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James Birchall

…bass-baritone James Birchall was the welcome newer voice…” - The Herald (Messiah – Usher Hall, Edinburgh, January 2010)

James Birchall began his musical education as a chorister at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle and later studied at St John’s College, Cambridge, the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He has sung many of the major oratorio roles, notably Handel’s Messiah and Beethoven’s Choral Symphony, both with the CBSO in Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Bach’s St Matthew Passion in the Royal Festival Hall with the Bach Choir and in Symphony Hall with Ex Cathedra, a performance now released on CD, St John Passion with the London Mozart Players in St Paul’s Cathedral and Christmas Oratorio in Kristiansund, Norway. He has also performed Messiah in Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford Cathedrals and in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh, St John Passion in Chichester Cathedral with the Hanover Band and Charles Wood’s St Mark Passion in Cambridge for BBC Radio 3, which he subsequently recorded. In 2010 he made his solo debut at the BBC Proms, performing Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, and has twice appeared as a soloist at the Three Choirs Festival, performing Serenade to Music and Purcell’s Hail Bright Cecilia.

On the opera stage, James has sung Superintendent Budd Albert Herring, Harasta Cunning Little Vixen, Dolokhov War and Peace and Earl Stanhope in Rory Boyle’s Kasper Hauser (RSAMD), Messenger Belshazzar at the Theatre du Capitole, Toulouse, Morales (cover) Carmen for Raymond Gubbay Ltd at the O2 Arena, London, and Masetto/Commendatore Don Giovanni for Opera della Luna at the Iford Festival. His other roles include Mephistopheles Faust, Zuniga Carmen and Swallow Peter Grimes. Recent/forthcoming engagements include Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius in Wells Cathedral, St John Passion with the choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, Mass in B Minor in Birmingham, Messiah in Norway and Elgar’s Coronation Ode in the Windsor Festival.

 

A commanding stage presence and a good sense of style” - Dame Janet Baker

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