British-born Tenor Ben Johnson is a rising star who is worth watching. He represented England in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2013 and won the Audience Prize. A former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist and 2008 winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Award, Johnson is currently an English National Opera Harewood Artist and a Wigmore Hall Emerging Talent.
Highlights of the 2014/15 season include returning to the ENO as Alfredo La traviata (revival), Belmonte Die Entführung aus dem Serail in his debut at the Berliner Staatsoper and Oronte Alcina in a concert tour with The English Concert under Harry Bicket. He also sings Britten War Requiem on Remembrance Sunday under Marin Alsop at the Royal Festival Hall, Beethoven Symphony No.9 with the CBSO and Royal Northern Sinfonia, Berlioz Romeo et Juliette with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra under Robin Ticciati, Evangelist in Bach St John and St Matthew Passion with the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge and The Bach Choir respectively, Bach Magnificat and Respighi Lauda per la Nativita del Signore with Britten Sinfonia and Messiah with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Current and forthcoming releases include a recording of Szymanowski’s Love Songs of Hafiz and Symphony No.3 with Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony Orchestra for Chandos, a recording of sonnet settings with Graham Johnson for Champs Hill and a collection of Victorian English songs with James Baillieu for Rosenblatt, to be released by Opus Arte.
His recent opera engagements include a celebrated run as Tamino in a new production of The Magic Flute by Simon McBurney, Alfredo La traviata and Nemorino The Elixir of Love for ENO, Don Ottavio for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, ENO and Opéra National de Bordeaux, Bénédict Béatrice et Bénédict for Chelsea Opera Group, Shepherd and Sailor in concert performances of Tristan und Isolde with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Novice in Michael Grandage’s production of Billy Budd at Glyndebourne, Copland’s The Tender Land at Opéra de Lyon and productions for Scottish Opera and the Classical Opera Company.
Already much in demand on the concert platform, Ben Johnson recently sang a Mozart programme with Andris Nelsons and the CBSO, Bach St Matthew Passion with Residentie Orkest, Mendelssohn Lobegesang with Gulbenkian Orchestra, Britten St Nicolas with the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge and Britten Sinfonia, and Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the Residentie Orkest and the English Chamber Orchestra at the BBC Proms. Concert engagements have also included work with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Johnson has worked with conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Andris Nelsons, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jiří Bělohlávek, François-Xavier Roth, Nicholas Kraemer, Thomas Dausgaard, Francesco Corti, Rory Macdonald, Leo Hussain and Richard Egarr.
In recital he works regularly with Graham Johnson. They have performed together at the Wigmore Hall, the Ruhr Klavier Festival in Germany, Aldeburgh Music, and have recorded songs by Poulenc for Hyperion records. He maintains a close collaborative partnership with James Baillieu, with the duo performing together at the Wigmore Hall, the City of London Festival, Rosenblatt Recitals, Kings Place and in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize 2013. Baillieu also accompanied his latest album of Britten Canticles with Signum Classics, which was released in early 2013 and earned major acclaim. Johnson also enjoys fruitful collaborations with pianists Roger Vignoles and Tom Primrose, with whom he has recently performed works by Poulenc, Tosti, and Schumann.
Johnson studied with Neil Mackie and Tim Evans-Jones at the Royal College of Music Benjamin Britten International Opera School and now continues as a student of Jeffrey Talbot.
Here he is at the Cardiff Singer of the World 2013 competition