Since winning the inaugural Seattle Opera International Wagner competition in 2006, James Rutherford has become renowned for his interpretations of German romantic opera. He has sung Hans Sachs (“Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg”) for the Bayreuth Festival (2010, 2011), Wiener Staatsoper, Hamburg Opera, Cologne Opera, Budapest Wagner Festival and Glyndebourne Festival; Wolfram (“Tannhäuser”) for San Francisco Opera; Kurwenal (“Tristan und Isolde”) for Washington National Opera, and the title role in “Der Fliegende Holländer” with the CBSO and Andris Nelsons.
In 2009 he began a major association with the Graz Opera, singing his first Hans Sachs and returning for Barak (“Die Frau ohne Schatten”), Germont (“La Traviata”), Iago (“Otello”), Orestes (“Elektra”) and the title role in “Falstaff”. He has performed Jochanaan (“Salome”) at the Wiener Staatsoper, Berlin Staatsoper and Opéra national de Montpellier. Other appearances include the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Welsh National Opera, English National Opera, Scottish Opera and Opera North.
Recent concert appearances include Adams’ Nixon in China (BBC Proms, Berlin Festival) conducted by the composer; Wotan “Die Walküre” Act 3 (Philharmonia) for Wagner’s 200th birthday; and an invitation by Prince Charles to sing Hans Sachs at his 65th birthday Wagner gala at Buckingham Palace.
Last season he sang Mandryka (“Arabella”) in Amsterdam and Hamburg. In the 2014/2015 season season he sings Tell (“Guillaume Tell“) and Scarpia (“Tosca“) in Graz, Orestes in Hamburg, and Lysiart (“Euryanthe“) in Frankfurt. His CD of Wagner arias with Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic is now out on the BIS label.