British baritone James Atkinson is a graduate of the Royal College of Music Opera Studio, where he studied with Alison Wells. James won the Royal Over-Seas League Singers Prize 2022, first prize at the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2018, and first prize and the Audience Prize at the Somerset Song Prize 2019.
James recently made his debut with Welsh National Opera as Masetto in Don Giovanni. With the RCM Opera Studio, he sang the roles of Buonafede Il mondo della luna, Ramiro L’heure espagnole, Sam Trouble in Tahiti, Le Gendarme Les mamelles de Tirésias and Blazes The Lighthouse. Other roles include Lysander The Enchanted Island (British Youth Opera), Boots Der Rosenkavalier (Garsington Opera), Papageno Die Zauberflöte and Aeneas Dido and Aeneas (Hurn Court Opera), and cover Aeneas (English Touring Opera).
He is in high demand as a recitalist and has performed at the London Song Festival, the Lewes Song Festival, The Red House in Aldeburgh, the North Norfolk Music Festival and the Ludlow English Song Weekend. His September 2021 recital with Sholto Kynoch at the Lammermuir Festival was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 as a Lunchtime Live Concert.
James has also made multiple appearances at the Oxford Lieder Festival, recently alongside Iain Burnside in the 2021 Winter into Spring festival, live-streamed from the Holywell Music Room and presented by Petroc Trelawny. The Times review described him as “a natural lieder singer” and “a name to watch”.
In Spring 2022, James returns to the Ludlow English Song Festival alongside Iain Burnside, gives recitals at Lake Como for Kirker Music Holidays, and performs Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.