Canberra born James grew up everywhere else but, thankfully. He commenced his vocal studies at the Canberra School of Music, and continued at the Sydney Conservatorium with Michael Halliwell and Sharolyn Kimmorley. He has studied with Anna Connolly, David Harper, Anthea Moller, Joshua Hecht and continues with Raymond Lawrence.   Werther marks his debut with Lyric Opera.

 

For Melbourne Opera he recently appeared as Morales in Carmen, Kromov in The Merry Widow, Baron Duphol in La Traviata and Pizarro in Fidelio. For Victorian Opera, he most recently appeared as The King in the pantomime of Sleeping Beauty in 2013, and in Cinderella the previous year. Other roles include Papageno and Dandini in education performances of The Magic Flute and Cenerentola respectively, and in Angelique in 2010. He understudied the title roles in Rembrandt’s Wife and The Bear, and main roles in Die Zauberflöte, The Rake’s Progress and Le Nozze di Figaro.

 

Younger Victorian audiences may recognise James from OzOpera’s Schools program, having performed in primary schools across the state in The Sound Garden, Sid the Serpent and Hansel and Gretel in recent years. As a member of the Opera Australia chorus (2000-2007), James sang in well over 1200 performances on the main stages in Sydney and Melbourne while understudying and performing numerous supporting roles.  He has performed with The Australian Ballet, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, IMG, and Melbourne City Opera among many others. Recent highlights include David Chisholm’s Kursk in The Melbourne Festival 2011, and Scarpia in a touring production of Tosca in 2012. James has proudly lost every major singing competition in Australia, some more than once. He enjoys good food and great wine, and starting and never finishing important works of fiction.

 

James made his Lyric debut in 2014 as the Balliol in Werther and returns to the company in 2015 in the title role of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi.

JAMES PAYNE

Baritone

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