Zachary James is an international opera singer and recording artist, Broadway & TV actor, 2022 GRAMMY Award winner, BroadwayWorld Vocalist of the Decade, Classical Post’s Most Innovative Artist, Verismo Magazine’s Breakout Artist of the Year and among Opera Wire’s 30 Most Influential LGBTQ+ Artists.
Acknowledged as “a true stage animal” (Opera News), Mr. James is known for his “huge, robust bass” which “resonates with force” (Bach Track), “tremendous power and presence” (The Arts Desk, London). Opera News has also referred to his instrument as “intrinsically beautiful”, a “cavernous bass” with “oomph and range”.
Recent highlights and upcoming season engagements include the Immigration Officer in Flight with Dallas Opera, the title role in Sweeney Todd with Opera Omaha, a return to Akhnaten with The Metropolitan Opera, The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance with Cincinnati Opera, Lucius/Witch in the World Premiere of Paola Prestini’s Edward Tulane with Minnesota Opera, and Sciarrone in Tosca with LA Opera.
Mr. James created the role of Lurch in The Addams Family musical on Broadway, the role of Abraham Lincoln in the world premiere of Philip Glass’s opera The Perfect American at the Teatro Real in Madrid (a role he reprised for London’s English National Opera and Australia’s Opera Queensland), Oberon in the world premiere of Kristin Hevner’s Il Sogno at the Teatro Citta della Pieve in Umbria and the role of Terry in the world premiere of Breaking The Waves at Opera Philadelphia. A winner of the Lotte Lenya Competition, Zach has also been engaged by The Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, Opera Omaha, Minnesota Opera, Dallas Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Opera Saratoga, On Site Opera, Virginia Opera, Nashville Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Arizona Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Roanaoke, Florentine Opera, Opera Ithaca, Shreveport Opera, Anchorage Opera, Union Avenue Opera, Schlossoper Haldenstein, Switzerland, Central City Opera, Ash Lawn Opera and Knoxville Opera, Phoenicia International Festival of The Voice, Prototype Festival NYC, Metropolis Opera Project, Chutzpah Festival, American Lyric Theatre and Illuminarts Miami.
Mr. James’s orchestral concert engagements include performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, The New York Philharmonic, NYC Ballet, American Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of the Mountains, MasterVoices NYC, Southern New Jersey Symphony, Cape Cod Symphony and Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed cabaret acts throughout the United States including at Carnegie Hall, Birdland, Don’t Tell Mama, Medicine Show, Joe’s Pub, Gorilla Tango, Noce Jazz Club and dozens of other venues around the United States.
His visual album debut, Call Out (audio available on all major streaming platforms, film exclusively on YouTube), has received accolades at twenty-seven film festivals worldwide and was highly commended by London’s Classical Music Digital Awards. The groundbreaking work, featuring all female composers from the classical music industry, has been widely praised as “the direction that opera needs to go” (Opera Box Score), “protean”, “astonishing” and “jaw-dropping” (Parterre Box) and “a combo of rollicking fun and self-revealing moments. It’s a well-planned, lovingly curated, and brilliantly executed mash-up that’s exciting and intelligent…Trust me, it’s all worth watching.” (Opera Wire). His solo show, On Broadway, has played around the United States and was released as an album in 2021 on all streaming platforms.
As a stage actor, Zach originated in three Broadway shows including creating the role of Lurch in the Original Broadway Cast of The Addams Family, Thomas Hassinger in the Tony Award-winning Original Broadway Revival Cast of South Pacific at Lincoln Center, and made his Broadway debut in the 2007 National Theatre of London Broadway transfer, Coram Boy. Zach played Off-Broadway as Pasquale in The Most Happy Fella and Jo-Jo in Irma la Douce, both with Encores! at New York City Center. On screen, Zach has appeared on HBO’s Succession, on the sitcoms 30 Rock and Murphy Brown, on the 2010 Tony Awards live from Radio City Music Hall, PBS Great Performances, Live from Lincoln Center, the Late Show with David Letterman, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and more.