Benjamin Lewis is a baritone who began singing as a founding member of the Halle Youth Choir and a student of Patrick McGuigan. Attending Oxford University, he played a principal role in nearly every Gilbert & Sullivan operetta and performed Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis & Galatea for Oxford Opera. Since leaving Oxford he has played various roles including Buonafede (Il Mondo della Luna), Father (Hansel and Gretel), Sacristan (Tosca), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Il Conte (Le Nozze di Figaro), and covered Count Harasova (The Jacobin) whilst part of the chorus for Buxton Opera Festival. He has appeared in three RNCM operas, as Boris (Paradise Moscow), Belcore (L’Elisir d’Amore) and Danilo (The Merry WIdow), conducted by Clark Rundell, Francesco Pasqualetti and Wyn Davies respectively. He also took part in a number of opera scenes, as Owen (Owen Wingrave), Sid (Albert Herring), Cecil (Gloriana), Rigoletto, Il Poeta (Il Turco in Italia) and Lescaut (Manon). Whilst studying for his MMus and PGDip at the RNCM he took part in masterclasses and coachings with Sir Mark Elder, Sir John Shirley-Quirke, Sir John Tomlinson, John Fisher, Yvonne Kenny, Paul Wynne Griffiths, and David Gowland. In 2015 he was a member of the Glyndebourne chorus.
In 2016 Benjamin was a member of the Garsington Opera chorus, covering the title role of Eugene Onegin with a fully staged performance with orchestra for the same company, and singing the Trojan in their production of Idomeneo. He also appeared as one of the soloists in Ralph Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music in the BBC Last Night of the Proms. In the 2016/17 season Benjamin covered the role of Pelléas in Pelléas et Melisande for Scottish Opera, performing the role in excerpts as part of the Opera Unwrapped programme. He is currently studying at the National Opera Studio, and in the 2017/18 season will be covering the role of Mark Rutland in Nico Muhly’s new opera Marnie for English National Opera, before returning to Scottish Opera as part of their Opera Highlights Tour.
Benjamin was the 2014 winner of the RNCM’s Frederic Cox Award, the 2015 winner of the Elizabeth Harwood Memorial Award, and received the Judges’ Discretionary Prize for ‘showing huge promise as a Verdi Baritone’ at the inaugural Fulham Opera Verdi Prize in 2015 judged by David Syrus, Sir Thomas Allen and Yvonne Howard.
Currently tutored by Nicholas Powell, Benjamin is kindly funded by the Musicians’ Company Goldman Award, the Help Musicians UK Richard Van Allan Award, the Help Musicians UK Fleming Award, the Help Musicians UK Postgraduate Performance Award, the Tillett Trust and the Colin Keer Trust. He is a recipient of an Independent Opera Postgraduate Voice Fellowship, the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal, the Robin Kay Memorial Prize, the Leonard Ingrams Foundation Award 2016, and is a Samling Artist.