February 19, 2018
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The competition took place at Gilder Lehrman Hall at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City this past weekend. It included three days of preliminary auditions during which 72 singers were heard and 17 were selected as finalists. Of these, Ben was one of just six who was selected as a winner of a George London Award of $10,000 each.
“We are tremendously proud of Ben”, said Pittsburgh Opera General Director Christopher Hahn. “He takes great pride in his craft, and always brings energy and enthusiasm to his roles and performances.”
Pittsburgh audiences enjoyed Ben as Brian Castner in last month’s performances of the gripping opera The Long Walk. Critics complimented his “rich, full-toned voice”, and said he “made an impressive showing,” calling him “an audience favorite, and deservedly so.” Ben will be on stage at the Benedum Center this spring as both Captain Gardiner and Daggoo in Pittsburgh Opera’s production of Moby-Dick.
Mr. Taylor will return for his second year as a Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist in 2018-19. He is scheduled to perform as Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly, Older Thompson in Glory Denied, and Schaunard in La bohème.
Mr. Taylor holds degrees from both Morgan State University and Boston University, where he also earned his Performer’s Certificate with Boston University’s Opera Institute.
Two other artists with Pittsburgh connections were finalists, each winning $1,000. Tenor Martin Bakari who sang in The Long Walk with Ben Taylor, made his Pittsburgh Opera debut in 2017 in the world premiere of The Summer King – the Josh Gibson Story. Mezzo-soprano Corrie Stallings, a Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist alumna, most recently appeared with Pittsburgh Opera as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, and will perform as Hansel in Hansel & Gretel this fall.
For more information about the George London Awards, see their media release and read the New York Times article about the competition.