Benton Roark


The music of composer Benton Roark (he/him) has been described as “visionary” (The Vancouver Sun), “ardent and soaring” (The National Post), and “an experience of deep and darkling beauty” (The Austin Chronicle). In recent years much of his work has focused on new opera, with full productions including Tapestry Opera’s Tap:Ex Augmented Opera (“gorgeous Straussian vocal writing,” The Globe and Mail) and Bandits in the Valley (Dora Mavor Moore award nominee, 2018), Vancouver Pro Musica/Tomoe Arts’ Shadow Catch (“an evocative score” The Bulletin), and Fugue Theatre’s Off Leash (“one of the most unique theatrical experiences currently on Vancouver stages” Vancity Buzz). Roark has also enjoyed acclaim as a bandleader and songwriter with projects such as The Benton Roark Band, Rollaway (“backwoods choir elegance” The Georgia Straight), and Arkora (“the standout event of Vancouver’s spring music season” Vancouver Observer), whose Songs from the Rainshadow’s Edge earned him a 2016 WCMA nomination for Composition of the Year. His latest record – Rollaway’s Modern Epic (2019) – drew comparisons to the Allman Brothers, Sea Level, and Stax/Volt releases and was called “superb both its instrumental explorations and soaring harmonies” (The Vancouver Sun). Ongoing works include new operas The Handless Maiden (Katherine Koller, libretto and Tempest Flutes, producer) and The Sign of Jonas (Luke Hathaway/Amanda Jernigan, libretto and re:Naissance Opera, co-producer), a new commission for TorQ Percussion, and various projects in the realm of microtonality, including designing and building a second generation glass marimba in 31-tone equal temperament and acting as a brand ambassador for the Lumatone isomorphic keyboard. After earning his D.M.A. from the University of British Columbia, Roark served as Associate AD of Redshift Music and taught composition and theory at the Vancouver Academy for a number of years before relocating to Toronto in 2019.

“gorgeous Straussian vocal writing by Roark”

The Globe and Mail on TAP:EX Augmented Opera