Bass

James Platt

Credit: Maximilian Van London

Introduction

British bass James Platt was educated at Chetham’s School of Music and went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music and the Opera Course of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  He was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden from 2014-2016.

Highlights in his 2019/20 season include Bottom in a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin and Sparafucile Rigoletto and Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Welsh National Opera. On the concert platform he sings The Dream of Gerontius with the CBSO/Edward Gardner and the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich/Robert Trevino, The Creation with the Royal Northern Sinfonia/Paul McCreesh, Messiah with the Hallé Orchestra/Cristian Macelaru and Don Fernando Fidelio with the Hallé Orchestra/Sir Mark Elder and Il Re in a European tour of Ariodante with Les Musiciens du Louvre/Marc Minkowski.

Elsewhere he has sung Ortel Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for Teatro alla Scala, Milan; First Soldier Salome for the Dutch National Opera; Crespel Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin; Sarastro Die Zauberflöte for the Welsh National Opera; Il Commendatore Don Giovanni for Opera North; Dr Grenvil La traviata and Gremin Eugene Onegin for Scottish Opera and Notary Don Pasquale at the Glyndebourne Festival.

His concert appearances include Bach’s Weihnachts-oratorium on tour with Les Musiciens du Louvre/Marc Minkowski, Shostakovich’s Four Romances on Poems by Pushkin with the Hallé Orchestra/Sir Mark Elder, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Royal Northern Sinfonia/Lars Vogt, Handel’s Messiah with the Hallé Orchestra/Christian Curnyn, Verdi’s Requiem with the Orchestre National de Lyon/Leonard Slatkin, Dvorak’s Requiem with the BBC Symphony Orchestra/Jiri Belohlavek, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle at the BBC Proms with the BBC Singers/David Hill and Nino’s Ghost in Rossini’s Semiramide also at the BBC Proms with the OAE/Sir Mark Elder.


Performance Schedule

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    19:30 25 Oct 2019 Sage Gateshead / Royal Northern Sinfonia, city TBC

    FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN The Creation/Die Schöpfung

    Conductor: Paul McCreesh
    Soprano: Sophie Bevan
    Tenor: Stuart Jackson
    Bass: James Platt
    Orchestra: Royal Northern Sinfonia

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    19:15 30 Oct 2019 Venue Cymru, LLANDUDNO

    GIUSEPPE VERDI Rigoletto

    Conductor: Alexander Joel
    Rigoletto: Mark Doss
    The Duke: David Junghoon Kim
    Gilda: Haegee Lee
    Sparafucile: James Platt

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    19:15 01 Nov 2019 Venue Cymru, LLANDUDNO

    Conductor: Alexander Joel
    Rigoletto: Mark Doss
    The Duke: David Junghoon Kim
    Gilda: Haegee Lee
    Sparafucile: James Platt

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    19:15 06 Nov 2019 Birmingham Hippodrome, BIRMINGHAM

    GIUSEPPE VERDI Rigoletto

    Conductor: Alexander Joel
    Rigoletto: Mark Doss
    The Duke: David Junghoon Kim
    Gilda: Haegee Lee
    Sparafucile: James Platt

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    15:00 09 Nov 2019 Birmingham Hippodrome, BIRMINGHAM

    GIUSEPPE VERDI Rigoletto

    Conductor: Alexander Joel
    Rigoletto: Mark Doss
    The Duke: David Junghoon Kim
    Gilda: Haegee Lee
    Sparafucile: James Platt

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    18:00 07 Dec 2019 Bridgewater Hall, city TBC

    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Messiah

    Conductor: Cristian Macelaru
    Bass: James Platt
    Choir: Hallé Choir
    Orchestra: Hallé Orchestra

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    19:30 11 Dec 2019 St David's Hall, city TBC

    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Messiah

    Conductor: Christoph Poppen
    Soprano: Soraya Mafi
    Mezzo soprano: Madeleine Shaw
    Tenor: Trystan Llyr Griffiths
    Bass: James Platt

Discography

 
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    SHOSTAKOVICH 'Four Romances on Poems by Pushkin'

    Label: Hallé Concerts Society

    Release Date: 01 Mar 19

    Bass: James Platt

    Hallé Orchestra/Sir Mark Elder

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    HANDEL 'Messiah'

    Label: Resonus Classics

    Release Date: 30 Nov 18

    Soprano: Susanna Hurrell
    Mezzo-Soprano: Rebecca Afonwy Jones
    Tenor: Samuel Boden
    Bass: James Platt

    BBC Singers
    Norwegian Wind Ensemble/David Hill

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    PAVEL HAAS 'Fata Morgana'

    Label: Resonus

    Release Date: 03 Mar 17

    Soprano: Anita Watson
    Mezzo-Soprano: Anna Starushkevych
    Tenor: Nicky Spence
    Bass: James Platt

    Piano: Lada Valesova
    Navarra Quartet

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    DONIZETTI 'Don Pasquale'

    Label: Opus Arte

    Release Date: 17 Apr 14

    Mariame Clément's production from the 2013 Glyndebourne Festival

    Don Pasquale: Alessandro Corbelli
    Norina: Danielle de Niese
    Malatesta: Nikolay Borchev
    Ernesto: Alex Shrader
    Notary: James Platt

    London Philharmonic Orchestra/Enrique Mazzola

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    23 Jul 19 Prokofiev War And Peace
    Welsh National Opera at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

    “James Platt reverberated richly as Count Rostov (and valiantly takes four other roles).”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 24 July 2019

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    15 Feb 19 Mozart The Magic Flute
    Welsh National Opera

    “Sarastro (James Platt). [This] was probably the most affecting scene of the performance, and all of Platt’s other contributions were superbly well sung, his rich bass full and dominating throughout his range.”
    Rohan Shotton, Bachtrack, 19 February 2019

    “Sarastro, cavernously sung by James Platt.”
    Steph Power, The Stage, 18 February 2019

    “James Platt’s Sarastro commanded the stage and was able to reach the profoundly deep notes which mark him out as the antithesis of the Queen of the Night with her high-end acrobatics.”
    Glyn Pursglove, Seen and Heard International, 18 February 2019

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    01 Dec 18 Offenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann
    Deutsche Oper, Berlin

    “Among the smaller roles, James Platt stands out as Antonia’s pathetic father, Crespel.”
    Hugo Shirley, Financial Times, 03 December 2018

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    15 Oct 18 Prokofiev War and Peace
    Welsh National Opera

    “James Platt’s Count Rostov was warmly resonant”
    John Allison, Opera, November 2018

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    10 Apr 18 Rossini Mosè in Egitto
    Chelsea Opera Group at Cadogan Hall

    As Mosè himself, James Platt reminded us that the prophet was still a young man, an activist with 40 years in the wilderness ahead of him. Platt’s bass was powerful, firm and energetic, and he made the famous Act 3 prayer sound as much a challenge as an appeal to God.”
    Yehuda Shapiro, Opera, May 2018

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    10 Jul 17 Pavel Haas Fata Morgana
    Resonus CD

    “The 1944 Four Songs are given added poignancy – if any were needed – by James Platt’s heartfelt rendition.”
    Choral & Song Choice, BBC Music Magazine, May 2017

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    03 Jul 17 Strauss Salome
    Dutch National Opera

    “There wasn’t a weak link in the whole cast, but basses James Cresswell and James Platt as, respectively, 1st Nazarene and 1st Soldier, made a particularly fine impression.”
    Jenny Camilleri, Bachtrack, 11 June 2017

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    18 Apr 17 Dvořák Requiem
    BBC Symphony Orchestra/Bělohlávek

    “…James Platt’s deep bass intoning of Mors Stupebit was the strongest…”
    David Karlin, Bachtrack, 14 April 2017

    “…a fully-fledged, already great sound from young James Platt…”
    David Nice, The Arts Desk, 14 April 2017

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    29 Mar 17 Handel Alceste
    Early Opera Company/Curnyn

    “[Benjamin] Hulett showed flawless brilliance in fast runs, matched for character by James Platt’s one appearance as feisty Charon.”
    David Nice, The Arts Desk, 30 March 2017

    “James Platt was the pick of the vocal soloists in Alceste, delivering a rollicking, pantomime-villain number in which Handel (surely consciously) evokes memories of the monster Polyphemus in Acis and Galatea, the serenata he wrote more than three decades earlier.”
    Richard Morrison, The Times, 31 March 2017

     

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    06 Sep 16 Rossini Semiramide
    OAE/Elder at the BBC Proms

    “There [was an] equally stylish contribution from James Platt as the Ghost of Nino.”
    Alexander Campbell, Classical Source, 04 September 2016

    “James Platt made the most of his ghostly appearance as old king Nino.”
    Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, 05 September 2016

    “James Platt, raised on a pedestal in the RAH Arena, bellowed even more cavernously than usual, with the aid of a microphone-effect, and King Nino’s vengeful commands sent a shiver up the spine.”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 04 September 2016

    “James Platt gave us all the shudders as the baleful ghost of Semiramide’s murdered husband.”
    Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 09 September 2016

    “James Platt boomed imposingly from a platform among the Prommers in the Arena.”
    Hugh Canning, Opera, November 2016

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    16 Aug 16 Tchaikovsky Jette Parker Young Artists
    Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

    “James Platt handled Gremin’s aria with authority and generosity while exuding a discreet air of ‘Hands off, she’s mine’.”
    Yehuda Shapiro, Opera, September 2016

    “The rich and smooth bass voice of James Platt in the role of Prince Gremin overshadowed most other soloists of the evening.”
    Liudmila Yablokova, Opera News, August 2016

    “James Blass injected some much needed gravitas into the Eugene Onegin excerpts.  Tall and imposing, he was an impressive Prince Gremin and had the low notes for Gremin’s declaration of love, descending smoothly to the bottom.  No wonder Tatiana threw her arms around him in a tight bear hug.”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today,

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    21 Aug 15 Verdi & Berlioz Jette Parker Young Artists
    Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

    “James Platt, the full-voiced Fiesco, brought a rolling legato to his blessing of his future son-in-law [and] returned as a persuasive Frère Laurent.”
    Yehuda Shapiro, Opera, September 2015

    “James Platt (the only British singer we heard) with his voice of imposing authority seems born to play aged – probably often bearded – characters such as Fiesco and later Gounod’s Frère Laurent.”
    Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard, 20 July 2015

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    21 May 15 Verdi La traviata
    Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

    “As usual for Covent Garden, smaller roles were well taken…James Platt a suavely voiced Doctor Grenvil”
    John E. de Wald, Opera Britannia, 20 May 2015

    “From among the more minor roles…James Platt as Doctor Grenvil stands out.”
    Sam Smith, Music OMH, 20 May 2015

    “James Platt’s Doctor gave nuanced and thoroughly committed performances.”
    Jim Pritchard, Scene and Heard, 20 May 2015

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    14 Jan 15 Monteverdi Orfeo
    Royal Opera House, Covent Garden at The Roundhouse

    “…James Platt [is] admirable as Charon…”
    Barry Millington, Evening Standard, 14 January 2014

    “…the authoritative Charon of James Platt…”
    David Nice, The Arts Desk, 14 January 2014

    “James Platt sings an impressive Charon”
    Laura Battle, Financial Times, 14 January 2014

    “James Platt’s commanding Charon”
    Melanie, Eskenazi, Music OHM, 14 January 2014

    “James Platt’s strong Charon”
    George Hall, The Stage, 14 January

    “James Platt and Susan Bickley both showed smooth voices with a bit of extra strength and depth, Platt as the implacable boatman Charon…”
    David Karlin, Bachtrack, 14 January 2014

    “…musically the strongest support comes from the trio of pastors…and James Platt’s powerfully characterised Charon.”
    Alexandra Coghlan, The Spectator, 17 January 2014

    “James Platt formidable as Charon”
    Fiona Maddock, The Guardian, 18 January 2015

    “I was particularly impressed by the wonderful true bass of James Platt as Charon. I hope to hear more of his glorious liquorice tones before too long.”
    Miranda Jackson, Opera Briannia, 17 January 2015

    “As Charon, James Platt uses his strong bass-baritone to suggest Charon’s menacing obduracy.”
    Claire Seymore, Opera Today, 16 January 2015

    “Bass James Platt as Hell’s guardian Charon looks like the sort of club bouncer with whom you wouldn’t argue.”
    Clare Colvin, Express, 18 January 2015

    “James Platt sang the deep sounds of Charon with imposing authority.”
    Stephen Petitt, Opera, March 2015

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    06 Jan 15 Handel Messiah
    Early Opera Company at Wigmore Hall

    “Bass James Platt has a strikingly resonant tone which equipped him well for ‘Why do the nations…?’ and ‘The trumpet shall sound’…”
    John-Pierre Joyce, Music OMH, 24 December 2014

    “James Platt’s powerful bass combines aspects of Wotan and Charlton Heston, and Platt applied it to Part 1 in all its blackness, so that the shaft of light let in by ‘For unto us’ made maximum impact. That darkness also went on to gather layers of meaning in a magnificent ‘The trumpet shall sound’.”
    Peter Reed, Classical Source, 23 December 2014

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    27 Oct 14 Rossini La scala di seta
    Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

    “…the larger-than-life bass James Platt as [the soprano’s] foppish foil.”
    Michael Church, The Independent, 27 October 2014

    “British bass James Platt was strong in the role [of Blansac].”
    Simon Thomas, What’s on Stage, 24 October 2014

    “James Platt (Blansac), pink-cheeked with foppish wig, might have been playing buffo roles for a lifetime.”
    Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 26 October 2014

    “It was James Platt as Blansac who showed the most promise and here was a periwigged and powdered fop with a resonant voice that sounds as if it might easily encompass buffo roles as well as something more substantial in the future.”
    Jim Pritchard, Scene and Heard, October 2014

    “Platt brought a clear and precise tone to his part and a gentle lyricism to his off-stage calls during the finale, as he called to Giulia from outside her balcony. Dressed in garish pink and with rouged cheeks he was very much the dandy but looked genuinely and genially amused at the number of people who end up in Giulia’s apartment, a ‘randevu in duecento’ indeed.”
    Llyr Carvana, Opera Britannia, 26 October 2014

    “James Platt is simply a class act as Blansac.”
    Sam Smith, Music OHM, 25 October 2014

    “James Platt (Blansac) sang with full, rich tone and displayed nimble agility through Rossini’s patter.”
    Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, 24 October 2014

    “James Platt brought a satisfyingly mature and rounded bass to Blansac.”
    Yehuda Shapiro, Opera, January 2015

Repertoire

CONCERT REPERTOIRE

BACH
Ich habe genug (Cantata no. 82)
Johannes-Passion
Magnificat
Matthäus Passion
Mass in B Minor
Weihnachts-Oratorium

BEETHOVEN
Mass in C
Missa Solemnis
Symphony No. 9

BRAHMS
Ein deutches Requiem

BUTTERWORTH
A Shropshire Lad

CHARPENTIER
Te Deum

DELIUS
Mass of Life
Sea Drift

DVORAK
Te Deum
Requiem

DYSON
Sweet Thames Run Softly

ELGAR
Coronation Ode
The Dream of Gerontius
The Apostles
The Kingdom
Starlight Express
Light of Life

FAURE
Requiem

FINZI
Let Us Garlands Bring

MAUNDER
Olivet to Calvary

HANDEL
Alexander’s Feast
Athalia
Israel in Egypt
Messiah
Joshua
Judas Maccabeus
Samson
Saul
Semele
Solomon
Theodora

HAYDN
Maria Theresa Mass
Missa Cellenis
Paukenmesse
Nelson Mass
Stabat Mater
Die Schöpfung (The Creation)
Die Jahreszeiten (The Seasons)

HASS
4 Songs on Chinese Poetry

MAHLER
Das Knaben Wunderhorn
Kindertotenlieder
Ruckertlieder
Symphony No. 8

MENDELSSOHN
Elijah
Paulus
Psalm 115

MONTEVERDI
Verspers 1610
Magnificat

MOZART
Mass in C Minor
Coronation Mass
Mass in F
Requiem
Solemn Vespers

MUSSORGSKY
Songs and Dances of Death

PERGOLESI
Magnificat

PUCCINI
Messa di Gloria

PURCELL
Te Deum
Jubilate
Come ye Sons of Art
Welcome all the pleasures
King Arthur

ROSSINI
Pettite Messe Solennelle
Stabat Mater

SCHUBERT
All Masses
Magnificat
Psalm 92
Tantum Ergo in E flat

SHOSTAKOVICH
Four Romances on Poems by Pushkin
Symphony no. 13
Symphony no. 14

STAINER
Cruxification

STANFORD
Songs of the Fleet

TIPPET
A Child of our Time

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
Songs of Travel
Hodie
Five Mystical Songs
Fantasia on Christmas Carols
Mass in G Minor
Sancta Civitas
Sea Symphony
Serenade to Music

VERDI
Requiem

STRAVINSKY
Oedipus Rex

WALTON
Belshazzar’s Feast

OPERA REPERTOIRE

BEETHOVEN
Fidelio (Rocco/Don Fernando)

BRITTEN
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bottom)
Albert Herring (Budd)
Billy Budd (Mr Flint/Claggart)
Curlew River (Abbott)
Gloriana (Ballad Singer)
Noye’s Fludde (Noye)
Peter Grimes (Hobson/Swallow/Balstrode)
The Rape of Lucretia (Collatinus)

BELLINI
I Puritani (Sir Giorgio Valton)
La Sonnambula (Count Rodolfo)
Norma (Oroveso)

BERLIOZ
Roméo et Juliette (Frère Laurent)
Les Troyens (Priam/Ghost of Hector)

BIZET
Carmen (Zuniga)

DONIZETTI
Anna Bolena (Enrico/Rochefort)
Lucia di Lammermoor (Raimondo Bidebent)
Maria Stuarda (Talbot)

DOVE
Flight (Immigration Officer)

ENESCU
Oedipe (Phorbas/Tirésias)

HANDEL
Acis and Galatea (Polyphemus)
Ariodante (Rè di Scozia)
Athalia (Abner)
Giulio Cesare (Achillas)
Hercules (Hercules)
Orlando (Zoroastro)
Semele (Somnus/Cadmus)
Theodora (Valens)

JANÁČEK
The Cunning Little Vixen (Badger/Scoolmaster/Harašta)

MARTINU
Comedy on the Bridge (The Brewer)

MENOTTI
Amahl and the Night Visitors (Balthazar)

MONTEVERDI
Orfeo (Caronte/Plutone)
Il Coronazione di Poppea (Seneca)

MOZART
Die Zauberflöte (Sarastro/Sprecher)
Don Giovanni (Leporello/Commandatore)
Idomeneo (Voce di Nettuno)
La clemenza di Tito (Publio)
Le nozze di Figaro (Figaro/Bartolo)

MUSSORGSKY
Boris Godunov (Varlaam/Pimen)

OFFENBACH
Les contes d’Hoffman (Crespel)

PUCCINI
La bohème (Colline)
Madama Butterfly (Bonze)
Turandot (Timur)
Tosca (Angelotti)

PROKOFIEV
War and Peace (Count Ilya Rostov)

ROSSINI
Il Barbiere Di Sivilia (Basilio)
La scala di seta (Blansac)
Mosè in Egitto (Mosé/Faraone)
Semiramide (Assur/Oroe/Nino)

RUBINSTEIN
The Demon (Prince Gudal)

STRAUSS
Salome (First Soldier / First Nazarene)

STRAVINSKY
The Rake’s Progress (Nick Shadow)

SULLIVAN
The Mikado (Pooh Bah/The Mikado)
The Pirates of Penzance (Sargent of the Police)

SZYMANOWSKI
Król Roger (Bishop)

TCHAIKOVSKY
Eugene Onegin (Gremin/Zaretsky)
Iolanta (René/Bertrand)

VERDI
Aida (Ramfis)
Don Carlos (Grand Inquisitor/Philip)
Il Due Foscari (Loredano)
Il trovatore (Ferrando)
La forza del destino (Il Padre Guardiano)
La traviata (Dr Grenvil)
Macbeth (Banco)
Nabucco (Zaccaria/High Priest)
Rigoletto (Sparafucile)
Simone Boccanegra (Fiesco)
Un ballo in maschera (Tom)

WAGNER
Der Fliegende Holländer (Daland)
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Pogner/Der Nachtwächter)
Das Rheingold (Fasolt/Fafner)
Die Walküre (Hunding)
Siegfried (Fafner)
Götterdämmerung (Hagen)
Tristan und Isolde (König Marke)