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R e v i e w s

Purcell/Nelson: Fairy Queen / In Series Opera 2021

Maybe it’s just not possible for a countertenor not to stand out in some way. However, as Oberon, Benjamin Williamson stands out in the best way possible. His Oberon is focused, attentive, and responsive, displaying deeply committed, high-stakes emotion that is always on the verge of something significant in combination with a seemingly contradictory combination of virility, sensitivity, and arrogance. If that’s not Oberon, I don’t know what is. Throughout the story, Williamson’s voice is undeniably present and supportive yet not intrusive. But it was his rendition of “Music for a while” that blew the audience away. It was a truly collaborative performance in which this 17th-century European music was either revealed to be nascent 20th century American jazz or was transformed into something that sounded a lot like jazz. The cellist (Wheeler Jarvis) turned Purcell’s musical ground into a solid walking bassline in tandem with piano playing (Emily Baltzer) that put me in mind of John Lewis and the Modern Jazz Quartet. I tapped my feet, swayed, and nodded my head to it.


Purcell/Nelson: Fairy Queen / In Series Opera 2021

His impeccable runs gleamed in “Fly swiftly, ye hours,”...He entranced the audience with a slow, jazz-tinged rendition of Purcell’s “Music for a while,”(Washington Classical Review)

Gluck's Orphée et Eurydice / In Series Opera 2020

Benjamin Williamson perfectly captures the shifting emotions of Orpheus as he struggles with Eurydice’s death. (DC Theatre Arts)


Bach's St Matthew Passion / English Touring Opera 2018

Countertenor Benjamin Williamson sang “Erbarme Dich” with heart-stopping beauty and intensity, with exquisitely controlled vibrato and shading. (Bachtrack)


Handel's Giulio Cesare (Tolomeo) / English Touring Opera / 2017

Benjamin Williamson skilfully evokes the vile and oleaginous character of Tolomeo who ineptly taunts Cornelia and Sesto, and seeks to curry favour with Caesar, by contriving a sort of fulsome tone that captures his personality precisely. (Classical Source)

"Benjamin Williamson’s Tolomeo is no one-dimensional villain but a convincingly querulous boy-King, indiscrete and injudicious, perpetually frustrated in his attempts to assert his power and fulfil his sexual desires. Williamson’s keenly focused, bright-edged countertenor captured Tolomeo’s petulance while the sweetness of tone hinted at finer qualities and emotions struggling to break through the yoke of immaturity. (Opera Today)

Throughout Williamson brought out Tolomeo's delight in manipulation and torment (his playing with Pompey's ashes in front of Cornelia was a nice touch) and his combination of weakness and viciousness. (Planet Hugill)

Handel's Jephtha / Iford Arts / 2017

"Benjamin Williamson's lusciously sweet countertenor and deft characterisation is ideal for Hamor" (Charlotte Valori, Bachtrack)


Handel's Messiah / Magdalene Arts Foundation / St Mary Magdalene, Newark / 2016

"Benjamin Williamson — who replaced the ill countertenor Robin Blaze — proved more than capable, wowing the audience with daringly virtuosic ornamentation in But Who May Abide, yet finding a tender lyricism in He Was Despised." (Newark Advertiser)

Monteverdi Vespers / Goldsmiths Choral Union / Cadogan Hall / 2016

"Countertenor Benjamin Williamson produced a rich and well projected sound in ‘Ave Maris Stella’: he achieved subtle and striking variations in tone colour."


Ottone / The Coronation of Poppea / Ryedale Festival Opera / 2014

“Williamson gave a strong performance, making Ottone seem rather less of a sad sap than usual and singing with superb musicality. He was partnered by a warm and sexy Drusilla”
(Planet Hugill)


Title role / Lucio Papirio Dittatore / Ensemble Serse / 2013
"this was a very attractive voice which performed amazing feats of dexterity"


"Silky voiced countertenor" (about Spirit in Kettlehead)
- Yehuda Shapiro, OPERA MAGAZINE
“Still, all was forgiven thanks to the superb singing of almost all the cast, but above all of Eleanor Dennis in the title role and still more of Ben Williamson as her husband Bertarido. His is the loveliest counter-tenor voice I have heard, and he acted this complex role with a subtlety and conviction which brought the opera to vivid dramatic life.”
– Michael Tanner, THE SPECTATOR

"Ben Williamson sang Didymus both sensitively and sympathetically. He too has a secure technique. I like the way he makes a smooth transition into his chest voice for the lowest notes of a phrase. I also like the tone colour of his voice. His two duets with Miss Eloff, ‘To thee, thou glorious son of worth’ in Act II and ‘Thither let our hearts aspire,’ sung as they meet death, were both sublime."
– Miranda Jackson, OPERA BRITANNIA

“Soprano Eleanor Dennis (Rodelinda) and countertenor Ben Williamson (Bertarido) were outstanding in their roles, originally composed for the great stars Cuzzoni and Senesino. Over the years I have heard many talented countertenors such as Tim Mead and Christopher Ainslie making their debuts in the London Handel Festival, and I am sure Ben Williamson, with his secure technique and vocal colour, is a talent to watch.”
– Nahoko Gotoh,

“Ben Williamson's fleshy countertenor fills out Bertarido's humanity.”
– George Hall, GUARDIAN

“…Williamson’s the richer voice… Williamson started with a powerful ‘Dove Sei’, as Bertarido contemplates his own tomb and never looked back.”

“Smooth and evenly produced throughout his considerable range, Williamson’s voice is an impressive one.” - Alexandra Coghlan,

“Ben Williamson as Bertarido has a fine counter tenor and can deliver a storming aria.” – Clare Colvin, THE DAILY EXPRESS

“Ben Williamson, an expressive Bertarido.” – Richard Fairman, FINANCIAL TIMES

“An eerily beautiful offering from ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was sung by Ben Williamson as Oberon.” – Michael Kaye,

“Beautifully crafted and finely shaped singing.” – Robert Hugill,

“Great vocal flexibility and control.” – Robert Johnson,


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