“On the set, all the range of tessitura is required, carefully distributed: James Kryshak (Hitler) is indeed the hysterical "tenor buffo" wanted by Raskatov…”
- Diapson (Emmanuel Dupuy)
“James Kryshak’s crisp tenor, vivid way with a phrase and exuberant acting hit the spot!”
Possessing a voice hailed by Opera News as "crystalline," James is quickly becoming known for his vocal finesse, as well as his stagecraft.
The American tenor has most recently created the role of Hitler in Alexander Raskatov’s opera, GerMANIA for the World Premiere at Opera de Lyon in France. He has also been seen in several roles with Deutsche Oper Berlin (including Monostatos, Spoletta, and the Teacher in Lady MacBeth) where he has been an ensemble member from 2016. Other highlights from the season include Achilles in Gluck’s Iphigenie en Aulide with the National Moravian-Silesian Theater in Ostrava, the Junge Diener in Elektra and the Simpleton in Boris Godunov with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic at the Concertgebouw.
Kryshak made his professional debut in 2008 as Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Other leading opera roles include; Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, the School Master in The Cunning Little Vixen, Little Bat in Susannah, Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos, and Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte. James is quickly building an international career having worked with several major companies including; Opera de Lyon, Vienna State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, San Francisco Opera, Glyndebourne Opera, Madison Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, and The Cleveland Symphony. He has also had the opportunity to work closely with many of todays prominent directors and conductors including; Otto Schenk, Christof Loy, Pierre Audi, Neil Armfield, Donald Runnicles, Sir Andrew Davis, Thomas Søndergard, Franz Welser-Möst, Alejo Perez, Michele Mariotti, Marco Armiliato, among many others.
As an ensemble member of Deutsche Oper Berlin (2016-18), James created the role of Lightborn in Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini's new opera Edward II (2017), sang the role of Pedrillo in Argentinian director, Rodrigo Garcia’s operatic debut production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail (2016), after having great success with his own role debut as Pedrillo with the 2015 Glyndebourne Tour.
James was featured on the World Premiere recording with L'armonia terrena of Jakub Jan Ryba's Stabat Mater. The recording has recently received recognition from Diapason D'Or from the French Diapason Magazine. James continually performs the piece in several festivals and concert series throughout the Czech Republic.
James started the 2014/15 season with San Francisco Opera performing the troubled young Little Bat McClean in Carlisle Floyd's Susannah. According to Opera News, “James Kryshak, wielding a ringing tenor, was an asset as the feeble-minded Little Bat.” Kryshak had the privilege to work closely with Floyd during the production as well as share the stage with soprano, Patricia Racette in the title role.
James was an Ensemble member of the prestigious Vienna State Opera (2013-15) having made his debut in Vienna as Der Hirt in Tristan und Isolde. Other roles include; Missail in Boris Godunov, Borsa in Rigoletto (new production 2014 by Pierre Audi), Dritte Jude in Salome (also performed as part of the series, Vienna City of Dreams, at Carnegie Hall in March 2014), Spoletta in Tosca, Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos, Der Wirt in Der Rosenkavalier, the School Master and Mosquito in The Cunning Little Vixen, Heinrich der Schreiber in Tannhäuser, L'Abate in Andrea Chénier, as well as several others.
Kryshak sang the role of Scaramuccio in a new production of Ariadne auf Naxos for the 2013 Glyndebourne Festival, which was broadcast live worldwide to cinemas and released as a High Definition DVD in 2014.
“…the completely crazy but most credible James Kryshak's Hitler.”
- Opera Online (Elodie Martinez)
During the Summer of 2012, James performed the role of Sellem, the Auctioneer, in The Rake’s Progress with Wolf Trap Opera as a Filene Young Artist. In May of 2012, James made his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra, both in Cleveland and at Carnegie Hall, singing the Fourth Jew in Strauss' Salome under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst.
Kryshak spent two seasons with the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he sang several roles including; Joe in La fanciulla del West, Amelia’s Servant in Un ballo in maschera, the Second Nobleman in Lohengrin, the Herald in Rinaldo, Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte, as well as several others.
A winner in both District (Wisconsin 2008, Minnesota 2009) and Regional (Upper Midwest 2009) levels of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, James sang on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera as a National Semi-Finalist in February 2009. Kryshak has been awarded A Shouse Career Grant (Wolf Trap Opera - 2012), The Richard Gold Career Grant (The Shoshana Foundataion & Lyric Opera of Chicago - 2012), the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Prize in Male Voice (2011), as well as the Lola Fletcher Prize of the American Opera Society of Chicago (2011). James has also been a Finalist in the Ferruccio Tagliavini International Vocal Competition in Deutschlandsberg, Austria (April 2005) as well as a Semi-Finalist in the Klassik Mania Competition in Vienna (July 2005).
James is a passionate recitalist and has presented several concerts on various themes he has conceived himself; American Kaleidoscope - The Life and Songs of Stephen C. Foster; Live at Mayne Stage (Sunday Morning Recital Series broadcast on WFMT Radio Chicago, IL); Opera with Altitude - Music for the High Country; Broadway Favorites - This is the Moment; and many more. He has been a featured soloist with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra (Bernstein's Chichester Psalms), The Baroque Band of Chicago (Handel's Messiah and La Resurrezione), The Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra and Beloit Janesville Symphony (Mozart Requiem).
James holds a Masters Degree in Opera Performance from the University of Wisconsin Madison where he was the recipient of the Wisconsin Distinguished Voice Excellence Fellowship (2008-09) and studied with Julia Faulkner and William Farlow. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music (Voice) and German from Elmhurst College (Elmhurst, IL). Further studies include continued vocal study in Vienna, Austria with Michele Friedman (Institute for European Studies Vienna/Musik und Kunst Privatunversität der Stadt Wien), an apprenticeship with Des Moines Metro Opera in 2009 and a vocalist in the Tyrolean Opera Program in 2006 under the direction of Elizabeth Bachman.