Born in Ipswich, James Oldfield was a chorister at Leicester Cathedral and read Geography at Trinity College, Cambridge, furthering his studies as the Sir Thomas Allen Scholar at the Royal College of Music. He then studied for an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies at the Benjamin Britten International Opera School supported by a Sybil Tutton Award (administered by the Musicians Benevolent Fund) and the inaugural RCM Independent Opera Scholarship, graduating in July 2009.
Operatic performances at the RCM included The Forester The Cunning Little Vixen, Figaro Le nozze di Figaro and Nick Shadow The Rake’s Progress. Professional experience includes Ormonte (cover) Partenope for English National Opera, Simon Magus The Pilgrim’s Progress with the late Richard Hickox and The A – Z of Mozart Opera with the Classical Opera Company.
On the concert platform James Oldfield made his international debut in Handel Messiah in the Dublin Handel Festival. Other engagements include a tour of Handel Messiah with the London Festival Orchestra, Haydn Nelson Mass with the Manchester Camerata and the Royal Philharmonic, Mendelssohn Elijah with Kurt Masur and the London Philharmonic, Mozart Requiem in Westminster Abbey, Monteverdi Vespers with the London Handel Orchestra and a tour of Purcell The Fairy Queen in Israel with the Retrospect Ensemble. He has also performed in the world premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s Martyr with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
He has broadcast for the BBC and his recordings include James MacMillan Seven Last Words from the Cross on Naxos and the Monteverdi Vespers 1610 on Signum Records.
Notable engagements include Messiah for Raymond Gubbay Ltd at the Royal Festival Hall, Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by the composer, Carmina Burana with the Hallé, The Fairy Queen at the Wigmore Hall with the Retrospect Ensemble, débuts with Garsington Opera as Figaro Le nozze di Figaro, Gothenburg Opera as Nick Shadow The Rake’s Progress, the Israel Camerata as Guglielmo Così fan tutte, Stanley Hall Opera as Prince Gremin Eugene Onegin and creating Ludd Ludd and Isis for ROH2.