|Year of Birth:||1941|
James Thomas Bowman CBE (born 6 November 1941 in Oxford, England) is an English countertenor. His career spans opera, oratorio, contemporary music and solo recitals. In 2010 it was announced that he would give his last London concert in 2011 at the Wigmore Hall, although he would continue to give recitals outside the capital. A few years previously he retired from the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace in London, after a decade of service.
Bowman's background is in Anglican church music. He was educated at The King's School, Ely, and began singing as a boy chorister at Ely Cathedral. He later went to New College, Oxford. He was a member of the New College and Christ Church choirs.
In 1967, while still a student, he auditioned for Benjamin Britten's English Opera Group. He was cast as Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream, a part which had been composed with Alfred Deller's voice in mind: Bowman, who had a larger voice than Deller, went to have a long association with the part.He appeared at Glyndebourne in 1970 in Francesco Cavalli's La Calisto (the first countertenor to sing there), at English National Opera in 1971 in Semele, and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1972 in Taverner. In 1973 he created the role of the "Voice of Apollo" in Britten's Death in Venice.
Bowman retired from the operatic stage to concentrate on concert work after having appeared at most of the world's major opera houses including La Scala, Milan; Amsterdam, Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Sydney, Verona, Vienna, Strasbourg, Sante Fe, Dallas, and San Francisco.