James McLennan

Tenor

James McLennan

Tenor

 

James McLennan has been celebrated for his “emotional intensity” (Opera News), “considerable charm,” and “strong yet pure tenor,” (Toronto Star) in a career encompassing over 25 roles on opera stages across Canada. An alumnus of Toronto’s famed Second City improv and comedy training centre, his lovesick protagonists, quirky villains and comical sidekicks have been winning over audiences from coast to coast for more than a decade.

James McLennan’s “freely expressive and carefully nuanced singing” (Toronto Star) has also been featured in repeat performances with major Canadian orchestras and musical ensembles.

Recent opera roles include Almaviva in BARBER OF SEVILLE and Triquet in EUGENE ONEGIN with Edmonton Opera, Beppe in PAGLIACCI for Hamilton Opera, Caius in FALSTAFF for Opera Hamilton and Montreal Opera, Borsa in RIGOLETTO with Manitoba Opera, Remendado in CARMEN and Spoletta in TOSCA with Opera Lyra Ottawa, Tiberge in LE PORTRAIT DE MANON at the Muskoka Opera Festival, and Brighella in ARIADNE AUF NAXOS and Goro in MADAMA BUTTERFLY with Pacific Opera Victoria.

Next season’s highlights include Tamino in THE MAGIC FLUTE with the Sudbury Symphony, the BACH ST. MATTHEW PASSION (arias) at the Bach Music Festival of Canada, and a return to Montreal Opera as Goro in MADAMA BUTTERFLY and as Young Bilodeau in the world premiere of LES FELUETTES (Lilies) by Kevin March and Michel Marc Bouchard. He also will be heard in a recital of Canadian song at the Canadian Music Centre.

Past concert highlights include Bach’s ST. JOHN PASSION and MAGNIFICAT with the Grand Philharmonic Choir, Haydn’s DIE SCHÖPFUNG and John Taverner’s REQUIEM with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, ISRAEL IN EGYPT with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and CARMINA BURANA with the Prince George Symphony and Toronto’s VOCA Chorus. Other performances include the Bach MASS IN B MINOR with the Vancouver Bach Choir, Mendelssohn’s ST. PAUL for Toronto’s Pax Christi Chorale, Bach’s MAGNIFICAT with the Toronto Bach Consort and Britten’s COMPANY OF HEAVEN and Haydn’s ST. NICOLAS MASS with Thirteen Strings in Ottawa.

Previous operatic roles include the Innkeeper in DER ROSENKAVALIER, Gastone in LA TRAVIATA, Triquet in EUGENE ONEGIN and the Fourth Jew in SALOME for Vancouver Opera; Remendado in CARMEN and MINER/CHESTER in BALLAD OF BABY DOE for Calgary Opera; Adam in THE BIRD SELLER, Laczi in DER ZIGEUNERPRIMAS and the title role in CANDIDE for Toronto Operetta Theatre; and Almaviva in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA with Saskatoon Opera.

An alumnus of the Montreal Opera’s Atelier Lyrique, James McLennan is featured on a Naxos recording of Charpentier’s MESSE DE MINUIT and TE DEUM with Toronto’s Aradia Ensemble. James McLennan holds a degree in French Translation from York University’s Glendon College.

May 2015

OPERA

Beethoven Jaquino FIDELIO
Bernstein Candide CANDIDE
Bizet Remendado CARMEN
  Silvio LE DOCTEUR MIRACLE
Britten Lysander
Quint
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
THE TURN OF THE SCREW
Donizetti Ernesto
Nemorino
Tonio
Arturo
DON PASQUALE
L’ELISIR D’AMORE
LA FILLE DU  RÉGIMENT
LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR
Estacio Stephano FILUMENA
Gounod Tybalt ROMÉO ET JULIETTE
Handel Oronte
Sesto
Grimoaldo
ALCINA
GIULIO CESARE
RODELINDA
Kálmán Laczi ZIGEUNERPRIMAS
Leoncavallo Beppe PAGLIACCI
Mozart Ferrando
Pedrillo
Don Ottavio
Tamino
Soliman/Gomatz
The Lover
COSÌ FAN TUTTE
DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL
DON GIOVANNI
DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE
ZÄIDE
AMELIA GOES TO THE BALL
Offenbach Paris LA BELLE  HÉLÈNE
  Andrès/Cochenille/Frantz LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN
Puccini Goro MADAMA BUTTERFLY
Rossini Almaviva
Don Ramiro
Lindoro
IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA
LA CENERENTOLA
L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI
Strauss, J.
Strauss, R.
Alfred
Tanzmeister
Innkeeper
DIE FLEDERMAUS
ARIADNE OF NAXOS
DER ROSENKAVALIER
Strauss, R. Fourth Jew SALOME
Sullivan Nanki-Poo
Frederick
THE MIKADO
THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE
Tchaikovsky Triquet EUGENE ONEGIN
Verdi Fenton
Gastone
FALSTAFF
LA TRAVIATTA
Weill 2nd tenor THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS

 

CONCERT

Bach Johannes Passion (Evangelist and Arias)
Magnificat
Mass in B minor
Matthäus Passion (Evangelist and arias)
Weihnachtsoratorium
Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings
St. Nicolas
Handel Messiah
Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day
Haydn Die Schöpfung
Nelson Messe
Missa Sancti Nicolai
Mozart Krönungsmesse
Mass in C minor
Requiem in D minor
Orff Carmina Burana
Rossini

TavenerPetite Messe Solennelle
Stabat Mater
Requiem

 

RECITAL REPERTOIRE

Complete list available upon request

“Tous les seconds rôles sont joués et chantés avec brio. Le ténor canadien James McLennan (Bardolfo)…les serviteurs bouffons de Falstaff, sont hilarants…ils chantent bien et sont de très bons acteurs.” [Falstaff, Manitoba Opera] La Liberté, Pierre Meunier

“Winnipeg native McLennan summoned up dramatic intensity when needed and with his terrific diction and lyrical delivery was another star of the night.” (Haydn’s Creation)
Winnipeg Free Press, Gwenda Nemerofsky

“Tenor James McLennan was a youthful Evangelist, a part suitable only for tenors of a special type. McLennan is clearly such a tenor…he managed the challenges of the role admirably and was also able to sing the tenor arias as well…he will undoubtedly be in considerable demand as a Bach singer.” 
Calgary Herald

“Tenor James McLennan’s boyish good looks and fresh-faced innocence made him an ideal Candide. The richness of his voice and the emotional intensity he gave “It Must Be So” and “Nothing More Than This” lent the character and the opera the depth they require so crucially.”
Opera News

“The standout in terms of diction, voice, pitch and character intensity was tenor McLennan, who becomes more impressive with each outing. He possesses a sweet lyric voice of great promise, and he finds the edge when the drama is needed.” 
Opera Canada

“At the top of the positive side of the ledger are two smashing performances from James McLennan as Candide and Jean Stilwell as The Old Lady…McLennan offers us an 18th-century Charlie Brown, with a sweetly smiling face no matter how grim the world gets. He also radiates considerable charm and sings with a strong yet pure tenor that does full justice to Bernstein’s arias.” 
Toronto Star

“Tenor James McLennan in the title role displays a pleasing voice and is definitely someone to keep an eye on as his career develops.”
Classical 96.3

“As the Evangelist, James McLennan showed more than potential. Dispassionate when required, expressive when the music called for it.”
Le Devoir de Montréal

“Sober dramatization and perfect style.” (St. John Passion)
La Presse de Montréal

 “The two leads, Tracy Smith Bessette and James McLennan, performed amazing vocal feats.” (La Fille du Régiment) 
La Tribune Sherbrooke

“The vocal timbre of James McLennan…proved to be very moving when he sang with admirable sensitivity what is probably the best known aria of this opera: ‘Un aura amorosa’.” (Cosí fan tutte)
L’Acadie Nouvelle

“McLennan was solid as Almaviva…he was hilarious as the drunken soldier and as the “music teacher.” Almaviva is really an amalgam of many roles, and McLennan pulled off the changing personalities beautifully.” (Il Barbiere di Siviglia)
Saskatoon Star Phoenix