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James Morris

Biography

Born: January 10, 1947  
Morris has become the most noted Wotan of the turn of the century, known for his acting as well as a musical approach that emphasizes the legato, even lyrical parts of the role. His voice has a strong upper extension that allows him to tackle such baritone roles and Scarpia in Puccini's Tosca and Mozart's Don Giovanni to critical acclaim.

Appropriately enough, his two main teachers were a baritone and a bass. Morris, a native of
Read more Baltimore, first studied with Forrest Barrett, and then won the first voice scholarship that the University of Maryland offered. However, at the advice of his mentor (and distant in-law), Rosa Ponselle, who recognized his potential but did not think that she herself would be the best teacher for him, he instead enrolled at the Peabody Conservatory, and continued his studies with Frank Valentino there. After some time there, he continued his studies at the Philadelphia Academy of Vocal Arts with Nicola Moscona.

He first performed on stage with the Baltimore Civic Opera Company, and advanced in 1967 to the Baltimore Opera, making his debut there as Crespel in Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann. In 1970, he had his first Metropolitan Opera audition, though he turned down the subsequent offer to join their Opera Studio. Moscona, who himself had had a long Met career, persuaded the management to re-audition Morris for the regular company, and this time he was offered a contract for 1971, and he made his debut as the King in Verdi's Aida. He made his Glyndebourne Festival debut as Banquo in Verdi's Macbeth.

In 1976, again at the Baltimore Opera, he created the role of King Alfonso in Pasatieri's Ines de Castro. He began to study Wagnerian roles, first Wotan in Die Walküre and the Dutchman, and made his Vienna State Opera debut as Wotan in 1984. In 1985, he took on the role of Wotan for the entire Ring cycle in San Francisco, to great acclaim, and followed that success in many other productions worldwide.

He recorded the complete Ring cycle with James Levine on DG (445 354), and an aria recital disc on EMI (49287) gives selections from Verdi as well as two selections from The Flying Dutchman and Die Walküre. Read less
Browse 26-50 of 70 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Wagner: Die Walküre Highlights / Levine, Behrens, Morris
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 427359 Release Date: 09/17/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  James Morris,  Hildegard Behrens,  Jessye Norman,  Gary Lakes
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 27.
    Best Beethoven 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 97307 Release Date: 07/31/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Eric Heidsieck,  Paul Tortelier,  Stephen Kovacevich,  Siegfried Rudolf Frese  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Riccardo Muti,  Jeffrey Tate  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Nash Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 28.
    Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex / Levine, Langridge, Quivar, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435872 Release Date: 07/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Jan-Hendrik Rootering,  Donald Kaasch,  James Morris,  Jules Bastin  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus
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  • 29.
    Glyndebourne Diamonds - Five Great Opera Productions
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101109 Release Date: 06/26/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Claudio Monteverdi,  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Reni Penkova,  Max René Cosotti,  Ugo Trama,  Bernard Dickerson  ... 
    Conductor:  John Pritchard,  Bernard Haitink,  Raymond Leppard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $78.99
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  • 30.
    Wagner: Das Rheingold / Haitink, Morris, Lipovsek, Zednik
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 58699 Release Date: 10/17/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Julie Kaufmann,  Kurt Rydl,  Marjana Lipovsek,  Silvia Herman  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Wagner: Die Walküre / Haitink, Martón, Studer, Salminen
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 58705 Release Date: 10/17/2006   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Matti Salminen,  James Morris,  Cheryl Studer,  Reiner Goldberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Verdi: Luisa Miller / Scotto, Domingo, Levine
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000707009 Release Date: 09/12/2006  
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Jean Kraft,  Sherrill Milnes,  Renata Scotto,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 33.
    Best Classics 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 70853 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gioachino Rossini,  Alexander Borodin,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  Henriette Puig-Roget,  Victoria de los Angeles,  Heather Harper  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consortium Musicum,  South German Madrigal Choir Stuttgart,  Polish Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 34.
    Essential Choral Classics
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000691802 Release Date: 06/13/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Joseph Brackett,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gustav Mahler,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Mirella Freni,  Lucia Valentini-Terrani,  Ruggero Raimondi,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Jerold Ottley,  Romano Gandolfi,  Sir Georg Solti,  George Guest  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Vienna Concert-Verein  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 35.
    Metropolitan Opera Gala - James Levine's 25th Anniversary
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000460209 Release Date: 11/22/2005  
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Charles Gounod,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Renée Fleming,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Jerry Hadley,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
    DVD: $39.99
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  • 36.
    James Levine - Documents Of The Munich Years Vol 8
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 508 Release Date: 11/17/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  James Morris,  Linda Watson,  Birgitta Svendén,  Ben Heppner
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 37.
    James Levine - Documents Of The Munich Years
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 509 Release Date: 08/01/2005   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Charles Ives,  John Harbison  ... 
    Performer:  Ben Heppner,  James Morris,  Linda Watson,  Birgitta Svendén  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Philharmonic Choir,  Bamberg Symphony Chorus
    CD: $78.99
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  • 38.
    Verdi: Macbeth / Paskalis, Morris, Barstow, et al
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101095 Release Date: 03/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Kostas Paskalis,  Josephine Barstow,  James Morris
    Conductor:  John Pritchard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 39.
    Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg / Levine, Heppner, Mattila, Morris, et al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000345509 Release Date: 01/11/2005  
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  René Pape,  Thomas Allen,  Matthew Polenzani,  Karita Mattila  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
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  • 40.
    Bach's Passion - The Passion Of Christ
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000297702 Release Date: 08/10/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Hans-Peter Blochwitz,  Elly Ameling,  Julia Hamari,  James Morris  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Münchinger,  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra,  Stuttgart Hymnus Choir,  Glen Ellyn Children's Choir  ... 
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  • 41.
    Verdi: Otello / Levine, Domingo, Fleming, Morris
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000210709 Release Date: 04/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Renée Fleming,  Richard Croft,  James Morris,  Placido Domingo
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 42.
    Hallelujah - 35 Great Sacred Choruses
    Label: Sparrow Records   Catalog: 96561 Release Date: 03/23/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  John Tavener,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  John Rutter  ... 
    Performer:  Andrew Lucas,  James Morris,  Benjamin Bayl,  John Wallace  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Philip Ledger,  David Hill,  Sir Neville Marriner,  John Scott  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philip Jones Brass Ensemble,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Winchester Cathedral Choir  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 43.
    Wagner: Das Rheingold / Levine, Morris, Ludwig, Jerusalem
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 073036 Release Date: 11/12/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Jan-Hendrik Rootering,  Birgitta Svendén,  Ekkehard Wlaschiha,  Christa Ludwig  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 44.
    Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen / Levine, Metropolitan Opera
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 073043 Release Date: 11/12/2002   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Gary Lakes,  Matti Salminen,  Jessye Norman,  Hildegard Behrens  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
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    DVD: $129.99
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  • 45.
    Wagner: Die Walküre / Levine, Norman, Ludwig. Behrens, Lakes
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 073049 Release Date: 11/12/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig,  Jessye Norman,  Gary Lakes,  James Morris  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    DVD: $39.99
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  • 46.
    Wagner: Siegfried / Levine, Jerusalem, Zednik, Morris
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 073037 Release Date: 11/12/2002  
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Heinz Zednik,  James Morris,  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Ekkehard Wlaschiha  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    DVD: $39.99
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  • 47.
    Mozart: The Da Ponte Operas / Riccardo Muti, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75535 Release Date: 11/05/2002   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Margaret Marshall,  Agnes Baltsa,  José Van Dam,  Kathleen Battle  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung
    On sale! $61.98
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  • 48.
    American Opera Classics - E. Thomas: Desire Under The Elms
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8669001-02 Release Date: 10/22/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Edward Thomas
    Performer:  James Morris,  Victoria Livengood,  Jeffrey Lentz,  Jerry Hadley  ... 
    Conductor:  George Manahan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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    On sale! $19.99
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  • 49.
    Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen / Levine, Metropolitan Opera
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471678 Release Date: 10/08/2002   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Marilyn Mims,  Marita Napier,  Hildegard Behrens,  James Morris  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale! $111.98
    CD: $105.49
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  • 50.
    Wagner: Das Rheingold / Levine, Morris, Ludwig, Jerusalem
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445295 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Mark Baker,  James Morris,  Ekkehard Wlaschiha,  Siegfried Lorenz  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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    On sale! $34.98
    ArkivCD $31.99
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