REVIEWS FOR ZACH AS JOHN CLAGGART IN
DES MOINES METRO OPERA
"Zachary James scored a hit with his malevolent, sexually sadistic Claggart. James's cavernous bass is intrinsically beautiful, and he deploys it with intelligence: James appears to sing always within his natural means, never artificially darkening the sound."
"The villain was portrayed with towering force by Zachary James, a giant man with a big black bass to match"
"His rival is the 6-foot, 6-inch badass Zachary James, who plays the ship's ruthless master-at-arms John Claggart with a chilling intensity and an emotional depth that rivals the fathoms of his vocal range. James skillfully unpacks the character's tortured thoughts and forbidden desires."
"The star of the night"
"Claggart is not evil personified, certainly not as portrayed by the dynamic, explosive, forceful Zachary James. Physically imposing, Mr. James took command of the stage as assuredly as any master at arms would control his seamen."
"Claggart’s intense desire for control and order became undone. Mr. James’ intensity was maintained all the way to the bottom of his considerable register, where even words like “honor” seemed threatening when delivered with such powerful ferocity and resonance. Act I came to a climax not with a joyful chorus of sailors but with Mr. James alone on stage, collapsing to his knees as he concludes he must destroy Billy to save himself. I am not exaggerating when I say that “Oh, beauty, oh handsomeness, goodness” was the most electrifying five minutes I have ever spent in the theater. I’ve seen it done as a showpiece aria, but as rendered by Mr. James, in the context of a powerful production like this one, it was a transformational moment. His anguish, his rage, his sorrow, were all inwardly focused: no striding about the stage, no “tenor claw,” no chewing of scenery; everything was done with his voice as his body collapsed before us. His rendition was at once deeply personal and overwhelming explosive. I walked out at intermission still dizzy with tears in my eyes."
"Never mind, you just won’t see a finer Budd than that on view from Craig Verm. Much the same could be said for bass-baritone Zachary James as the evil John Claggart. His imposing stature, his bad boy good looks, and most of all, his searing, orotund vocal production combined to make him a definitive Master at Arms. While he is consistently insistent in enforcing his discipline, Mr. James finds astonishing nuance in his delivery, as he is both physically and intellectually attracted to Billy, all the while disgusted by it. You will likely never hear Claggart’s aria more passionately performed with compelling tortured feelings, yet with rock solid vocalism. And Zachary’s death spiral after the fatal punch, ending fallen flat on his face, was beyond any physicality I have ever seen in this critical plot moment."
REVIEWS FOR ZACH AS THE SCRIBE IN
BY PHILIP GLASS
ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA and LOS ANGELES 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"
"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."
"imposing delivered by Zachary James"
"Zachary James is sonorous"
"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"
REVIEWS FOR ZACH IN
WORLD PREMIERE AT OPERA PHILADELPHIA
"Zachary James was a strong voiced Terry"
"Zachary James is memorable in the role of Terry"
"The scene-stealing Terry (Jan's confidant and best man played by Zachary James)"
REVIEW FOR ZACH IN
"The impressive Zachary James displayed vocal oomph and range."
REVIEW FOR ZACH AS JUDGE TURPIN IN
"The sinister Judge Turpin is given a splendid performance by Zachary James"
REVIEWS FOR ZACH AS ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN
BY PHILIP GLASS
WORLD PREMIERE AT THE TEATRO REAL, MADRID, AND ON DVD
UK PREMIERE AT ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA, LONDON
AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE AT OPERA QUEENSLAND & BRISBANE FESTIVAL
"...bass Zachary James provides the gravitas and perfectly executed choreography of the Audio-Animatronic robot of Abraham Lincoln."
"the quirky, tentacle-cabled-up animatronic of Abraham Lincoln is realized unforgettably by Zachary James, whose huge, robust bass resonates with force."
"Zachary James stood out as a commanding Abraham Lincoln, both vocally and physically..."
"A highlight is a scene-stealing appearance from bass Zachary James as an animatronic Abraham Lincoln."
"a particular highlight is the animated Abraham Lincoln, convincingly played by Zachary James whose chiseled features and styalized movement have you wondering for a few seconds whether he is real or truly a puppet."
"gloriously portrayed by Zachary James...wonderful...as funny as it was touching..."
"Stealing the show with his incredible height and skilful robot moves, Zachary James as the robot Lincoln"
"From among the superb cast...Zachary James as Abraham Lincoln...stands out"
"Zachary James as the malfunctioning animatronic Abraham Lincoln is at the centre of probably the most memorable scene...brilliant..."
"...Lincoln, extremely well realized by Zachary James..."
"the excellent Zachary James"
"an excellent Zachary James"
"a brilliant portrayal of an animatronic Abraham Lincoln by Zachary James"
"wittily played by Zachary James"
"Zachary James adds a brilliant cameo"
"bass Zachary James was imposing as the uncontrollable Lincoln"
"Zachary James's lanky malfunctioning animatronic Abraham Lincoln is a striking turn"
"Zachary James had a touch of Daniel Day-Lewis in his Lincoln."
"excellent cameo by Zachary James as an animatronic Abraham Lincoln"
"Zachary James was especially striking"
"Abraham Lincoln, a Disneyland prop portrayed beautifully by Zachary James"
"Zachary James gave grace and dignity to Abraham Lincoln"
"Indeed, one of the opera's most memorable scenes thanks to a marvelous portrayal by Zachary James"
REVIEW FOR ZACH AS ALIDORO IN
"Zachary James was a striking Alidoro; he dominated several scenes by sheer presence alone, and he sang his Act I aria with pure tone and great verve."
REVIEW FOR ZACH AS OSMIN IN
"Osmin, was sung by bass Zachary James, who embraced his character’s villainy (and very low notes) with much flair and physicality."
REVIEWS FOR ZACH AS LURCH IN
“Zachary James craftily lurches through the affair as the half-dead family butler”
“South Pacific’s Zachary James nails every bit of physical business as Lurch, earning some of the night’s biggest laughs”
“the evening’s climax…the scene-stealing presence of the tall, ghoulish, low-note-hitting Zachary James, as the glacially slow butler Lurch.”
"Zachary James delivered a powerful solo performance that left the audience in awe"
“Zachary James as Lurch…hilarious”
Zachary James gives everyone a surprise at the end when he breaks into a glorious bass voice...
“…as the cadaverous Lurch, Zachary James makes music with his growls.”
“…numerous amusing acting turns… notably Zachary James as butler Lurch.”
Zachary James, as Lurch, chews up the scenery with a splendid comedic performances. Even when he is blocked upstage, your eyes go straight to him to see his hilarious facial expressions. He has several scenes that had me guffawing out loud. James is a very tall, lanky man who uses his body to wring out more physical comedy. And what he does in the finale is the comedic cherry on top of his crowd-pleasing performance.
“Zachary James is almost impossibly good as the mostly silent Lurch“
“Lurch, played with wonderful dryness and a deep bass by Zachary James”
“Zachary James is comically droll as the ever-present Lurch”
“Zachary James gives a fun performance as the glacially paced, deep-voiced butler, Lurch.”
“Zachary James is wonderfully incoherent as the muttering Lurch. ”
“And there is even a priceless benediction delivered by the dour butler, Lurch
(Zachary James, who appears to have sprung directly from Charles Addams’ pen).”
“…the tall and talented Zachary James as Lurch.”
REVIEWS FOR ZACH AS PASQUALE
IN THE ENCORES! NYC CENTER OFF-BROADWAY PRODUCTION OF
"And I loved, but loved, the bouncing, dancing chefs portrayed by Zachary James, Bradley Dean and Brian Cali"
"Zachary James, Brian Cali and Bradley Dean bust out their opera voice for "Abbondanza", a crowd-pleasing homage to bel canto...an audience favorite..."
"Zachary James, Bradley Dean, and Brian Cali...a trio....who practically had the crowd on its feet after their spirited rendition of "Abbondonza"."
"Brian Cali, Bradley Dean and Zachary James thrill as operatic waiters peddling amore"
REVIEW FOR ZACH AS SWEENEY TODD IN
“Zachary James is on his way to Broadway stardom…”
REVIEWS FOR ZACH AS THE BONZE IN
“…a powerful visit from the priest Bonzo, her uncle, excellently done in a brief appearance…”
“ridiculously handsome…a thrilling, booming voice… larger than life presence…” “(Zachary James) made it about the most imposing Bonze I’ve ever seen. Never mind it WAS the most imposing Bonze.”
REVIEWS FOR ZACH AS MILES GLORIOSUS IN
“…magnificently on the money…”
“bigger than life and broad-stroke funny”
“…larger than life…dominates the stage with his menacing physical presence and booming voice…wildly comical…”
“…powerhouse Zachary James plays Miles Gloriosus with a very funny sort of brute force…”
“Zachary James stands out as the conceited Miles Gloriosus; he’s gloriously cartoonish and has a booming, trained voice.”
“Zachary James, puffed up with the combined egos of Jupiter and Mars, keeps the crowd in stitches throughout with his flash-pec, stab-first and ask questions later romp through the madness as Capt. Miles Gloriosus.”
“Captain Miles Gloriosus is splendidly played by Zachary James. He knocks your socks off with his powerful rendition of “Bring Me My Bride”"
REVIEW FOR ZACH AS THE MAJOR GENERAL IN
“…steals the show…”
REVIEW FOR ZACH AS ABNER IN
“…a fine voice…gives new meaning to the term hunk…”
“I could listen to James’ rendition of Reynaldo Hahn’s “L’Heure Exquise” on repeat for hours on end without ever growing tired of it...tune, tone, and resonance washes over the audience like a soothing wave of Parisian, well, amour.”
“a huge, booming baritone that got the attention of the entire neighborhood.“
“…exquisitely focused baritone… a Vaudevillian opera divo.. .startlingly beautiful…”