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AZO Cast Members & Creatives

Zachary James

Zachary James, bass, is an international opera singer and Broadway actor. He created the role of Lurch in The Addams Family on Broadway, Hassinger in the Tony Award winning Broadway revival of South Pacific at Lincoln Center, and sang Handel’s Messiah in the 2007 Broadway play, Coram Boy. In addition to originating in three Broadway shows, 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.

Known for his “huge, robust bass” which “resonates with force” (Bach Track), “tremendous power and presence” (The Arts Desk, London) and “vocal oomph and range” (Opera News), he created 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. A winner of the 2009 Lotte Lenya Competition, Zach has been engaged by opera companies including London’s English National Opera (The Scribe in Akhnaten, Abraham Lincoln in The Perfect American), Spain’s Teatro Real and Australia’s Opera Queensland (Abraham Lincoln in The Perfect American), Opera Roanaoke (Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Alidoro in Cinderella, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd), Opera Ithaca (Bluebeard in Bluebeard’s Castle, Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni), Shreveport Opera (Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance), Anchorage Opera (Pooh-Bah in The Mikado), Union Avenue Opera (The Mikado in The Mikado), Schlossoper Haldenstein, Switzerland (Sparafucile in Rigoletto), Teatro Citta della Pieve (Oberon in the world premiere of Il Sogno), Central City Opera (Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni), Ash Lawn Opera (Il Bonzo in Madama Butterfly) and Knoxville Opera (Il Bonzo in Madama Butterfly, Gideon March in Little Women, Joe in The Most Happy Fella), Phoenicia International Festival of Voice (Howard in Do Not Go Gentle), Prototype Festival NYC (Señor del Norte in La Reina), Metropolis Opera Project (Oberon in Il Sogno), Chutzpah Festival (Rebbe in A Blessing on the Moon), American Lyric Theatre (Mr. Beauregard in The Golden Ticket) and Illuminarts Miami (Bass Soloist in The Little Matchgirl Passion). Concert engagements include performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra (Bernstein’s Mass), The New York Philharmonic (Sweeney Todd), NYC Ballet (Brahms' Liebeslieder Walzer), American Symphony Orchestra (Kurt Weill Celebration), Symphony of the Mountains (Colline in La bohème), MasterVoices NYC (Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance) and Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (Buff in The Impresario). He created the operatic roles of Oberon in the world premiere of Kristin Hevner’s Il Sogno, at the Teatro Citta della Pieve in Umbria, Thomas Jefferson in Dana Wilson’s new opera, The Wolf by the Ears and Rebbe in Andy Teirstein’s new opera A Blessing on the Moon at Vancouver’s Chutzpah Festival, accompanied by the Grammy-winning Warsaw Village Band from Poland.

He has performed with theatre companies throughout the United States in roles including Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd, Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Billy in Carousel,  Rapunzel’s Prince in Into The Woods, Abner in Li’l Abner, Squash in Victor, Victoria, Petr in The Toymaker, and The Major General in The Pirates of Penzance at theatres including The Bucks County Playhouse, The York Theatre, Theatre By The Sea, Pocono Playhouse, The Kitchen Theatre, Westport Country Playhouse, and The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Zach has appeared on TV as Carl on 30 Rock opposite Steve Martin and Tina Fey, on the 2010 Tony Awards live from Radio City Music Hall, PBS Great Performances, Live from Lincoln Center, the Late Show with David Letterman and on film as Ballion in The Gift.

A Florida native, Zach is a graduate of the Musical Theatre program at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, where he was recently awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award. Additional studies include Florida State University, University of Tennessee Knoxville and the Goethe Institut in Berlin. 2016/17 season engagements include creating the role of Terry in the world premiere of Breaking the Waves with Opera Philadelphia, reprising the role of The Scribe in Akhnaten with Los Angeles Opera, John Claggart in Billy Budd with Des Moines Metro Opera, Olin Blitch in Susannah with Opera Roanoke and more. Next season Zach will make his role and company debut as Fafner in Das Rheingold with Arizona Opera. In 2019 Zach will return to English National Opera as well as make his Metropolitan Opera debut.

Follow Zach's on social media: @_zachary_james_


Past Seasons