Slovak bass Jozef Benci, who recently gained critical acclaim for his “velvety timbre and an open, expressive voice” in a performance of Dvořák’s Requiem at the Musikverein Vienna, has been a member of the ensemble of the Slovak National Theater in Bratislava since 2004 and has made regular guest appearances at opera houses, concert halls and at festivals in Europe and Asia.
Upcoming performances include three concerts featuring Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass with the orchestra of the Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Rome under the baton of Jakub Hruša as well as a concert performance as Dikój in Katja Kabanova at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
Jozef Benci performed the bass part in Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass at Berliner Philharmonie in 2018 and for a CD recording for the Supraphon label (2013). In 2017 he had great success as Le Cardinal Brogni in Halevys La Juive in a production by Peter Konwitschny. For a recording with the BBC, Benci sang Filip in Dvořák’s The Jacobin, after having been praised by critics for his Kecal in a concert performance of Smetana’s The Bartered Bride at the London Barbican Center with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Jiří Bělohlávek. Verdi’s Messa da Requiem under Nello Santi is another highlight of his career, as well as appearances with Edita Gruberova in concert performances of Lucrezia Borgia and Anna Bolena at Tonhalle Zurich and Bratislava Music Festival.
Jozef Benci’s repertoire includes a large number of great figures in opera literature, such as Vodník/Rusalka, Sarastro/Die Zauberflöte, Il Commendatore/Don Giovanni, Mephisto/Faust, Colline/La bohème, the title role in Boris Godunow and protagonists in operas of Donizetti, including Dulcamara/L’elisir d’amore and Sulpice/La fille du régiment.
In Verdi’s opera his roles include the title role in Attila, Fiesco/Simon Boccanegra, Zaccaria/Nabucco, Ferrando/Il Trovatore, and both Il grande inquisitore and Filippo II. in Don Carlo.
Jozef Benci studied at the Conservatory and at the Academy of Music and Drama in Bratislava and at the Janáček Academy of Music in Brno.
He won prizes in national and international competitions, including the International Singing Competition of Hariclea Darclée 2001, George Enescu Singing Competition in Bucharest 2001 and the Competition Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg 2006.
After completing his studies he was a guest at the Slovak National Theater Chamber Opera in Bratislava before before being contracted at the State Opera in Banská Bystrica in 2002.