Douglas R. Benoit is a classically trained lyric tenor originally from Annapolis, MD. He received voice and piano training at the prestigious Peabody Preparatory, Oberlin Conservatory, and New England Conservatory of Music. He has studied voice with Helen Strine and Dr. Susan Harwood (Peabody Preparatory), Dr. Randal Woodfield (Peabody Conservatory, Marlene Rosen (Oberlin Conservtory), Patricia Craig (New England Conservatory), Heidi Skok and Roger Malouf (Metropolitan Opera). Douglas has performed as a soloist both nationally and internationally. Douglas is currently available for both public and private concerts, recitals, church services and masses, chamber and choral ensemble works, oratorio, and opera in the New York City metropolitan area, nationally, and internationally. He specializes in Early Music including sacred, Renaissance, Baroque, as well as light classical and romantic opera.
Douglas began studying voice at age ten with Helen Strine at the Peabody Preparatory in Annapolis, MD. After less than two years, he was accepted to the Arts for the Talented Youth Program (ATY) at the Preparatory. The ATY program allowed the gifted young singer to study voice, music theory, piano, dance, musical theater, music history, and computer music. He performed for numerous studio, invitational, honors, and ATY recitals. Douglas also played roles in Preparatory music theater productions like Babes in Arms, The Boyfriend, and Strike Up the Band, while also performing in theater workshops. During his studies, he was awarded the Lisa DiJulio Bertani Scholarship and the Rosa Ponselle Scholarship in addition to numerous achievement awards in voice. In his final year, Douglas completed his Advanced with Honors Certificate Exams in classical voice. Competing in the Advanced Highschool Men category of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition, he won first place in the MD/DC chapter and third in the regional. During his final two years with ATY, he studied classical voice with Dr. Randal Woodfield and Dr. Susan Harwood. The two acted as primary mentors during this time in preparation for his senior recital and music conservatory auditions.
Douglas is a graduate of Broadneck Sr. High School where he was very active within the music program. He sang many choir performances with the choir and as a soloist. He was
also given the opportunity to sing as soloist with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra in Faure's Requiem. As a senior, he played Emile DeBecque in the school's production of Rogers and Hammerstein's South Pacific. That year, at the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre he was in Me and My Girl, and also participated in many summer acting workshops at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.
In the Fall of 2001, Douglas began at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he studied with Marlene Rosen, a student of the renowned teacher, Richard Miller. While at Oberlin, Douglas participated in the Oberlin Opera company's production of Handel's Alcina. During this time, he held local positions at the United Church of Christ (First Church) in Oberlin and St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Lakewood, OH. He also sang seasonally at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. where he also participated in a recording project with the choir. From August 2004 to May 2007, Douglas continued his voice performance studies at the New England Conservatory of Music. There he studied with Patricia Craig. During this time, he continued to sing seasonally at the National Shrine in Washington, D.C. Primarily, this time was used as a period of technical focus as Douglas transitioned from lyric baritone to tenor. Upon moving to New York City, Douglas began studies with Metropolitan Opera veteran, Heidi Skok. Soon after he began to regularly coach with Metropolitan Opera Assistant Conductor, Roger Malouf. He can be heard weekly as a cantor and featured soloist at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Lincoln Center.
In April 2011, Douglas was tenor soloist in the NYC Master Chorale Washington D.C. performance of Paul Leavitt's Requiem at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation on Capital Hill. He then continued as soloist in the European debut of the piece at Église Saint-Sulpice of the 6ème arrondissement of Paris, France. He made his Lincoln Center debut in May 2011 at Alice Tully Hall performing the Leavitt Requiem as part of the Master Chorale's 5th Anniversary Celebration. He then sang the Requiem for three 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Concerts in New York City and Washington D.C. That year he was also soloist with the Village Chorale as part of their Summer Sings Series featuring J.S. Bach's Magnificat. In December, he performed the piece again as soloist with the New York City Master Chorale for their holiday program featuring J.S. Bach's Magnificat and the John Rutter Gloria. That season he was cantor at Christmas Eve Midnight Mass and Christmas Day Mass at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Lincoln Center. He then performed in a very special New Year's Eve performance at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle with the New York Repertory Orchestra and New York Festival singers as tenor soloist in J.S. Bach's Magnificat.
In December 2013, Douglas once again performed as tenor soloist with the New York City Master Chorale in the New York City Premiere of Paul Leavitt's Magnificat at the Church of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. He was also invited to participate as a guest artist in the CBS production of A New York Christmas to Remember, filmed at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, and hosted by Regis Philbin. Currently Douglas is working with Metropolitan Opera Veteran, Heidi Skok to form the ensemble RESONANZ, which will produce recitals in New York City and Cleveland, and will feature the two artists . This unique group will support and feature vocalists but also include unique collaborations with other art forms.
Photo by Maurizio Bacci © 2015