The English bass-baritone, James Birchall, began his musical education as a chorister at St Georgeís Chapel, Windsor Castle. He was then a music scholar at Winchester College and a choral scholar at St Johnís College, Cambridge, where he studied with David Lowe. James is currently studying with Ryland Davies and Jonathan Papp at the Royal Academy of Music, where his studies are supported by the Josephine Baker Trust.
James Birchall has sung many of the major oratorio roles, notably George Frideric Handelís Messiah and L.v. Beethovenís Choral Symphony, both with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, J.S. Bachís St John Passion (BWV 245) with the London Mozart Players at St Paul's Cathedral, Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) in Kristiansund, Norway and St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) at Symphony Hall. He has also performed Messiah in Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford Cathedrals, St John Passion (BWV 245) at Chichester Cathedral with The Hanover Band, and Charles Wood's St Mark Passion in Cambridge for BBC Radio 3, which he has also recently recorded for Naxos. He has twice appeared as a soloist at the Three Choirs Festival, performing Ralph Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music and Purcellís Hail Bright Cecilia.
James Birchall made his operatic debut in 2004 as Swallow in Benjamin Brittenís Peter Grimes with Cambridge University Opera Society as well as performing B. Brittenís Curlew River with the Birmingham Opera Company at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms. More recently he has sung the roles of Mephistopheles in Charles Gounod's Faust for Kennet Opera and Antinoo in Monteverdi's Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria, Capulet in C. Gounod's Romeo et Juliette and Peters in Meyerbeer's L'Etoile du Nord at the RAM.
Forthcoming engagements include J.S. Bach's St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) at Symphony Hall, St John Passion (BWV 245) in Snape Maltings, G.F. Handelís Israel in Egypt at Birmingham's Town Hall and further performances of Christmas Oratorio in (BWV 248) Norway.