Les phares de ma vie ont toujours été la musique, les langues et les voyages, qu'il s'agisse d'étudier le français et le russe à l'université d'Exeter, d'enseigner l'anglais et de prendre des cours de chant à Milan, de jouer de l'opéra et du théâtre musical dans toute l'Europe, ou d'enseigner le français et l'espagnol dans un collège dans le Kent! J'aime maintenant combiner une carrière d'interprète avec l'enseignement de chant et de langue chez moi en France. On m'a également demandé de diriger une nouvelle chorale dans la région - Vox Vallis. Toujours en train de suivre ces phares!
Né à Londres et résident français, James McOran-Campbell commence ses études à Milan, avant de les poursuivre à la Guildhall School of Music and Drama et puis au National Opera Studio. Peu après, on l’invite pour faire ses débuts avec Opera North dans le rôle-titre de Don Giovanni (il y reviendra par la suite pour Le Nozze di Figaro, Orfeo et La Veuve Joyeuse.)
Son large répertoire se compose de plus de soixante rôles et s’étend de la musique baroque à la musique contemporaine et la comédie musicale. Ses apparitions avec le Grange Park Opera (Belcore dans l’Elisir d’Amore, Bello dans La Fanciulla del West, le garde-chasse dans Rusalka) et English Touring Opera (Cunning Little Vixen, La Traviata) le font mieux connaître. Invité par les autres compagnies britanniques, il se produit dans Così fan Tutte pour le Scottish Opera, Cenerentola pour le Welsh National Opera sous la direction de Carlo Rizzi, et Carmen pour L’English National Opera. Une richesse d’interprétation le fait remarquer dans les rôles du personnage éponyme d’Onéguine et d’Il Barbiere di Siviglia pour Grange Park Opera, ce qu’il reprend pour Zomeropera (Belgique) et Opéra de Baugé. Avec ce dernier il collabore de nombreuses fois pour interpréter Eisenstein dans La Chauve Souris, Marcello dans La Bohême, et Papageno dans La Flute Enchantée.
Prêtant également sa voix à l’opéra contemporain, il participe à la création du rôle d’Alasdair dans les premières mondiales de Ghost Patrol pour le Scottish Opera et Music Theatre Wales, How the Whale Became de Julian Philips pour le Royal Opera, et The Ground Beneath her Feet pour le Festival International de Manchester dirigé par Mark Elder.
Dans le domaine de la comédie musicale, on a pu l’entendre au Théâtre du Châtelet dans The Sound of Music, mise en scène par Emilio Sagi, et encore dans Street Scene de Kurt Weil, ce qui a tourné au Young Vic à Londres (diffusé par Radio 3) avec le BBC Concert Orchestra, au Châtelet, au Theater an der Wien, au Liceu de Barcelone et au Staatenhaus de Cologne. Il chante aussi le rôle de Freddy Eynsford-Hill dans My Fair Lady à Londres. Il a été invité en 2022 à rejoindre les Folies Lyriques pour interpréter des chansons et duos de Broadway avec l'Orchestre et le Chœur National Montpellier Occitanie à l'Auditorium d'O.
On notera aussi qu’il a tourné avec L’Elisir d’Amore trois fois en Irlande, et au Festival de Buxton il a chanté Adolf dans Le Jacobin de Dvorjak et Winterreise en récital accompagné par le pianiste et chef d’orchestre James Southall. Plus récemment, il s’est produit avec le Jönköpings Sinfonietta en Suède dans Don Pasquale, et avec London Festival Opera en concert à Moscou, Yarolslavl et Saint-Pétersboug.
Comme soliste d’oratorio et en concert, il s’est produit au Royal Albert Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, à la Crush Room de Covent Garden, à la Chiesa San Marco à Milan, à la Cathédrale de Notre-Dame de Paris, au St. David’s Hall de Cardiff, et au Symphony Hall à Birmingham et le Bridgewater Hall à Manchester. Représenté visuellement par une exposition d'oeuvres d'art imaginés et réalisés par Alexander Anderson-Hall, il a chanté Dichterliebe et Songs of Travel en récital à Londres accompagné par Laetitia Federici. Il a aussi conçu et interprété un récital intitulé "Love's Songlist" avec le pianiste Gareth Owen au Forge Arts and Music Venue à Camden.
Sa carrière en devant de scène inclut également le film (Mission Impossible 5) et le théâtre. Son association avec Opera Vera, basé à Londres, a commencé par des interprétations du rôle-titre dans Don Giovanni. Il est ensuite revenu pour mettre en scène Le Nozze di Figaro (en plus de chanter le rôle du comte Almaviva) et Cosí fan Tutte. On l'invite à diriger un atelier pour jeunes chanteurs sur Eugene Onegin pour la Fondation Artstrust, et il interprète le rôle de Dr Malatesta dans sa propre mise en scène de Don Pasquale au Pays de Galles.
En France et à l’étranger, il se produit régulièrement en concert pour la compagnie indépendante Opera Galleria, dont il est co-fondateur avec le ténor Alexander Anderson-Hall, abordant avec bonheur un répertoire éclectique de musique classique et folklorique.
Les enregistrements incluent Songs of the Phoenix , un programme d'airs italiens, de chansons et de duos pour baryton et ténor enregistré à Champs Hill, Surrey, avec Alexander Anderson-Hall. Également des arrangements de chansons anglaises par Harold Craxton.
Diary and Highlights
Soirées Musicales of Golden Oldies from classics to Broadway, in the Salle Wisigoth at Rennes-le-Château.
Role of Ourrias in Gounod's Mireille, an opera set around Arles and the Camargue. Outdoor performances in the Domaine de Massiac in the Minervois. Dialogue in French and Occitan! Revivals at Capendu (Feb 2024) and Quillan (May 2024)
Guest soloist for the Chœur de l'Aude's 5-stop tour of Fauré's Requiem and Franck's Paroles du Christ.
Revisiting the role of the Toreador in Bizet's Carmen. Nov 2022 at the Stables Theatre in Hastings for Prologue Opera.
Broadway gala concert for Folies Lyriques with the Orchestre and Chœur National de Montpellier, 1&2 July 2022.
World Premiere of South Sea Bubble at the Reform Club, Pall Mall with the Cantata Dramatica, Aug 2022
Opera and Music Theatre Gala Concert at Brighton, UK in October 2022
Gala concert with extracts from Carmen and Italian Opera Favourites with the Malaga Symphony Orchestra, Sotogrande, Andalusía in July 2023. It's going to be hot!
Series of three Christmas Concerts - "Winterfête" - for Opera Galleria in the South of France 2021. Love those festive tunes!
Two semi-staged performances of Don Pasquale in Sweden for Jönköpings Sinfonietta, 2020. Lovely town, great cast, team, and director. Lots of fun!
Revisiting the role of Count Danilo in Lehar's timeless The Merry Widow.
Fun performances and great reviews (4* in the Guardian) of Die Fledermaus at the Arcola Theatre, Grimeborn Festival.
Fantastic run of Street Scene for my Cologne Opera debut with magnificent cast. Great city to work in too!
Opera Galleria's Classifolk debut performances in France enthusiastically received at La Fête de Bonnat, L'Auberge de la Tour, La Cellette, Villelongue d'Aude.
2018: Revival tour of Kiss me Kate with Opera North in Leeds, London and Ravenna. A lot of fun with a great cast!
Schumann's Dichterliebe and Vaughan Williams' Songs of Travel with pianist Laetitia Federici, presented by actor Mark Hardy and with original artwork by Alexander Anderson-Hall.
Concert soloist in Fauré's Requiem and C. Franck's Paroles du Christ for the Choeur de L'Aude, 2023
"Ce concert était dirigé par Florence Vettes qui a mené l'ensemble de 50 choristes de main de maître, accompagnés à l'orgue par Marc Chiron. La soprano Myiram Garcie et le baryton James McOran-Campbell ont élevé la qualité du concert par leur remarquable prestation" Quillan News, April 2023
Falke in Die Fledermaus by Strauss at the Arcola, Grimeborn Festival 2019
James McOran-Campbell’s honeyed tones make Falke rather lush, which is no bad thing: McOran-Campbell inhabits the world of the piece throughout with joyful intensity, even waltzing a little with the boxes as he rearranges the stage between scenes
Charlotte Valori, Theatrecat.com, 9th August 2019
His wily friend Falke – James McOran-Campbell in Batman T-shirt – the nanny Adele, got up as Rhianna (Abigail Kelly), and Rosalinde (Claire Wild), the cool, long-suffering wife, were assured and witty, both musically and dramatically
Fiona Maddocks, Guardian, 10th August 2019
Adolf in The Jacobin by Dvorzak at the Buxton Opera Festival 2014
James McOran-Campbell makes a suitably sly Adolf.
George Hall, Guardian, 13th July 2014
Mouse, Peacock, Leftovers and God in How the Whale Became by Julian Philips – ROH Linbury , December 2013
Perhaps yet more notable were Donna Lennard, whose development as Frog through the evening was charismatic, and James McOran-Campbell, whose effortless stage presence and dramatic ability was wonderfully equalled vocally. McOran-Campbell demonstrated astonishing range, dramatically and vocally, with an absolutely charming, all-controlling God, a menacing and malevolent Leftovers and an utterly resplendent Poor Thing with wonderfully camp vocal exhibitions while encased in a shining skin-tight outfit.
Edward Lewis, Classicalsource.com
But for me the outstanding performance came from baritone James McOran-Campbell. He has a lovely voice and a wonderfully charismatic stage presence. It came as no surprise to discover McOran-Campbell already features on the infamous “Barihunks” website.
Miranda Jackson, Opera Britannia
With a coloratura frog and a brilliant peacock able to leap from tenor (corr. baritone!) to falsetto, the score offers every variety of operatic voice, mostly in short bursts rather than songs.[…] In How the Whale Became, a joyful cast of five took on multiple roles: Fflur Wyn as Girl/Polar Bear/Cow, Donna Lennard (Frog), Andrew Dickinson as Boy/Wild Bull, James McOran-Campbell as Poor Thing/Leftovers and Njabulo Madlala as Whale/Elephant. Charm never toppled into mawkishness.
Fiona Maddocks – The Observer
There’s also a terrific cast...
Rupert Christiansen – Telegraph
Still, there were some terrific performances from Fflur Wyn, Donna Leonard, Andrew Dickinson, James McOran-Campbell and Njabulo Madlala who threw themselves into their multiple roles with verve and conviction...
Keith McDonnell – WhatsonStage.com
Don Giovanni for Opera Vera at St Paul’s Covent Garden, Nov 2013
It was refreshing to hear good young voices in an opera that deals so candidly with human urges and emotions. James McOran-Campbell as the wicked Don was magnetic: a man possessed by a sexual energy that left him unable to function at normal levels of human interaction. His command of the role was assured and his vocal quality terrifically exciting.
Mark Valencia, The Arts Desk.com
Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore for NI Opera - Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim
Baritone James McOran-Campbell as the lusty Sgt Belcore is suitably self-assured and vocally commanding.
David Byers, The Irish Times, 30 Sept 2013
Alasdair in Ghost Patrol by Stuart MacRae for Scottish Opera – Edinburgh Festival 2012
In Ghost Patrol, the orchestra… finally gets something seriously dramatic to play – and Mathew Richardson’s production turns a chamber setting into grand opera, virtuosically designed by Samal Blak and vividly acted by James McOran-Campbell, Nicholas Sharrat and Jane Harrington […] which MacRae drapes in a score as sophisticated as it is soulful – beauty and pain indivisible.
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, 4th Sept 2012
Crisply staged by Matthew Richardson, the piece benefits from the committed performances of Jane Harrington, Nicholas Sharratt and James McOran-Campbell.
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph. 31st August 2012
...the instrumental writing and the sonorities in MacRae's score are far more striking than his vocal lines. The performances – James McOran-Campbell and Nicholas Sharratt the ex-soldiers, Jane Harrington as the girl caught between them – are first-rate, though, and Matthew Richardson's production does everything required of it...
Andrew Clements, the Guardian. 1st September 2012
MacRae’s opera, with no-holds-barred libretto by Louise Welsh, is immediately exciting, making exacting and effective use of rhythm to portray the ugliness and trauma of war. While MacRae’s is somehow less self-conscious than Watkins’, both scores benefit from excellent casts and dependable conducting from Michael Rafferty.
Carol Main, the Scotsman. 31st August 2012
Title role Eugene Onegin for Grange Park Rising Stars at Cadogan Hall, London
James McOran-Campbell was delightfully young fogey-ish in the first two acts; managing to convey something of the character's appeal without being too buttoned up. McOran-Campbell is undoubtedly a singer able to convey charisma, which is essential in this role. In the first two acts, the character is very much reactive, he doesn't tell us what he is feeling but we have to learn from his interaction with others. McOran-Campbell was enormously helped here by Medcalf's beautifully detailed production, which set the piece firmly in a society where small gestures told. In act three, Onegin finally lets his emotions out and here McOran-Campbell let rip in thrilling form. He and Domnich were vividly intense in the final scene.
Robert Hugill. Planet Hugill - Online Classical Music Blog - September 2012
With the return of Onegin, musical and dramatic tension was brought to the fore, culminating in the stormy dialogue between Tatyana and our protagonist in which she asks him whether his love for her is due to her new status in society. He throws himself at her feet declaring his undying love, but she tells him it can never be and storms off the stage. The hairs on the back of my neck, and I’m sure many others’, were on end as Tatyana and Onegin part forever with Tchaikovsky’s heartbreaking music filling the Hall. I left with the feeling that I had experienced a true night at the opera – Russian decadence, glorious music and a cast that blew me away with their young talent. Rising stars indeed.
Emily Owen, Bachtrack.com September 2012
Title role Eugene Onegin for Grange Park Rising Stars at Nevill Holt
James McOran-Campbell's Onegin was stylish and handsome and cold, with that necessary show of passion just visible beneath the surface. He was fanciable and believable, with a magnificent, metal-edged baritone. In their fiendish final encounter, McOran-Campbell and Domnich gave such fiercely moving and powerful performances that a stunned silence prevailed before the audience broke into hysterical cheers and foot stamps. Bravo!
Rosie Johnston, Opera Now September 2012
Freddie Eynsford-Hill in My Fair Lady for Surrey Opera, Harlequin Theatre, Redhill, February 2010.
"Previously I had always winced at the part of Freddie but James McOran-Campbell was so perfect in the part with beautiful voice that I was completely converted. "
Gordon Bull, Words and Music 2010
"James McOran-Campbell's Belcore was the bombe surprise of the evening. Startlingly handsome with a fine-grained bass, he showed remarkable dexterity and ease of tone with Donizetti's glittering score. His comic timing was faultless; his lascivious gyrations hilarious.”
Opera Now Magazine, July 2009
Falke, in Tom Hawkes' production of Die Fledermaus at Castleward Opera
"James is the wonderfully scheming Falke, the orchestrator of the joke, in revenge for once having been left in a compromising position in a bat costume, by Eisenstein. His characterization brings to mind the worst kind of Tory politician, with the redeeming feature of a glorious voice. "
Andrea Rea, Belfast Newsletter, 5th June 2009
The Poisoned Kiss by Vaughan Williams for New Sussex Opera at the Winter Garden, Eastbourne, 9th November 2008
"... It was perhaps Louise Innes and James McOran-Campbell (as the servant pair, Angelica and Gallanthus) who most fully realized the work's tricky mix of comedy and pathos, pastiche and true emotion."
Mark Pappenheim, Opera Magazine, January 2009
Rusalka by Antonin Dvorjak - Grange Park Opera
"Clive Bayley was superbly authoratative as Rusalka's merman father, and there was a finely sung and acted game-keeper from James McOran-Campbell"
Peter Reed, Sunday Telegraph, Seven, 29th June 2008
Hamlet by Ambroise Thomas - English Pocket Opera - Cochrane Theatre, Holborn
“Baritone James McOran Campbell sings stunningly in the title role, sweetly conveying Hamlet’s melancholy and prevarication.”
Graham Gurrin, The Stage, 4 February 2008
Recital of La Bonne Chanson by Fauré, accompanied by Nicholas Ashton
"...a highly eloquent and persuasive performance from baritone James McOran-Campbell"
Susan Nickolls, The Scotsman, 18 April 2007
The Barber of Seville - Pimlico Opera - Sadlers Wells
"Catch if you can Pimlico Opera’s Barber of Seville… played by an excellent young cast. All the soloists have good voices, and manage Rossini’s fearsome demands capably, but James McOran-Campbell’s Figaro is a real charmer, with voice and looks to match. Clearly a name to watch... I haven’t enjoyed a Barber as much in years.”
Hugh Canning, Sunday Times, 1 October 2006
“As Figaro, James McOran-Campbell was impressive; he is possessed of a lovely resonant baritone voice which he uses admirably. His sense of line in this music was good and his way with the fioriture quite admirable. But more than his, he has a strongly attractive stage presence. His Figaro dominated the action without McOran-Campbell ever giving in to over-acting or excessive mugging.”
Robert Hugill. Music and Vision
“The star of the show is, however, James McOran-Campbell. His confident, leather-jacketed Figaro is a fully realized portrayal, tonally mellifluous and forcefully projected. It belongs already in a bigger house and, perhaps, a subtler production.”
David Gutman, The Stage Online - Wed 27 September 2006
The Barber of Seville Sept 2006
“Vocal quality was high, especially from James McOran-Campbell’s vivd and likeable Figaro.”
Robert Beale, Manchester Evening News
Cosi fan Tutte - Garden Opera - Richmond June 22 (Guglielmo)
"... - a fully realized portrayal by James McOran-Campbell conveying both humour and passion and, finally, sung with deep anger - rejected a second-best relationship, and he and Dorabella went their separate ways, infected perhaps by the cynicism that drives Alfonso".
Margaret Davies, Opera Magazine September 2006
La Cenerentola - OperaEast Productions, Cambridge Dec 16 2004.
."..members of the cast stood out for their potential: James McOran-Campbell, as Dandini, was the finest actor and offered glimpses of a huge voice that could prove magnificent in ten years time…"
Jo Kirkbridge, Opera Magazine March 2005
The Legend of Tantuna - Opera Galleria
"Immediately impressive was the quality of Anderson-Hall's tenor and McOran-Campbell's baritone voices, which blended so well into the fabric of this musical folk tale. Owen provided sensitive accompaniment throughout, always on cue, his dynamics at the keyboard heightening or lowering the prevailing mood as required. The voices were used to such good effect that at times it was difficult to accept that we were listening to just two voices and one piano; the baritone rich and fruity and the tenor clear and mellifluous. As a recital of some of the best arias in opera by two excellent singers, this show could stand on its musical content alone."
Derek Ansell, Newbury Weekly News - Spring 2004
Brief Encounter, world premiere by Peter Wiegold at the National Opera Studio. 2004
"Like David Lean's film, the opera starts as Laura (Cora Burggraaf) and Alec (James McOran-Campbell) attempt to close their unconsumated affair with dignity and grace…
As it stands, Brief Encounter is definitely worth seeing - for the uniformly excellent singing of this year's NOS students and the excitement of seeing what can and cannot be done with such iconic material…"
Opera - The Rape of Lucretia
"Without scenery and costume, we concentrated both on the characterisation of an outstanding young cast, and particularly on Ronald Duncan's text, with its many moments of simplicity and beauty…
All three men were outstanding. James McOran-Campbell made "Tarquin's ravishing strides", in his slow walk behind the orchestra, as sensational as any on stage - with the astonishing accompaniment of untuned drum…"
Hugh Vickers, A local paper in Oxford
National Opera Studio Showcase 2004 At the Queen Elizabeth Hall, May 6
"Kate Royal's already rich lyric soprano was offset by her poised stage presence here and as Mélisande in the Pelléas Tower scene, where James McOran-Campbell partnered her creditably."
George Hall, Opera Magazine July 2004
"…There was the raw material of some fine voices, too: a forceful Countess who suggested a Donna Anna in the making and Cora Burggraaf's bright, strong Susanna in particular. James McOran-Campbel's Count is mellifluous…".
Robert Thicknesse, The Times - Tuesday, September 3rd 2002.
"Sarah Jane Davies (Countess) may not stay with Mozart for too long: her substantial, vibrant soprano and generous phrasing suggested a Mimì before too long, and who knows what soon after. John Lofthouse fielded a richly coloured bass-baritone as Figaro, with musical instincts just as promising. In this respect he was neatly balanced with James McOran-Campbell's Count, more baritonal, a natural actor whose stage manner suggested a young Keenlyside."
Rodney Milnes, From Opera Magazine, November 2002.
A recital called "Housman Songs in Summer" with Mark Packwood
"Mark Packwood had devised a programme of rarely heard settings of Housman's poetry and his singer was to have been Quentin Hayes, a baritone with whom he has worked frequently at the Royal Opera House. Unfortunately he had to withdraw with vocal problems but we were very fortunate that James McOran-Campbell, a recent graduate from the Guildhall School of Music, did a wonderful job as stand-in, especially as he had to learn most of the songs especially for this concert.
In the more familiar territory inhabited by the second half there was still room for songs by James Hamilton and Frank Lambert before we moved on to E.J. Moeran's Ludlow Town, John Ireland's We'll to the woods no more and Butterworth's almost popular Six Songs from A Shropshire Lad. Here James McOran-Campbell came into his own and sang with commendable freedom and spontaneity. His diction was excellent, and his platform manner for such a young singer confident and convincing.
... the quality of his voice was impressive with a rich tone and a very well focussed top register. Mark Packwood supported him throughout with the most sensitive playing and their partnership in the Butterworth enabled them to communicate the full force of the telling poignancy behind this powerful music."
From the Housman Society Newsletter