Described as “a magnetic presence” (Opera Magazine) and “a consistent scene stealer” (The New York Times) James is fast gaining international recognition for the versatility of his voice and commanding stage presence. Born in Sussex, he was winner of the 2nd Prize in the 62nd Kathleen Ferrier Awards at Wigmore Hall.  He was awarded the 2016 Simon Sandbach Award from Garsington Opera, and the ‘most promising singer’ award at the Dean and Chadlington Singing Competition. James is a former Britten-Pears Young Artist, holds an Independent Opera Voice Fellowship and an International Opera Awards Bursary. James studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Susan Waters, following a First Class honours degree in music from King’s College London.

A versatile performer, James is increasingly in demand on the concert platform in appearances spanning the breadth of the repertoire right up to the present day. Among them: Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 3 with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (c. John Wilson), Stravinsky Pulcinella with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (c. Barbara Hannigan) and the CBSO, Mozart Requiem with L’Orchestre de Chambre de Paris with whom he also premiered Périple d’Hannon by Arthur Lavandier, Mozart C Minor Mass with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (Last Night of the Proms) and with CBSO; the European premiere of Ross Harris’ FACE, Berlioz Les nuits d’été (c. Douglas Boyd) and a concert of works by Lili & Nadia Boulanger (c. James Gaffigan) all with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. 

Rapidly gaining recognition in the Baroque repertoire, James was awarded the Rising Stars prize by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, with whom he has performed Jupiter in Handel’s Semele under Christophe Roussett, Haydn The Creation under Adam Fischer, and various Bach Cantatas as part of the OAE’s ‘Bach, the Universe and Everything’ series at Kings Place, London.  Other recent highlights have included the title role in Handel’s Samson at Misteria Paschalia Festival with the Dunedin Consort; the title role in Acis & Galetea with Les Arts Florissants; and Pastore/Spirit in Monteverdi’s Orfeo directed by Paul Agnew with Les Arts Florissants. This season and beyond James joins notable ensembles in concert including Monteverdi Vespers with The English Concert conducted by Lawrence Cummings for Garsington Opera, a Messiah tour with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, Bach’s St Matthew Passion (Evangelist) with Nicholas McGegan and RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, performances and recordings of Purcell’s King Arthur and The Fairy Queen with the Gabrieli Consort and Players, and Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (Tempo) with the Freiburger Barockorchester, under René Jacobs.

Opera credits include his debuts with Staatsoper Berlin in Purcell’s King Arthur (Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and René Jacobs); and with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Jakub Hrůša in the role of the Holy Fool/Boris Godunov at the Royal Festival Hall; Sellem in Stravinksy’s The Rake’s Progress at La Monnaie, Aldeburgh Festival and with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra (c. Barbara Hannigan). the Ballad Singer/Owen Wingrave for the Aldeburgh and Edinburgh International Festivals with Mark Wigglesworth, Gondolier/Death in Venice, cover M. Triquet/Eugene Onegin, and the role of Davy in Roxanna Panufnik’s new opera Silver Birch for Garsington Opera; Ferrando/Così fan tutte for Garsington Opera’s Alvarez Young Artists Programme, and Vistola Fiume and Pastore/La liberazione di Ruggiero for the Brighton Early Music Festival.

James’s  concert and recital work has taken him to Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Centre, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Paris Philharmonie, Munich Philharmonie, Hamburg Elb Philharmonie, Dresden Kulturpalast, Dortmund Konzerthaus, Lucerne KKL Concert Hall, L’Auditori Barcelona, Baluarte Pamplona, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Citê de la Musique, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Bozar Brussels, Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw, Wiener Konzerthaus, and Wiener Musikverein.

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