Benjamin Williamson countertenor
P r o f i l e
Winner of the Nei Stëmmen International Singing Competition in Luxembourg, Benjamin’s recent roles include Anführer in Toshio Hosokawa’s Erdbeben Träume with Opera Stuttgart, Seraphim 3 in John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary with Theater Bonn and Tolomeo in Handel’s Giulio Cesare with English Touring Opera. His other roles include Ottone in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea with Ryedale Arts, Hamor in Handel’s Jephtha with Iford Arts, and three roles in the London Handel Festival with Laurence Cummings: Bertarido in Handel’s Rodelinda, Mirtillo in Handel’s Il Pastor Fido and Tassile in Handel’s Alessandro. Benjamin has created roles in contemporary operas in the Buxton, Grimeborn, and Tête à Tête festivals and has understudied Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with English National Opera, Polinesso in Handel’s Ariodante with Scottish Opera, and other roles with Glyndebourne & Opera North. Benjamin won 3rd prize and Audience prize in the CantateBach Competition in Griefswald, Germany, was a semi finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Awards, and a finalist in the Royal Overseas League Competition.
Concert highlights include Handel’s Brockes Passion with Stephen Cleobury and King’s College Choir on BBC Radio 3, the World Premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Arion and the Dolphin, Purcell & Leveridge with Irish Baroque Orchestra in Dublin, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen with Matthew Halls at Wigmore Hall, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with Edward Higginbottom in Italy, Purcell’s Hail, Bright Cecilia with Josef Wallnig in St Petersburg and Handel’s Messiah in Poland and Qatar.
The son of a Canadian soprano and a lutenist from New Zealand, Benjamin was born in London and underwent a quintessentially English education. He was Head Chorister at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey, a Choral Scholar at King’s College, Cambridge (where he read Philosophy), and studied postgraduate singing and opera at the Royal College of Music. During his studies, Benjamin won the RCM English Song Competition and was a finalist in the overall Singing Competition.
Benjamin is a committed recitalist, and has performed his programme ‘The Art of the Countertenor’ at Cadogan Hall, the Chelsea Arts Club in London, Gravetye Manor in Sussex, and with Corfu Arts in Corfu. He is also the Co-Founder and Vocal Consultant of Sloane Square Choral Society, a lecturer with Opera Prelude, and a passionate singing teacher: his pupils have taken Postgraduate places at all the London music colleges.
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