Upon graduating from the Yale University School of Music in 1999, James Creswell debuted with Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Lodovico in Otello and toured the U.S. with Western Opera Theater’s production of Don Giovanni. In 2001 he became a Resident Artist with Los Angeles Opera where he performed such roles as Achilla in Giulio Cesare, Angelotti in Tosca, der Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte, Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Ferrando in Il Trovatore.
Since becoming an ensemble member of the Komische Oper Berlin in the 2004/05 season, James Creswell has performed numerous roles with the company including Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Prince Gremin in a new production of Eugene Onegin directed by Andreas Homoki and conducted by Kirill Petrenko. In the same season, he made his Berlin concert debut with the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester as Jesus and Bass Soloist in performances of Bach’s St. John’s Passion conducted by Kent Nagano.
Read more Other engagements have included his debut with Berlin Staatsoper in performances of Salome, in addition to new productions of Handel’s Oreste, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Le Coq d’or with the Komische Oper. During the 2005/06 season, he returned to the Los Angeles Opera as Titurel (plus cover Gurnemanz) in the Robert Wilson production of Wagner’s Parsifal where he shared the stage with Matti Salminen and Placido Domingo; he also sang the Monk in Don Carlo. April 2015
James has also sung Sarastro, Gremin, the Hermit in Der Freischütz and staged performances of Mozart Requiem at the Komische, Berlin, and the Mayor in Jenufa and Masetto in Don Giovanni for Los Angeles Opera. He also sang Rocco in a new production of Fidelio at the Frankfurt Opera, Brahms’ Requiem in Lisbon, KammersängerIntermezzo at Theater an der Wien, Escamillo in Carmen for the Opera of Bilbao, Rocco in Fidelio for Nederlandse Reisopera, Masetto in the Ravinia Festival conducted by James Conlon, Wurm in Luisa Miller with Conlon in the Cincinnati May Festival, Messiahfor the Bergen Festival, Mozart Requiem in Amsterdam and debuted as Timur inTurandot for English National Opera. He sung Figaro for the Bergen Festival, Salome for the Teatro Real in Madrid, Mahler Symphony No. 8 for the Hallé Orchestra with Elder, St Matthew Passion at the Cincinnati May Festival with Conlon, Zoroastro Orlando for the Komische Opera Berlin, Verdi Requiem for the Huddersfield Choral Society with Vassily Petrenko, Rocco Fidelio for WNO, King Mark in Tristan und Isolde with the Bremer Philharmoniker, Little Prisoner in House of the Dead, Fasolt in Das Rheingold for Opera North, Gremin Eugene Onegin for the Los Angeles Opera with Conlon, Capulet Roméo et Juliette in Bilbao and Oroveso Norma for Opera North.
Recent plans included the title role in a new production of The Flying Dutchman with ENO and Edward Gardner, Kolenaty in The Makropulos Case for Opera North and the Edinburgh Festival and Méphistophélès Faust for Opera North and the Tallin Festival, Daland Der fliegende Holländer, Dansker Billy Budd and Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor for Los Angeles Opera, Crespel in Les Contes d’Hoffmann for San Francisco Opera, Rocco Fidelio and Sarastro Magic Flute for ENO, Sarastro for Angers-Nantes Opera, Father The Prodigal Son for Rome Opera with Conlon, Kecal The Bartered Bride and Seneca L’Incoronazione di Poppea for Opera North, Pogner Meistersinger and Sarastro for ENO and Polkan Der goldene Hahn, Daland Der fliegende Holländer and Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor for Saarländisches Staatstheater, Saarbrücken.
Forthcoming engagements include his début with Bordeaux Opera as Oroveso Norma, and Padre Guardiano La Forza del Destino, Oroveso Norma and Sarastro for ENO. In 2016 James will sing Fasolt and Hunding in Wagner’s Ring Cycle for Opera North.
Other engagements have included his debut with Berlin Staatsoper in performances of Salome, in addition to new productions of Handel’s Oreste, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Le Coq d’or with the Komische Oper. During the 2005/06 season, he returned to the Los Angeles Opera as Titurel (plus cover Gurnemanz) in the Robert Wilson production of Wagner’s Parsifal where he shared the stage with Matti Salminen and Placido Domingo; he also sang the Monk in Don Carlo.
“There is amongst the cast one unequivocally great voice: that of James Creswell, the best American bass I’ve heard since Sam Ramey debuted at Glyndebourne in the late 1970s, magnificently rich, dark and wholly secure, with flawless emission – something pretty much at a discount nearly everywhere else – and of quite thrilling scale.”
“James Creswell seems almost luxury casting as Pogner, his singer is so radiant.”