Baritone Benson Wilson from New Zealand is of Sāmoan heritage and based in London. Benson Wilson studied at the University of Auckland and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he graduated with distinction.
During his studies, Benson Wilson was heard in Guildhall School productions as Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Assan in Menotti’s The Consul and Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). He also sang Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) and Guglielmo at the Bloomsbury Opera and Schabernack (Le Grand Macabre) in a semi-staged performance of the London Symphony Orchestra. He made his opera stage debut in 2016 as Schaunard (La bohème) at the Festival Opera in Napier (New Zealand).
In 2016 he sang Richard Rodney Bennett’s Songs before Sleep at a BBC Total Immersion Concert, recorded by BBC Radio. As a soloist on the concert podium, he has appeared in Handel’s Messiah with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and in Requiem settings by Mozart, Fauré und Brahms.
In 2018, Benson Wilson won the Bel Canto Award and the People’s Choice Award of the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Foundation. In 2015 the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition awarded him the Symphony Australia Young Vocalist Award, among others, and he won a summer scholarship to the International Vocal Arts Institute in New York. The previous year, Benson Wilson had also won New Zealand’s premiere singing competition, the Lexus Song Quest.
Benson Wilson has participated in many prestigious young artist summer programmes such as the Georg Solti Accademia di Bel Canto (Italy), the Samling Young Artist Programme (Great Britain) and the New Zealand Opera School, where he has worked with artists such as Kiri Te Kanawa, Barbara Frittoli, Virginia Zeani, Paul Nadler, Sherril Milnes and Richard Bonynge.
As a participant of the Young Singers Project, Benson Wilson sings the role of Mirza / Medoro in Marius Felix Lange’s children’s opera Der Gesang der Zauberinsel at the 2019 Salzburg Festival.