Benjamin Appl

Introduction

German baritone Benjamin Appl joins the BBC New Generation Artists scheme from 2014 until 2016, and will be an ECHO Rising Stars artist for the 2015/16 season.

Recent appearances on the opera stage include Ernesto in Haydn’s Il mondo della luna in Augsburg, Aenaes in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at Aldeburgh, Dr Falke in Strauss’s Die Fledermaus in Regensburg, Schaunard in Puccini’s La bohème in Munich with the Munich Radio Orchestra under Ulf Schirmer, Owen Wingrave (title role) at the Banff Festival, Baron Tusenbach in Eötvös’s Tri Sestri in the Prinzregenten Theater, Munich and at the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin with the Staatskapelle Berlin and a new commission for Bregenz Festival and Konzerthaus Vienna (Das Leben am Rande der Milchstraße by Bernhard Gander).

Recital appearances include the 2010 Ravinia Festival, Chicago, Graham Johnson’s ‘Young Songmakers Almanac’ in London, his debut at Carnegie Hall 2014 and at the prestigious festival ‘Heidelberger Frühling’ 2011 and appearances at De Singel, Antwerp. Following his appearance with the 2012 Klavierfestival Ruhr, Herten, with Graham Johnson, he has been awarded the Deutsche Schubert Gesellschaft Schubertpreis. He has also performed in recital at Carnegie Hall, the Ravinia, Rheingau and Oxford Lieder festivals, de Singel Antwerp, Heidelberger Frühling, and with Graham Johnson at the KlavierFestival Ruhr and Wigmore Hall. Benjamin's many appearances with the Schubertiade Festival include a 'Liederabend', accompanied by Helmut Deutsch, and performances of Die schöne Müllerin with Martin Stadtfeld and Graham Johnson.

This season Benjamin’s recitals include appearances at the Schubertiade Festival, Wigmore Hall and deSingel Antwerp with Graham Johnson. In addition to numerous appearances with the major BBC orchestras as NGA, he will perform Bach’s St Matthew Passion under the baton of Sir Roger Norrington, Bach’s Magnificat with the Choir of King’s College Cambridge and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and his debut for the BBC Proms.

Benjamin Appl graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and now continues his studies with Rudolf Piernay. He had the great fortune to be mentored by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. 

This is for information only and should not be reproduced. Please contact Sophie Robertson for a full biography and for performance details.

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Schedule

City Halls Glasgow, GLASGOW

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6 (Pastoral)
BEETHOVEN Ah! Perfido

*Interval *

BEETHOVEN Mass in C: Gloria
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5

*Interval *

BEETHOVEN Mass in C: Sanctus & Benedictus
BEETHOVEN Choral Fantasia Op. 80

Conductor: Thomas Dausgaard.
BARITONE: BENJAMIN APPL

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Press

ECHO Baden-Baden

Festspielhaus Baden-Baden

'Er kam, er sang und siegte...'

'Der Bariton Benjamin Appl war von Anbeginn prasent mit einer enormen Ausstrahlung, liess die Lieder Beethovens 'An die ferne Geliebe' mit seiner warmen ausdrucksstarken Stimme durch den Raum erstrahlen und nahm den Horer mit auf seine Reise.' Karin Heinke-Dietz, 13 July 2016

Recital, Graham Johnson

Heidelberg Frühling Festival

"Dass jüngere Sänger die Gattung mit der gleichen Perfektion beherrschen können wie die ältere Generation, belegt in Heidelberg denn auch der phänomenale Auftritt von Benjamin Appl. Die Stimme des 33-Jährigen klingt so viril wie warm, nach einem typischen Liedtimbre. Passend zum eigenen Lebensalter präsentiert er in Heidelberg Lieder von Schubert, Schumann, Brahms und Wolf über die Jugend. Doch unreif ist an dieser Darbietung nichts. Und die Vielfalt der Farben, die er damit erreicht, verblüfft. Appl beherrscht sein Instrument so gut, dass es jeder kleinsten Regung der Texte folgt. Das Ergebnis ist, dass die Darbietung vollständig natürlich wirkt." Jan Kedves, Süddeutsche Zeitung, April 2016

Stunden, Tage, Ewigkeiten

Champs Hill Records

"... he floats through Mendelssohn's beautifully ripplig 'Scwanenlied' with mellow allure. Schumann's 'Du bist wie eine Blume' is expressively done and Dichterliebe as a whole, accompanied by James Baillieu, is engaging...Sample his debut solo disc and you will hear the current front-runner in the next generation of Lieder singers." Richard Fairman, Gramophone, May 2016

Handel

Messiah

Usher Hall, Edinburgh

...the 129th performance of Handel's oratorio by the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union may be chiefly remembered for the debut of German baritone and BBC New Generation Artist Benjamin Appl, a real talent of power, confidence and exemplary diction who delivered his first aria, The people that walked in darkness, in Schubertian style and continued to treat the score's most operative moments as Lieder.  Keith Bruce, Scotland Herald

Mahler

Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Alan Buribayev

The soloist, the young German baritone Benjamin Appl, has a vocal presence so arresting it almost seems hypnotic. His voice has something of the effect of a person with a physical beauty you just can’t tear your eyes away from. Michael Dervan, Irish Times

Brahms

Triumphlied Lied

BBC Prom 2015: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Marin Alsop

Despite his youth, Benjamin Appl already has a huge following.  I've kept missing his appearance, but now I can hear why he has impressed so many. He doesn't have much to sing in Triumphlied, but he makes those moments ring out gloriously.
Doundou Tchil/iconoclast blogspot
Two fine young singers made good impressions, however: American mezzo Jamie Barton in the Alto Rhapsody and the German baritone Benjamin Appl in the Triumphlied.
Classical Music Magazine

Orff

Carmina Burana

BBC Proms 2015: BBC Concert Orchestra, Keith Lockart

The soloists–Benjamin Appl, Thomas Walker and Olena Tokar– were outstanding. Tim Ashley, The Guardian
The soloists included two BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists, Ukrainian soprano Olena Tokar and German baritone Benjamin Appl, joining forces with Scottish tenor Thomas Walker. There was plenty to relish in... Appl as the inebriated Abbot of Cockaigne.
Clare Colvin, Sunday Express
Best of all, though, was the singing. Benjamin Appl sang the baritone part with brightness and natural colour: a genuinely interesting voice intelligently used.
Doundou Tchil, classical-iconoclast. blogspot

Schubert

Recital with Graham Johnson

Wigmore Hall; Live Radio 3 Broadcast

A very classy young Schubertian: beautiful lyric baritone, excellent delivery of text, assured stage presence.  Hugh Canning on Twitter

Schubert

Die schöne Müllerin

Markus-Sittikus-Saal Hohenems

Schöne Müllerin, schöner Bariton
Die Schubertiade-Saison ist eröffnet. Und man kann es nicht oft genug betonen: Dieses vierteilige Festival ist ein musikalischer Leuchtturm in Vorarlberg. Kein anderer Konzertveranstalter bietet dem Publikum eine derartige Dichte an internationalen Weltklassemusikern oder solchen, die gerade auf dem Weg sind, diese Liga zu ersteigen.
Zum Beispiel der deutsche Bariton Benjamin Appl. Da müsste schon sehr viel schief gehen, sollte dieser junge Mann nicht in kürzester Zeit auf den wichtigsten Konzert- und Opernbühnen anzutreffen sein. Benjamin Appl hat wirklich alles, was man für eine Sängerkarriere braucht. Die Stimme: groß, rund, perfekt geführt. Musikalität, Ausstrahlung, Bühnenpräsenz, Körpergröße, gutes Aussehen: alles vorhanden. Letzteres beweisbar durch spontane Reaktionen unzweifelhaft weiblichen Ursprungs, als Appl am vergangenen Freitag die Bühne in Hohenems betrat. Und wenn jemand in seinem Alter bereits fähig ist, Schuberts Zyklus „Die schöne Müllerin“ absolut überzeugend zu gestalten, wird er als Liedinterpret vermutlich noch viele Jahre nicht nur im Rahmen der Schubertiade zu hören sein.

English Translation:
(Beautiful miller-maid, beautiful baritone)
The Schubertiade season has opened. And one cannot emphasize this enough: This four-part festival is a musical lighthouse in Vorarlberg. No other promoter offers such a concentration of international world class musicians or those who are on the way to this league; for example, the German baritone Benjamin Appl. Something is massively awry if this young man is not appearing on the most important concert and opera stages within the shortest time. Benjamin Appl has absolutely everything you need for a singing career. The voice: big, round, perfectly controlled. Musicality, charisma, stage presence, body size, good look: everything present. The latter proved beyond doubt by spontaneous reactions from female members of the audience when Appl appeared on stage in Hohenems last Friday.  If someone of his age is already capable of such an interpretation of Schubert's cycle Die Schöne Müllerin, he will be probably be heard as a song interpreter for many years to come - not only within the Schubertiade .
Michael Loebl, Die Neue

Britten

Owen Wingrave

Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Benjamin Appl takes firm charge of the title role

Hilary Finch, The Times
Benjamin Appl’s Owen makes a handsome, quietly composed centrepiece. Andrew Clark, Financial Times
Benjamin Appl – tall, blond and in Prince William mould (making his girlfriend Kate rather appropriate) – led a fine cast with exemplary diction (mostly carrying to the audience behind them when they were facing the other bank of spectators). Appl was particularly affecting in his harp, piano and vibraphone-accompanied paean “Peace is not confused, not sentimental, not afraid” just before the end... Nick Breckenfield, Classical Source
Benjamin Appl was superb as Owen. The Spectator

Schubert

Schubert Recital

Markus-Sittikus-Saal Hohenems

Am Sonntagnachmittag stellte sich der junge deutsche Bariton Benjamin Appl dem Schubertiadepublikum vor, am Flügel saß er Nestor der Liedbegleiter, Graham Johnson. Gut aussehend und mit gewinnendem Auftreten hatte Appl schon nach den ersten Phrasen seines wohltönenden Baritons das Publikum auf seiner Seite. Mit einem puren Schubert-Programm hatte er sich höchsten Anforderungen gestellt und diese wunderschön erfüllt. Dass er nach der Pause noch einmal freier und authentischer wirkte, wohl ermutigt durch den herzlichen Beifall, ist mehr als verständlich. Mit seinen gut dreißig Lebensjahren und seinen wirklich reichen Anlagen hat Benjamin Appl alle Voraussetzungen für eine schöne Karriere. Und dass er gern wieder zur Schubertiade käme, hat er mit seiner ersten Zugabe „Wiedersehen“ zum Ausdruck gebracht, die zweite war „Die Taubenpost“. Neue Vorarlberger Tageszeitung
Da die Schubertiade immer auch nach jungen Stimmen sucht, kann man hier eine Entdeckung machen: zum Beispiel den 31-jährigen Bariton Benjamin Appl an der Seite von Altmeister Graham Johnson. Man hat den jungen Regensburger, der als „Domspatz“ seine erste Ausbildung erhielt, auch schon als Meisterschüler von Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in Schwarzenberg erlebt, Meisterkurse unter anderem bei der Lied-Akademie von Thomas Hampson in Heidelberg begleiten seine noch junge Karriere. Das Debüt bei der Schubertiade war vielversprechend: eine kultivierte, farbenreiche Stimme mit feinem Piano in der hohen Lage, schöne Linien, gute Sprache, dezente Mimik und Körpersprache – manches Mal würde man sich sogar wünschen, der Sänger würde mehr aus sich herausgehen. Selbst lange Strophenlieder wie das „Lied im Grünen“ weiß Appl abwechslungsreich zu gestalten, und große Reife und Ausdruckstiefe vermittelt der Sänger in den philosophisch angelegten Liedern. Gegensätzliches singt er überzeugend, anderes bringt er in wunderbarer unsentimentaler Schlichtheit.

Since the Schubertiade always also looks for young voices, one can make a discovery here: for example, the 31-year-old baritone Benjamin Appl alongside the great master Graham Johnson. One has already experienced the young singer from Regensburg (who received his first education as a ‘Domspatz’ [Cathedral Choir-boy]) as a masterclass student of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in Schwarzenberg, and other master classes accompany his young career, for example at the Lied Academy of Thomas Hampson in Heidelberg. The debut at the Schubertiade was auspicious: a cultivated, colorful voice with fine piano in the high register, beautiful phrasing, good diction, restrained facial expressions and body language.... Even in long strophic songs such as the ‘Lied im Grünen’ Appl knows how to vary moods, and the singer conveys great maturity and depth of expression in philosophically imbued songs. Songs with wide emotional contrasts he sings convincingly; others he delivers with a wonderfully unsentimental simplicity.
Schwäbische Zeitung

Purcell

Dido and Aeneas

Aldeburgh Festival

Benjamin Appl had the appropriate bearing and vocal authority for the role of Aeneas Guardian

Mozart

Le nozze di Figaro (Count)

Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Appl has a wonderfully expressive baritone voice and I look forward to hearing it in the more youthful role of Owen Wingrave at GSMD later this year. His Count was tall, slim and attractive with a wonderfully plausible manner when it came to dealing with the ladies, he also had the ability to turn on a pin with his emotions which is just right for this character. He was very seductive and in many ways quite brilliant. planethugill.com
The pairings of the principal couples were well-matched, though it was the Count of Benjamin Appl that dominated proceedings; he gave a superb characterisation, the alpha-male, and despite finally receiving his comeuppance, he still held the stage. Appl is an imposing presence, and he made a believable action-man, keeping the buffo aspects in check. Classical Source

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Recordings

MENDELSSOHN: Complete Songs

Piano: Malcolm Martineau
Soprano: Sophie Bevan
Soprano: Mary Bevan
Tenor: Robin Tritschler
Baritone: Benjamin Appl
Baritone: Jonathan McGovern
Tenor: Allan Clayton

Malcolm Martineau and his singers explore five themes: Songs of journeys, departures and greetings from afar, Songs of Spring, The boy Mendelssohn, Antique strains and voices from yesteryear, and a set of duets.
Champs Hill Records

Lieder

A recording of lieder by Brahms and Schumann with Ann Murray, Benjamin Appl, John Mark Ainsley and Malcolm Martineau.
Linn Records