New Zealand Opera and the Dame Malvina Major Foundation are delighted to announce London-based Baritone James Harrison as the recipient of the Dame Malvina Major Fellowship for 2017.
The fellowship offers the selected singer a principal role in a New Zealand Opera mainstage season as well as tailored vocal and language coaching. James will play the roles of Moralès / Le Dancaïre in the company’s upcoming season of Carmen, beginning rehearsals next week.
Raised in Christchurch, Harrison trained at the University of Auckland, joining the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus and spending a year as a Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist (now Scholar) before moving to London to pursue further training at the Royal College of Music and then the National Opera Studio.
“New Zealand Opera was definitely what got me started and sent me on my way,” Harrison says.
New Zealand Opera General Director Stuart Maunder says he’s delighted to welcome such an exciting talent home for Carmen.
“James has a wonderfully warm and powerful baritone voice and he’s been very busy in London. I’m very pleased that we’re able to bring him back to New Zealand for Carmen, and provide some extra coaching thanks to the Dame Malvina Major Foundation which will no doubt help develop his career.”
Dame Malvina Major says the Foundation’s internships in partnership with New Zealand Opera are the bedrock of the Foundation’s sponsorship programme.
“The Dame Malvina Major Scholar and Fellowship programmes with New Zealand Opera offer a unique opportunity for young artists to hone their talents working with professionals in the opera industry.”
Rehearsals begin for Carmen on Tuesday 2 May at New Zealand Opera’s new Auckland premises. The season runs form 1 June until 22 July in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch.