-comic aria about performance failure."
Three Way comes to the Brooklyn Academy of Music
We are only one month away from our NYC premiere of Robert Paterson and David Cote's evening of one act operatic comedies,
Three Way! The crowds loved us in Nashville and now's your chance to get in on the fun. Grab your tickets here.
American Modern Ensemble Presents VOICE OF AMERICA
Voice of America takes place on Thursday, April 27, 2017, at 8:00 pm at Merkin Concert Hall, and, through a co-presentation with ChamberMusicNY, is free. The program features singers Marnie Breckenridge, soprano; Jordan Rutter, countertenor; Samuel Levine, tenor; and Wes Mason, baritone, along with AME members Esther Noh and Victoria Paterson, violin; Orlando Wells, viola; Peter Sachon, cello; Aaron Irwin, winds; Matt Ward, percussion; and Geoffrey Burleson, piano.
You can read more here.
Wes to return to st. louis for Carousel directed by ken page
This summer, Wes will return to Union Avenue Opera to once again portray the carnival barker Billy Bigelow in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. The show will be directed by Ken Page (A Nightmare Before Christmas, Cats, Ain't Misbehavin') and conducted by Scott Schoonover (Doubt, Tosca, Deadman Walking). Wes was last seen at Union Avenue Opera as Father Flynn in their enthusiastically received production of Cuomo and Shanley's Doubt. Visit Union Avenue Opera to learn more!
Wrapped first supporting television role
Wes wrapped filming for his first supporting television role! Watch out soon for season 2 of Six Degrees of Murder on Investigation Discovery.
"A powerful, smooth voice..." Curly in Oklahoma!
"Kicking off the introduction of the soloists in the show with a fantastic rendition of “Oh what a Beautiful Morning” is Curly played by Wes Mason. You hear Mason’s voice before you see him. A powerful, smooth voice that hits all the right notes in all the right places. Mason nailed the dialect throughout then show never missing a beat, all that and he looked great in chaps! Not an easy task. He is a very handsome young man using his dynamic personality to win the love of Katie Dixon who plays Laurey." -MD Theatre Guide. Read more here.
Oklahoma! in Annapolis!
Wes joins Maryland Live Arts for a concert version of Oklahoma! and his third career run as Curly McClain. Here is a brief preview from dress rehearsal.
THREE WAY IS A HIT
The reviews are rolling in for Paterson and Cote's Three Way at Nashville Opera and the show was met with a standing ovation and roars from its opening night crowd!
Schmopera says Wes Mason possesses a "powerful, expressive baritone," while The Tennessean reports that "Wes Mason brings a nice everyman quality to Dax, the software technician."
Behind the scenes of The Companion
Check out the newest rehearsal footage from act I of Three Way with Nashville Public Television's Arts Break: "Three Way is making its world premiere with the Nashville Opera at TPAC's Polk Theatre, January 27 thru 29th. Three Way is composed of three comedic one act operas, The Companion, Safe Word and Masquerade. The one acts hang together cohesively, exploring the themes of sex, love, loneliness and connection in our modern technological age."
Wes Mason stars in the world premiere of Three Way
DOUBT NAMED A HIGHLIGHT OF 2016 FOR ST. LOUIS
"Union Avenue Opera has grown steadily over the years — and steadily more adventurous. August’s production of 'Doubt,' by composer Douglas J. Cuomo and librettist John Patrick Shanley, was an example of that. It boasted the great Christine Brewer as Sister Aloysius (the role she created in Minnesota Opera’s original production), the amazing young mezzo-soprano Melody Wilson as Mrs. Miller, mezzo Elise Quagliata as Sister James and baritone Wes Mason as Father Flynn. Company director Scott Schoonover conducted; Tim Ocel was the director." -St. Louis Post-Dispatch