Reviews

Photograph: Jeff Busby

Photograph: Xiomara Bender

Photograph: Robert Parigger

Photograph: Xiomara Bender

Amfortas: Parsifal, Wagner

Victorian Opera, Palais Theatre, Melbourne, Australia

Conductor: Richard Mills

  • ​'As Amfortas, James Roser was outstanding, working the text compellingly in his guilt, suffering and desperation for atonement.' (Paul Selar, Herald Sun)

  • 'This was the first time James Roser, an australian baritone with a growing international reputation, had sung the role of Amfortas, but it will surely not be the last; his interpretation conveyed the agony and final ecstasy as the keeper of the Grail with heart-rending emotional force, his firm, vibrant vocal production possessing a beauty of tone that demanded compassion from the listener.' (Heather Leviston, Classic Melbourne)

  • 'James Roser...has a beautiful baritone, and we felt his pain as the wounded Amfortas.' (Graham Ford, Stage Whispers)

  • 'James Roser sang a pain-ridden Amfortas to perfection, from his first appearance, wearing white blood-stained pyjamas, carried on a litter to perform the Grail unveiling, We could hear the pain in his voice, his rich baritone resounding as he agonised for salvation.' (Brian Angus, Bachtrack)

  • 'Australian baritone James Roser returns home to sing wounded king Amfortas, exhibiting a rich singing voice and well developed acting skills.' (Simon Parris, Man in Chair)

  • 'In the role of Amfortas, James Roser revealed a pleasing baritone and capacity to exude his character's physical and emotional pain for hours on end with conviction.' (Patricia Maunder, Limelight Magazine)

  • 'The local and international cast are admirable across the board, but the standouts are of the baritone variety. Aussie James Roser's baritone aches with believable pain and passion as the wounded king.' (Bridget Davies, The Age)

 
Beckmesser: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Wagner

Tiroler Festspiele Erl, Erl, Austria

Conductor: Gustav Kuhn

  • ​'James Roser gave with astonishingly beautiful baritone-voice the Marker never a farcical nature.' (Klaus Kalchschmid, Süddeutsche Zeitung)

  • 'James Roser is ideally-cast for Beckmesser. He sang and performed the role sharply and bitingly and is endowed with considerable high-notes. (Helmut Christian Mayer, Opernnetz.de)

  • 'James Roser mastered his part excellently.' (Iris Steiner, Orpheus)

  • 'The Beckmesser of James Roser is equally interesting with the excesses - controlled - of a character study in which the pathetic humour is never excessive or vulgar, yet is also served by a very beautiful voice.' (Jean-Marcel Humbert, Forumopera.com)

  • 'James Roser is an ideal Beckmesser.' (Ingeborg Muchitisch, Kurier)

  • 'Thrillingly portrayed was the Beckmesser of James Roser.' (Ursula Strohal, Tiroler Tageszeitung)

  • 'Two members of the cast were of international festival standard...The young australian James Roser made so much of Beckmesser, sung with bright and alluring baritone, that he evoked a degree of sympathy.' (Anthon Ogus Blogspot)

  • 'In the role of Beckmesser, James Roser gave an excellent performance. His portrayal of this very malignant character was just thrilling and very convincing. His performance was surely one of the best of the evening.' (Daniel Url, The Operatic Musicologist)

  • 'Also the australian James Roser as Sixtus Beckmesser was delightful.' (Stephan Burianek, Wiener Zeitung)

 

Rigoletto: Rigoletto, Verdi

Tiroler Festspiele Erl, Erl, Austria

Conductor: Gustav Kuhn

  • ‘With James Roser in the title role, Kuhn has found the ideal casting…James Roser is the epitome of Rigoletto….Roser gave clear outlines to the character, but – as limping and hunchbacked Rigoletto - not only strong in acting, but even more in his voice – just fascinating! James Roser managed the role with brilliance.’ (Moni Brüggeller, Die Kronen Zeitung)

  • ‘Wonderful the interaction of the ensemble, James Roser as the tragic title-hero is convincing in every respect.’ (Jörn Florian Fuchs, Deutschlandfunk)

  • ‘James Roser in the title role - an excellent decision - was shaping the character of the deformed court jester thriftily and with subtlety, whether in his thirst for vengeance or in his vulnerability.’ (Ursula Strohal – Tiroler Tageszeitung)

  • ‘…in Rigoletto, whose broken soul James Roser makes you hear. (Markus Thiel, OVB-online)

  • ‘A soft singing George Clooney with a limp: James Roser in the title role appeared harmless at the beginning but then became more and more powerful.’ (Stefan Ender, Der Standard)

  • ‘A fine intuition Kuhn was showing in the selection of the soloists: the Australian baritone James Roser shows an outstanding, brilliant Rigoletto.' (Kurier)

Papageno: Die Zauberflöte, Mozart

Tiroler Festspiele Erl, Erl, Austria

Conductor: Tito Ceccherini

  • 'From the onset, James Roser as Papageno was the favourite of the audience. Vocally terrific, he has the necessary performing humour.' (Moni Brüggeller, Die Kronen Zeitung)

  • 'A Pagageno with a breath of tragicomedy'. (Ursula Strohal, Tiroler Tageszeitung)

 
Gunther: Götterdämmerung, Wagner

Tiroler Festspiele Erl, Erl, Austria

Conductor: Gustav Kuhn

  • 'Roser played the leader of the Gibichungen as a hesitant and weak character as intended by Wagner. He therefore captured the psychological profile of the character 100% and his baritone was a pleasure to listen to, especially in the trio together with Hagen and Brünnhilde.' (Ernst Kopica, Der neue Merker)

 

Winterreise (Schubert)

Pianist: Carl Philippe Gionet

Centre Culturel Caraquet, Caraquet, Canada

  • 'Roser and Gionet succeeded brilliantly in conquering these subtleties and to present to us as moving a winter journey as wished and almost without faults. The Australian baritone impressed with his strong voice and his sincere embodiment of this man who travels through the tempest, carrying in him a terrible sorrow of love and a pain of life that only some fleeting memories manage to restore for a few seconds (or some steps) in all, a tiny semblance of inner peace. The timbre of the voice is expressive, of a beautiful round velvet and carries in it the finesse of a Dieskau and the power of a Hotter, who furthermore both recorded with success the Winterreise of Schubert over the last fifty years. The international calibre of this baritone, who among others has already sung at the prestigious Vienna State Opera, merits other grand stages' (Martin Roy, Acadien Nouvelle)

 

Pianist: Carl Philippe Gionet

Haus der Kunst, Baden-bei-Wien, Austria

  • ‘So much enthusiasm is not experienced every day in the Haus der Kunst: the small hall shook with applause and bravos of the uniformly dazzled Schubert audience....In keeping with the gloomy weather, pure melancholy, but of a truly exquisite quality. The captivating, precise articulation of Roser (he is Australian), refraining from any "dramatising" body movements and facial expressions, allowed for a focus upon his powerful, expressive voice….The duo interpreted it from the first to the last song in perfect harmony….The baritone Roser demonstrated impressively how perfect he learned the German songs (he sang the entire text by heart completely and without any accent).’ (Heinrich Fragner, Badener Zeitung)

 

 

Mietta Song Recital Award

Pianist: Jem Harding

Melba Hall, Melbourne, Australia

 

  •  ‘It was Roser’s “satisfying and complete performance of Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer that gave him the edge over the other finalists. He was very convincing and inhabited the songs, which are not easy,” [Lisa] Gasteen said. “It was a performance with integrity”’ (Rosemary Sorensen, The Australian)​

  • ‘Roser was immaculate and assured in Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer): I would like to hear him in Schubert’s Winterreise before too long.’ (Michael Smith, The Age)​

 

© 2013 by James Roser.