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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
September 30, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence
James

James Westman

Contract Academic Staff; Voice

Contact Information
Email: jwestman@wlu.ca


Office Location: A404

Personal Website: http://jameswestman.com
Biography

Internationally acclaimed Canadian Baritone, James Westman, “acts as impressively as he sings, stealing the show.” – London, England Financial Times

Whether performing song, concert or opera throughout the world, Westman remains passionately vigilant for both healing and discovering human nature through his art.

Formerly a successful boy treble, Mr. Westman toured with the American Boys Choir, the Paris Boys Choir and the Vienna Boys Choir. Known as Jamie Westman, he was the first boy ever to perform the fourth movement of Mahler's Symphony No. 4, (Childs View of Heaven) and toured this work with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra in Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, East and West Germany and Russia, performing in the Musikverein, Roy Thompson Hall and Carnegie Hall at the young age of twelve.

Mr. Westman was Baritone in Residence with the prestigious San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship program until March 2000. His critically acclaimed performances at the San Francisco Opera include Guglielmo (Cosi Fan Tutte); Marcello (La Boheme); Sylvio (Paggliaci); Germont (La Traviata); Renato (Ballo in Maschera); Sid (Albert Herring); and the First Philosopher (Louise).

Since being an Adler, this young Verdi-baritone has performed the leading roles of Verdi, Puccini, Massenet, Donizetti, Janacek, Bizet, Britten and Mozart for many principal Opera houses in North America and Europe including; the Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe, Montreal, Chicago, Vancouver, English National Opera, Los Angeles, San Francisco Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, New York, Detroit, Dallas Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Wexford Festival Ireland, Graz, Cologne and many more!

His Debut with the English National Opera marked his 100th professional performance of his calling card role ‘Germont’ from Verdi’s La Traviata. In 2012, Westman, created the leading role (Sandy Keith) of Bramwel Tovey’s new Opera “The Inventor”; to rave reviews!

James Westman thrives at art song repertoire in many different styles and genres. He has preformed recitals for The Marilyn Horne Foundation, The George London Foundation, The Aldeburgh Connection, the Canadian Arts and Letters Club, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Stratford Summer Music Festival, the Schawbacher Debut Recital Series, the Michigan Chamber Music Society, the Lanaudière Festival, the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyrique, the Wexford Festival, Ireland and the symposiast’s of Toronto Society, to name a few.

His success on the concert stage since eight years of age continues to blossom, performing with many of the world’s leading Orchestras. He has sung Handel’s Messiah with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Arts Orchestra, Ottawa, Vancouver Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Detroit Symphony, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra. He performed Carmina Burana with the Cleveland Orchestra; Berlioz’ seldom performed Romeo and Juliette with the Edmonton Symphony and the Toronto Symphony; and Mendlessohn’s Elijah and Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Vancouver Symphony. He has performed solo Gala concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Thirteen Strings and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Mr. Westman has placed first place among all international competitions in which he has participated; including the George London Competition (1997), the D’angelo Competition (1997), the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyrique (1996), and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation (1999). Marylin Horne Foundation Award (1999) In June of 1999 he was a finalist and the audience favorite award at the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.

Previous season performances include Sharpless in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly for Dallas Opera and Santa Fe Opera; Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata for Vancouver Opera; Talbot in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda for Opera de Montreal; Sandy Keith in Tovey’s The Inventor for Calgary Opera; Messiah with the Kitchener Waterloo Philharmonic Choir; Beethoven’s 9th with the Indianapolis Symphony; recording and performing Britten’s War Requiem in Japan under Seiji Osawa for Decca Records. He performed at Houston Grand Opera’s 50th anniversary Gala with Sir Elton John, Bryn Terfel, Frederica Von Stade, and Renee Fleming, hosted by Sir Roger Moore.

James Westman has studied with such renowned artists as Dame Joan Sutherland, Richard Bonynge, Renato Capecchi, Paul Esswood, John F.M. Wood, Carl Duggan, Louis Marshall, Patricia Kern, Régine Crespin, Warren Jones, Martin Katz, Virginia Zeani, Marlena Malas, Theadore Uppman, Diane Forlano, and Marilyn Horne.

Nominated for two Grammy awards and three Canadian Juno awards, Mr. Westman has recording several recordings for Decca, Opera Rara, CBC and BBC.

Mr. Westman lives by the Avon in Stratford, Ontario, Canada with his wife Nadine (Dini) and their two sons Liam and Hardy; situated close to the Westman’s and Marshall / Levy heritage farms which have been in his family since the 1700’s!

‘’Westman is one of Canada's most promising Opera singers, with a lush, soaring, flexible voice that equips him to be a Verdi and Puccini baritone and therefore heir to some of the most coveted roles in Opera." – Paula  Citron, The Globe and Mail

Major Performance Venues and Companies:

Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Michigan Opera, Koln Opera, San Diego Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Montreal Opera, Japanese Seito Kinen Festival, Quebec Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Bordeaux Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Manitoba Opera, Vancouver Opera, Arizona Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater, Dallas Opera, Western Opera Theatre, Tanglewood, Houston Grand Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Graz Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Wexford Opera, Tampa Opera, Orange County Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Opera, Utah Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Lyra, Opera Rara, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Canadian Opera Company, Opera Ontario, Minnesota Opera, English National Opera, Vancouver Opera, Calgary Opera, Edmonton Opera, London Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Lanaudiere Festival, Indianapolis Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivières, Cleveland Symphony, Tafelmusik, Seattle Chamber Society, St Martin in the Fields, Vancouver Symphony, BBC orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hollywood bowl, Edmonton Symphony, National Arts Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, New Hampshire Symphony, Florida Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, 13 Strings Chamber Society, Baltimore Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Barbican Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Cardiff Singer of the World-1999 (Wales), Snap Maltings Concert Hall (England), Julliard Theatre Lincoln Center, Morgan Library, Yerba Buena Gardens, Wigmore Hall, Weill Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Blossom Festival, Carnegie Hall, Musikverein (Vienna), Air Canada Center, Maple Leafs Gardens, Marilyn Horne Foundation, George London Foundation, Schwabacher Foundation, Licia Albanese Foundation.

Recordings:

  • Tovey: The Inventor- James Westman, Judith Forst, Roger Honeywell, Erin Wall, Laura Whalen, Philip Enns; Vancouver Symphony Orchestra; Bramwell Tovey (conductor). Label: CentreDiscs.
  • Britten: War Requiem – Christine Goerke, Anthony Dean Griffey James Westman; Saito Kinen Orchestra, Japan; Seiji Ozawa (conductor). Label: Decca.
  • Donizetti: Imelda de' Lambertazzi – Nicole Cabell, James Westman, Frank Lopardo, Massimo Giordano; Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Mark Elder (conductor). Label: Opera Rara.
  • Ricci: Corrado d’Altamura (Highlights) – Dimitra Theodossiou, Dimitry Korchak, James Westman; Philharmonia Orchestra; Roland Boer (conductor). Label: Opera Rara.
  • Harry Somers, A Midwinter Night's Dream, - Canadian Children's Opera Chorus Label: CBC Records.
  • Margison Sings Verdi, Richard Margison, James Westman Canadian Opera Company; Richard Bradshaw (conductor). Label: CBC Records.
  • Millennium Opera Gala: Roy Thomson Hall, - Canadian Opera Company; Richard Bradshaw (conductor). Label: CBC Records.
  • Angel Choir: St. Marys Children's Choir, Eileen Baldwin (conductor).
  • The Aldeburgh 20th Anniversary Collection: Stephen Ralls and Bruce Ubukata, Piano. Glenn Gould Studios (CBC), December 9, 1997.
  • Les Sept Paroles du Christ, Dubois: - James Westman, Janet Obermeyor, Greg Carpenter, Chris Dawes; Gentlemen and Boys of Cathedral Church of St. James (Toronto), Giles Bryant (conductor). October, 1994.
  • Gustav Mahler’s 4th Symphony, - Jamie Westman, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra: Benjamin Zander (conductor) 1986.
  • Jamie Westman - Boy Treble: John Wood, Piana and Organ. Label: King Records, 1984.

Additional Information

Performance Schedule:

Concerts, Touring and recording (Chandos) with James Ehnes and the James Enhes Quartet. Vaughn Williams, Brahms, and Barber. Seattle Chamber Music Society. (July 21, 23, 25)


New Hampshire Symphony, Verdi Requiem. (August 6,7,9)


Calgary Opera, Canadian Premier of Silent Night, Role of Gordon. (Nov 8, 12, 14)

New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah, Avery Fisher Hall. Maestro, James Levine. (Dec 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)

Carnegie Hall Recital, Wiell Concert Hall, Pianist John Churchwell (January)


Pacific Opera Victoria, Lucia Di Lammermoor, Role of Enrico. (Feb 10, 12, 14, 18, 20 , 22)


Ottawa Lyric Opera, NAC, Le Nozze di Figaro, Il Conte. (March 19, 21, 25, 28)


Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Rimsky Korsakov, Mozart and Salieri, Maestro Bramwell Tovey. (April 11)

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, The legend of Don Juan, Maestro Bramwell Tovey. (April 13)