Hugh the Drover Cast biographies

Ben Kerslake - Hugh the Drover

Sydney born Ben Kerslake gained a First Class honours degree and Master of Music from the Queensland Conservatorium. While studying, he was awarded the Griffith University Post-Graduate Research Scholarship, and Post-Graduate Opera Prize. He also studied at the Australian National Academy of Music, Melbourne and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.

Upon completing his studies, Ben was a member of the Opera Queensland Developing Artist Program before moving to the United Kingdom in 2003 where he made his Opera North debut in 2004.

Operatic roles performed to date include: Don Curzio The Marriage of Figaro, Borsa Rigoletto, 2nd Nazarene Salome, Sam One Touch of Venus (Opera North); Rodolfo La Bohème (Scottish Touring Opera Production); Nebuchadnezzar The Burning Fiery Furnace (Opera Queensland); Jack Johns (Australian premiere) Going into Shadows (Guildhall/Queensland Conservatorium); and Chino West Side Story (Brisbane Festival). Understudy roles include Beppe I Pagliacci (Opera Queensland), Edmondo/Dancing Master/Lamplighter Manon Lescaut, Priest Saul, Ishmael Nabucco, 1st Armed Man/1st Priest The Magic Flute, and the Sailor Dido and Aeneas (Opera North).

Ben has broadcast on television and radio and has also given concerts, recitals and sung in oratorios both nationally and internationally. Broadcasts include SBS-TV, and ABC-FM in Australia, and BBC-2 in the UK. Concert works include: Handel’s Messiah (Wollongong Town Hall, Queensland Chorale, and Sheffield Choral Society), Judas Maccabaeus and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria (Noosa Choral Society), Bach’s Magnificat in D (Bach Society of Queensland), Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Mozart’s Requiem (Illawarra Choral Society), Ramirez’s Missa Criolla (Brisbane Singers), Vaughan-Williams’ On Wenlock Edge (The Studio, Sydney), Rossini’s Petit Messe Sollenelle (Opera North).

In 2003, Ben world premiered a new composition based on Ursula Vaughan-Williams’ poetry, for her visit to the Queensland Conservatorium. He also presented the Valedictorian Speech in his Masters graduating year and has recently presented the ‘New to Opera’ talks preceding The Magic Flute performances for Opera North.

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