Alzira (Verdi) Buxton International Music Festival
"Gusmano combines a civilised exterior with a vicious streak and an obsessive jealousy when it comes to Alzira. James Cleverton ably conveyed this, moving from his first aria from platitude about peace to obsession with Alzira, and turning the screw on Kate Ladner's Alzira in their Act Two duet. Cleverton has developed into a fine Verdi baritone, singing with a shapely sense of well-filled line, combining power and flexibility with fearlessness when it comes to the top. Whilst Gusmano's death-bed convesion is a little difficult to make convincing, there is no doubt at all of the beauty with which Cleverton sang the aria, convincing us with sheer expressive technique. I certainly hope to hear James Cleverton in further Verdi roles."
Robert Hugill, 8 July 2018
"The outstanding performances come from Cleverton and Yun... Cleverton, handsome-sounding and wonderfully subtle, really convinces both as the stiff-backed dictator of the opening scenes and the man of conscience at the close."
Tim Ashley, Guardian. 10 July 2018
"James Cleverton was admirably reliable, ladling out virile tone as a domineering Gusmano and so making his final change of heart all the more surprising"
Martin Dreyer, Opera. September 2018
"Cleverton was a splendid Gusmano, proud and lyrical in his opening 'Eterna la memoria'. martial in its cabaletta and dramatically arresting throughout."
Colin Davison, British Theatre Guide. 7 July 2018
"Sherrill Milnes lookalike James Cleverton was a convincing Gusmano, shaping his lines with his strong, slightly grainy baritone."
Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack. 8 July 2018
"A very decent cast has been assembled: Kate Ladner as the put-upon heroine, James Cleverton as the governor and Jung Soo Yun as the rebel Inca all attack their music with stylish vigour"
Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph. 17 July 2018
Elixir (Donizetti), Scottish Opera
"Baritone James Cleverton shines as the larger-than-life quack doctor Dr Dulcamara, giving an entertaining and vocally astute performance in his Scottish Opera debut."
The Herald, 26 September 2016
"Then there’s Dulcamara, the quack doctor, given show-stopping, Jack-the-lad treatment by the accordion-playing James Cleverton. He arrives on a bike and plays the crowd with expert comic timing and lines, in this English translation, that never entered Donizetti’s head. The moment he shows his face is the moment this production really sizzles."
The Scotsman, 23 September 2016
Akhnaten (Philip Glass), English National Opera
"No praise too high for...James Cleverton's resounding General..."
The Independent, 5 March 2016
"... James Cleverton shone.."
The Observer, 13 March 2016
Iris (Mascagni), Opera Holland Park
"James Cleverton is outstanding as the insidious pimp Kyoto"
The Guardian, 8 June 2016
"James Cleverton is all to convincing as the odious pimp Kyoto"
Opera, July 2016
"James Cleverton sings strongly as Kyoto, the power broker of the red light district."
The Financial Times, 15 June 2016
"James Cleverton...high-lying baritone never gets lost in the thick orchestration and he easily dominated the big scene in which he displays poor Iris to the Yoshiwara street. I enjoyed the careful calibration of his acting as the character initially appears an almost jolly panderer and only reveals his black-hearted brutality in stages."
Opera Britannia, 7 June 2016
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, (Will Todd)
Opera Holland Park
"James Cleverton's Rabbit is melancholically eloquent."
Opera Magazine, November 2015
"James Cleverton is an elegant Rabbit."
Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2013
Baritone James Cleverton gives a sage, reassuring performance as the White Rabbit, a constant glint in his eye as he hops through the trees'
Fringe Opera 2016
Nixon in China (John Adams),
Dublin National Concert Hall
"There is a lyrical dignity in James Cleverton's interpretation of Premier Chou En-lai"
Irish Independent, 14 May 2014
"Premier Chou En-lai, is the impressively eloquent British baritone James Cleverton whose "We have begun to celebrate", at the Act I banquet, is one of the most incisive pieces of singing in the evening."
Bachtrack, 14 May 2014
"James Cleverton's baritone (as Grosvenor) was perhaps the most purely beautiful singing of the evening - his fable of the magnet and the churn was a highlight."
Bachtrack, 19 August 2015
"James Cleverton's Grosvenor, both in singing and acting was enjoyable, his narcissus quality of mirror-gazing bringing out to the full his dialogue exchanges with Patience."
Seen and Heard International, 15 August 2015