British countertenor James Laing made his Royal Opera debut in 2013 as Fourth Innocent (The Minotaur), and returned the following Season to sing Nerillo (L'Ormindo) for The Royal Opera at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe. Other work at the Royal Opera House includes creating the role of Hamlet (The Firework-Maker's Daughter) for The Opera Group on tour and in the Linbury Studio Theatre.
Laing was born into a musical family and in childhood studied singing and oboe. He sang as a choral scholar at the cathedrals of Truro and Chelmsford and in the choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, before training at the Royal College of Music with Robin Blaze. Engagements include Nireno (Julius Caesar) for English National Opera, Apollo (Death in Venice), Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Coachman/Fox (The Adventures of Pinocchio) and Tolomeo (Giulio Cesare) for Opera North, Oberon and Zelim (Vivaldi’s La verità in cimento) for Garsington Opera, Giuliano (Eliogabalo) for Grange Park Opera, Refugee (Flight) for Glyndebourne Festival, Raphael (Tobias and the Angel) for English Touring Opera, Medoro (Orlando) with the Early Opera Company and Ascanio (Ascanio in Alba) for Classical Opera. He also appeared in Jonathan Miller's production of the St Matthew Passion at the National Theatre.
He performs in concert throughout Europe, the UK and the USA with leading orchestras and period ensembles. Recordings include The Adventures of Pinocchio for Opus Arte DVD and Tobias and the Angel for Chandos CD.
James Laing in L'Ormindo, The Royal Opera at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare's Globe © Stephen Cummiskey
James Laing as Hamlet and Andrew Slater as Rambashi in The Firework-Maker's Daughter © Robert Workman
Mary Bevan as Lila, Andrew Slater as Rambashi, James Laing, Amar Muchhala and Wyn Pencarreg as pirates in The Firework-Maker's Daughter © Robert Workman
James Laing as Hamlet and Mary Bevan as Lila in The Firework-Maker's Daughter © Robert Workman