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James Taylor, dramatic tenor

American tenor James Taylor has a long list of accolades, including “a rich, focused tenor”, “sings magnificently”, “great beauty as well as dramatic power”, “richly musical”, and “superb”.  At home in opera as well as the concert and recital stages, he has appeared with numerous opera houses and symphony orchestras including the New York City Opera National Company, San Francisco Opera, Theater Műnster, Theater Augsburg, Central City Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Anchorage Opera, Virginia Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera, the Arkansas Symphony, the Alabama Symphony, the Chattanooga Symphony, Yale Symphony, the New Haven Symphony, the Duke Chorale, and the National Chorale.  Mr. Taylor has also given recitals in the US, Europe, and Asia, including recital tours of the Netherlands and Malaysia.


In 2009, Mr. Taylor made the switch from baritone to tenor.  Since, he has performed as Manrico in Il Trovatore with Bob Jones University and Virginia Opera, Don Jose in Carmen, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Canio in I Pagliacci, Samson in Samson et Dalilah and Siegmund in Die Walküre. As a concert soloist, he has performed Bach’s Magnificat, Händel’s Samson and Messiah, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, Mahler’s Lied von der Erde and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria. He has also presented Liederabends of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise, and Wagner’s Wesendonk Lieder.


Mr. Taylor’s interests lie in the heavier German and Italian repertoire and in roles with distinct dramatic character.


Prior to 2009, Mr. Taylor appeared as a baritone in thirty-six operatic roles including Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Marcello in La Bohème, Germont in La Traviata, Posa in Don Carlo, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, Danilo in The Merry Widow, Escamillo in Carmen, Figaro and the Count in Le nozze di Figaro, Dandini in La Cenerentola, Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette, and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly.  He made his Alice Tully Hall debut as Claudio in Berlioz’ Beatrice et Benedict in the New York premiere of the work; his Avery Fisher Hall debut as the Bass soloist in Händel’s Messiah; and was chosen as a member of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, where he performed Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus for the company.


Mr. Taylor has won and or placed in several vocal competitions:  winner of the Metropolitan Opera District Auditions for Connecticut, finalist in the Eastern Regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions, winner of the Connecticut Opera Theatre Amici Competition, as well as being a semifinalist in the International Belvedere/Hans Gabor Competition, the Dutch International Vocal Competition, and the International Johannes Brahms competition.  Mr. Taylor was invited to participate in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1997.


Mr. Taylor holds degrees from Birmingham Southern College and Yale University.


“James Taylor’s Manrico was absolutely tremendous, his voice beautiful, commanding, and inspiring.”

 - Il Trovatore, Bob Jones University, Greenville (SC) News


“James Taylor’s Don José sang with a sweet toned legato and, despite having to get through the opera without a rehearsal, he brought a surprising amount of fire to his furious Act 3 farewell to Carmen and the opera’s violent finale.  In an opera without heroes, there was one on stage Saturday night.”

- Carmen, Miami Lyric Opera, Miami Herald

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