William Berger grew up in Los Angeles in a bilingual (Spanish and English) and multicultural (Mexican, Italian, and Jewish) home where everyone listened to opera and had strong opinions about it. After spending time during his teen years in various places around the U.S. and Europe, he earned degrees in Latin and Italian Literature at University of California at Santa Cruz. During college, he got his first taste working in the opera world at the San Francisco Opera in various capacities, including merchandising and translating for artists who didn’t speak English. In 1984, Will moved to New York, worked in architecture/design, taught Romance Languages at Baruch College and became a constant presence in audience of the Metropolitan Opera.
He can’t remember a time when he didn’t write; he has published on a variety of subjects, including architecture, religion and sports. Will is the author of several books on opera, including Wagner Without Fear, Verdi With a Vengeance, and Puccini Without Excuses, (Vintage Books), and the tribute “Chris De Blasio” in Loss Within Loss: Artists in the Age of AIDS (University of Minnesota Press). He is a frequent lecturer/speaker on opera at a variety of venues, including the Embassy of Finland, the Italian Cultural Institute (New York), the Smithsonian Institute, the Wagner Society of America (New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Boston), and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, as well as for the opera companies of Seattle, Houston, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. He was a frequent contributor to the NPR program At the Opera, and was the host of WNYC’s Overnight Music in 2004-2006, which included the weekly show El Salón, focusing on Hispanic issues in classical music.
Will has worked at the Metropolitan Opera since 2006 as a writer, producer, and on-air commentator with host Margaret Juntwait, for the live, weeknight broadcasts on Met Opera Radio. He is also a writer and producer for the Metropolitan Opera’s famed Quiz, heard as part of its live, international Saturday broadcasts. His recent articles have appeared in the publications of the opera companies of Seattle, Washington D.C., and Barcelona’s Theatre de Liceu. He lives in New York’s East Village with Stephen Miller, his partner of 14 years.