The American operatic tenor, Ben Gulley, has been hailed "as an outstanding tenor (Opera News) ... startlingly-gifted (San Francisco Classical Voice)." Mr. Gulley's career is burgeoning with lead and feature roles in opera, sole engagements, concert work, film work, nationwide touring, and prestigious appearances abroad. Mr. Gulley is the 2009 winner of the Metropolitan Opera's National Council District & Regional Competitions and a National Semi-Finalist. Other awards include the winner of the Hellam Young Artists' Competition, Richard Tucker Foundation finalist, Florida Grand Opera competition finalist, Silver Medalist and People's Choice Award from the Tulsa Rotary Club's Competition, and a finalist for the Palm Beach Opera Competition; as well as awards from the Gerda Lissner Foundation and Shreveport Opera's Singer of the Year including the Audience Favorite Award and Encouragement Award.
This 2019-20 season will see his role debuts as Dick Johnson in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West with Opera Orlando, his return and role debut as Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxoswith Opera Steamboat, symphonic appearances with Richmond Symphony as the tenor soloist in Rachmaninov's The Bells, Holiday Pops with Louisville Orchestra, recital debuts with Opera Orlando, Purdue University, North Dakota State University, and Epworth By the Sea amidst his national concert tour with The Timeless Trio presented by LiveOnStage.
The 2018-19 season saw his returns to Opera San Luis Obispo as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Sarasota Opera as Ismaele in Verdi’s Nabucco with Maestro Victor DeRenzi, and role debuts as the Princ in Dvorak's Rusalka with Opera Steamboat, debut as Dr. Marianus in Mahler’s 8th Symphony with South Dakota Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony Beethoven VS Coldplay, plus Pops concerts with Jacksonville Symphony, premiering Sarasota Opera's new recital series, a return to The Lyric Opera of Kansas City for their Opera Ball & the start of his solo National Recital Tour presented by Live On Stage, to name a few. The 2016-2018 seasons saw Mr. Gulley’s company debuts with Hamburg Staatsoper where he covered Enée in Les Troyens under Maestro Kent Nagano, Sarasota Opera starring as Pedro in Tiefland with Maestro David Neely, with Opera Idaho where he debuted as Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with Maestro Andy Anderson. Mr. Gulley made his CARNEGIE HALL debut in May 2017 with The American Symphony as the tenor soloist in Haydn's MASS IN TIME OF WAR. He was also the featured artist with The US Army Band, the Canadian National Bagpipes, and the US Presidential Old Guard at Estes Park, among multiple symphonic concerts, gala performances and solo concert work throughout the season. The 2015-16 season began with the completion of Mr. Gulley's wildly successful first solo 70 city national recital tour presented by Allied Concert Services, the commercial release of his debut solo album or original music, IN BETWEEN (available on every major music distribution channel), starring in MTH's rave-reviewed An Evening with Cole Porter, international appearances in Berlin, Germany and Napoli, Italy, symphonic performances with the San Luis Obispo Symphony and Opera San Luis Obispo, The St, Joseph Symphony, and the Orlando MAYS.
The 2014-15 saw the role debut as Enee in Les Troyens under the baton of Maestro Kent Nagano in San Francisco, role debut as Radames in Aida with Opera San Luis Obispo, starred in the rave-reviewed Bernstein's Broadway at MTH, symphonic debut as the tenor soloist in Mozart's Requiem with the Washburn Symphony. The 2011-14 seasons saw Mr. Gulley on the stages of Chautauqua Opera as Edmondo in Manon Lescaut and Edgardo (cover) in Lucia di Lammermoor, Opera San Luis Obispo role debut as Tamino, debut in I Puratani as Arturo with Minnesota Concert Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera as the fourth Jew in Salome (his first HD Broadcast), Borsa in the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's Rigoletto and as The Peasent in La fille du Regiment. Previous symphonic works include Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Bruckner's Te Deum, Verdi's Requiem, Butterworth's A Shropshire Lad, Britten's Serenade, and previous stage work includes UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance as the title role in Britten's Albert Herring and Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore, Kansas Concert Opera as Turridu in Cavalleria Rusticana and Lt. Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly. Coming from, and equally at home in musical theater, his proudest musical theater moment was as Stromboli (taking the role over from Brent Spiner) in the world premiere of the TV movie adaptation of the Broadway musical Gepetto & Son with the Coterie Theater with Stephen Schwartz and David Stern.
Mr. Gulley was a member of the SONY/BMG Masterworks recording group The American Tenors 2010-14 and the 2011-12 National Tour through LiveOnStage. He has been twice featured on the PBS nationally televised Memorial Day event "Celebration at the Station" with the Kansas City Symphony under the baton of Michael Stern. Plus, numerous crossover concerts and events with mainstream artists and entertainers such as David Foster, Natalie Cole, Brenna Whitaker, Blues Traveler, SNL alumni Darryl Hammond, Mark O'Conner, Cherry Holmes, JoJo, Stephen Schwartz, Jason Robert Brown, Jesse Lynch and others.
Mr. Gulley is a graduate of the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, where he is also a sitting member of the Alumni Board. Other training has included the apprenticeships with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City 2009-11, the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival singing as Jason in A Grand Night for Singing, as Ludwig in the World Premiere of the opera Nocciolina, and Opera in the Ozarks as Lt. B.F. Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and Sam Polk in Susannah.
In 2011 Mr. Gulley had the privilege of being the first artist to sing on the stage of the incomparable Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts with Maestro Ward Holmquist at the piano in his hometown of Kansas City, MO. GO ROYALS!!!
" Ben Gulley has won awards and competitions for his magnificent voice ... his voice is enchanting. However, the winner is the audience and the prize is listening to the operatic tenor perform. "
“Both Peter Meckel and Maestro Stewart Robertson express excitement about the singers they have gathered. In particular, they are impressed with tenor Ben Gulley. Said Robertson, “This is a major voice. He sounds like a Pavarotti just at the top of the voice. It is amazing. I think he is a major find.”
- Central Coast Journal
"as Rodolfo...Mr. Gulley is startlingly-gifted, an award-winning tenor discovery..."
-The San Francisco Classical Voice
“While every performer must be commended for a successful endeavor, Ben Gulley, as Tamino, steals the show. As the first to be heard, Gulley can move the audience to tears with the beauty of his voice. Gulley has a genuine voice, reaching from deep in the diaphragm to project and fill the entire theatre with a sound that no one wants to end.”
-Rosie’s Reviews SLO Tribune
“…an outstanding tenor!”
“In Disney's Geppetto & Son, the co-creators Stephen Schwartz and David Stern have kept the callous puppeteer Stromboli (from the first film), whose song is an operatic tenor recitative handled perfectly by Gulley.”
“Tenor Ben Gulley as the smitten lover Rodolfo delivers Pavarotti-like clarity and power in his singing, full of passion and longing.”
- The Monterrey Herald
“...tenor Ben Gulley, a big man with a big and gentle voice, continued with a mighty command of “La donna e mobile,” negotiating the complex slurs in the melismatic text and making them his own — a signature we will come to know — all the while with a charming smile and a shy wave upon appreciation of the audience’s rousing applause and insistence for another bow.”
-The Chautauqua Daily
“Gulley's operatic tenor is mellifluous and versatile...his time-suspending "Maria" kept the audience entranced.”
- The Pitch