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 (GSMD). This year Benson performed the role of Schabernack in Ligeti’s Le grand macabre with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and directed by Peter Sellars. He has participated in the Georg Solti Accademia where he worked with specialists in the bel canto repertoire including Maestro Richard Bonynge, Corradina Caporello and Barbara Frittoli. Recent performances include Schaunard in La bohème (Festival Opera New Zealand) and Schaunard in Leoncavallo’s take on La bohème at the New York International Vocal Arts Institute Summer Program under Metropolitan Opera coach Joan Dornemann. Benson was named the 2016 winner of New Zealand’s premier singing competition, the Lexus Song Quest, in which he was runner-up for in the 2014 competition. In the finals of the 2015 Australian Singing Competition, Benson won three major awards, including the GSMD Award which gave Benson the opportunity to undertake a place in the Guildhall Artist Masters Programme.