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Musical World

James Morris

  • Bass-Baritone


James Morris press reviews

As Baron Scarpia in Tosca with the Metropolitan Opera:

“…the Scarpia of  James Morris, who has sung the role some 60 times with the Met and who sounded terrific.”
    Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, April 24, 2006

“But the performance of the evening belonged to James Morris. Here was a Scarpia not just evil and imposing but also disturbingly human.  Strong and secure in the lower register, Mr. Morris weaved a rich legato on top that stood out by contrast to his two co-stars.  This created an odd, Mephistophelean moral universe in which the villain was the far superior singer.  Judging by the snippets of conversation heard in the lobby, the highlight of this evening was his soliloquy "Va, Tosca! Nel tuo cuor s'annida Scarpia," accompanied by the superb Met chorus chanting the Te Deum.  This was an incredibly powerful scene.”
    Fred Kirshnit, The New York Sun, April 24, 2006

As Nilakantha in Lakmé with Opera Orchestra of New York:

“James Morris as Nilakantha, arms by his side and acting with his voice, had the right idea.  Mr. Morris continues to be indestructible and sounded better and better as the evening wore on.”
    Bernard Holland, New York Times, February 28, 2006

As Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress with Accademia di Santa Cecilia,
conducted by Danielle Gatti:

“James Morris, Nick Shadow had impressive vocal authority and expressive shadings.”
    Arrigo Quattrocchi, il manifesto, February 22, 2006

“James Morris was amazing: he, who started as the protagonist of Don Giovanni at the Baltimore Opera in 1973 and sang the role of Wotan in the 80’s, was an artful and devilish Nick Shadow, of the softest and warmest baritone timbre.”
    Giuseppe Pennisi, MF, February 22, 2006

“James Morris was a devilish Nick Shadow, ironic and rich of shadows as the character demands… “
    Riccardo Canci, sera Italia, February 21, 2006

“Extraordinary James Morris and Rainer Trost.  The first for the softness of the voice and the gesture of a career of many years…”
    Beckmesser, Indipendente, February 21, 2006

“…the imperious James Morris, the ambiguous and ominous and Mephistophelean Nick Shadow colored in red flames.”
    Lorenzo Tozzi, Il tempo, February 20, 2006

“James Morris was the other name of class, diabolic, but elegant Shadow.”

    Il Sole 24 Ore, February 19, 2006

“The legendary James Morris, one of the most talented bass-baritones of the moment, brought a devilish voice to Nick Shadow…”

    Corriere di Viterbo, February 17, 2006

“a debút from the celebrated American bass-baritone James Morris, who brought a devilish voice to Nick Shadow…”

    Vigilio Celletti, Avvenire, February 15, 2006

As Wotan in Der Ring des Nibelungen with Opéra de Wallonie in Liège:

“The star, inevitably, was James Morris’s Wotan.  Morris’s clean-cut rapier timbre and keen intonation were quite simply astounding.  How he managed to preserve his voice in this stunning condition and how Grinda nabbed him will remains mysterious, but his art helped make the Ring a feast to remember.”

    Francis Carlin, Opera Now, January 2006