Best newcomer: Benedict Nelson, potentially a baritone in the Finley and Keenlyside class
Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph, April 2010
Giovanni, the serial seducer, played and sung by the compelling Benedict Nelson as a raging bull without scruples or limits until he expires in what seems to be a drugfuelled fit.
Times, February 2015
The singing as always at the ENO was first rate... Benedict Nelson as Billy Budd possesses a beautiful voice... he was utterly compelling, his acting superb, his phrasing touching and he stole our hearts as the poor stammering scapegoat for a twisted homosexual obsession.
Melina Hughes, Spear’s WMS, June 2012
...Mr. Nelson captured Billy’s boundless physical energy and decency while conveying the gullible nature that keeps Billy from seeing the malevolence of Claggart, the master-at-arms, until too late. Like many fine British singers before him, Mr. Nelson made the words matter... the honesty and directness of Mr. Nelson’s singing won me over.
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, June 2012
But the revelation of the set is Benedict Nelson’s searingly powerful account of Songs and Proverbs of William Blake. This late cycle, dedicated to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, is dark and spare in tone without any of Britten’s customary twinkle. But when sung with the focused intensity that Nelson’s rich baritone brings to it, its impact is profoundly haunting.”
Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph, November 2011
This underlying violence is heightened by Benedict Nelson’s Count, who suppresses as much as he releases, a man stalking the borderlands of his own civilised humanity.
Alexandra Coghlan, The Arts Desk, October 2014
Benedict Nelson was the Figaro…he sang and acted with considerable elegance. What a beautiful voice he has, and how intelligently musical he is: in the right circumstances, he could prove the successor to Gerald Finley.
Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph, February 2013