James Clayton is one the leading singers to emerge from Western Australia in recent years; he became a Young Artist with West Australian Opera in 2006 and 2007.
James’ many roles for West Australian Opera have included the title role in The Marriage of Figaro, The King in Aida, Ashby in La fanciulla del West, Nourabad in The Pearl Fishers, Schaunard in La bohème, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Steersman in Tristan und Isolde, Second Soldier in The Love of the Nightingale, Mars in Orpheus in the Underworld and Marullo in Rigoletto. For Autonomous Productions, he sang Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. He has also enjoyed considerable success on the concert platform - as bass soloist in Haydn’s Mass in Time of War and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria (Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra), Fauré’s Requiem (Collegum Symphonic Choir), Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and Orff’s Carmina Burana (West Australian Symphony Orchestra) and Messiah (UWA Choral Society). He sang the roles of the Junkman and Señor in the Perth Festival’s concert performances of Candide.
Recent engagements have included The Four Villians in The Tales of Hoffmann, Balstrode in Peter Grimes, Escamillo in Carmen, Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana, Tonio in Pagliacci, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Orest’s Tutor in Elektra, Nourabad in The Pearl Fishers and the title roles in Falstaff and The Mikado for West Australian Opera and concert appearances with the Tasmanian and West Australian Symphony Orchestras. He also made his Opera Australia debut as Baron Douphol in La traviata – in Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour – and his Japanese debut as Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte for Biwako Hall.
In 2013, James Clayton sang Escamillo in Carmen for Opera Australia and the title role in Rigoletto, Leporello in Don Giovanni and Schaunard in La bohème for West Australian Opera; concert engagements included those with the West Australian and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. The following year, he sang Papageno, Iago in Otello and Conte di Luna in Il trovatore for West Australian Opera and appeared with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia and the Wellington Orchestra; for the New Zealand International Arts Festival, he sang José Tripaldi in Ainadamar.
In 2015, James will sing two title roles for West Australian Opera – in The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro; he also appears in Tosca for New Zealand Opera.