James McOran-Campbell is regularly acclaimed in the press both for his vocal quality and his attractive and compelling stage presence. He is acknowledged by colleagues, critics and public alike as both a remarkable operatic talent and a popular and accomplished recital artist. He studies with Robert Dean and is represented by Athole Still International.
London-born, he read French and Russian at Exeter then qualified as a Management Accountant working at British Airways. He began his operatic training in Milan, before attending the Guildhall School of Music and Drama whilst making early professional appearances as Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Achillas in Julius Caesar, Argante in Rinaldo, Proteo/Marte in Il Parnasso in Festa, Marco in Gianni Schicchi at St. Johnís Smith Square, and Il Conte in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Royal Festival Hall.
Going on to study at the National Opera Studio, he came to the attention of a wider public as Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore and his critically-acclaimed Figaro in Il Barbiere de Siviglia, both for Grange Park Rising Stars. This led to engagements for Grange Park Opera as Bello in La Fanciulla del West, Hajny/Lovec in Rusalka and the title role Eugene Onegin at Nevill Holt, Grange Park and Cadogan Hall. He made his debut for Opera North in the title role of Don Giovanni and has since returned to Opera North as the Count in The Marriage of Figaro, Cascada in The Merry Widow and Pastore/Spirito in Orfeo.
Recently he has been singing Adolf in The Jacobin by Dvorak for Buxton Opera Festival, a concert of highlights from Eugene Onegin at St John's Smith Square, and the roles of Peacock, Mouse, Leftovers and God in the world premiere of How the Whale Became by Julian Philips at the Linbury, Royal Opera House. He has sung Belcore in The Elixir of Love for Northern Ireland Opera and Opera Theater Company, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus for Opéra de Baugé and the title role in Don Giovanni for Opera Vera at the Actors' Church, Covent Garden. He also made his debut for English National Opera as Morales in Carmen and created the role of Alasdair in the Sky Arts Award winning Scottish Opera/Music Theatre Wales joint commission of the world premiere of Ghost Patrol by Stuart MacRae, in Glasgow, at the Edinburgh Festival, the Linbury Studio - ROH and on national tour. He reprised various roles at the Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris) and Gran Teatre de Liceu revivals of the acclaimed run of Kurt Weil's Street Scene for The Opera Group, originally at the Young Vic, the Theater an der Wien, and on national tour in the UK and for Radio 3 Broadcast with the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Further highlights have included Dandini in La Cenerentola under Carlo Rizzi for Welsh National Opera and the creation of the central baritone role in the world première of The Ground beneath her Feet with the Hallé, conducted by Mark Elder at the Manchester International Festival. He has performed the title role in Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Zomer Opera in Belgium and for Opéra de Baugé, for whom he has also sung Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Marcello (La Bohème) and Nardo (La Finta Giardiniera). In 2009 and 2011 he sang Rolf Gruber in The Sound of Music at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. For English Touring Opera he has sung roles in The Cunning Little Vixen, La Traviata and Don Giovanni, while significant appearances elsewhere include Pelléas, Tarquinius, Hamlet, Guglielmo and Falke, the latter for Castleward Opera in Ireland. He has understudied roles on several occasions at the Royal Opera House, London.
Exciting new departures to his established career have recetly included involvement in the role of an opera singer in the upcoming film Mission Impossible 5, playing First Priest in T.S Eliot's play Murder in the Cathedral, and directing a production of Le Nozze di Figaro (as well as singing the role of Count Almaviva) for Opera Vera. He also directed a week's exploratory workshops with younger singers on Onegin for the Artstrust Foundation with a view of mounting a touring production of the work around national libraries.
Plans include Schubert's Winterreise with pianist James Southall for Buxton Festival, Don Alfonso in Cosi fan Tutte for Scottish Opera, and furrther concert performances in the title role of Onegin.
An experienced concert artist, oratorio performances have included Mozart’s Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall, Mendelssohn’s Elijah at Arundel Cathedral and gala concerts at venues such as the Symphony Hall in Birmingham and the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester for Raymond Gubbay. His European concert engagements have included Rossini’s Messe in Milan and Savona with the Complesso Cameristico Internazionale and in London with the Philharmonia Chorus, Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem at the Chiesa San Carlo in Milan and a televised concert of Zarzuela in Spain.
Much in demand as a recitalist, James’ performances have included the world premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s settings of Three Andrew Motion Songs at King’s Place in London accompanied by Iain Burnside, three recital programmes at the Crush Room, Royal Opera House with Mark Packwood, and he recently devised and performed a recital entitled "Love's Songlist" with pianist Gareth Owen at the Forge Arts and Music Venue in Camden.
Recordings include Songs of the Phoenix, a programme of Italian arias, songs and duets for baritone and tenor recorded at Champs Hill, Surrey, with Alexander Anderson-Hall. Also settings of English songs by Harold Craxton.
CDs can also be made available of the Crush
Room recital Le Travail du Peintre with Mark Packwood
and the Opera and Song concert given in June with Alexander
Anderson-Hall (tenor) and Gareth Owen (piano).
Page last updated 01/06/15
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