Benedict Kearns is the Chorus Master of Opéra National de Lyon and at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. He conducts throughout Europe, in opera houses and concert venues in Germany, Belgium, France, Austria, and the United Kingdom.
In his role in Lyon, Benedict works closely with the Musical Director of the theatre, Maestro Daniele Rustioni, collaborating on a vast array of repertoire. Highlights of their projects have included performances of Massenet’s Hérodiade and Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, broadcast on France Musique; Verdi’s Messa da Requiem at Nuits de Fourvière; opening the 2022 season with Wagner’s Tannhäuser in Lyon; and a concert performance of Donizetti’s Lucie de Lammermoor closing the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, all received to great acclaim in the international press.
Benedict's collaboration with the Chorus of the Opéra National de Lyon has consistently been recognised, with the chorus described as ‘as a singular and unified voice, but also each individual composing it, akin to a perfectly cut diamond where each particle gleams to enhance the beauty of the whole’. (Opera Online). The Chorus performed the immense feat of Mendelssohn's oratorio Elias in a fully-staged version by Calixto Bieito, under the baton of Maestro Constantin Trinks, which confirmed ‘the escalating quality with their conductor Benedict Kearns’ (Résonance Lyriques).
Benedict has a close affinity with the music of Benjamin Britten and has worked extensively on his operas. At La Monnaie, Benedict performed the piano solos for Turn of the Screw in a production by director, Andrea Breth, live-streamed internationally and subsequently recorded for CD. At Theater Bonn, Benedict was the Head Coach for Death in Venice and at Glyndebourne, Benedict musically prepared the classic Peter Hall production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. At Opéra de Lyon, Benedict will be the Chorus Master Peter Grimes and Billy Budd. His love for Britten's operas began while a student at King’s College, Cambridge where he conducted Albert Herring and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Growing up in London, Benedict began his musical life at Westminster Abbey as Head Chorister; he sang regularly for the Royal Family, State Celebrations, international tours, and recordings. After leaving he was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain as their keyboardist, as well as a singer in the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. At King's College, Cambridge, he studied music as an undergraduate and sang in the Choir under Sir Stephen Cleobury as a Baritone Choral Scholar, again with extensive international tours, broadcasts, and recordings. Upon graduating, he continued his vocal studies with Joy Mammen. He was invited to be the Junior Fellow Repetiteur at the Royal Northern College of Music and was a Young Artist at the National Opera Studio in London. In various guises of conductor, pianist and singer, Benedict has toured internationally on many occasions to the USA, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore and throughout Europe.