The Voice from The Valleys – In conversation with Morgan James

BBC’s “The Voice” has come to an end for another year but did you know that Change Gear has it’s very own “Voice” in the shape of the extremely talented Morgan James who has just released his brilliant first album – “Here and Now.”

Morgan is one of our Performance Coaches who works with individuals and groups using a set of creative techniques to help individuals transform themselves and deliver top performance with confidence, authenticity and conviction.

So how does Morgan manage to work in the corporate world and record this fantastic album? 

“Originally from Wales, my first stage experience was aged 9 at Porth Working Men’s Club, helping raise money for my local amateur dramatics society. I carried on performing into my teens: on television (who remembers District Nurse with Nerys Hughes?) in classical theatre tours, and played lead parts in musicals including Grease and Godspell for the National Youth Theatre.

After graduating in drama and history, I started my career as a stage actor, mainly in classical theatre, most notably working with the Royal Shakespeare Company. I was soon offered a part in Guy Retallack’s production of Richard III, starring Eddie Marsan. I played one of Richard’s henchmen and with the production set in the 60’s I sang a version of “New York, New York.” The producer gave me the feedback that perhaps singing was something I should pursue on a professional basis and gave me the number of Ian Adams. I kept calling Ian to no avail until I eventually became so angry that I left a message saying “please can you return my calls, I’d like some singing lessons!” Perhaps I would have been more deferential if I had realised he was an internationally renowned vocal coach who was working with the likes of Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman and Michael Ball. Luckily for me he agreed to work with this young upstart!

From then on I took part in many concerts and workshops in London, working with performers and artists including Barbara Cook and Willy Russell, and sang at the memorial service for journalist Peter Jennings. I then landed the role of lead singer on the world tour of Riverdance, performing in front of 35,000 people on the opening night in Germany.

I have performed internationally, in Dublin, Vienna, Berlin and Los Angeles. In 2011 and 2012 I was invited to be the guest artist with the Cwmbach Male Voice Choir, my hometown choir, at the Brecon and Somerton Music Festival and in 2015 I toured with singer Claudia Morris, performing the songs and story of Doris Day.

The release of my new album is very special to me as I get so much joy from singing. I come from a musical family as my Aunt was an Opera Singer with the Royal Opera House for 35 years and I have been inspired by my Father who has a very eclectic taste in music.  Until I trained with Ian Adams I was aware that I had a voice but without formal training I concentrated on my acting career. When I was singing in public I always had a sense of vulnerability, which I didn’t have when in character as an actor. Recording my album has been a great pleasure as if something is not quite right I could go back and do it again and once the track is set, that’s it – it lasts forever more!

My singing career continues on the London cabaret circuit, where I have worked with musical directors Nigel Lilley, Nathan Martin and Richard Link. I have appeared at The 606 Club, Leicester Square Theatre and Lauderdale House, as well as a season with the Holland Park Open Air Opera, performing in L’Arlesiana. Currently I am working with Michael Roulston on a new show – so watch this space!”

We certainly think Morgan is one to “watch” – his brand new album “Here and Now” is available from ITunes and Amazon now. We wish Morgan the very best of luck with his other career as a singer and recording artist.

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