Born in Sussex, tenor James Way was winner of the 2nd Prize in the 62nd Kathleen Ferrier Awards at Wigmore Hall. He was awarded the 2016 Simon Sandbach Award from Garsington Opera, and the ‘most promising singer’ award at the Dean and Chadlington Singing Competition. James is a former Britten-Pears Young Artist, and holds an Independent Opera Voice Fellowship. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Susan Waters, following a First Class honours degree in music from King’s College London.
A versatile performer, James is increasingly in demand on the concert platform in appearances spanning the breadth of the repertoire right up to the present day. Among them: Vaughan Williams A Pastoral Symphony with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (under John Wilson); Mozart C Minor Mass with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (under Stephen Barlow); Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (Last Night of the Proms) and with the CBSO; new commission Périple d’Hannon by Arthur Levandier with L’Orchestre de Chambre de Paris; and the European premiere of Ross Harris’s FACE with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, with whom he performs Berlioz Les nuits d’été in 2019, conducted by Douglas Boyd.
Rapidly gaining recognition in the Baroque repertoire, James was awarded the Rising Stars prize by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, with whom he has performed Jupiter in Handel’s Semele under Christophe Roussett, Haydn The Creation under Adam Fischer, and various Bach Cantatas as part of the OAE’s ‘Bach, the Universe and Everything’ series at Kings Place, London. Other recent highlights have included the title role in Handel’s Samson at Misteria Paschalia Festival with the Dunedin Consort; the title role in Acis &Galetea with Les Arts Florissants; and Bach St Matthew Passion (arias) with Sir John Eliot Gardiner. This season and beyond James joins notable ensembles in concert including a Messiah tour with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, Monteverdi Vespers with Laurence Cummings and the English Concert for Garsington Opera, Bach St Matthew Passion (Evangelist) with Nicholas McGegan and RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, performances and recordings of Purcell’s King Arthur and The Fairy Queen with the Gabrieli Consort and Players, and Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (Tempo) with the Freiburger Barockorchester, under René Jacobs.
James’s concert and recital work has taken him to Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Centre, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Lucerne KKL Concert Hall, L’Auditori Barcelona, Baluarte Pamplona, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Citê de la Musique, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Bozar Brussels, Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw, Wiener Konzerthaus, and Wiener Musikverein.
Opera credits include his debuts with Staatsoper Berlin in Purcell’s King Arthur (Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and René Jacobs) and with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Jakub Hrůša in the role of the Holy Fool/Boris Godunov at the Royal Festival Hall; the Ballad Singer/Owen Wingrave for the Aldeburgh and Edinburgh International Festivals (conducted by Mark Wigglesworth); Gondolier/Death in Venice, cover M. Triquet/Eugene Onegin, and the role of Davy in Roxanna Panufnik’s new opera Silver Birch for Garsington Opera; Ferrando/Così fan tutte for Garsington Opera’s Alvarez Young Artists Programme; and Vistola Fiume and Pastore/La liberazione di Ruggiero for the Brighton Early Music Festival. This season James debuts the role of Sellem in a worldwide tour of The Rake’s Progress under the baton of Barbara Hannigan.