Meet the Artist: James Benjamin Rodgers

Oct 3, 2012

Tenor James Benjamin Rodgers sings the role of Gastone in Opera Omaha’s production of La traviata. Gastone is a bit of a matchmaker. He leads Violetta and Alfredo into a situation where they begin their affair. Gastone knows that Alfredo admires Violetta and that Violetta will return his affections. He also runs interference between Violetta’s current lover, Baron Douphol, and Alfredo. As Gastone, James Benjamin Rodgers sings and acts his part with perfection.

A native of New Zealand, Mr. Rodgers lives and works in New York City with engagements around the world. More information about him is available in the biography below and on his professional website. Join us for La traviata and see Gastone in action!

Go online to Ticket Omaha or call 402-345-0606 to buy tickets to our October 5 and 7 production of Verdi’s great drama, La traviata. James Benjamin Rodgers as Gastone awaits!

James Benjamin Rodgers

A native of New Zealand, James Bejamin Rodgers has performed at the Kauffman Center, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Trinity Wall Street, Riverside Church, (le) Poisson Rouge and the renowned Joe’s Pub in New York City. He has appeared with such organizations as The Ravinia Festival, Joy in Singing, Southern Opera, Toledo Opera, The Southern Sinfonia, The Little Orchestra Society of New York, The Orpheus Choir, The Merola Opera Program, The Schwabacher Recital Series, The Banff Centre, The Mac-Haydn Theatre, The NBR New Zealand Opera, Opera on the Avalon, The Bannf Center, The Opera Company of Middlebury, Red Light New Music, Stage Time Collaborative and The Japan Society of New York.
A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, James was the Orvis Foundation Scholar and received the Janet D. Schenck Award for his distinguished contribution to the life of the school. He has studied voice with Joan Patenaud-Yarnell, Neil Rosenshein and Emily Mair.
In 2011 James has performed with Toledo Opera, Opera on the Avalon and The Banff Center’s Opera as Theatre program. He created the role of Marco Polo in the world premier of Christopher Cerrone’s Invisible Cities, an opera based on Italo Calvino’s novel. A passionate performer of art song, this season James performed Schumann’s Dichterliebe with pianist Jillian Zack, and Liszt’s Tre Sonetti di Petrarca with pianist Liza Stepanova. James also appeared with the Mac-Haydn Theater as the title character(s) in Jekyll an Hyde the Musical.
In 2012 James has appeared in the premier performance of Matthew Welch’s opera Borges and the Other at Roulette, Brooklyn and took the role of Tommy Albright in the Mac Haydn Theatre’s production of Brigadoon. Later in 2012 he performs a series of concerts in New Zealand with pianist Jillian Zack. This program focuses on the life and works of Kurt Weill. James also returns to the Southern Sinfonia as the tenor soloist for the world premiere of John Drummond’s The Journey Home. He will then perform the role of Gastone in Omaha Opera’s production of La Traviata, and will make his Avery Fisher Hall debut as the tenor soloist in The Messiah.
James has performed numerous roles in both opera and musical theatre including creating the role of Marco Polo in Christopher Cerrone’s Invisible Cities in 2011. He is a passionate performer of the art song repertoire and a champion of new music. His awards include: An Arts Excellence Award from the Malvina Major Foundation (2010), Winner of the Joy in Singing Competition (2008), Winner of the Lotte Lenya Competition (2007), Wellington Rotary Scholarship, Marie D’Albini Scholarship, Bell Gully Travel Award, Sir Henry Cooper Memorial Scholarship in Music, grants from the Lankhuyzen/Whetu Kairangi Masonic Trust and the Malvina Major Foundation.
James recently completed his debut recording with renowned pianist Kenneth Merrill. The disc, “Exiled” The Extrication of Kurt Weill, will be released in 2012.
James resides in New York City.
All Rights Reserved © James Benjamin Rodgers. 2008

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