James Quilligan graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2015 and was a Monteverdi Choir Apprentice for the year 2018-19. He is currently on the Alexander Gibson Opera Studio at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, studying with Scott Johnson.

Since graduating, James’ operatic roles have included Street Singer in Die Dreigroschenoper by Weil (RCS), Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia (cover, RCS), Gaoler in Cabildo by Amy Beach (Grimeborn), Chrudoš in Libuše by Smetana (University College Opera), Ferryman in Curlew River (Opera Xylem), Count Almaviva and Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro (Trinity College Music Society and Magnetic Opera), the title role in Don Giovanni (Ensemble Orquesta), and Flemish Deputy in Don Carlo (Grange Park Opera). James has also created several roles in contemporary operas with companies including St John’s College Music Society and the Helios Collective.

On the concert platform, James has performed Bach St John Passion, Charpentier Te Deum, Dvořák Stabat Mater, Fauré Requiem, Finzi In Terra Pax, Handel Messiah, and Nelson Mass, Haydn Harmoniemesse, Mozart Requiem, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle, Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a
Christmas Carol and Five Mystical Songs. A keen recitalist, he has performed at the Wigmore Hall, St Martin in the Fields, St George Hanover Square, Hatchlands Park and the Old Royal Naval chapel,
Greenwich. James was awarded the 2021 Elgar/Spedding Lieder prize alongside his duo partner, Amy Chang.

Due to Covid-19, performances of Achilla (Giulio Cesare), Steward (Flight), and Geôlier (Dialogues des Carmélites) were cancelled.


Future engagements include L'enfant et les sortilèges with Martyn Brabbins and the BBCSSO.
James is a recipient of The Hon. Isabel Catto, OBE, Memorial Scholarship and is grateful for the support of the RCS Trust.


"...in dealing with the emotional fury exhibited by the incisively sung Chudroš of James Quilligan"

Mark Ronan 2019