Pittsburgh Native Benjamin Werley— praised as having a “gleaming, fliexible tenor” (Opera News)—was first bitten by the opera bug while attending a performance of Puccini’s Tosca. He has been pursuing an operatic career ever since.
In March 2013, Werley was one of twenty singers nationwide selected to sing in the semi-finals of the 2012-2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in New York City. Werley then joined the Opera Theatre of St. Louis as a Gerdine Young Artist in their 2013 season. In August 2013, Werley sang with the Queens Symphony Orchestra for two concerts honoring Verdi’s 200th birthday. Later in December, he joined the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for a performance of Handel’s Messiah as the tenor soloist.
In Summer 2014, Werley was a participant in the prestigious Merola Opera Program in San Francisco, California. While at Merola, he sang the role of Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, also singing Steve Hubbell and covering Mitch in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire. Then, Werley joined Virginia Opera as an Emerging Artist for their 2014-2015 40th Anniversary season, where he sang the role of 2nd Jew and covered Narraboth in Richard Strauss’s Salome, also singing the role of Giuseppe and covering Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata.
In Summer 2015, Werley joined the Santa Fe Opera as an Apprentice Artist, covering 2nd Jew in Salome and Reid in the world premiere of Cold Mountain, by Jennifer Higdon. Werley then joined Opera Colorado’s Young Artist Program in their 2015-16 season, making his Colorado debut as the messenger in Verdi’s Aida, also singing the Farmer in the world premiere of The Scarlet Letter by Lori Laitman. That summer, Werley then returned to the Santa Fe Opera to sing in their 60th anniversary season, performing the roles of the Courier in Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West and Deiner 3 in Strauss’s Capriccio.
Joining the Florida Grand Opera for their 76th and 77th seasons, he made his FGO debut singing the Judge and Amelia’s servant in Un ballo in maschera, while covering Don José (Carmen), Lensky (Eugene Onegin), Ovidio (Before Night Falls), and Gustavo (Un ballo in maschera). In FGO’s 77th season, Werley sang Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and both Narraboth and Second Jew in Salome. In July of 2017, Werley made his role debut singing Don José (Carmen) with the Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance program in New York City. He also was tenor soloist for Beethoven 9 with the Western Piedmont Symphony in April of 2018.
Werley is a graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied with renowned soprano Carol Vaness and pedagogue Paul Kiesgen. He appeared in twenty-one opera productions while at Indiana.