British/Australian tenor Ben Kerslake was born in Sydney and studied music at the Queensland Conservatorium, graduating with a first class honours degree. In his honours year Ben also studied at the Guildhall School of Music, participating in masterclasses with Robin Bowman and Sarah Walker. Ben was a recipient of the Griffith University Post-Graduate Research Scholarship and went on to graduate with a Master of Music in performance & research, studying with Joseph Ward OBE. He was also awarded the inaugural tenor scholarship and won the Post-Graduate Opera Scenes Prize. In his Masters graduating year Ben was selected for the Opera Queensland Developing Artist Program. In 2004 Ben moved to the UK and made his Opera North debut.
Ben created the role of Arlecchino for Opera North in the world premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Pinocchio. Other roles performed include Faust Faust (Swansea City Opera; Kent Opera); Don José Carmen (New Devon Opera); Rodolfo La Bohème (Scottish Opera touring production); Alfredo La Traviata (New Devon Opera); Nadir The Pearl Fishers (Swansea City Opera); Tamino The Magic Flute (Skipton Camerata, Heritage Opera); Count Almaviva Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Heritage Opera); Hugh Hugh the Drover (York Opera); Don Basilio & Don Curzio The Marriage of Figaro (Opera North, Opera East); Camille The Merry Widow (Lakeland Opera); Matteo Borsa Rigoletto (Opera North); 2nd Nazarene Salome (Opera North); Sam One Touch of Venus (Opera North); Nebuchadnezzar The Burning Fiery Furnace (Opera Queensland); Chino West Side Story (Brisbane Festival); Ralph Rackstraw HMS Pinafore (Heritage Opera); The Defendant Trial by Jury (Heritage Opera).
His broadcasting credits include the Australian premiere of Going Into Shadows (ABC – FM Australia, 2001), Opera in the Park (4MBS – FM, Australia, 2002), a live relay of Opera North’s production of Rigoletto for BBC Radio 3 (2006) and Pinocchio for BBC Radio 3 (2008) and Sky Arts (2009). Opus Arte have produced a DVD of Pinocchio from the performances at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London.
In 2009, Ben sang the National Anthems for the Four Nations Rugby League Tournament, at Twickenham & Huddersfield, broadcast internationally on Sky, BBC (UK) & Fox Sports television (Australasia).
Ben’s wide-ranging concert and oratorio repertoire as tenor soloist includes Turiddu Cavalleria Rusticana & Alfredo La Traviata (Act II) for Lakeland Opera; a series of Opera galas in Singapore; Britten’s Saint Nicolas with the Lancashire Chamber Orchestra; Carmina Burana & “Last Night of the Proms” at Leeds Town Hall & Perth Concert Hall; Don José Carmen (Oxford) & Ishmael/Abdullah Nabucco (Manchester); “A Puccini Concert,” including Messa di Gloria & Puccini arias at Hull City Hall; “North-East Last Night of the Proms,” at Newcastle City Hall; “Bizet – An evening with Georges,” for the AddenBrooke’s Trust at Trinity Chapel, Cambridge.
Other works as tenor soloist include Beethoven's Missa solemnis at Durham Cathedral, the Evangelist in Bach's St. Matthew Passion (Sydney); Puccini’s Messa di Gloria (Noosa Festival, Australia; Todmorden Choral Society); Missa Criolla by Ramirez; Handel’s Messiah (Ripon Choral Society; Brisbane Sinfonia), Elijah (Lancaster Choral Society), Samson (Todmorden Choral Society) & Judas Maccabaeus; Haydn's Schöpfungsmesse (Open University Choir), Seasons (Perth Concert Hall; Bicester Choral & Operatic Society), Paukenmesse & Creation (Crieff Choral Group); Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (Leeds Cathedral), Mass in C (St. Paul’s, Knightsbridge); Bach’s Magnificat, Mass in B minor (Durham Cathedral, Cleveland Choral Society); Stainer’s Crucifixion; Mozart’s Requiem & Vesperae solennes de dominica K321; Rossini’s Petit Messe Sollenelle (Opera North; Perth Choral Society; Crieff Choral Group; Todmorden Choral Society); Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast, by Coleridge-Taylor (Peterborough Choral Society); The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins (University of Leeds); Vaughan Williams’ On Wenlock Edge (The Studio, Sydney); “Opera Gala,” (Sinfonia of Leeds; Barrandov Opera; Ultimate Voice; Bridlington Spa Theatre; Classical Promotions; Oyster Opera; Swansea City Opera, Isle of Man Symphony Orchestra).