The American operatic tenor, Ben Gulley, is 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, solo 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. His career has seen him perform across the globe within an array of musical forms and genres. From the stages of Carnegie Hall to The Corn Palace, from centerstage to behind the camera, Mr. Gulley is grateful to dedicate his life to expressing great music and telling stories for audiences everywhere. Not just a "tenor," Mr. Gulley is the founder of The Gulley Studio LLC; a content creation and artistic collaboration company specializing in video & audio production needs for the greater Kalamazoo area and abroad.
This 2019-20 season saw his role and company debuts as Dick Johnson in Puccini's La Fanciulla del West with Opera Orlando, his virtual recital company debut with The Dallas Opera, festival solo debut with the St. Augustine Music Festival, company debut as the tenor soloist in Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra his return and role debut as Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with 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 the 2019-20 Ben Gulley national concert tour with The Timeless Trio presented by LiveOnStage. The Summer of 2020 saw his return to in person singing outdoors & socially distant performances amidst the Rockies at the Yampa River Botanic Park in Steamboat, CO.
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, company and role debut as Dr. Marianus in Mahler’s 8th Symphony with South Dakota Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony (LANDMARK FINALE accomplishing their world record of performing the entire Mahler Cycle), tenor soloist in Beethoven VS Coldplay by Steve Hackman, 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, to name a few. The 2016-2018 seasons saw Mr. Gulley’s company debuts with Hamburg Staatsoper where he covered the late-great Marcello Giordani as Enées in Les Troyens under Maestro Kent Nagano, company and role debut with Sarasota Opera starring as Pedro in Tiefland with Maestro David Neely, with Opera Idaho debut 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, plus many more. 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 service), starring in MTH's rave-reviewed An Evening with Cole Porter, international appearances in Berlin, Germany; Former & Napoli, Italy; symphonic performances with Opera San Luis Obispo Grand Orchestra,The St, Joseph Symphony, and the Orlando MAYS.
The 2014-15 saw the role debut as Enee in Les Troyens workshopped 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 CHIEFS & ROYALS!!!