British baritone James Atkinson is a graduate of the Royal College of Music Opera Studio, where he studied with Alison Wells. He won First Prize at the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards 2018, First Prize and the Audience Prize at the Somerset Song Prize 2019 and the Schubert Prize at the Mozart Competition 2019.
James is in high demand as a recitalist and has performed at the North Norfolk Music Festival, London Song Festival, the Lewes Song Festival, the Ludlow English Song Weekend, and the Red House, Aldeburgh. His September 2021 recital with Sholto Kynoch at the Lammermuir Festival was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 as the Lunchtime Live Concert.
He has made multiple appearances at the Oxford Lieder Festival, including two lecture-recitals with Dr Natasha Loges: ‘Clara Schumann: Rethinking the Myth’ in 2019 and ‘Brahms’s Circle and the Musical Past’ in 2020. The latter was streamed worldwide, and an extract featured on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune. James also appeared in Oxford Lieder’s Winter into Spring festival in 2021, which was live-streamed from the Holywell Music Room and presented by Petroc Trelawny.
With the RCM Opera Studio, James has sung the roles of Buonafede Il mondo della luna, Sam Trouble in Tahiti, Le Gendarme Les mamelles de Tirésias, Blazes The Lighthouse and Ramiro L’heure espagnole, and was due to sing Papageno, before it was cancelled due to COVID-19. Other roles include Boots Der Rosenkavalier (Garsington Opera), Lysander The Enchanted Island with (British Youth Opera), Papageno (Hurn Court Opera), and cover Aeneas Dido and Aeneas (English Touring Opera). In 2022, James makes his debut with Welsh National Opera, singing Masetto in Don Giovanni.