James Smidt is an operatic tenor and voice teacher based in New York City. As a voice teacher, Mr. Smidt works with young artists and professional singers from across the country, who have appeared with prestigious companies and programs including Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, Hamilton on Broadway, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, The Glimmerglass Festival, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Santa Barbera, Opera San Jose, Greensboro Opera, Crested Butte Music Festival, Opera Neo, SongFest, North Carolina Summer Opera, and South Carolina Bach Society.
Most recently, Mr. Smidt appeared as a featured soloist at the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials with the COVID-19 U.S. Honor Quilt Vigils. In the spring of 2020, Mr. Smidt was invited to design and present a virtual lecture series and social event titled "Singers & Hooch: Shop Talk Happy Hour," with The M Institute for Arts in Washington, DC. In the 2019 winter concert season, Mr. Smidt appeared with the St. Luke Festival Choir and Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Thomas Colohan, and Messiah United Methodist Church Community Choir in G.F. Handel's Messiah.
In the Spring of 2019, Mr. Smidt completed his post-graduate studies as a Professional Fellow with the AJ Fletcher Opera Institute in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. During the 2018-2019 season, he was featured on the main stage as the title role in Massenet’s Werther conducted Maestro Antony Walker, Grimoaldo (Rodelina) with Grammy Award winning conductor Maestro Stephen Stubbs, and Peter Quint (The Turn of the Screw) with Lachlan Glen. In March 2019, Mr. Smidt was awarded 2nd place in the Heafner WIlliams Vocal Competition.
During the 2018 summer season, he appeared as a Resident Artist with Opera North, where he covered the title role in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, in addition to performing Spalanzani. He was also featured in the innovative “Singers and Swingers” concert series, which integrated operatic and musical theatre excerpts with circus and acrobatic performance at the historic Blow-Me-Down Farm in Cornish, New Hampshire.
During the 2017-2018 season with the AJ Fletcher Opera Institute, Mr. Smidt made debuts as Ramiro (La cenerentola) under the baton of Maestro Antony Walker, Pelléas (Impressions de Pelléas) with Maestro Christopher Allen, and performed in a selection of scenes from Susannah as Sam Polk conducted by Warren Jones. He was also selected to represent the voice department as a featured soloist at UNCSA’s annual Collage Concert at the Stevens Center in downtown Winston-Salem.
In the 2016-2017 season, he appeared with the Maryland Opera Studio as both Orphée and Pluton (Orphée aux Enfers), and Male Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia) under Maestro Craig Kier. The 2017 summer season included his debut with GLOW Lyric Theatre in Greenville, South Carolina, as Samuel Parris (The Crucible) and Marco Palmieri (The Gondoliers). In the summers of 2015 and 2016, Mr. Smidt was a student at The Chautauqua Institution under the direction of world-renowned voice teacher Marlena Malas. There he sang First Armored Man (Die Zauberflöte), performed in recitals with Craig Rutenberg and Mikael Eliasen, and appeared as a tenor soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music.
Mr. Smidt holds a Professional Artist Certificate in Opera Studies from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, a Master of Music in Opera Performance from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His teaching pedigree includes Dr. Marilyn Taylor (UNCSA), Gran Wilson and Carmen Balthrop (UMD), Dr. Carla LeFevre (UNCG), and Marlena Malas (The Chautauqua Institute). He currently studies with Gioacchino LiVigni.