Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner

Benjamin Butterfield (Tenor)

Born: Canada

The Canadian tenor, Benjamin Butterfield, enjoys an international career as one of Canada's most successful and sought-after artists. He has performed to critical acclaim throughout North America and Europe and most recently also in Israel and New Zealand. The San Francisco Examiner has described him as "...a master of [Bach] literature..." Regarded as a "musically arresting presence" by the San Francisco Chronicle, he is in demand for concert, opera and recital.

Benjamin Butterfield's operatic credits include debuts in The Barber of Seville under Carlo Rizzi at Welsh National Opera, W.A. Mozart's The Magic Flute with New York City Opera, Tamerlano, directed by Jonathan Miller, at Glimmerglass Opera conducted by Jane Glover and in Die Fledermaus with Edmonton opera. His stage repertoire has encompassed roles in W.A. Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, Don Pasquale, Cunning Little Vixen, Eugene Onegin, Turn of the Screw, Barber of Seville, W.A. Mozart's Don Giovanni, W.A. Mozart's Die Zauberflote, Igor Stravinsky's Rake's Progress, Persephone, and Tamerlano. He has performed in Naples at Il Teatro di San Carlo, Theatre du Capitole in Toulouse, Welsh National Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, L'Opera Nationale de Montpellier, and Arizona Opera, as well as New York City Opera, L'Opera de Montreal, Vancouver Opera, Calgary Opera (performing Pearl Fishers), Glimmerglass Opera Festival, and Canterbury Opera in New Zealand.

In concert Benjamin Butterfield has appeared in Benjamin Britten's War Requiem with the London Symphony Chorus and the State Orchestra of Thessaloniki, J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) and St. John Passion (BWV 245) with Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln at the Toronto International Choral Festival. He has toured throughout Europe with Trevor Pinnock and The English Concert, the RIAS Kammerchor of Berlin (performing Jephtha) and with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre. He has been guest performer also with Bruno Weil and the Carmel Bach Festival ("Best debuting artist in the 1996 season" by The San Francisco Chronicle), and the Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival in Ohio. He has been heard at the BBC Proms, Carnegie Hall, and on TV broadcasts of Messiah from Halle, Germany. He has performed with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Washington Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Other appearances have included the Saito Kinen Festival with Seiji Ozawa, and Festival Vancouver performing the Mad Woman in B. Britten's Curlew River.

The 2003-2004 season highlights included L'enfance du Christ with L'Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis, J.S. Bach's Cantatas at the BBC Proms with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Ontario, Messiah in Boston with the Handel and Haydn Society and with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as well as George Frideric Handel's Alcina and J.S. Bach's St. John Passion (BWV 245) with Les Violons du Roi.

The 2004-2005 season finds Benjamin Butterfield performing J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) and W.A. Mozart's Coronation Mass at the Carmel Bach Festival in California with conductor Bruno Weil, as well as on tour performing W.A. Mozart's Requiem and Vespers with Les Violons du Roi and conductor, Bernard Labadie. Messiah concerts with the San Diego Symphony and National Symphony Orchestra are scheduled, and he will perform the role of Belmonte in a return to Opera Ontario for a production of W.A. Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Also in Canada, he performs with the Calgary Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra with conductor Nicholas McGegan, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and in multiple recitals.

Of his many recordings, the B. Britten Serenade (CBC/Streatfeild) and The Canticles (Marquis/Aldeburgh Connection) have been recognized by the Juno Awards. Benjamin Butterfield has also recorded Brahms and Schumann Liebeslieder (CBC/Aldeburgh Connection), music of J.S. Bach, Heinrich Schütz and Haydn (Koch International/Jeffrey Thomas & American Bach Soloists), Opera Encores (CBC/Bradshaw), Messiah excerpts with Tafelmusik (CBC/Ivar Taurins) and J.S. Bach's Weinachts Oratorium (BWV 248) (Dorion/Greg Funfgeld), and French and German opera arias with Canadian Opera Company Orchestra. Film and TV credits include Dido and Aeneas with the Mark Morris Dance Company and Tafelmusik, L'enfant et les Sortileges with the Montreal Symphony and Charles Dutoit, Messiah for ZDF in Halle with The English Concert and Trevor Pinnock, and J.S. Bach's B minor Mass (BWV 232) with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem for PBS. He is also heard regularly on CBC Radio.

Source: Liner notes to Dorian Recordings CD DOR-93183-H (Christmas Oratorio - conducted by Funfgeld - 1999); IMG Artists Website (August 2004)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (February 2001, April 2005)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Lisette Canton


BWV 4, BWV 78

Greg Funfgeld


BWV 191, BWV 243, BWV 245, BWV 248

Dwight Oltman


BWV 78 [3rd], BWV 140 [2nd], BWV 147 [2nd], BWV 211 [2nd]
BWV 232 [7th], BWV 232 [8th], BWV 232 [10th], BWV 248 [7th], BWV 248 [8th]

Jeffrey Thomas


BWV 4, BWV 12, BWV 18, BWV 61, BWV 131, BWV 244

Jeffrey Thomas


Member of American Bach Soloists:
V-2 (1996):
BWV 244

Bruno Weil


Selections from BWV 205, BWV 245

Links to other Sites

Benjamin Butterfield (Bethlehem)

Benjamin Butterfield - Tenor (IMG Artists)

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


Back to the Top

Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 00:33