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JAMES MORRIS

James Morris is renowned the world over as one of the finest singers ever to take the stage. Be it in opera productions, recitals, or on recordings, he has maintained an unparalleled level of quality in the broadest range of repertoire. In any given season he is likely to be heard in works of composers as diverse as Wagner, Puccini, Stravinsky, Verdi, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Britten, Moore, Beethoven, and Offenbach. Born and educated in Baltimore, James Morris studied at the Peabody Conservatory. His audition and subsequent acceptance in 1971 as the youngest male singer ever to join the Metropolitan Opera launched his career, and four years later he sang his first performances in the title rôle of Don Giovanni at the Met. He took on one of the most daunting rôles in all of opera, that of Hans Sachs in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger, making his début in the rôle at the San Francisco Opera, then singing it in another production at the Metropolitan Opera. He has also appeared as Tabor in Douglas Moore’s rarely performed The Ballad of Baby Doe at the San Francisco Opera, the title rôle of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer at both the Metropolitan Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the four villains in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Opéra National de Paris and the Vienna Staatsoper, Scarpia in Puccini’s Tosca and Iago in Verdi’s Otello, both at the Met, and Wotan/Wanderer in the Met’s historic triple Ring Cycle, among many others. His extensive discography includes operas by Wagner, Offenbach, Mozart, Massenet, Verdi, Gounod, Donizetti, Strauss and Thomas. He is probably the only bass in history to have recorded the rôle of Wotan/Wanderer in two complete Ring Cycles. At the same time James Morris has a keen enthusiasm for the great Broadway musicals. He frequently performs Broadway songs in concert with orchestra, and recently appeared in two televised specials on cable channel A&E commemorating the composer Richard Rodgers.


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