Interview: March 22, 2022
Tenor Ben Bliss first set foot in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in 2011 as part of our Young Artist Program. Nearly 10 years later, he made a name for himself in theaters and concert halls around the world.
He’s been hailed by the New York Classical Review as “one of the leading Mozartian tenors,” gaining a reputation as one of the most valuable and versatile performers of his generation.
With Ben’s busy career, there’s no doubt the Eva and Marc Stern Award will ease the financial burden he faces as a world traveling opera singer with an expansive repertoire.
“There's always a lot of expenses to take care of—flying around the country or the world to see your voice teacher or your vocal coach. There's a lot of odds and ends to take care of. So this award will have no trouble finding ways to help smooth the path towards my operatic future.”
And what an operatic future he has. He's already performed the memorable leading roles of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Ferrando in Così fan tutte at the Metropolitan Opera and, of course, his 2016 appearance as Tamino in our production of The Magic Flute and—this year—as a soloist in our presentation of St. Mathew Passion.
“I have so many amazing memories from LA Opera, but coming back to sing Tamino, my first role here no longer as a Young Artist, is definitely at the top,” he said.
Ben credits his early years at LA Opera—and his friendships with Marc and Eva Stern—for kickstarting his career.
“I've met so many great friends and mentors and colleagues here, Marc and Eva Stern being two of them. Their friendship and support has really made all the difference. When I heard about this award, I was just so pleased and so thrilled and so honored that this place and these people—who gave me my start—want to turn around and recognize the work that I have done because of the opportunity that they gave me. I just couldn't be more humbled.”
He goes on to describe the lasting effect Marc and Eva’s support has had on him and his operatic journey.
“I can't thank Marc and Eva enough for the way their support of LA Opera has dramatically changed and influenced the course of my life, as well as the cultural life of the entire city of Los Angeles and thereby the whole country. I hesitate to think what our artistic landscape would be like here, and how my life would be different, were not for their support.”