James studied on the Artist Masters programme at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was a Leverhulme Scholar and was supported by the Chizel Education Trust. Highlights include taking part in a cross-arts performance of Schubert’s Schwanengesang with Iain Burnside, and being chosen by Graham Johnson to perform in a recital as part of the Song Guild.
In 2022, James has performed as ‘Nemorino’ in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (Scherzo Ensemble), ‘Don Ramiro’ in Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Barefoot Opera/Aylesbury Opera), ‘Schoolmaster’ in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, ‘Lensky’ in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (Guildford Opera), and ’Aeneas’ in Dido & Aeneas (HGO). Recent operatic performances include: ‘Madwoman’ Britten Curlew River, ‘Tobias’ Dove Tobias and the Angel, ‘Male Chorus’ Britten The Rape of Lucretia, ‘Box’ Sullivan Cox and Box. As an oratorio soloist: Haydn Creation, Bach St John Passion, Rossini Messe Solennelle, and Handel Messiah with the Britten Sinfonia. Opera scenes: ‘Tamino’ Die Zauberflöte, ‘Ferrando’ Così fan tutte, ‘Count Almaviva’ Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
In 2023, James is looking forward to performing as ‘Rodolfo’ in La boheme and singing Britten Nocturnes for the first time, as well as taking part in a tour of Rossini La Cenerentola and several performances of Haydn Creation.
James began singing as a chorister at Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire, and he has performed with choirs that include the the BBC Singers and the Monteverdi Choir. He is a regular member of the choir at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, and he also often sings with other church choirs in London that include those at Farm Street, Mayfair, the Oratory, and Temple Church.
Before moving to London, James sang as a Lay Clerk and ran Marketing and Communications for the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge; he has reprised the latter role since 2020. He manages the college’s award-winning label with Signum Classics, collaborates with PR agents Premier Classical, and produces a variety of promotional content. In 2018, James directed the filming of the first video live-streamed Evensong at St John’s in collaboration with Classic FM. He is committed to raising awareness of the opportunities available to young musicians at St John’s, and so he is heavily involved in recruitment and outreach activities.
From November 2022, James also took on a new communications role with the Chiltern Arts Festival.
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