James Cresswell Headshot

James Creswell


James Cresswell has established himself as one of the leading basses of his generation.

Mr. Creswell has appeared in many of the world’s leading opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera, Paris Opera, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Oper Frankfurt, Theater an der Wien, Teatro Real Madrid, and Opera di Roma.

Born in Seattle Washington, Mr. Creswell graduated from Yale University and his early career included apprenticeships with Los Angeles Opera and San Francisco Opera until moving to Germany as a soloist with the Komische Oper Berlin.

Currently for ENO: Fafner The Rhinegold

Previously for ENO: Count Walter Luisa Miller, Sarastro The Magic FluteTimur Turandot, Dutchman The Flying Dutchman, Rocco Fidelio, Pogner The Mastersingers of Nurembeg, Father Superior Force of Destiny.

Career Highlights

In the 2022/23 season, Mr. Creswell performs the roles of Bartolo Le nozze di Figaro and Il Marchese di Calatrava La forza del destino at Opéra national de Paris; Fafner Das Rheingold at English National Opera; Nourabad in a semi-staged production of Les pêcheurs de perles with Opera North; and Vodník Rusalka and Caronte in Monteverdi’s Orfeo at The Santa Fe Opera. In concert, he performs the role of Peasant Gurrelieder with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Edward Gardner.

Mr. Creswell has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, Dutch National Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Bilbao Opera, Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Staatsoper Berlin, Oper Frankfurt, Theater an der Wien, Opéra de Bordeaux, Angers-Nantes Opéra, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Edinburgh International Festival, Nederlandse Reisopera, Tallinn Festival, Ravinia Festival and Bergen International Festival.

His repertoire of operatic roles includes Dutchman and Daland Der fliegende Holländer; Hunding Die Walkure; Fasolt Das Rheingold; King Marke Tristan und Isolde; Pogner Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg; Gurnemanz and Titurel Parsifal; A Blind Ballad Singer Gloriana; Seneca L’incoronazione di Poppea; Achilla Giulio Cesare; Zoroastro Orlando; Thoas in Handel’s Oreste; Figaro and Dr. Bartolo Le nozze di Figaro; Commendatore, Masetto and Leporello Don Giovanni; Speaker and Sarastro Die Zauberflöte; Rocco and Don Fernando Fidelio; Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia; Hermit Der Freischütz; Oroveso Norma; Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor; Count Walther and Wurm Luisa Miller; Ferrando Il trovatore; Padre Guardiano and Il Marchese di Calatrava La forza del destino; Monk Don Carlo; King Aida; Méphistophélès Faust; Frere Laurent and Capulet Roméo et Juliette; Kecal The Bartered Bride; Gremin Eugene Onegin; Escamillo Carmen; Compte des Grieux Manon; Phorbas Oedipe; Bonze Madama Butterfly; Angelotti Tosca; Timur Turandot; Nazarene Salome; Kammersänger Intermezzo; Mayor Jenůfa; Dr Kolenatý The Makropulos Affair; Little Prisoner From the House of the Dead; Dansker Billy Budd; Father in Britten’s The Prodigal Son; Pharisee in Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Gian Corrado in Orsini Ginastera’s Bomarzo;  and Grandfather Frost Snegurotchka.

Mr. Creswell is also very much in demand on the concert stage. His previous performances include staged performances of Mozart Requiem at the Komische Oper Berlin, King Mark in Tristan und Isolde with the Bremer Philharmoniker, Brahms’ Requiem in Lisbon, Messiah for the Bergen Festival, Mozart Requiem in Amsterdam, Mahler Symphony No. 8, Dvorak St. Ludmilla and Schoenberg Gurrelieder for the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Sir Mark Elder, St. Matthew Passion at the Cincinnati May Festival with James Conlon and Verdi Requiem for the Huddersfield Choral Society with Vasily Petrenko, Deutsche Symphonie Orchester as Jesus and Bass Soloist in performances of Bach’s St. John’s Passion with Kent Nagano, Gurrelieder with the Bergen Philharmonic with Edward Gardner and Tippet’s A Child of our Time and Rocco Fidelio for the BBC Proms.

Upcoming engagements: Vodnik (Rusalka) and CAronte (L’Orfeo) for the Santa Fe Opera Sarastro (Die Zauberflote) for The Metropolitan Opera, and Il Marchese di Calatrava (La Forza del Destino) for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Last updated: 3rd October 2023