Ben Johnson joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra for the Last Night of the Proms
Ben Johnson joins Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra for the Last Night of the Proms on 9 September 2017. Johnson sings Kodály Te Deum. The other soloists for the evening include Nina Stemme, Lucy Crowe, Christine Rice, and John Relyea.
The Proms kicks off a busy season for Johnson, which includes a return to English National Opera as Earl Tolloller in Gilbert and Sullivan Iolanthe, Britten War Requiem at De Doelen and the Concertgebouw Brugge, and Beethoven Symphony No.9 with the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. He can also be seen in recital with pianists James Baillieu, Graham Johnson and Roger Vignoles.
The Last Night of the Proms is broadcast live on BBC One and Two on 9 September.
Ben Johnson stars as Idomeneo with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla
Ben Johnson stars in the title role in a concert performance of Mozart Idomeneo with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on 24 June 2017. Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla conducts the performance at Birmingham's Symphony Hall, which also features Sophie Bevan as Ilia and Rachel Kelly as Idamante.
This follows another Mozart opera appearance for Johnson, as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni in Oliver Platt’s new production for Opera Holland Park. This summer Johnson also performs Schubert recitals at the Wigmore Hall with pianists Graham Johnson and Sholto Kynoch, on 11 June and 9 July respectively.
Ben Johnson sings Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at Opera Holland Park
Ben Johnson returns to Opera Holland Park this month to sing Don Ottavio in Mozart Don Giovanni from 3 June 2017. Dane Lam conducts the City of London Sinfonia in Oliver Platt’s new production. Johnson performed at Opera Holland Park last summer, starring in the company's acclaimed production of Der Fledermaus:
"[Johnson is] in splendid voice and attractively if ditheringly caddish. There’s a telling touch of cruelty in the way he treats Gavan Ring’s elegant Falke, whose resentment at a previous practical joke sets the narrative in motion.”
“It was an evening full of surprises, not least the discovery of Ben Johnson as a witty comic actor in the role of Eisenstein – always preferably sung by a tenor than a baritone.”
"Ben Johnson provides a superb all round performance as von Eisenstein, and it is good to see the part played by a tenor as Strauss originally intended.”
Elsewhere this summer, Johnson returns as musical director to the Southrepps Festival in Norfolk, which he founded in 2010.
Don Giovanni runs from 3 June until 18 June.
Intermusica at the 2017 BBC Proms
The BBC announced the line-up for the 2017 Proms on 20 April 2017, and as ever Intermusica artists and orchestras play a leading role in the festival. Every Prom is broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and on the BBC website, with select concerts broadcast on BBC television live or at a later date.
Simon Halsey’s Proms Youth Choir give the opening concert of the Proms on 14 July, performing John Adams Harmonium alongside the BBC Symphony Chorus and BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner.
Joshua Weilerstein makes his debut at the Proms on 19 July, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra at 7.30pm the Royal Albert Hall. Weilerstein conducts a programme of Rebel Les élémens – le chaos, Berlioz Symphonie fantastique and Pascal Dusapin’s cello concerto Outscape, for which he is joined by his sister, cellist Alisa Weilerstein.
Nicholas Collon and his Aurora Orchestra return to the Proms to perform another symphony from memory at 7.30pm on 22 July. This time, they perform Beethoven Symphony No.3 ‘Eroica’, preceded by an introduction from Tom Service accompanied by excerpts from Collon and the orchestra. The programme for the concert also includes Strauss Metamorphosen.
John Wilson makes the first of two appearances at this year’s Proms at 6.30pm on 25 July when he performs with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Wilson, the orchestra’s Associate Guest Conductor, leads the orchestra in a programme of Vaughan Williams Symphony No.9 and Holst The Planets.
Christopher Purves also makes two appearances at the Proms this year, with his first coming on 27 July. Purves joins Juanjo Mena, the BBC Philharmonic and the Crouch End Festival Chorus to perform the London premiere of Mark Simpson The Immortal, an oratorio inspired by Victorian séances.
Mark Wigglesworth is joined by pianist Stephen Hough and the BBC Philharmonic at 7.30pm on 29 July to perform Brahms Piano Concerto No.1, David Sawyer The Greatest Happiness on Earth and Haydn Symphony No.99.
Sir James MacMillan’s European Requiem receives its European premiere at the Proms at 7pm on 30 July from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and conductor Xian Zhang, with Jacques Imbrailo performing as the baritone soloist.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner returns to the Proms on 2 August with the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, this time for a late night Prom at the Royal Albert Hall at 10.15pm. Gardiner conducts his ensembles in a performance of cantatas by Bach and Schütz.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner makes his second Proms appearance of the year at 7.30pm on 8 August, this time conducting the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique in a performance of Berlioz La damnation du Faust.
Lise Davidsen makes her debut at the Proms at 7.30pm on 10 August with the BBC Philharmonic and John Storgårds. Davidsen joins the orchestra to perform Sibelius Luonnotar and extracts from Grieg Peer Gynt.
John Wilson’s second Proms appearance this year comes on 11 August when his John Wilson Orchestra returns for its annual concert. This year, Wilson leads the orchestra in two performances of Rogers & Hammerstein Oklahoma!, at 2pm and 7.30pm.
Christopher Purves joins the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle for a performance of Schoenberg Gurrelieder at 7.30pm on 19 August. Also performing are three of Simon Halsey’s choruses – City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Chorus and Orfeó Català. Halsey also leads a Gurrelieder Proms Extra Sing Day at London Imperial College earlier that day.
Tim Mead returns to the Proms alongside John Butt and the Dunedin Consort for the third concert of the Proms’ Reformation Day at 7.45pm on 20 August. Mead follows last year’s Bach Mass in B minor with Bach St John Passion, singing alongside a cast that also includes Sophie Bevan, Nicholas Mulroy, Matthew Brook and Andrew Tortise.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score® appears at the Proms at 7.30pm on 23 August, with a performance of Dvorák Symphony No.9 ‘From the New World’ given by the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder alongside a multi-media exploration of the symphony directed by Beyond the Score founder Gerard McBurney.
Leonidas Kavakos reunites with Riccardo Chailly at 6.30pm on 25 August, as Intermusica bring the conductor and his Filarmonica della Scala to the Proms to perform Brahms and Respighi. Kavakos joins the orchestra for Brahms Violin Concerto, which is followed by Respighi Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome.
Joélle Harvey returns to the Proms as Glyndebourne’s production of Mozart La clemenza di Tito comes to the Royal Albert Hall at 7pm on 28 August. Harvey takes the role of Servilia, with accompaniment from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Robin Ticciati.
Intermusica is delighted to bring the Oslo Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko to the Proms at 7.30pm on 29 August. Petrenko conducts the orchestra in an all-Russian programme of Stravinsky The Firebird (1919 version), Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.4 and Shostakovich Symphony No.12.
The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra bring an all-Mendelssohn programme to the Proms this year from 1pm on 3 September. Conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado, the orchestra perform Mendelssohn Hebrides Overture, Violin Concerto with Isabelle Faust and Symphony No.5
Ben Johnson joins Sakari Oramo, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and an international cast of soloists for the Last Night of the Proms on 9 September. The Last Night begins from 7.15pm and will be broadcast live on BBC Two, and Johnson sings Kodály Te Deum.
Ben Johnson joins the Boston Symphony and Andris Nelsons for Mozart Requiem
Ben Johnson joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons this month for three performances of Mozart Requiem on 20, 21, and 22 April 2017. Performing at Boston’s Symphony Hall, Johnson is joined by soprano Lucy Crowe, mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford and bass Morris Robinson.
Johnson can next be seen on the concert platform alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Arthur Bliss’ The Beatitudes under Sir Andrew Davis at the Barbican on 12 May. On the opera stage he will next be seen as Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni for Opera Holland Park, opening 2 June.
Ben Johnson sings Mozart Requiem with Vladimir Jurowski & Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin
Ben Johnson joins the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin at the Konzerthaus Berlin this week for two performances of Mozart Requiem on 24 and 25 March 2017. Johnson performs under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski alongside fellow soloists Christina Landshamer, Christianne Stotijn and Franz-Josef Selig. Next month, he performs the same piece with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Johnson’s other forthcoming highlights this season include the title role in Mozart Idomeneo with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and Bliss The Beatitudes with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Johnson also gives recitals at the Oxford Lieder Festival with pianists Sholto Kynoch and Graham Johnson, as well as at the Wigmore Hall.
Ben Johnson sings Britten Serenade with Orchestra of Scottish Opera
Ben Johnson joins the Orchestra of Scottish Opera at Ayr Town Hall on 24 February 2017 for a programme of British music. Johnson performs Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings alongside the orchestra’s Section Leader Horn, Sue Baxendale, under the baton of Stuart Stratford.
Johnson has received critical acclaim for previous performances of Britten Serenade with St Martin in the Fields and English Chamber Orchestra:
“Singing with a full toned lyric voice, Johnson displayed an admirably supported sense of line combined with a very fine feeling for the words. The way he shaded his voice at the top in the opening of the first two verses was lovely."
Planet Hugill, August 2013
“Watkins played with marvellous articulation throughout – the triplets at 'Blow, bugle, blow' (in Tennyson’s ‘Nocturne’) were as clean as I can ever recall hearing them – and the singer matched him all the way, not least in the cruel run at 'excellently bright'… …Johnson’s sinuous voice…”
Classical Source, August 2013
Sofia Fomina & Ben Johnson star in Fidelio with London Philharmonic Orchestra
Sofia Fomina and Ben Johnson join the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski on 21 January 2017 to present a semi-staged production of Beethoven Fidelio at the Royal Festival Hall. Ben Johnson sings the role of Jacquino while Sofia Fomina is Marzelline.
This season, highlights for Ben Johnson include Mozart Requiem with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons and with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin under Vladimir Jurowski. Later in the season Johnson returns to Opera Holland Park as Don Ottavio in Mozart Don Giovanni.
Future season highlights for Fomina include Mahler Symphony No. 4 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at Lincoln Center, Mahler Symphony No. 8 at the Royal Festival Hall, Berthe La Prophéte with Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse and La bohème with Perm State Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Ben Johnson & Susanna Hurrell star in Opera Holland Park's new production of Die Fledermaus
Ben Johnson and Susanna Hurrell join forces this month as Gabriel von Eisenstein and Rosalinde in Strauss Die Fledermaus for Opera Holland Park, which opens on 19 July 2016. John Rigby conducts Martin Lloyd-Evans's new production, which also stars Jennifer France as Adele and Samantha Price as Orlofsky.
Hurrell makes her role debut as Rosalinde following this season’s huge success as Lauretta in Puccini Gianni Schicchi for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Next season she can also be seen in concert with the BBC Singers, the English Concert, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Johnson also has a busy season of concert work coming up, and can be seen with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, among others. He also gives multiple recitals next season at the Oxford Lieder Festival and at Wigmore Hall.
Mary Bevan and Ben Johnson perform in Wigmore Hall's Schubert Song Series
Mary Bevan and Ben Johnson join pianist Graham Johnson for a recital in Wigmore Hall's ongoing Schubert Song Series on 16 February 2015. Bevan and Johnson perform alongside tenor Robin Tritschler and baritone Marcus Farnsworth for this programme of Schubert’s settings of verse by Ossian (Scottish poet James Macpherson.)
Johnson sings the role of Eisenstein this summer in Strauss Die Fledermaus for Opera Holland Park opposite fellow Intermusica artist Susanna Hurrell as Rosalinde. He has most recently been seen as Lysander in Bergen National Opera’s production of Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream and in concert with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, and Choir of Kings College, Cambridge.
Mary Bevan has recently starred as Yum-Yum in Jonathan Miller's popular production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado at English National Opera, and also starred in the title role of Rossi Orpheus for the Royal Opera at the Sam Wannamaker Theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe. This spring she can be seen in concert with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orquestra Sinfonica de Sevilla and Academy of Ancient Music, and this summer stars as Elvira in Rossini L’Italiana in Algeri for Garsington Opera.
Paul McCreesh conducts Gidon Saks, Ben Johnson and Tim Mead in Britten's A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Bergen National Opera
Paul McCreesh returns to lead the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra this month, conducting Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Bergen National Opera from 7 November 2015. The production – a revival directed by Robert Carsen – runs for four performances on 7, 9, 11 & 13 November, and features a host of Intermusica singers, including countertenor Tim Mead as Oberon, tenor Ben Johnson as Lysander and Gidon Saks playing the role of Bottom.
Saks is making his house and role debut as Bottom, having just made highly successful appearances at the Edinburgh Festival as Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress and in the title role of Bluebeard’s Castle at the Komische Oper Berlin. Later this season he can be seen as Gyges in Der Konig Kandaules at Opera Vlaanderen, and as the King of France in Lear at the Opera de Paris.
Tim Mead is also making his house debut in Bergen. He has most recently been seen at Opera de Lille singing the role of Arsamene in their production of Cavalli’s Xerse, and at Lincoln Center in the U.S. premiere of George Benjamin’s Written on Skin. Mead reprises the role of Oberon at the Glyndebourne Festival this summer.
Ben Johnson’s most recent operatic success was in the role of Carlo in Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco for the Buxton Festival. Equally at home in twentieth century and contemporary repertoire, Johnson is renowned for his performances of works by Britten, including the War Requiem and Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings. Later this month he sings Arvo Pärt’s Passio with the Choir of Kings College, Cambridge.
McCreesh last conducted Bergen Philharmonic in 2012, when he led the orchestra – along with the Bergen Philharmonic Choir, plus Kor Vest and local students – in a large-scale performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
Ben Johnson sings Springtime on Funen at BBC Proms
Ben Johnson appears at the BBC Proms on 9 September 2015 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, singing Nielsen’s choral cantata Springtime on Funen under the baton of conductor Andrew Litton. The programme also features a wide variety of choral pieces sung by the Crouch End Festival Chorus and the Tiffin Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs, Ives’ Symphony No.4, and Nielsen’s Violin Concerto played by Henning Kraggerud.
Johnson is becoming renowned for his sensitive interpretations in a wide variety of repertoire. He has most recently been praised for his performances as Carlo in Verdi Giovanna d’Arco at the Buxton Festival, and later this year appears as Lysander in Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Bergen National Opera.
Praise for Ben Johnson's Southrepps Music Festival
Ben Johnson’s Southrepps Music Festival has received high praise this month. Now in its sixth year, the festival is run by Johnson and pianist Tom Primrose, and has proved a highly successful venture, bringing young artists and a variety of programming to the north Norfolk coast. Joined by sopranos Susanna Hurrell and Clare Presland, Johnson brings to the festival his talents not only as a tenor, but also as a conductor and mentor to young singers.
This year’s festival featured five Southrepps Festival Young Artists: soprano Sinead O’Kelly, tenors Adam Temple-Smith and Joel Williams, and baritones Alex Otterburn and Huw Montague Rendall. The young artists worked with Johnson and Primrose, and gave a recital of music by Britten and Poulenc. The Festival also featured orchestral concerts by the Southrepps Sinfonia: a specially selected group of talented young instrumentalists, who played a variety of English music for strings, as well as the Schubert String Quintet in C Major.
“What I heard in two of the seven concerts was string playing that you’d be fortunate to encounter anywhere in the world.”
Click here for a review of the Festival.
Intermusica artists perform at the Buxton Festival
Susan Bickley appears in two productions at the Buxton Festival this summer. The first, Charpentier’s Louise, features Bickley as Mère, opposite Michael Druiett, Adrian Dwyer, and Madeleine Pierard. These concert performances on 16, 19, and 23 July 2015 are conducted by Buxton Festival Music Director Stephen Barlow.
Bickley also sings the role of Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, a co-production between The English Concert and Bristol Old Vic. Joining Bickley in the cast are Mary Bevan as Belinda, David Stout as Aeneas, and Pumeza Matshikiza as Dido. This semi-staged, candle-lit production has been directed by Tom Morris and John Retallack, and is performed on 13 and 20 July.
Ben Johnson also appears at the festival this month, making his role debut as Carlo in Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco on 11 July 2015. Johnson stars opposite Kate Ladner, Devid Cecconi, and Graeme Danby in a production conducted by Stuart Stratford. Johnson has previously received high praise for his interpretation of Alfredo in Verdi’s La traviata, of which one critic remarked that “this was one of the most beautifully crafted accounts of the role of Alfredo that I have heard” (Planet Hugill). Giovanna d’Arco runs until 24th July at the Buxton Opera House.
Ben Johnson gives recital at Wigmore Hall
Ben Johnson gives a recital with pianist James Baillieu at Wigmore Hall on 8 April in conjunction with the Rosenblatt Recitals series. Johnson will sing a variety of English and Italian repertoire, including songs by Elgar, Respighi, Tosti, Parry, and Sullivan.
An accomplished recitalist, Johnson won the Audience Prize at the Cardiff Singer of the World competition in 2013.
"Impeccable": praise for Ben Johnson's Alfredo in English National Opera’s La traviata
Ben Johnson revived his acclaimed Alfredo in English National Opera’s La traviata during February, opening on 9 February, to excellent reviews. Johnson made his debut as Alfredo at ENO in 2013, in a characterisation described as “heart-rending” (Independent) and “impressive” (Guardian).
Read the reviews from the 2015 revival below:
“Ben Johnson's voice seems to have developed an even finer expressive sheen to it than before, this was one of the most beautifully crafted accounts of the role of Alfredo that I have heard…..My emphasis on the beauty of timbre should not blind you to the emotional depth of Johnson's performance too. At the moment you are still aware of Johnson's careful control, you never felt he was in danger of letting go the way the greatest exponents of this role have done.”
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, February 2015
“Johnson, elegant yet intense, is impeccable.”
Tim Ashley, Guardian, February 2015
“Johnson’s Alfredo has sweet poignancy...”
Michael Church, Independent, February 2015
“… his intelligent, warm singing is certainly on the credit sheet.”
Neil Fisher, Times, February 2015
“Ben Johnson was the cardigan-clad Alfredo – somewhat small of stature but with a large enough – and sweet-sounding – lyrical tenor voice.”
Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International, February 2015
“Lyric tenor Ben Johnson’s geeky shy Alfredo is impressive and has grown in projection and tenderness...”
Eric Page, GScene, February 2015
The production was directed by Peter Konwitschny and conducted by Roland Böer, and further performances will be on 20, 24, 27 February, and 5, 11 and 13 March.
Susanna Hurrell and Ben Johnson headline a Valentine’s Day concert with the Royal Northern Sinfonia on 14 February, conducted by Jamie Philips. The love-themed programme will include duets and arias by Lehar, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Verdi and Bernstein.
This concert will be featured as part of the Royal Northern Sinfonia’s Classic FM series, and takes place at the Sage Gateshead.
Ben Johnson sings Alfredo in La traviata at English National Opera
Ben Johnson returns to English National Opera for a revival of La traviata on 9 February. Johnson made his role debut as Alfredo at ENO in this Johannes Leiacker production in 2013 to critical acclaim. As an ENO Harewood Artist, Johnson has had several successful runs in leading roles at ENO including Nemorino in Donizetti The Elixir of Love, Don Ottavio in Mozart Don Giovanni, and Tamino in Mozart The Magic Flute, praised for his “lyrical and warm” portrayals (One Stop Arts).
Conducted by Roland Böer, and directed by Peter Konwitschny, this production will also feature Elizabeth Zharoff as Violetta and Anthony Michaels-Moore as Germont. Performances begin 9 February and run until 11 March at the London Coliseum.
“Ben Johnson’s performance as Alfredo is heroic, transcending his impossible character and delivering his arias with heart-rending plangency.”
Michael Church, Independent, February 2013
Renata Pokupić & Ben Johnson in concerts with Bergen Philharmonic
Renata Pokupić and Ben Johnson join the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Thierry Fischer for two performances of Berlioz’s grand choral symphony Roméo et Juliette on 11 and 12 December at the Grieghallen, Bergen. Joining them onstage will be bass Brindley Sherratt, as well as the Bergen Filharmoniske Kor and Edvard Grieg Kor.
Both Pokupic and Johnson have recently been much in demand on the concert platform, and have been praised for their expressivity and engaging presence.
Kitty Whately, Ben Johnson & Mary Bevan: Bach Magnificat with Britten Sinfonia at Barbican Hall
Kitty Whately, Ben Johnson and Mary Bevan sing Bach Magnificat with Britten Sinfonia and King’s College Choir at Barbican Hall on 6 December. The Christmas-themed concert will also include Bach Brandenburg Concerto No.2, Poulenc Quatre motets pour le temps de Noel and Respighi Lauda per la Nativita del Signore. Conducted by Stephen Cleobury, the performance will also feature soprano Lucy Crowe, counter-tenor James Laing, and bass Ashley Riches.
This will mark BBC New Generation Artist Kitty Whately’s debut with the Britten Sinfonia. She will join the orchestra again in the New Year for two performances of Haydn Nelson Mass in Spain.
On 9 November Marin Alsop will conduct a Remembrance Sunday performance of Britten War Requiem at London's Royal Festival Hall as part of commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. The performance will feature Moldovan-Russian soprano Natalia Tanasii, English tenor Ben Johnson and German baritone Johannes Kammler as soloists, whose nationalities echo the 1962 premiere's intended original trio of Galina Vishnevskaya, Peter Pears and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Heather Harper would eventually replace Vishnevskaya for the premiere, with the Russian returning for Britten's renowned recording) in demonstrating a sense of unity. The soloists are joined under Alsop's baton by the Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Choir of Great Britain and Voicelab Children's Choir.
Alsop is Artist in Residence London's Southbank Centre and is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music. She conducts the Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra along with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain (Ben Parry, director) and Southbank Voicelab Children's Choir, continuing her commitment to outreach and educational work with young people. Read more about her education work with the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra and with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's 'OrchKids', founded by Alsop in 2008.
The concert will be 23 year-old Natalia Tanasii's UK debut. Tanasii graduated from the Republican Academy of Musica and Arts in Chisinau this summer and was immediately invited to join the young ensemble of Den Norske Opera & Ballet. There she will perform a series of roles throughout this season, including Michaela in a new production of Carmen.
This exciting performance takes place in a busy season for Johnson, in which recent and forthcoming highlights include Beethoven's Symphony No.9 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Oronte Alcina in a tour of concert performances with the English Concert, Alfredo in a revival of La traviata at English National Opera, Evangelist in Bach's St John Passion and St Matthew Passion with the Choir of King's College, Cambridge and the Bach Choir respectively. He will also make his house debut at the Berliner Staatsoper, singing Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail.
The performance will form part of the Southbank Centre's Remembrance Sunday programme, with related talks and workshops occurring throughout the day.
Joyce DiDonato & Ben Johnson in Handel’s Alcina on tour in Europe & USA
Joyce DiDonato & Ben Johnson join the English Concert and Harry Bickett for a tour of Handel’s Alcina in October.
DiDonato sings the title role and Ben Johnson sings Oronte in these concert performances, alongside a cast that includes Alice Coote as Ruggiero, Anna Christy as Morgana and Christine Rice as Bradamante.
The tour opens at the Barbican Centre on 10 October, to tie in with DiDonato’s Artist Spotlight there this season.
The tour then moves on to Spain, Austria, France and the USA:
12 October: Palacio de Congresos Y Auditorio de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
14 October: Auditorio Nacional de Musica, Madrid, Spain
17 October: Theater an der Wien, Vienna, Austria
20 October: Theatre des Champs Elysees, Paris, France
26 October: Carnegie Hall, New York, USA
Ben Johnson and Susanna Hurrell perform at Johnson’s Southrepps Classical Music Festival
Ben Johnson and Susanna Hurrell perform at this summer’s Southrepps Classical Music Festival, which will be held in Norfolk between 7 and 10 August. Now in its fifth year, the festival was founded by Johnson, pianist Tom Primrose and bass-baritone Daniel Goode with the aim of bringing leading young artists to perform in rural Norfolk.
This year’s festival sees Johnson perform Finzi’s Dies Natalis in the opening concert on 7 August, conducted by David Parry and on 8 August give a recital of German and English song. On 9 August, Johnson takes up the baton to conduct a performance of Handel’s Messiah, in which he will be joined by Susanna Hurrell, mezzo-soprano Rosie Aldridge, tenor Nathan Vale and baritone Roland Wood.
Ben Johnson & Vuyani Mlinde: Mozart’s Mass in C with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Ben Johnson and Vuyani Mlinde return to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for a concert of Mozart’s works on 26 June, conducted by acclaimed CBSO Music Director, Andris Nelsons. In the first half of the concert, Johnson performs Mozart’s concert aria ‘Misero! O sogno - Aura, che intorno spiri’, alongside Mozart’s Symphony No.40 from the orchestra and the bass concert aria ‘Per questa bella mano’, featuring double bassist John Tattersdill.
In the second half of the concert, Johnson and Mlinde join soprano Sarah-Jane Brandon, mezzo-soprano Christine Rice and the CBSO chorus for a performance of the Mass in C Minor.
Mlinde then begins the 2014/15 season performing once again with the CBSO in Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, on tour to Frankfurt, Bonn and Birmingham, before returning to Oper Frankfurt, where he is member of the ensemble, for performances of La bohème, La sonnambula, and Ariadne auf Naxos.
Johnson finishes the season with performances of Don Ottavio Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne, before joining Mlinde in the CBSO’s Birmingham performance of Beethoven Symphony No.9 at the start of next season. Autumn sees Johnson join a star studded cast for the English Concert’s tour of Handel’s Alcina, performing in Europe and the US alongside mezzo-soprano, Joyce DiDonato.