James Laing studied at Uppingham School and was a choral scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge. He furthered his studies at the Royal College of Music with Robin Blaze. He was selected by OPERA NOW as amongst ‘Who’s Hot’ for his performance as Nerone Agrippina at the London Handel Festival. His broadcast work includes Sports Personality of the Year for BBC TV, In Tune for Radio 3 and Midweek for Radio 4.
His operatic engagements have included performances for the Royal Opera, London; Classical Opera; English National Opera; English Touring Opera; Garsington Opera; Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Grange Park Opera; Opera Holland Park; Opera North; and the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden, his repertoire including Apollo Death in Venice, Oberon A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Giuliano Eliogabalo Nerillo L’Ormindo, The Refugee Flight, Raphael Tobias and the Angel, Orfeo Orfeo ed Euridice, Tolomeo Giulio Cesare, Medoro Orlando, Bertarido Rodelinda, Zephyrus Apollo and Hyacinthus, Ascanio Ascanio in Alba and Zelim La verita in cimento. Created roles include Hamlet The Firework Maker’s Daughter, Coachman / Fox The Adventures of Pinocchio and Cheshire Cat Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Concert engagements have included performances with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Britten Sinfonia, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Hallé and the Royal Northern Sinfonia. International engagements have included performances with Tafelmusik, Toronto, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Les Agrémens, the Israel Camerata, the Netherlands Bach Society, the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, the Polski Chór Kameralny, the National Orchestra of Spain and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He appeared in Other Shakespearean Dreamers at The Liceu, Barcelona, and also in Jonathan Miller’s production of the St Matthew Passion at the National Theatre.
Conductors with whom he has worked include David Charles Abell, Avner Biron, Roland Böer, Ivor Bolton, John Butt, Stephen Cleobury, Brad Cohen, Laurence Cummings, Christian Curnyn, Ottavio Dantone, Richard Farnes, Paul Goodwin, Nicholas Kraemer, Stephen Layton, Paul McCreesh, Alessandro de Marchi, Ian Page, David Parry, Ari Rasilainen, Timothy Redmond, Daniel Reuss, Robert Spano, Stuart Stratford, Ivars Taurin, Jos van Veldhoven, Alexander Weimann and Ryan Wigglesworth.
Highlights of 2015 / 2016 included Voice of Apollo Death in Venice at the Opéra de Nice, Tirinto Imeneo at the Göttingen Festival, Medoro Orlando for Welsh National Opera, further performances as Cheshire Chat Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for Opera Holland Park, the J. S. Bach Magnificat with the Arion Baroque Orchestra, Montréal, and the Britten Sinfonia, the St Matthew Passion with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and *Messiah° with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Current engagements include Peter in Daniel Bjarnsson’s Brødre for Den Jyske Opera, Armindo Partenope for English National Opera, Messiah on tour with the Dunedin Consort, as well as further and Cantatas for the Soul at the 2017 Valletta International Baroque Festival.
Engagements during 2017 / 2018 include debuts at the Landestheater Linz and Scottish Opera and returns to English National Opera and Tafelmusik.
His performance with Opera North in The Adventures of Pinocchio is available on Opus Arte Blu Ray / DVD and his recordings include Tobias and the Angel on Chandos CD (selected as a GRAMOPHONE CD of the Month for September 2010) and J. S. Bach Magnificat, newly released on Atma CD.