James Williams studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London, during which time he received training from eminent figures, such as Richard Bonynge, Simon Keenlyside and John Shirley-Quirk. Since graduating, he has enjoyed an active performing career throughout the UK, Europe and Asia.
Having interpreted the title roles in Don Giovanni, Il barbiere di Siviglia and Le nozze di Figaro, James can also list Papageno, Il Conte d'Almaviva, Falke, Schaunard and Aeneas in amongst his operatic repertory. His portrayal of Don Alfonso for Dulwich Opera Company’s tour of Così fan tutte last year was deemed “suavely resonant” (The Stage), while making “bottom notes ring out with… cheerful malice” (Lark Reviews). In 2017, James performed the role of Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia) as part of a performance led by the charitable organisation, Les Amis de Bizet, in association with Teresa Berganza.
A passionate recitalist, performances of song cycles, including Die schöne Müllerin, Dichterliebe, Songs of Travel, House of Life and Songs of the Sea, have led James to various prestigious concert venues internationally. He received First Prize at the Elisabeth Schumann Lieder Competition, while winning the Audience Prize at the John Kerr Award, having explored the relatively unknown works of British composers throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Alongside pianist Meghan Behiel, James was a prizewinner at the London Song Festival English song masterclass with Roderick Williams. Their performance at the 2019 Copenhagen Lied-Duo Competition won them the prize for the Best Performance of a Song by Carl Nielsen. James has collaborated with the composers, Jonathan Rathbone and Howard Goodall, on their respective sacred works, Christmas Truce and Eternal Light - A Requiem, whilst other oratorio performances include Bach's Weihnachtsoratorium, Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem, Finzi's Et in terra pax, Handel's Messiah, Haydn's The Creation and Orff's Carmina Burana.