In 2016, Zach returned to English National Opera to play the role of the Scribe in the Philip Glass opera, Akhnaten in a new production by Phelim McDermott which he reprised with Los Angeles Opera later in 2016. The English National Opera production was broadcast on BBC Radio and won the Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production.
REVIEWS FOR ZACH AS THE SCRIBE IN AKHNATEN
AT ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA
"the role of the Scribe...here taken with firmness and clarity
by bass Zachary James"
"resonantly intoned, Zachary James's towering Scribe
was certainly commanding"
"the sonorous and imposing Zachary James"
THE CIRCUS DIARIES
"Zachary James was imposing as the pontificating Scribe and Narrator"
"Che voce divina! Lo scriba con il ruolo di voce
narrante e interpretato da Zachary James"
"Zachary James has tremendous power and presence as the scribe, translating the parable down the ages for us."
THE ARTS DESK
"imposing delivered by Zachary James"
"Zachary James is sonorous"
THE EVENING STANDARD
"bass Zachary James emitted power and authority as the scribe who recounts aspects of Akhnaten's reign and its eventual collapse."
"Zachary James's scribe, a powerful presence"
"most notably the imposing Zachary James"
"As the Scribe, Zachary James's powerful voice, diction and commanding stage presence provided a firm grounding for the whole performance"