Baritone Ben Edquist is one of today's premier interpreters of contemporary American opera. As a recent member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio he originated the roles of Edward Kynaston in Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players, the baritone Angel in Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s It’s a Wonderful Life, and Sir Walter Raleigh in Gregory Spears’ O Columbia. Other highlights with Houston Grand Opera include: Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, the Pilot in The Little Prince, Jigger Craigin in Carousel, the Count in Le nozze di Figaro, and Older Thompson in Tom Cipullo's Glory Denied.
Since leaving the Studio, Ben has been in three other world premieres, portraying Mayo Buckman in Tom Cipullo’s newest opera Mayo, the role of Manfred in Jake Heggie's Out of Darkness: Two Remain with Atlanta Opera, and, in his European debut, the role of Remo in The Skating Rink by David Sawer with Garsington Opera.
This season Mr. Edquist looks forward to performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Calvin Oratorio Society, portraying the role of William Dale in the Pulitzer Prize winning opera Silent Night, and two operas with Wolf Trap Opera, TBA.
Mr. Edquist has spent his summers performing with the Glimmerglass Festival and Wolf Trap Opera. After a season with the Wolf Trap Opera Studio in which he sang the role of Antonio in Il viaggio a Reims, he returned as a Filene Young Artist to perform the roles of William in The Fall of the House of Usher and the Father in The Juniper Tree. 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 The Magic Flute. Other roles include Sid in Albert Herring, Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro, Charlie in Jake Heggie's Three Decembers, and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte.
A native of Lake Jackson, Texas, he received his Master of Music from Rice University in 2015 and his Bachelor of Music from Vanderbilt University in 2013.
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.