With a voice described as ‘splendidly romantic with a ringing top’ Kentish born tenor James Scarlett has also been hailed by critics for his dramatic portrayals as being ‘both affecting and coherently and cogently acted’. It is these qualities that have led him to being in demand as a performer throughout the UK and Europe.
James came to the world of opera comparatively late after having studied sculpture in Canterbury. He went on to obtain an advanced diploma in vocal studies from Trinity College of Music. He has appeared as a soloist with companies including, Royal Opera House, Grange Park Opera, Swansea City Opera, The Savoy Opera Company, Riverside Opera, British Youth Opera, Midsummer Opera, New London Opera Players, Opera 24 and Kentish Opera.
The easy top and flexibility of his voice led to success and an interest early in his career in the Belcanto Repertoire among these was Le Comte Ory, Tonio La Fille du Regiment, Count Almaviva La Barbiere di Siviglia, and Don Ramiro La Cenerentola.
“James Scarlett’s Cassio… stood out, both vocally and dramatically, the former wisely resisting the temptation to overdo the drunk acting.”
A maturing of his voice has led on to exploration with much success of fully lyric repertoire including Rodolfo La Bohème, Nadir Les Pêcheurs des Perles, Michele The Saint of Bleecker Street, Lensky Eugene Onegin and Cassio Otello.
His acting ability has also led to great success in character and particularly comedy roles including Curzio Marriage of Figaro, John Styx Orpheus in the Underworld, Florestein Bohemian Girl and Prince Nilsky The Gambler, Dr. Caius Falstaff.
Recently with his voice developing a broader tone, he has begun to explore the more dramatic spinto and even lyrical Wagnerian repertoire.
Major concert appearances include L’enfance du Christ conducted by Paul Daniel, “An Evening with Bryn Terfel and Friends” for Grange Park Opera, and Parsifal and Gotterdammerung in the 2013 BBC Proms, with the Royal Opera Chorus. A semi-finalist in the 46th Francisco Viñas International Singing Competition (Barcelona), James has taken part in masterclasses with the late Philip Langridge, Richard Jackson, Jonathan Dove, Rufus Norris, Sally Burgess, and Laurence Cummings.
As Michele, her brother, James Scarlett is histrionically convincing, unlike many a wooden tenor who tread the operatic stage, … he is able to convey the essentially neurotic character of Michele, not least in the scene where his girlfriend Desideria suggests that Michele loves his sister incestuously, and which culminates in his murdering Desideria.