James trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Zürich International Opera Studio.
He has performed principal roles at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Opernhaus Zürich, Salzburg Festival, Stadttheater St Gallen, Opéra de Rennes, Opera Holland Park, Grange Park Opera and Garsington Opera.
Recent performances include The Protector Written on Skin (Benjamin) and Pablo Exterminating Angel (Adès) for the Royal Opera House, his Buxton International Festival debut singing Gusmano in Verdi’s Alzira. Kyoto in Iris (Mascagni) for Opera Holland Park, Frank Die Fledermaus for Welsh National Opera and Dulcamara Elixir of Love for Scottish Opera.
Equally in demand on the concert platform, James regularly performs oratorios throughout the UK & internationally. Recent highlights include the Messiah with the CBSO at the Birmingham Symphony Hall and Haydn’s Harmoniemesse at the Cadogan Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He also appears as the baritone soloist for the Raymond Gubbay Classical Spectaculars at the Royal Albert Hall with the RPO.
Recordings include Arrostino in Cellier’s The Mountebanks with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Sir John Copeland in Rogers & Hart’s Dearest Enemy (New World Records, and as the White Rabbit on the original cast recording of Will Todd’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
In 2018 James appeared as Escamillo in a performance of Carmen at Dartmoor Prison, given for HRH Prince Charles. He can also be seen as the Mandarin in Turandot in the film Mission Impossible Rogue Nation starring Tom Cruise.
Future plans include returns to WNO, ENO, Scottish Opera and Opera Holland Park, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the RPO at the Royal Albert Hall, Mozart by Candlelight at the Barbican and a New Year’s Eve Gala at the Glasgow National Concert Hall with the RSNO.