Robert Wesley Mason
Wes is a Brooklyn based actor, singer, guitarist, and songwriter who was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia. In his teenage years, he fronted rock bands and played solo in coffee houses in his hometown which lead to voice lessons. Those lessons lead to a passion for opera and leading roles in high school musicals and plays. These days, he continues his love for genre-hopping, from modern and experimental opera to musicals, plays, and film work. He possesses an instinct for dialects and impersonations (for better or worse) as well as vocal abilities that have earned him a reputation as a genre-defying artist.
This past season, Wes returned to Nashville Opera as Charlie in Heggie and Scheer’s Three Decembers followed by another run of Three Decembers and a turn as Escamillo in Carmen both with the Fargo-Moorhead Opera. He went on to debut with Eugene Opera, reprising the role of Hannah Before in As One; a role he first performed with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. This past summer saw two more company and role debuts as he joined Urban Arias for their production of Elvis Costello’s The Juliet Letters and West Edge Opera for the U.S. West Coast Premiere of Mazzoli and Vavrek’s Breaking the Waves as Jan Nyman. Wes will also be joining the cast of the upcoming world premiere of Kate Soper’s Romance of the Rose with Wet Ink Ensemble and Peak Performances this spring.
An acclaimed interpreter of modern works as well as the traditional cavalier baritone repertoire, Wes has performed more than 50 unique roles in over 400 performances across the U.S. and abroad. Past highlights include the title role in Hamlet with Fort Worth Opera, Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire with Kentucky Opera, Father Flynn in Doubt with Union Avenue Opera, Jonathan in Siren Song with Hawaii Opera Theatre, Dax/Larry in the world premiere of Paterson and Cote’s Three Way with Nashville Opera and American Opera Project, Ping in Turandot with Nashville Opera, the title role in Guillaume Tell with the Southern Illinois Music Festival, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with Gulfshore Opera, Masetto in Don Giovanni with Opera Philadelphia and Opera Naples, Achilla in Giulio Cesare with Opera Roanoke, Escamillo in La Tragédie de Carmen with Syracuse Opera, Marcello in La bohème with Hawaii Opera Theatre, Fort Worth Opera, and Norwalk Symphony, Schaunard in La bohème with the Crested Butte Music Festival, Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles with Opera Delaware and Baltimore Concert Opera, the baritone soloist in Broadway Extravaganza with Opera Hong Kong, Sciarrone in Tosca with Dallas Opera, and Morales in Carmen with the Glimmerglass Festival.
Wes has also performed as Billy Bigelow in Carousel with Union Avenue Opera and Utah Festival Opera, Curly in Oklahoma! with Maryland Live Arts and Utah Festival Opera, and Mac and Frank Butler (understudy) in Annie Get Your Gun with the Glimmerglass Festival. He participates in readings of new plays and musicals as often as possible.
A passionate advocate for new works, the American baritone has enjoyed working with such composers as Laura Kaminsky, Luna Pearl Woolf, Missy Mazzoli, Stephen Schwartz, Jimmy Roberts, Jake Heggie, Jonathan Dove, Ricky Ian Gordon, Jorge Martín, Robert Paterson, Glen Roven, Clint Borzoni, and Robert Maggio to name a few.
Mr. Mason has been featured on the cast recordings of Three Way as Dax/Larry with Naxos and Before Night Falls as Reinaldo Arenas with Albany Records. He has also received awards from the Sullivan Foundation, The Loren L Zachary Society, and The Metropolitan Opera National Council. Wes graduated from the Academy of Vocal Arts and the University of Michigan where he was presented the Earl V. Moore Award for outstanding contribution to the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.