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Biography

Born in New Zealand, James Benjamin Rodgers has appeared with the Ravinia Festival, Merola Opera Program, Toledo Opera, Opera Omaha, Southern Sinfonia, The Little Orchestra Society of New York, Orpheus Choir, Trinity Wall Street, Banff Centre, Mac-Haydn Theatre, New Zealand Opera, Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, Opera Company of Middlebury, Red Light New Music and the Paul Dresher Ensemble.

In 2015 James appeared with the Argento Ensemble in their new arrangement of Mahler's Das Lied von Der Erde for chamber orchestra. This performace was named in the New York Concert Review's Top Ten Performances of 2015. He also travelled to China to perform at the Beijing Modern Music Festival in Encounters, a new opera by composer Mojiao Wang. James then returned to New Zealand for acclaimed productions of Madame Butterfly and Tosca with New Zealand Opera.

In 2016 James returned to New Zealand Opera, performing Anthony in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. He also appeared with the Theater Workshop of Nantucket in the roles of Frank in Annie Get Your Gun and Harold in The Full Monty.

2017 will see James return to New Zealand Opera in the roles of Le Remendado in Carmen and Vanya Kudrjas in Katya Kabanova.

James has performed numerous roles in both Opera and Musical Theatre. He is a passionate advocate of the art song repertoire and a champion of new music. His awards include: An Arts Excellence Award from the Malvina Major Foundation (2010), Winner of the Joy in Singing Competition (2008), Winner of the Lotte Lenya Competition (2007), Wellington Rotary Scholarship, Marie D’Albini Scholarship, Bell Gully Travel Award, Sir Henry Cooper Memorial Scholarship in Music, as well as grants from the Lankhuyzen/Whetu Kairangi Masonic Trust, The Kurt Weill Foundation, Merola Opera and the Malvina Major Foundation.

A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, James was the Orvis Foundation Scholar and received the Janet D. Schenck Award for his distinguished contribution to the life of the school. He has studied voice with Dr. Robert White, Joan Patenaude-Yarnell, Neil Rosenshein and Emily Mair.

James' debut recording with renowned pianist Kenneth Merrill. The album, "Exiled: The Evolution of Kurt Weill", was released in 2014.

James resides in New York City.