Upon leaving his first career as a fireman, he took up studies at Trinity College of Music and the Royal College of Music with John Wakefield and Norman Bailey respectively, and commenced his career at Scottish Opera, subsequently singing with all the major UK opera companies and orchestras. In the past fifteen years he has sung to critical acclaim throughout Europe and North America in addition to his many UK engagements.
Long known as an outstanding performer in the French and Italian repertoire, Verdi featured highly in his output in the late 1990s and 2000s and Jason sang the baritone roles in Attila, La Traviata, Don Carlos, Rigoletto, Macbeth, Nabucco and Il Trovatore. Other highlights included his debut at the Royal Opera House and Paris Opera as Marcello La Bohème.
With his most recent success as Wotan in David McVicars's wonderful production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Opéra National du Rhin, Strasbourg, he is now quickly establishing himself as a leading exponent of the German heroic repertoire. One review described him as “the Wotan of his generation” after his debut in Die Walküre. Together with the recently performed Orest Elektra and the title role in Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer, he is continuing to expand his German repertoire with recent performances of Jochanaan Salome in Lisbon and the USA.
Other highlights in recent years have included his debut in the South American premier of Britten's Death in Venice at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires and the roles of Prospero in Thomas Adès' The Tempest at Strasbourg and Tonio and Alfio in Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci for WNO. Jason made his debut at Chicago Lyric Opera as Adam Brant Mourning Becomes Electra which he subsequently performed in Seattle and New York. In the winter of 2009, nineteen years after his performances of Ravenal in the RSC/Opera North production of Showboat, he finally returned to the American musical with performances of Emile de Beque in the Lincoln Center Theater production of South Pacific. In 2010 he returned to the heroic baritone repertoire with his first Scarpia Tosca in Salzburg and his first Iago inOtello in America.
In 2011, Jason will make his German debut at Frankfurt Opera singing Scarpia (Tosca) and also make a highly anticipated return to Toronto for a twelve week engagement of the Lincoln Center Theater production of South Pacific. Future engagements also include Baron Jaroslav Věc Makropulos at Opéra National du Rhin and Giorgio Germont La Traviata at Welsh National Opera.
Jason’s early recordings include The Student Prince, A Song of Norway, A Little Night Music, Showboat, Calamity Jane and The King & I for TER. He also sang Dr Malatesta in a recording of Don Pasquale for Chandos, which was followed by Mephisto in a recording of Boulanger's Faust et Hélène. More recently, he released a solo CD of songs from the classic Hollywood musicals made famous by two early singing heroes, Howard Keel and Gordon MacRae, on Silva Screen Records, titled ‘Make Believe, The Hollywood Baritones’.
Opera Carolina Performances: