James Laing studied at Uppingham School and was a choral scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge. He furthered his studies at the Royal College of Music with Robin Blaze. He was selected by OPERA NOW as amongst ‘Who’s Hot’ for his performance as Nerone Agrippina at the London Handel Festival. His broadcast work includes Sports Personality of the Year for BBC TV,In Tune for Radio 3 and Midweek for Radio 4. A feature interview appeared in the JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2008 edition of OPERA NOW.
Opera engagements have included Fourth Innocent The Minotaur for the Royal Opera, London, Apollo Death in Venice, Oberon A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Coachman / Fox The Adventures of Pinocchio, Tolomeo Giulio Cesare Pastor L’Orfeo and Spirit Dido and Aeneas for Opera North, Oberon A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Raphael Tobias and the Angel for English Touring Opera, Nerillo L’Ormindo for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, at The Globe, Raphael Tobias and the Angel at the Young Vic and for the Oundle Festival, The Refugee Flight and Cristiano Mago Rinaldo for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Nerone Agrippina and John Brockes Passion at the London Handel Festival, Nireno Julius Caesar for English National Opera, Medoro Orlando for the Early Opera Company, Armindo Partenope for Les Azuriales Opera, Andronico Tamerlano for opera by definition, Zephyrus Apollo and Hyacinthus for OTC, Dublin, and the Classical Opera Company, Ascanio Ascanio in Alba and the Opening Concert at Kings Place for the Classical Opera Company, creating Hamlet The Firework Maker’s Daughter for The Opera Group, the St John Passion with the Irish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Stephen Layton, Messiah with Choeur de Chambre de Namur and Les Agrémens in Brussels and Nantes and the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Paul Daniel, the William Byrd Festival with Pacific Northwest Viols in the USA, The Scarlatti Dynasty at the Blumenthal International Music Festival, Israel, Vivaldi Cantatas with the Ten Tors Orchestra and Other Shakespearean Dreamers at The Liceu, Barcelona.
His engagements have further included Oberon A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Zelim La verita in cimento for Garsington Opera, Giuliano Eliogabalo for Grange Park Opera, Guido Flavio and Alessandro Tolomeo for English Touring Opera, Bertarido Rodelinda for Iford Arts, the title role inOrfeo ed Euridice with The Cannons Scholars at St John’s, Smith Square, Armindo Partenope for Les Azuriales Opera, Andronico Tamerlano for opera by definition, Cheshire Cat Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for Opera Holland Park, the Actus Tragicus and the B Minor Mass with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the B Minor Mass with the Netherlands Bach Society, the St John Passion and the St Matthew Passion with the Academy of Ancient Music, Messiah with the Britten Sinfonia, the Israel Camerata and the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, Pilar Jurado’s La pägina en banco with the National Orchestra of Spain, Mozart Masses with the Polski Chór Kameralny and Toivo Tulanv’s Songs with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir conducted by Daniel Reuss. In 2011, he appeared in Jonathan Miller’s production of the St Matthew Passion at the National Theatre.
Highlights of 2014 / 2015 included further performances as Nerillo L’Ormindo for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, at The Globe, The Refugee Flight for Opera Holland Park, Nero The Coronation of Poppea for Opera North, Nireno Giulio Cesare at the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden, the J. S. Bach Magnificat with the Britten Sinfonia and Messiah with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Tafelmusik, Toronto.
Current engagements include creating Peter in Daniel Bjarnsson’s Brødre for Den Jyske Opera,Voice of Apollo Death in Venice at the Opéra de Nice, Tirinto Imeneo at the Göttingen Festival, Medoro Orlando for Welsh National Opera, Armindo Partenope for English National Opera, further performances as Cheshire Chat Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for Opera Holland Park, the J. S. Bach Magnificat with the Arion Baroque Orchestra, Montréal, and the Britten Sinfonia, the St Matthew Passion with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Messiah with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
His performance with Opera North in The Adventures of Pinocchio is now available on Opus Arte Blu Ray / DVD and his recording of Tobias and the Angel is available on Chandos CD (and was selected as a GRAMOPHONE CD of the Month for September 2010).