Born in New Zealand, of Samoan descent, baritone Benson Wilson is currently on the opera studies course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 2017 Benson performed with the London Symphony Orchestra in their performance of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre as the fallen soldier Schabernack and participated in the Georg Solti Accademia, where he worked with specialists in the bel canto repertoire such as Richard Bonynge, Corradina Caporello and Barbara Frittoli. Benson was also selected as a Samling Artist for 2017–2018 where he worked with award-winning soprano Joan Rodgers.
Benson made his debut on the opera stage in 2015 as Schaunard in Puccini’s La bohème with Festival Opera NZ. He also performed Schaunard in Leoncavallo’s take on La bohème at the New York International Vocal Arts Institute Summer Program under the Metropolitan Opera senior prompt and coach Joan Dornemann.
In 2016 Benson was named winner of New Zealand’s premier singing competition, the Lexus Song Quest, which has also been won by renowned New Zealand opera singers such as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dame Malvina Major, Madeleine Pierard and Jonathan Lemalu.
This year, Benson has given a recital in Oxford for the Oxford Lieder Festival Young Artist Platform, appeared as Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro for Bloomsbury Opera and performed a Brahms song cycle at the Killaloe Music Festival in Ireland. Benson looks forward to performing Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Guildhall’s 2018 opera season.