British bass-baritone James Rutherford made his Royal Opera debut in 2002 as First Shepherd (Daphne, in concert) and has since sung Fritz Kothner (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) and Donner (Das Rheingold). In the 2017/18 Season he returns to sing Count Monterone (Rigoletto).
Rutherford was born in Norwich. He studied theology at the University of Durham and singing at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. He made his professional stage debut in 1999 as Falstaff with British Youth Opera, followed shortly by his company debut with Opera North. He has a long association with Graz Opera, where his roles have included Hans Sachs (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Barak (Die Frau ohne Schatten), Guillaume Tell, Falstaff, Giorgio Germont (La traviata), Iago (Otello), Scarpia (Tosca) and Orest (Elektra). Since 2015/16 season he has enjoyed a close relationship with Frankfurt Opera, where his roles include Speaker of the Temple (Die Zauberflöte), Lysiart (Euryanthe), the Dutchman (Der fliegende Holländer), Herald (Lohengrin), Wotan/Wanderer (Der Ring des Nibelungen), Ford (Falstaff) and Mandryka (Arabella). His other repertory includes Wolfram von Eschinbach (Tannhäuser), Kurwenal (Tristan und Isolde), Amfortas (Parsifal) and Jokanaan (Salome). He has appeared with companies including Vienna State Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Stuttgart State Opera, Liceu, Barcelona, and San Francisco Opera.
Rutherford has a prolific concert career. His discography includes 20th-century English songs, Wagner arias with Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Schwanengesang with Eugene Asti.