James Rutherford

Renowned for his interpretations of German romantic opera, James Rutherford has performed at some of the world’s greatest opera stages including Bayreuth Festival, Vienna State Opera and the major houses across Germany.

© Werner Kmetitisch


Since winning the inaugural Seattle Opera International Wagner competition in 2006, James Rutherford has become renowned for his interpretations of German romantic opera. He has performed Hans Sachs Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for the Bayreuth Festival (2010, 2011), Wiener Staatsoper, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Oper Köln, San Francisco Opera, Budapest Wagner Festival and Glyndebourne Festival; Wolfram Tannhäuser for San Francisco Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin; the title role in Der Fliegende Holländer for the Budapest Wagner Festival, Oper Frankfurt and Oper Stuttgart as well as Kurwenal Tristan und Isolde for Washington National Opera. He has also sung Amfortas Parsifal and Holländer with the City of Birmingham Symphony conducted by Andris Nelsons. In 2016 James added Wotan to his repertoire performing the complete Ring cycle at Oper Frankfurt conducted by Sebastian Weigle. Since then he has performed Das Rheingold and Die Walküre at the Budapest Wagner Festival (A. Fischer), the complete cycle with Deutsche Oper am Rhein (Kober), Das Rheingold for Hamburgische Staatsoper (Nagano), Die Walküre at Tanglewood (Nelsons) and a concert and recording of Die Walküre with the Bayerischer Rundfunk (Rattle).

His Strauss roles include Jochanaan Salome at the Wiener Staatsoper, Berlin Staatsoper and Opéra National de Montpellier; Mandryka Arabella with the Dutch National Opera, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Liceu, Barcelona and Oper Frankfurt; Orestes Elektra for Hamburgische Staatsoper, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Lisbon and the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Faninal Der Rosenkavalier for Oper Frankfurt. Last season he sang the role of Peter Hänsel und Gretel in a new production at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

In 2009 he began a major association with the Oper Graz singing his first Hans Sachs and returning for Barak Die Frau ohne Schatten, Germont La traviata, Iago Otello, Orestes Elektra, Scarpia Tosca and the title roles in Falstaff and Guillaume Tell. Following a guest contract as Lysiart in a new production of Euryanthe in 2015, James began a long-term relationship with the Oper Frankfurt adding Ford Falstaff and Balstrode Peter Grimes to his repertoire.

This season’s highlights include Scarpia Tosca and the Ring at Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Wotan Die Walküre for Teatro Real, Madrid; Hans Sachs for the Norwegian Opera and the Budapest Wagner Festival as well as concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras.

His recordings on the BIS label include a CD of early 20th Century English songs; Butterworth orchestral songs with BBC NOW; Wagner arias with Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic and most recently Schubert Schwanengesang with the pianist Eugene Asti. Their recording of Schubert Winterreise will be released later this season.


Performance Schedule

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    17:00 25 Apr 2020 Den Norske Opera and Ballet, OSLO

    RICHARD WAGNER Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

    Hans Sachs: James Rutherford
    Walther: Gwyn Hughes Jones
    Veit Pogner: Jens-erik Aasbø
    Conductor: Erik Nielsen

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    17:00 02 May 2020 Den Norske Opera and Ballet, OSLO

    RICHARD WAGNER Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

    Hans Sachs: James Rutherford
    Walther: Gwyn Hughes Jones
    Veit Pogner: Jens-erik Aasbø
    Conductor: Erik Nielsen

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    17:00 06 May 2020 Den Norske Opera and Ballet, OSLO

    RICHARD WAGNER Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

    Hans Sachs: James Rutherford
    Walther: Gwyn Hughes Jones
    Veit Pogner: Jens-erik Aasbø
    Conductor: Erik Nielsen

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    17:00 11 May 2020 Den Norske Opera and Ballet, OSLO

    RICHARD WAGNER Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

    Hans Sachs: James Rutherford
    Walther: Gwyn Hughes Jones
    Veit Pogner: Jens-erik Aasbø
    Conductor: Erik Nielsen

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    15:00 16 May 2020 Den Norske Opera and Ballet, OSLO

    RICHARD WAGNER Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

    Hans Sachs: James Rutherford
    Walther: Gwyn Hughes Jones
    Veit Pogner: Jens-erik Aasbø
    Conductor: Erik Nielsen

  • More info  
    17:00 19 May 2020 Den Norske Opera and Ballet, OSLO

    RICHARD WAGNER Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

    Hans Sachs: James Rutherford
    Walther: Gwyn Hughes Jones
    Veit Pogner: Jens-erik Aasbø
    Conductor: Erik Nielsen

  • More info  
    17:00 23 May 2020 Den Norske Opera and Ballet, OSLO

    RICHARD WAGNER Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

    Hans Sachs: James Rutherford
    Walther: Gwyn Hughes Jones
    Veit Pogner: Jens-erik Aasbø
    Conductor: Erik Nielsen

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    16:00 16 Jun 2020 Bela Bartok National Concert Hall, BUDAPEST

    RICHARD WAGNER Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

    Veit Pogner: Gábor Bretz
    Beckmesser: Bo Skovhus
    Fritz Kothner: Jürgen Linn
    Walter von Stolzing: Klaus Florian Vogt
    Eva: Elisabeth Strid
    David: Norbert Ernst

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    16:00 23 Jun 2020 Bela Bartok National Concert Hall, BUDAPEST

    RICHARD WAGNER Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

    Veit Pogner: Gábor Bretz
    Beckmesser: Bo Skovhus
    Fritz Kothner: Jürgen Linn
    Walter von Stolzing: Klaus Florian Vogt
    Eva: Elisabeth Strid
    David: Norbert Ernst


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    SCHUBERT Schwanengesang

    Label: BIS 2180

    Release Date: 29 Apr 16

    Bass-baritone: JAMES RUTHERFORD
    Piano: Eugene Asti

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    James Rutherford sings Wagner

    Label: BIS Records AB

    Release Date: 17 Feb 14

    Bass-baritone: JAMES RUTHERFORD
    Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
    Conductor: Andrew Litton

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    Most Grand To Die

    Label: BIS Records BIS-SACD-1610

    Release Date: 01 Jan 12

    A collection of songs from, George Butterworth, Ivor Gurney and Ralph Vaughan Williams

    Bass-baritone: JAMES RUTHERFORD
    Piano: Eugene Asti

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    13 Feb 19 WAGNER Die Walkure
    Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Simon Rattle)

    “James Rutherfords Wotan erklang feiner, versierter und differenzierter als je zuvor. Er sang diese Rolle des Göttervaters bereits an einigen großen deutschen Häusern und scheint sie nun vollkommen verinnerlicht und zur Perfektion geführt zu haben. Bewundernswert, wie er an der Rollengestaltung arbeitete und jede Gefühlslage Wotans innerer Zerrissenheit überzeugend darzustellen vermochte. Als wütender, rasender Kriegsgott und gleich darauf als liebender Vater wusste er mimisch und stimmlich jedes Wort in passender Klangfarbe umzusetzen. Rutherford fand mit dem Wotan die Rolle seines Lebens.”
    James Rutherford’s Wotan sounded finer, more accomplished and more nuanced than ever. He has already sang this role at some large German houses and now seems to have completely embodied and perfected it. He has admirably worked on the role interpretation and was able to convincingly portray every last ounce of Wotan’s inner turmoil. As an angry, furious god of war and immediately afterwards as a loving father, he knew how to utter every word in the most suitable vocal timbre. Rutherford has found the role of a lifetime with Wotan.”

    Opernmagazin, 13 February 2019

    “James Rutherford… seine Prägnanz, die fokussierte Tongebung und Textklarheit, dazu das kernige, attraktive Timbre heben ihn ab von vielen Fachkollegen. ”
    “James Rutherford’s conciseness, focused tone and clarity of text, as well as his robust, attractive timbre set him apart from many other colleagues.”

    Markus Thiel, Merkur, 10 February 2019

    “Gut schlug sich Bariton James Rutherford, der kurzfristig für den erkrankten Michael Volle einsprang und in die Rolle des Göttervaters Wotan schlüpfte. Düster und verzweifelt gestaltete er seinen ausgiebigen Monolog in der zweiten Szene des zweiten Aufzugs, doch auch das machtvolle Intervenieren in der Schlacht zwischen Siegmund und Hunding gelang Rutherford überzeugend.”
    Baritone James Rutherford, who jumped in for the ill Michael Volle took on the role of godfather Wotan, sang well. Gloomy and desperate he wonderfully expressed both his extensive monologue in the second scene of the second act and the powerful intervention in the battle between Siegmund and Hunding succeeded Rutherford convincing.”

    David Renke, Bachtrack, 12 February 2019

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    02 Jul 18 WAGNER Gala Concert
    Ravello Festival

    “…l’elegante James Rutherford, di suono scuro, ideale, quasi incanta cantando con timbro e parola splendidi.”

    “…the elegant James Rutherford, of dark, robust sound, enchants with his singing of splendid timbre and expression.”

    Salvatore Morra, Giornalle della Musica, 2 July 2018

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    14 Dec 17 VERDI Rigoletto
    Royal Opera House

    “Monterone’s entry doesn’t require much subtlety, since he’s essentially required to come in, stand and deliver thunder: James Rutherford did exactly what was required, the vocal image of revenge.”
    David Karlin, Bachtrack, 15 December 2017

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    16 Oct 17 BRITTEN Peter Grimes (Captain Balstrode)
    Oper Frankfurt

    “Lange wärmt auch der ausdrucksfeine Bariton von James Rutherford als gutmütiger Captain Balstrode die grausame Szene – bis auch er dem Freund ganz am Schluss die Loyalität versagt.”

    The expressive baritone of James Rutherford as a good-natured Captain Balstrode also warms the cruel scene for a long time, until he also denies loyalty to his friend at the very end.”
    Bettina Boyens, Frankfurter Neuer Presse, 10 October 2017

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    09 Aug 17 WALTON Belshazzar's Feast
    BBC Proms

    “Driving hard through the bends of recitative and chorus, with a few well-coordinated emergency brakes for effect, his approach was at odds with the modulated polish of the baritone James Rutherford. As befits a Hans Sachs of Bayreuth standard, he is too classy a singer to grandstand or hector; he brought vulnerability to the opening lament as much as finger-snapping flourish to the writing on the wall that spells Belshazzar’s downfall.”

    Peter Quantrill, The Arts Desk

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    09 Feb 17 WAGNER The Flying Dutchman
    Stuttgart Opera

    “James Rutherford gelingt es als Hollander bei seinem stuttgart-Debut die Abgrunde der Partie mit klangfarbenreichem Bariton zu beschworen.”

    Stuttgarter Zeitung / Alexander Walther, May 2017

    “James Rutherford singt einen uberaus wohlklingenden Hollander, mit herausragender Diktion und ebensolcher Durchdringung des Textes. Mit eindrucklicker Plastizitat gestaltet er den grossen Monolog, sein wunderbar stromender Bassbariton verfugt aber auch uber die fahlen Farben fur den Beginn de Duetts.”

    Kaspar Sanneman/Der Operfreund, May 2017

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    18 May 16 WAGNER The Ring Cycle
    Frankfurt Opera

    “James Rutherford’s Wotan was in his element, with his rich and booming voice and nuanced acting impressively encompassing the range of the character’s dilemma to create a complete character.”
    Amo Imamura, Bachtrack, May 2016 

    “Wenn die Frankfurter Wiederaufnahme nichtsdestotrotz zum lustvollen Erlebnis wird, ist dies den stimmlich wie schauspielerisch herausragenden Leistungen einiger Sänger zu verdanken. So liefern James Rutherford als Wotan mit warm getöntem Bariton…”
    Miriam Zeh, Bachtrack

    “Fricka und Wotan (James Rutherford) geben ein göttliches Paar.”
    Marion Schwarzmann, Giessener Allgemeine Zeitung

    “Die Um-den-Kopf-Wette zwischen Wanderer-Wotan und Mime bringt dramatische Spannung auf die Szene: James Rutherford avancierte als stimmgewaltiger Wotan dabei schnell zum Publikumsliebling, der am Ende mit besonderem Applaus bedacht werden sollte. Von sattem Timbre und reichem Vibrato gekennzeichnet stand ihm die Rolle ausgezeichnet, er wusste ihr den passenden epischen Atem zu verleihen.”
    Miriam Zeh, Bachtrack, May 2016

    “James Rutherford seemed most comfortable in Siegfried, as his light-timbre bass-baritone suited the Wanderer. His extended Act I interchange with Mime was sung with good sense of lyrical passages, while he was a witty conspirator with Alberich in Act II. The two crucial encounters in Act III, first with Erda, to whom he revealed his final plan and desire of bequeathing the world to Siegfried, and finally with Siegfried, to give up his reign, were both sung splendidly and majestically; soaring lines made a thrilling arch and the voice rang out with authority.”
    Ako Imamura, Bachtrack, May 2016

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    25 Apr 16 CD: Schwanengesang
    BIS Records

    “‘James Rutherford besitzt einen ebenmäßigen, eleganten Bariton. Interpretatorisch orientiert er sich hier nicht an Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, der meinte, mit jeder gesungenen Note den Text erklären zu müssen.’…’James Rutherford verleiht seiner Stimme bei jedem Lied eine  eigene Klangfarbe.  Die Stimme klingt hier ausgeglichen, geradezu in sich ruhend. Einer der schönsten Momente auf dieser CD erlebt man gleich im ersten Lied, wo der Sänger kunstvoll ins Piano geht. Ebenso wie er den Titel Nr. 5 gestaltet, habe ich dieses Lied ‘Aufenthalt’  vom Ausdruck her so noch nie zuvor gehört. Man hält förmlich den Atem an.'”
    Sven Godenrath, Openratgeber blog, April 2016 

    “‘His (James Rutherford’s) baritone has almost everything for the Schubert selection on this disc: lightness at the top, warmth in the middle, velvety low notes, and an edge that ensures the words cut through. In dramatic songs he’s capable of quicksilver changes of timbre; in Kriegers Ahnung, for example, he moves from a low snarl early on to gentle, airborne high notes.’…’Die Forelle.. is lovely, with Eugene Asti’s bubbling piano nudging the vocal lines along. An die Musik, sung and played with great intensity of feeling, closes a rewarding disc.'”
    The Guardian, Erica Jeal, April 2016

    “‘Wie so oft, wenn zwei außerordentliche Künstler zusammentreffen, wie hier James Rutherford und sein Begleiter Eugene Asti, kommt dabei nicht nur Gutes heraus, sondern sogar das Bestmögliche.’…’Dennoch ist seine wohl- und volltönende Stimme beweglich, schmiegsam, sie besitzt große Dimension und vermag sogar ein schönes, schwebendes Piano hervorzuzaubern. Der Vortrag zeugt von tiefem Eindringen in die Werke und hält sich dennoch von Tüftelei und Affektesse fern.’…’Die Aussprache de Sängers ist überwiegend klar und deutlich, der Vortrag lebensvoll und tief berührend in den melancholischen, sehnsuchtsvollen Gesängen (Kriegers Ahnung, In der Ferne). Eugen Asti am Klavier ist nicht bloß Assistent, sondern mitlebender, mitfühlender Gefährte.'”
    Klassik Heute, Clemens Höslinger, April 2016 

    “Kreigers Ahnung suits Rutherford’s very fine voice perfectly, and one notices his impeccable German diction from the start. The third song, Frühlingssehnsucht shows that his large voice can deploy a lighter manner, and he really relishes the text. Ständchen, is the best known of all these songs and benefits here from a restrained but still ardent treatment. Following Aufenthalt with Herbst feels slightly like viewing a sketch after the finished painting, but both songs are so well done it seems churlish to complain. With the long (six minutes), slow and anguished In der Ferne the low voice makes its mark, as does the pianist in Abschied, with just the right tempo – a canter, not a gallop, that allows the singer to articulate the text.”
    Roy Westbrook, MusicWeb International, April 2016 

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    20 Nov 15 WAGNER Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
    San Francisco Opera

    “Notwithstanding the name of the opera, ‘Meistersinger’s’ central role is Hans Sachs, a cobbler-poet who artfully and selflessly brings together the main romantic characters and is its moral compass.  Ethically grounded, Sachs is one of the most likable characters in all of opera, and one of its most demanding roles. Baritone James Rutherford shepherded the part masterfully with his muscular, rich voice that carried through the house, and sturdy build and blend of dramatic and comic prowess.”
    James Ambroff-Tahan, SF Examiner, November 2015 

    “On opening night, Rutherford’s essentially lyric instrument sounded warm and expressive…this Sachs projected the right combination of the character’s humanity, intelligence and longing.”
    Georgia Rowe, Mercury News, November 2015 

    “James Rutherford, taking over the extensive, key role of Hans Sachs from a singer who withdrew from the production, built the performance steadily, peaking when it required the most five hours into the evening”
    SFExaminer, Janos Gereben, November 2015 

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    30 Sep 15 STRAUSS 'Salome' Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
    The Lighthouse, Poole and Symphony Hall Birmingham

    “It’s rare to hear this score liberated from an orchestra pit, and in Poole’s Lighthouse all the detail and colour came across directly. James Rutherford had booming resonance and authority as Jokanaan.”
    The Telegraph, John Allison, September 2015 

    “James Rutherford the Jokanaan, wrapping his burnished tone around the prophet’s phrases and communicating meaning in a way that mostly defeated other singers.”
    Andrew Clements, The Guardian, September 2015 

    “James Rutherford as Jochanaan was strongly authoritative and all zealous outrage, determined that the abominations of Herodias and the corrupt Judaea court be cast down and of course totally immune to Salome’s  increasing desperate blandishments.”
    Ian Lace, Seen and Heard International, September 2015 

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    27 Sep 15 BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 Philharmonia Orchestra
    Royal Festival Hall, London

    “In the final movement, Dohnányi’s interpretation was informed by clarity and vigour, the energetic orchestral playing now supported by spirited choral contributions from the Rodolfus Choir and Philharmonia Voices. The four soloists, bass James Rutherford, tenor Michael König, mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose and soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen, were uniformly excellent.”
    ★★★★ MusicOMH, Christian Hopkins, September 2015

    “Beethoven’s writing made life notoriously difficult for the vocal soloists and choir… however soprano Charlotta Larsson, mezzo Ruxandra Donose, tenor Michael König and baritone James Rutherford formed an impressive quartet of soloists.”
    George Hall, The Guardian, September 2015 

    “Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, which followed after the interval was an irrepressible performance, demonstrating Dohnányi’s ability to energise his troops. The Rodolfus Choir and Philharmonia Voices could hardly have sounded more enthused. Nor could the soloists (soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen, tenor Michael König, mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose, and bass James Rutherford).
    ★★★★ The Financial Times, Hannah Nepil, September 2015 

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    24 Feb 15 STRAUSS 'Elektra'
    Hamburg State Opera

    “James Rutherford made a splendid Orest, his robus and pleasingly rounded bass-baritone reflecting his growing status as a Wagnerian”
    Hugo Shirley, Opera Magazine, May 2015

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    22 Apr 14 CD: James Rutherford Sings Wagner
    BIS Records AB

    “this disc … acts as an admirable ‘sampler’ of the work of a singer whose assumption of the Wagnerian mantle is assured and highly idiomatic.”
    Paul Corfield Godrey, Music Web International, April 2014

    “Depuis longtemps nous n’avions entendu une voix capable de communiquer aussi simplement la vérité de personnages si éminemment complexes.”
    Sylvain Fort, N°163 de Classica, June 2014

    “The Norfolk-born bass-baritone’s voice, on this showing, is close to ideal – chocolate-dark and rich in tone, with a deceptive effortlessness and security that shows up many more famous exponents.”
    BBC Music Magazine, Michael Scott Rohan, July 2014

    “He (Rutherford) is the possessor of a voice that happily combines strength and warmth, in the mold of Terfel… Every rounded tone is securely produced; there’s real human emotion, delivered without edginess.”
    Huntley Dent, Fanfare, April 2014

    “‘Rutherford’s baritone, almost a bass-baritone, is dark, nutty brown in colour and broad in its phrasing…the seriousness of his Sachs, his warmth and generosity, come across impressively from his stage experience.’…’His Amfortas in Parisfal, has a wonderful, unforced dignity, and in Wotan’s Farewell his is remarkably authoritative for one so young – noble, sensitive, no forcing and with no fear.'”
    Richard Fairman, Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

    “James Rutherford’s timbre reminds me a bit of Thomas Stewart’s, a blend of bass and baritone closer to the higher end…it’s just right for the heroic Wagner roles.  He’s at his best in the Amfortas final lament, ‘Ja! Wehe’, so moving that it’s a real jolt when the scene is abruptly cut off at the end…”
    American Record Guide, November 2014

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    22 May 13 WAGNER 'Die Walküre' Act III
    Royal Festival Hall, London

    “James Rutherford’s Wotan was full and visceral of voice”
    Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 23 May 2013 

    “Although the act requires seven other singers, it is a confrontation between Brünnhilde and her father Wotan, sung here by James Rutherford. There was cruelty in Rutherford’s voice, anguish and dismay in Bullock’s.Both sang with weighty authority”
    Nick Kimberley, The Evening Standard, 23 May 2013 

    “To say that over time Rutherford should develop into a great Wotan would be true but slightly unfair, because from the moment that he stepped out from behind his lectern for ‘Leb’ wohl, du kühnes, herrliches Kind!’, never to return for the rest of the act, he already felt like one. His performance of ‘Der Augen leuchtendes Paar’ was enough to bring tears to the eyes”
    Sam Smith, Music OMH, 24 May 2013 

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    01 Jan 13 CD: Most Grand to Die

    “Rutherford … displays the warm and gentle approach that is needed most of the time and then he produces exquisite singing. With a full range of well-applied dynamics, he is able to employ his robust operatic voice as needed and also harness it gorgeously for the tender passages. … this performance (Songs of Travel) is deeply engaging and comes to a deeply affecting conclusion as Rutherford reduces his voice to a vibrato-free hush on the final line ”And I have lived and loved, and closed the door.” Rutherford rapturous singing of the beautiful long lines brings you magically into the night of those “that suffer long” who may in sleep ‘know some little joy’. This is one of the best available anthologies of 20th Century English songs.”
    R Moore, American Records Guide, February 2013

    “A Shropshire Lad’s ‘Think no more, lad’ is wittily scored, and the string writing in ‘Is my team ploughing?’ is exquisite. Impeccable singing too, from baritone James Rutherford. He’s also heard in Butterworth’s own orchestral version of Love Blows as the Wind Blows. ‘On the Way to Kew’’s bittersweet nostalgia is a thing to treasure, he and Russman handling the soft fade with tender affection.”
    Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk, February 2013 

    “Two sets of Butterworth’s songs are also included, both sung with exemplary diction and compelling conviction by James Rutherford. A fine release to commemorate not just one promising young life cut short, but a generation of millions.”
    Richard Morrison, The Times, February 2013

    “On se rappelle du Hans Sachs de James Rutherford dans les maîtres chanteurs de Nuremberg au Festival de Bayreuth de 2010 et 2011 où il avait montré ses qualités de musicalité précise. Il met ici toute sa sensibilité pour exprimer dans sa langue maternelle le romantisme rural des poèmes de Housman.”
    Jean-Marie André, Crescendo, February 2013 

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    01 Nov 12 WAGNER Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
    Wiener Staatsoper

    “I can think of no better Sachs than James Rutherford, charismatic and extraordinarily young for the role, but sailing through it effortlessly with his velvety baritone.”
    Musical America, 30 November 2012

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    12 Apr 12 VERDI 'La Traviata' (Recording)
    Graz Opera

    “James Rutherford (Bayreuth’s Hans Sachs) and Italian tenor Giuseppe Varano (as a nerdy, speccy Alfredo straight out of Brad in The Rocky Horror Show) are intensely involved and in good vocal shape.”
    Mike Ashman, Gramophone, April 2012

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    01 Apr 12 ELGAR 'The Dream of Gerontius' City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
    Symphony Hall, Birmingham

    “James Rutherford was in his customary commanding, authoritative form as the Priest despatching Gerontius into the afterworld, and as the awesome Angel of the Agony interceding for him as judgement approaches.”
    Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post, 13 April 2012

    “Baritone James Rutherford brought Part One to an exultant close with his deeply mellow, resounding Priest filling the Symphony Hall, backed by a rhythmically insistent CBSO chorus.”
    ★★★★★ Andrew H. King, Bachtrack, 16 April 2012

    “James Rutherford, authoritative in the bass roles, completed a top-flight team of soloists.”
    Barry Millington, The Evening Standard, 16 April 2012

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    01 Jan 12 VERDI 'Otello'
    Graz Opera

    “James Rutherford als Orest ist nicht weniger als eine Luxusbesetzung auf Weltklasseniveau, sein viriles Timbre tönt wie in Ehrfurcht gebietende delphische Bronze gegossen.”
    Harald Haslmayr, Die Presse, 22 January 2012

    “Mit dem Orest, den er markig, kraftvoll und nobel singt, hat James Rutherford eine weitere Paradepartie erobert.”
    Ernst Naredi-Rainer, Kleine Zeitung, 22 January 2012

    “Orest, dieser wieder von James Rutherford, souverän und zum Teil aus dem Zuschauerraum gesungen und somit bewußt als Nichtinsasse herausgestellt.”
    Peter Skorepa, Neue Merker, 22 January 2012

    “James Rutherford ist ein nobel timbrierender Orest”
    Helmut Christian Mayer, Kurier, 22 January 2012

    “James Rutherfords stimmkräftiger Orest ist eine Bank”
    Martin Gasser, Kronen Zeitung, 22 January 2012

    “James Rutherford, ein als Harlekin oder Hofnarr kostümierter Jago, singt diesen sehr kraftvoll, mit reichem Tremolo in der Tiefe.”
    Helmut Christian Mayer, Kurier, 3 October 2011

    “James Rutherford (momentan Bayreuths Hans Sachs) gelingt eine raffinierte, in jeder Nuance durchdachte Darstellung jenes Erzbösewichtes, der eben nicht notwendig ein ölig-schwarzes Gangster-Timbre benötigt, um zu überzeugen.”
    Die Presse, 5 October 2011



Peter Grimes: Balstrode
A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Bottom

Hansel and Gretel: Father

Tosca: Scarpia

Guillaume Tell: Tell

Salome: Jokanaan
Elektra: Orestes
Die Frau ohne Schatten: Barak
Arabella: Mandryka
Der Rosenkavalier: Faninal

The Rake’s Progress: Nick Shadow

La Traviata: Germont Pere
Otello: Iago
Falstaff: Title role, Ford
Macbeth: Title role*
Rigoletto: Title role*
Simon Boccanegra: Title role*

Rienzi: Orsini
Der fliegende Holländer: Holländer
Tannhäuser: Wolfram
Lohengrin: Herald
Tristan und Isolde: Kurwenal
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Hans Sachs
Das Rheingold: Wotan
Die Walküre: Wotan
Siegfried: Wanderer
Götterdämmerung: Gunther
Parsifal: Amfortas

Euryanthe: Lysiart

* roles in preparation


Christmas Oratorio
Mass in B minor
St. Matthew Passion
St. John Passion

Mass in C
Missa Solemnis
Symphony no.9

Ein Deutsches Requiem

War Requiem

Mass of Life*
Sea Drift

Sweet Thames Run Softly

Dream of Gerontius
The Kingdom
The Apostles
Light of Life
Coronation Ode


The Seasons

Das Knaben Wunderhorn
Symphony No. 8*


Mass in C minor
Coronation Mass
Solemn Vespers
Mass in F

Messa di Gloria

Petite Messe Solenelle
Stabat Mater


Songs of the Fleet
Songs of the Sea

Oedipus Rex

A Child of our Time

Fantasia on Christmas Carols
Five Mystical Songs
Mass in G minor
Sancta Civitas
Sea Symphony
Serenade to Music
Songs of Travel


Belshazzar’s Feast

Maeterlinck Lieder
Lyrische Symphonie*

*In preparation



Read an interview with James in Opernwelt magazine, December 2010 here [PDF].