James Harrison graduated with First Class Honours from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and after a year as an Emerging Artist with NBR New Zealand Opera, studied with Margaret Kingsley at the Royal College of Music where he won the prestigious Lies Askonas Prize, the McCulloch Prize for Opera and a special Director’s Prize. James then went on to the National Opera Studio.
On the concert platform James has sung with Sir David Wilcocks (Messiah) at the Royal Albert Hall; the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge (Creation) also at the Royal Albert Hall; the Classical Opera Company at the Barbican; and Peter Schreier (Weihnachts Oratorium) at St John’s Smith Square. Along with Lindy Tennent-Brown, James has given a series of recitals throughout England, worked with Graham Johnson’s Young Songmakers and with The Prince Consort. James is now a member of an exciting new group, the Blind Tiger Ensemble.
James has recently made his debuts for Opera Holland Park and Iford Arts and will shortly make his debut for English National Opera at The Barbican and return to the London Handel Festival. His operatic roles include Christus in the London Handel Festival’s world premiere staging of Handel’s Brocke’s Passion; Papageno/The Magic Flute for Merry Opera Company; Escamillo/Carmen and Onegin/Eugene Onegin for Riverside Opera; Bello/La Fanciulla del West for Opera Holland Park; Conte Alamaviva/Le Nozze di Figaro for Southbank Sinfonia; Scarpia/Tosca for Opera UpClose; Marcello/La Bohème and Sharpless/Madama Butterfly for the Mannanan Festival; Mauregato in Schubert’s Alfonso und Estrella; work with Bampton Classical Opera, Mid-Wales Opera and extracts from Don Giovanni with the London Mozart Players. James has also covered roles for Opera North and Garsington.
James regularly returns to New Zealand to sing in opera and concerts including the title role in the world premiere of Eve de Castro Robinson’s opera Len Lye; Valentin/Faust and Father/Hansel & Gretel for NBR Zealand Opera and concerts with Auckalnd Choral Society, the Auckland Philharmonia and Christchurch City Choir.
James is currently taught by Joy Mammon and has taken part in masterclasses with Luciano Pavarotti, Sherrill Milnes, Tom Krause, Gerald Finley and Sir Donald McIntyre.