"It was the tenor James Way who took the breath away, however, with his immaculate tonal control and the astonishing maturity of his musicianship."
Barry Millington, The Evening Standard
"Tenor James Way offered bravura passagework in a defiant and crisp ‘Thou Shalt Break Them’, and ... impressive mesa di voce in ‘Comfort ye’."
Benjamin Poore, Music OMH
"Of the cast we heard I would say she has picked three knockout performers... James Way as Sellem gave the auction scene more snap, crackle and pop than anyone else achieved."
Richard Morrison, The Times
Described as “a magnetic presence” (Opera Magazine) and “a consistent scene stealer” (The New York Times), tenor, James Way is fast gaining international recognition for the versatility of his voice and commanding stage presence. His recording of Purcell King Arthur with the Gabrieli Consort was named recording of the year by BBC Music Magazine as well as winning the Opera category. James was winner of the 2nd Prize in the 62nd Kathleen Ferrier Awards at Wigmore Hall. James studied music and was a choral scholar at King’s College London before continuing his studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he learnt with Susan Waters. He is a former Britten-Pears Young Artist, a laureate of both the Les Arts Florissants ‘Jardin des Voix’ and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s Rising Stars young artist programmes, and was awarded an Independent Opera Voice Fellowship.
A highly versatile performer, James is increasingly in demand on the concert platform in appearances spanning the breadth of the repertoire from the baroque to the present day with orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, Munich Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic and L’Orchestre de Chambre de Paris. His regular appearances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra have included the European premiere of Ross Harris FACE, Berlioz Les nuits d'été, works by Lili Boulanger, and Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music at the Last Night of the Proms.
James’ love of baroque music has seen him appear with many of the finest early music ensembles across Europe, with highlights including Handel Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (Tempo) with the Freiburger Barockorchester under René Jacobs; Handel Samson (title role) with John Butt and the Dunedin Consort; Monteverdi Vespers with Laurence Cummings and the English Concert for Garsington Opera; and Acis & Galatea (Acis) with Les Arts Florissants; as well as Messiah tours with Trevor Pinnock and the FBO, and with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants.
Opera credits include his debuts with Staatsoper Berlin in Purcell King Arthur (AKAMUS and René Jacobs) and with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Jakub Hrůša as the Holy Fool Boris Godunov at the Royal Festival Hall; Lechmere Owen Wingrave for Grange Park Opera, Sellem in a worldwide tour of The Rake’s Progress under the baton of Barbara Hannigan; Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (Tempo) for Opéra national de Montpellier under Thibault Noally; the Young King in George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence at St Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre; the Ballad Singer Owen Wingrave for the Aldeburgh and Edinburgh International Festivals c. Mark Wigglesworth and Davy in Roxanna Panufnik’s new opera Silver Birch for Garsington Opera. Future engagements include a return to Berlin Staatsoper and his house debut for Zurich Opera.
His recent performances include Academy of St Martin in the Fields (Messiah), Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Stravinsky Pulcinella), and Grange Park Opera (Lechmere Owen Wingrave); Handel’s Solomon (excerpts) and Foundling Anthem with the English Concert and Harry Bicket.
Forthcoming dates include Messiah with the Handel and Haydn Society Boston, conducted by Harry Christophers; Stravinsky Pulcinella with the Fondazione Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano and Alpesh Chauhan and a European tour of Handel L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie.
James’ enjoys programming and collaborating on song projects and recently performed Wolf Italian Songbook with pianist Christopher Glynn and soloists including Rowan Pierce and Roderick Williams, appearing at the Lammermuir Festival, St George’s Hall Liverpool, St George’s Bristol and Wigmore Hall. Other recital engagements include Oxford Lieder, London Song Festival, Marylebone Festival and Newbury Festival (with the Schubert Ensemble) as well as curating projects for the Devon Song Festival and SongSpiel.
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