Davies, Benjamin Grey

(Known as Ben)


A popular tenor, who was born near Swansea, Wales, and who has been heard in Europe and the United States in opera and in concert. His voice is an instance of a boyish contralto passing into a tenor. After gaining a local reputation as a singer he entered the Royal Academy of Music, at the age of nineteen, where he studied two years under Randegger and Signer Fiqri. He was enabled to study at that institution through the winning of a prize at the Swansea Eisteddfod. He joined the Carl Rosa Company, making his debut at Her Majesty's Theatre, London, as Thaddeus in The Bohemian Girl. He sang next in Cellier's Dorothy and in the title role of Sullivan's Ivanhoe. He obtained an engagement to sing tenor solos in the oratorio, St. Paul, at Dublin, because of his success in the performance of the Hymn of Praise, given by the Academy students in 1879. He made his first appearance in Cardiff in 1892 in the Stabet Mater of Dvorak, and sang at the Norwich Festivals in 1893 and 1896, and at Bristol the latter year. In 1894 he was heard in Berlin, and at Chicago during the World's Fair, in 1893. In 1885 Davies married Miss Clara Perry, a soprano singer, who had been with the Carl Rosa Company. Davies has also been heard in Goring Thomas' Esmerelda, in Colomba, The Canterbury Pilgrims and in other light operas, and for years his services have been in demand at all of the important music festivals and concerts. Since 1893, when he made his first visit to the United States, he has been heard here almost every year.