SUNDAY 7TH JULY 2019
Millennium Hall, Egerton. 7.30pm. Tickets £15 (£8 under 16s)
Tickets on sale from Saturday 27th April 9:00am
Benjamin Bevan won a scholarship to The Guildhall School, London and made his debut at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden singing Henry Cuffe in Gloriana by Benjamin Britten and returned there to sing The Speaker in Die Zauberflöte.
In 2018 he made his debut at English National Opera as Baron Douphol in La traviata and at Welsh National Opera Benjamin sang Lescaut in Boulevard Solitude by Henze followed by Roderick Usher in Usher House by Getty. He went on to sing Lescaut for the Royal Danish Opera and Ferryman in Curlew River for Opéra de Dijon.
For Scottish Opera Benjamin appeared as Marcello in La Bohème under Francesco Corti, Fleville and Fouquier-Tinville in Andrea Chenier under Sir Richard Armstrong, Riccardo in I Puritani and Lescaut in Massenet’s Manon.
Recent recordings include Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Bach Collegium Japan conducted by Masaaki Suzuki, Premiere recordings of The St Mark Passion by John Joubert and Gerald Barry’s opera The Importance of Being Earnest, conducted by Thomas Adès in the Barbican Hall, London and three well reviewed discs of Handel with London Early Opera.
In London 2018 Benjamin created the role of Nameless Man in Faust Alberta by Simone Spagnolo as part of Opera in the City to great critical acclaim.
For Garsington Opera Benjamin has sung Notary Intermezzo, Haushofmeister Capriccio and The Speaker in The Magic Flute in the opening production of the new theatre at Wormsley.
Concert performances include Vaughan Williams Hodie for MDR live on Christmas Day from the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Handel’s Messiah for Bach Collegium Japan, The English Concert, The Royal Liverpool Philharminic, The Royal Northern Sinfonia, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, The Colorado Symphony and many others. Live broadcasts of Bach Passions for the BBC Philharmonic and RTE in Dublin. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra under John Butt, and Bach’s B Minor Mass at The Three Choir’s Festival.
He sang the role of Pontius Pilate in a new staging of Bach’s Johannes Passion for the Nationale Reisopera in the Netherlands, and in The Dream of Gerontius at Snape Maltings, Bach St John Passion with the Irish Chamber Orchestra under Stephen Layton, Handel’s Messiah with The Irish Baroque Orchestra (RTE Broadcast), Bach Weihnachts Oratorium in Monaco and Nice and Carmina Burana with the BBC Concert Orchestra. He has also sung in two performances of Bach Cantatas in Australia at the Perth International Festival (ABC Broadcast).
His operatic repertoire also includes Belcore L’elisir d’amore, Tonio I Pagliacci, Alfio Cavalleria Rusticana, Count Almaviva The Marriage of Figaro, Speaker, The Magic Flute, Aeneas Dido and Aeneas, Peter Hänsel und Gretel and The Animal Tamer and Acrobat in Lulu.
Turbulent Priest is an ensemble of professional musicians who are based in Kent. Exploring music from the ancient to the contemporary, sacred and secular, combined with the spoken word, they seek to entertain in an informal and enjoyable way. They will be joined for this concert by the renowned conductor and pianist, Steven Higgins. Turbulent Priest is Matthew Vine (tenor/baritone ), Paul Young (tenor) and Ben Bevan (baritone).
Matthew was Head Chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1980 after becoming a chorister in 1975.
His singing work has often been on mainland Europe, where he has been employed in a tenor/baritenor capacity which suits the Renaissance and Medieval music he has frequently involved in. He also has an interest in jazz, and earlier in his career was a tenor saxophonist and briefly taught jazz at Abingdon School.
As a freelance singer he has performed regularly with The Sixteen, Clerks Group, The Kings Consort, Oxford Camerata and Huelgas Ensemble; and also Binchois Consort, Cardinalls Musick, Gabrieli Consort and numerous other UK groups. In Europe, with Egidius Kwartett & College and with Klangforum Heidelberg.
He has also contributed to recordings and concerts of the Egidius Kwartett and College and was asked by director Peter de Groot to ensure that the plainchant ensemble was tightly controlled. This arcane skill also saw him directing a chant group in Oxford for an all-night Vigil in October 2012, with the polyphony provided (marvellously) by the Tallis Scholars as they worked through the monastic Hours!
He has sung as the 2nd tenor in Oxford-based Liedertafel (directed by Duncan Saunderson) and for Andrew Kirkman's Binchois Consort and for Armonico Consort from Warwick, directed by Chris Monks.
Additionally the tenors from Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral call on him to deputise, where it is always good to catch up with friends and colleagues in these London institutions. Nearby Christ Church, Oxford is also visited and he has sung occasionally for Cantores Missae, a small business which supplies ornate liturgical music for various Catholic parishes in London!
Paul Young`s singing career started as a treble chorister in the choir of Hythe Parish Church. He read for a degree in music at Exeter University, during which time he was also a member of the Cathedral Choir. After graduation he moved to the teaching staff of Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, singing in the Schola Cantorum and the choir of York Minster, touring Europe and North America. In 1992 he was appointed as Director of Music at Kings Junior School, Canterbury and sang as tenor in the Cathedral Choir. With these several professional choirs he has extensive experience of the choral repertory, of recording, broadcasting and touring, particularly in the US. In 2007, following a period in Spain, Paul became Director of Music at Dover College, a post he still holds. After a period of deputising, he has now rejoined the choir of Canterbury Cathedral as a tenor and Lay Clerk. Paul also pursues a solo career that has taken him to King`s College, Cambridge and concerts throughout England and abroad.
Stephen Higgins studied at Oxford University, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio in London and is a conductor who has worked extensively in major opera houses and festivals both in the UK and abroad.
He spent his early professional career on the music staff of ROH, Glyndebourne and ENO and has worked on a wide variety of repertoire, ranging from Monteverdi, Mozart, Puccini, John Adams and Stephen Sondheim.
Recent highlights include three world premieres: 'The Way Back Home', a children's opera at the Young Vic directed by Katie Mitchell, which he revived at the Opera de Paris at the Bastille, 'Dr Dee' by Damon Albarn, directed by Rufus Norris, which he conducted both for the Manchester Festival and at ENO, and recorded for EMI, and 'The Duchess of Malfi' by German composer Torsten Rasch, which was a collaboration with ENO and the theatre company, punchdrunk.
Equally at home in standard operatic repertoire, Stephen has conducted ‘Owen Wingrave’ for the Opera de Paris, 'Magic Flute' for ENO, 'L'Elisir d'amore' for Opera Holland Park, Don Giovanni for the Porto festival, 'La Boheme', 'Hansel and Gretel', Magic Flute' for young singers' company, Co-opera-co.
He also has an interest in music theatre, working with Sondheim on revivals of 'A little Night Music' and 'Sunday in the park with George' at the Châtelet theatre in Paris, and conducting 'Phantom of the Opera' in London's West End.
Stephen is also considerably in demand as a vocal coach and as guest chorus master for opera companies up and down the country and he appeared on the recent ‘Maestro at the Opera’ on BBC2 as mentor to Josie Lawrence.
Other notable performances include another world premiere, Tansy Davies' 'Between Worlds' at the Barbican, conducting 'Crazy for you' by Gershwin for Gothenburg opera, musical supervision for theatre pieces at the National Theatre in London and at Theatre La Criée in Marseille.
Since January 2016 Stephen has been Head of Music at Bergen Nasjonale opera in Norway. He has conducted Hansel and Gretel and Carmen for the company and has assisted visiting conductors on productions of Madama Butterfly, Il Turco in Italia, Otello, Peter Grimes and Messiah.
Other notable highlights include Thais for Chelsea Opera Group, conducting Candide and Carmen in Norway and creating a new theatrical version of Disney’s Fantasia for the vaults theatre in Waterloo.
He recorded an album of American songs with Sir Thomas Allen this year, which is released on the Champs Hill record label.
Future plans include Sweeney Todd in Bergen, Porgy and Bess in concert, and a world premiere of a new opera which will tour Rekjavik, Amsterdam and Bergen.