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James Southall

Job Role: Music Director for the David Seligman Opera Studio, Vocal Coach and Collaborative Piano Tutor

Department: Opera

Honours: MA (Cantab.) MMus, ARCO

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James Southall is a conductor, pianist and coach. He has conducted leading opera companies and orchestras including Welsh National Opera, English Touring Opera, Sinfonia Cymru, L'orchestra Haydn di Bolzano e Trento, Camerata Nordica and Opéra de Baugé.


With WNO James has conducted Madam Butterfly, La Traviata, Roberto Devereux, Carmen, Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, Così fan tutte, Die Fledermaus, The Barber of Seville, Sweeney Todd and Frank Martin’s Le Vin Herbé, amongst others.

He has conducted many of the Family and Schools Concerts at WNO, and has devised several programmes with presenter Tom Redmond.

Alongside his work at WNO, James has been a coach at RWCMD since 2013. In 2018 he was conductor for the Opera Gala with the WNO Orchestra.

At WNO he has been Assistant Conductor on several occasions to Carlo Rizzi (WNO Conductor Laureate), Lothar Koenigs and Tomáš Hanus.

James was also Koenigs' assistant for Moses und Aron at the Teatro Real, Madrid. At La Monnaie he was Musical Director for a Mozart/da Ponte workshop.

James was Organ Scholar at Queens’ Cambridge and is an alumnus of the RCM.

Notable Achievements

James is an accomplished pianist and has performed recitals at Wigmore Hall and Cadogan Hall. He is a former winner of the Accompanist’s Prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Awards and the Maggie Teyte Competition. James was a cellist in the NYO and performed with conductors Yan Pascal Tortelier, Jiri Belohlavek, Sir Mark Elder and Sir Roger Norrington.

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