Stephen Bennett

Classical Voice

Lyric Bass Stephen Bennett began his career in 1978 as a member of the Leonine Consort, an 8 voice a capella ensemble. In 1984 he was a founding member of The Song Company. In 1986 he joined The Australian Opera and he remained with the company as a principal bass until 1992. During this time he sang many roles in different operas, including Figaro in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Leporello in Moazart's Don Giovanni, Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, Sarastro in Mozart's The Magic Flute and Colline in Puccini's La Boheme.

In 1992/93 was engaged by the Scottish Opera, where he sang Colline in La Boheme, Gremin in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, and Kolenaty in Janacek's The Makropolous Secret. In 1993 he performed his first Don Giovanni in Mozart's Don Giovanni with The Australian Opera.

Since then Stephen has sung regularly with a number of opera companies as a guest artist, including Opera Australia, The Victorian State Opera, Lyric Opera of Queensland, State Opera of South Australia, West Australian Opera, Pinchgut opera, Opera New Zealand and Canterbury Opera. Roles performed include Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and Leporello in Don Giovanni, Mefistopheles in Gounod's Faust, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, Sarastro in The Magic Flute, Achilla in Handel's Julius Caesar, Claggart in Britten's Billy Budd, Arkel in Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande, Colline in La Boheme, Publio in Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito, Somnus and Cadmus in Handel's Semele, Polyphemus in Handel's Acis and Galatea, Sparafucile in Verdi's Rigoletto, Le Bailli in Massenet's Werther, Cappellio in Bellini's I Capuleti ed I Montecchi and Don Basilio in Rossini's Barber of Seville.

In addition to his opera commitments Stephen has been very much in demand as a concert singer and recitalist. He has worked with all the Australian and New Zealand symphony orchestras and choral societies performing in such works as the B Minor Mass, St Mathew Passion, St John Passion, Magnificat and the Christmas Oratorio of J S Bach, Handel's Messiah, Joshua, Belshazzar, Samson, Saul, Jephtha and Israel in Egypt, Mozart's Requiem and Verdi's Requiem. In 2000 he performed in Tobias' Des Jona Sendung in Cologne with the WDR Orchestra. Stephen has also sung Bach's solo cantata Ich habe genug on a number of occasions, and has performed Schubert' song cycles Die Winterreise and Schwanengesang many times.

His recordings include Handel's Semele, Purcell's The Fairy Queen and Rameau's Dardanus, all on ABC Classics.He appears on ABC Classics videos/DVDs of Don Giovanni, Julius Caesar, Un Ballo in Maschera, Les Hugenots, La Fille du Regiment, Otello and Die Meistersinger.
 
Stephen is a keen photographer and he has photographed many opera productions during the course of his career. You can see some of his photographs of recent Opera Australia productions by clicking on this link http://www.finephotography.com.au/index.cfm?pageName=galleries
 
In 2010 for Opera Australia, Stephen will perform the roles of Le Compte de Grieux in Massenet’s Manon, Doctor Grenvil in Verdi’s La Traviata, Count Rodolfo in Bellini’s La Sonnambula, Doctor Bartolo in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, and the Attorney and Police Commissioner in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. Stephen has been a School of Music faculty member since 2005.

Updated:  12 June 2013/Responsible Officer:  Head, School of Music/Page Contact:  Development Officer