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Oriana’s preparation for “G&S and Opera Choruses: Songs You Will Know and Love” has been made immeasurably more effective, not to mention enjoyable, by having as our Musical Director for this season, Mr. Benjamin Oxley. Ben has a wealth of knowledge, and experience in the world of opera, and he has been very generous in imparting what he has learned to the choir.

Ben trained at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, and went on to join Opera Queensland, and then Opera Australia. Further vocal study took him to England, initially on contract with English National Opera (ENO), with whom he toured Russia. He has pursued operatic and concert work and has appeared with Netherlands Opera in Lohengrin, Opera de Vlaamse in Billy Budd, and with Nationale Reisopera in Der fliegende Holländer, Parsifal, Manon Lescaut, and Fidelio.

Benjamin has worked with conductors Richard Bonynge, Sir Mark Elder, Sir Charles Mackerras and Claudio Abbado, to name but a few. His operatic roles include the title role in “The Tales of Hoffmann”; Riccardo in “A Masked Ball”; Alfredo in “La Traviata”; The Duke in “Rigoletto”; Nadir in “The Pearl Fishers”; and Don Jose in “Carmen”.

He is blessed with a beautiful tenor voice, although we only hear the occasional phrase during rehearsals. (He wants to show us how it is done without making us think it’s too hard!) But you will be in for an added treat when you come to see the concert this weekend. No spoilers, but you certainly won’t be disappointed!

It’s been a pleasure to work through this rehearsal schedule with Ben at the helm, and we’ve been so lucky to have him on board. You will enjoy the fruits of our efforts this weekend.

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