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Bowman, James (Thomas)

sang role festival english

Bowman, James (Thomas), notable English countertenor; b. Oxford, Nov. 6, 1941. He was educated at New Coll., Oxford (Dip.Ed., 1964; M.A. in history, 1967) and received vocal instruction in London from De Rentz and Manen. In 1967 he made his operatic debut as Britten’s Oberon at Aldeburgh with the English Opera Group. From 1967 he sang with the group regularly in London, and also was a member of the Early Music Consort (1967–76). In 1970 he appeared in Semele at the Sadler’s Wells Opera there, and continued to sing there after it became the English National Opera in 1974. He sang Endymion in La Calisto at the Glyndebourne Festival in 1970, and sang there regularly until 1974. On July 12, 1972, he created the role of the Priest in Maxwell Davies’s Taverner at London’s Covent Garden. Britten then wrote the role of Apollo for him in Death in Venice (Aldeburgh, June 16, 1973). On July 7, 1977, he created the role of Astron in Tippett’s The Ice Break at Covent Garden. In 1979 he appeared at the Opéra-Comique in Paris and in 1983 he sang in Geneva. He was engaged as Jommelli’s Fetonte at Milan’s La Scala in 1988. In 1992 he portrayed Britten’s Oberon at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. In 1996 he sang Daniel in Handel’s Belshazzar at the Gòttingen Festival. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1997.

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