Baritone (New Zealand)
New Zealand Bass-Baritone James Ioelu completed his undergraduate degree in Music and Psychology at the University of Auckland before moving to New York in 2010 to complete a Master's in Performance at the Manhattan School of Music. During his studies he performed principal roles in a number of MSM productions including Mephistopheles in Gounod’s Faust, Trinity Moses in Kurt Weil’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Louis XVI in John Corigliano’s The Ghost of Versailles, (the first performance of this work in New York since its opening at the Met), and the Knave in Manly Romero’s Dreaming of Wonderland at the Brooklyn Arts Space. James received a Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation tuition grant during his 2nd year at the Manhattan School of Music and was supported with significant funding from the Foundation and mentoring time with Dame Kiri in preparation for his subsequent successful audition with the National Opera Studio (London). With the Foundation’s support he took up the offered NOS position in September 2015.
He made his professional debut with NZ Opera in 2016 singing the Machese in La Traviata as well as covering the roles of Baron Douphol and Doctor Grenvil. A month later he sang the role of Jonas Fogg and cover Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd before making his debut with the Auckland Philharmonia singing the role of Montano in Otello.
James was also awarded the Victoria League Scholarship in Singing in 2015 & 2017.