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George and Nora London Foundation Presents Benjamin Taylor, Baritone, in Recital on April 16, 2023

March 14, 2023 | By Jennifer Wada, jennifer@wadacommunications.com

The program features song cycles by Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, Gregory Spears, Gustav Mahler, and Gordon Myers

Benjamin Taylor, photo by Jessie Rogers

The George and Nora London Foundation for Singers concludes its season of events with a recital by baritone Benjamin Taylor with pianist Katelan Terrell on Sunday, April 16, 2023, at The Morgan Library & Museum. A 2018 George London Award winner, Taylor has won critical praise this season in a diverse array of productions including the world premiere of Gregory Spears’s Castor and Patience with Cincinnati Opera, Yuval Sharon’s production of La bohème with Boston Lyric Opera, and The Magic Flute at the Metropolitan Opera, about which The New York Times said, “Benjamin Taylor [as] Papageno was the highlight on Dec. 28, his voice compact yet resonant, his charisma easygoing without being cloying.”


Taylor will present a singular program highlighted by four song cycles classic and modern: Six Songs, Op. 1 of Mieczyslaw Karlowicz (written 1897-8); Walden by Gregory Spears with texts by Henry David Thoreau (2018); Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (1884-5); and They Said by Gordon Myers (1989-91), described as “a modern song sickle cutting through the quotes of time…. Twenty one-page (or less) vignettes, recording quotes of the great and near great.” Taylor will also perform Donizetti’s song “Il trovatore in caricatura” (1884-5).


Earlier this season, Benjamin Taylor made his debut with Bayerische Staatsoper (Bello in La fanciulla del West), and he returned to The Metropolitan Opera for Dialogues des Carmélites. Upcoming are performances of Marcello in La bohème at Berkshire Opera Festival as well as a debut with The Cleveland Orchestra in La fanciulla del West. Benjamin made his Metropolitan Opera debut in fall 2021, in the role of Chester in the acclaimed production of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, and later that season his debut in the role of Papageno in The Magic Flute with Pittsburgh Opera elicited this from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Saturday evening's purest delight was Benjamin Taylor, an alumnus of the opera's renowned resident artist program. … Taylor's voice is a supple and robust baritone that he wielded with Mozartian lightness. … Put simply, he killed on opening night.”


The George and Nora London Foundation and George London Awards are named for the legendary Canadian-American bass-baritone (1920-1985), one of the great opera singers of 20th century, who devoted much of his time and energy in his later years to the support and nurturing of young singers. The organization became the George and Nora London Foundation for Singers in September 2022 to honor Nora London, George’s wife and the longtime president of the foundation, who passed away earlier in the year.


Since 1971, the foundation’s annual competition has given more than 300 awards, and a total of more than $2 million, to an outstanding roster of young American and Canadian opera singers who have gone on to international stardom – the list of past winners includes Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Christine Goerke, Catherine Malfitano, James Morris, Eric Owens, Matthew Polenzani, Sondra Radvanovsky, Neil Shicoff, Dawn Upshaw, and Willard White. As The New York Times has noted, “this prestigious competition … can rightfully claim to act as a springboard for major careers in opera.”


In addition to the annual competition, the George and Nora London Foundation also presents a recital series to give grantees exposure and experience, and, in many cases, a New York recital debut. The foundation also awards scholarships to promising high school students attending the pre-college program of The Juilliard School, a program now in its 12th year.



Benjamin Taylor’s recent performances, in addition to those cited above, have included debuts with Michigan Opera Theatre and Spoleto Festival USA in La bohème (Schaunard), North Carolina Opera for Sanctuary Road (William Still), Baltimore Concert Opera for Adriana Lecouvreur (Michonnet), as well as a workshop of the Will Liverman/DJ King Rico opera The Factotum at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He participated in Opera on the GO!, the educational production of the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and made debuts with Fargo-Moorhead Opera in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Figaro), Opera Orlando in The Secret River (Augustus), and Des Moines Metro Opera for Pique Dame (Tomsky), Platée (Satyre), and Fellow Travelers (Tommy McIntyre).


Benjamin is a graduate of the Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist Program and was a Gerdine Young Artist and Richard Gaddes Festival Artist at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Additional performances include La bohème (Marcello) with Crested Butte Festival and Madama Butterfly (Prince Yamadori) for Berkshire Opera’s inaugural season. Benjamin received his Master of Music from Boston University and his Performer’s Certificate with Boston University’s Opera Institute. He received his Bachelor of the Arts at Morgan State University where he sang in Blue Monday (Tom) with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. www.benjaminctaylor.com



Sunday, April 16, 2023, at 4:00 pm

The Morgan Library & Museum

George and Nora London Foundation Recital


Katelan Terrell, piano


MIECZYSLAW KARLOWICZ          Six Songs, Op. 1 (1897-8)


GREGORY SPEARS                            Walden (2018)


GAETANO DONIZETTI                     “Il trovatore in caricatura” (c. 1849)


GUSTAV MAHLER                            Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (1884-5)


GORDON MYERS                              They Said (1989-91)


Tickets: $55

Tickets and information: www.georgeandnoralondon.org/recitals




March 14, 2023








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