(Born 10 January 1947)
James Morris is a leading American bass-baritone who has enjoyed a very large career based principally around the Metropolitan Opera in New York
He is perhaps best known for his interpretation of the role of Wotan in Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle, (Der Ring des Nibelungen).
The Metropolitan Opera's filmed recordings of the complete cycle with James Morris as Wotan has been described as an "exceptional issue on every count" and they are available today on DVD.
As an aspiring singer James Morris first studied voice in Baltimore with the legendary Rosa Ponselle.
Fellow students included Beverly Sills, Sherrill Milnes and Plácido Domingo.
James Morris made his debut in 1967 in Baltimore as Crespel in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann.
His Metropolitan debut came in 1971 when he played the King in Verdi's Aïda.From there he went on to establish himself internationally as one of the most versatile male opera singers in the world, performing a repertoire ranging from Mozart through Verdi and Wagner to Benjamin Britten.
In the early 80's he sang Don Giovanni with the Australian Opera and he has sung many of the leading bass baritone rep roles in many other prestigious houses througout Europe as well as in the USA.
Of all the parts he has sung, however, Wotan remains his signature role.
In 2008 he reprised the role in a production of Die Walkure at the Met and in 2009 he was Scarpia to Deborah Voigt's Tosca.
James Morris has been highly regarded as an artist by audiences and colleagues alike. Not only has he had the voice, at 6ft 5" tall, he has had the stature and the presence onstage to bring authority to all the roles he has played.
He has won many awards including 2 Grammy Awards for his performances in the recorded Ring Cycles which are available today, as is the DVD of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg by Richard Wagner, with the Metropolitan Opera & Orchestra, conducted by James Levine.