An innate musician, and trained pianist, American tenor Jamez McCorkle is gathering acclaim as a hugely exciting talent. Following his time at the Zürich International Opera Studio in 2019, McCorkle was a finalist in the much-coveted Neue Stimmen competition, and has since made anticipated debuts at the Metropolitan Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Bayerische Staatsoper.
Highlights of the 2021/22 season include his house and role debut as Telemaco in a new production of Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria with Theatre Basel; the title role in the world premiere of Rhiannon Giddens’ new opera based on the life of Omar Ibn Said at the Spoleto Festival; and Leonard Woolfe in Kevin Puts’ new opera The Hours with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Looking further ahead to future seasons, appearances include debuts with The Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, the Royal Danish Theatre and a return to Bayerische Staatsoper.
McCorkle’s recent successes include his debut at Bayerische Staatsoper as Duke of Cornwall Lear; Peter the Honeyman in the hugely acclaimed production of Porgy and Bess at the Metropolitan Opera; performances of Britten War Requiem with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; Tamino Die Zauberflöte with Kentucky Opera; Lensky Eugene Onegin with Michigan Opera Theatre and at the Spoleto Festival, where he also sang Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. McCorkle also received an invitation from Opera Vlaanderen to sing Steva Jenůfa.
As a member of the International Opera Studio, roles included Deux Gardes Manon, Normanno Lucia di Lammermoor and Mastro Trabuco La forza del destino; title role (cover) Idomeneo, Remendado and Don José (cover) Carmen and 1st Armed Man in Die Zauberflöte. In 2017 McCorkle was invited to take part in the Young Artist Program of the Salzburg Festival, appearing as Fante del Consiglio I due Foscari and covering Tito La Clemenza di Tito. At Curtis Opera Theatre he appeared as Ruggero La Rondine, Nolan Doctor Atomic and Male Chorus The Rape of Lucretia.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, McCorkle is an alumnus of the Mannes College, The New School for Music and Loyola University New Orleans. He has participated in several summer programs including Internationale Meistersinger Akademie, Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, I Sing Beijing, Houston Grand Opera Young Artists' Vocal Academy, the Music Academy of the West, and the International Vocal Arts Institute. He is a winner of several awards and competitions including the George London Competition, Sullivan Foundation, Brava! Opera Competition, National Opera Association Vocal Competition and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Gulf Coast Region.
The Post and Courier
Lensky, was played by New Orleans native Jamez McCorkle, who is someone for opera fans to follow closely. His tenor voice is substantial, expressive and flexible. It was on full display in the excruciatingly beautiful farewell aria he sings before the duel. He can go from loud to soft, even high in his range, seamlessly. McCorkle has made this role his own.
But the singer I most want to hear again is Jamez McCorkle, here as Ruggero, whose voice encompassed the grander Puccini moments but also delivered a level of intimacy that one doesn't often hear in this repertoire.
"Every Spoleto season seems to yield at least one remarkable discovery, and American tenor Jamez McCorkle’s Lenski had the audience abuzz at intermission. McCorkle went into the Curtis Institute of Music five years ago as a baritone and has come out as a tenor with a supple, emotive voice that rings at the top but carries at the bottom, even in softer passages. His rendition of “Kuda, kuda,” an aria that is easy to overplay, sounded for once like the interior monologue of a lost soul and not a cry of despair to the universe."