Jeffrey Benton is a singer whose musicianship, dramatic communication and feeling for words, distinguish him amongst the finest of baritones. Jeffrey was based in London for much of his career and has played leading roles in many West End productions, notably 'The Great Waltz' and 'Gone with the Wind' at Drury Lane, and 'Showboat' at The Adelphi. He has also appeared in a Royal Variety Performance at the Palladium and sung in opera and operetta on television, as well as giving many recitals of classical music at the Wigmore Hall and at the West Bank.
His numerous Lieder recitals at the Wigmore Hall, South Bank, and Leighton House have led to high critical acclaim.
After studying music and singing at the Guildhall School of Music, Jeffrey was given invaluable guidance in vocal technique by Derek Hammond-Stroud O.B.E.
Jeffrey has a particular interest in translating Lieder into English. His recordings in this field include Schubert's 'Winterreise' (Symposium 1118) and 'Die Schöne Müllerin' (Exegete 0011), Schumann's 'Dichterliebe' (Symposium 1221), Beethoven's 'An Die Ferne Geliebte' (Symposium 1221), Mahler's 'Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen' (Symposium 1221) and Von Fielitz' 'Eliland' (Symposium 1119). All in his own translations.
To record Winterreise in English had been a burning ambition for many years.
After performing it many times in it's original language, Jeffrey knew it was perfect for translation. An ongoing study of the work, together with a youthful experience (whilst serving with the Grenadier Guards in Germany) of similar proportion to that of the young poet of Muller's work, brings a fresh insight to 'The Winter Journey'. He has endeavoured to show that, as the cycle progresses, the bewildered young man at the start becomes more bitter and disillusioned as his journey takes him away from all that he loves.
His love of English Song is equally important. 'If Doughty Deeds' (Symposium 1159) celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir Arthur Sullivan and includes some of the composer's lesser known songs and piano pieces.
Roger Quilter songs are among his elected favourites and Volume 1 (Symposium 1159) includes a premier compact disc recording of the Arnold Book of Old Songs. Volume 2 (Symposium 1184) is a premier recording of all the Shakespeare settings.
Jeffrey has also recorded 'The Old English Melodies' (Exegete 0012) arranged by Henry Lane Wilson, and until then less than a third of the songs which constitute the collection had been recorded. This is the first complete recording.
Jeffrey is the only singer to have recorded Schubert's Winterreise both in its original language and also in his own English translation.