James L. Brown

Professor of Music - Voice; Coordinator of Vocal Studies

Jim Brown Headshot

Office Location: Mary Baker Russell Music Center - 336

Office Hours: (On Campus) Mon - Fri: By Appointment

  • Professional
  • Biography

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Director of Opera


  • D.M.A., Voice, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 2003
  • M.M., Music/Voice Performance, The Juilliard School, 1998
  • B.M., Music/Voice Performance, Loyola University, 1992


Chair of Vocal Studies, Teaches Applied Voice Lessons, Vocal Pedagogy, Solo Vocal Literature, Diction, Directs Opera Production/Workshop


  • Production Grant from the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music in New York, NY
  • Regency Scholarship Grant, Pacific Lutheran University


James Brown enjoys an eclectic career of singing, teaching, stage direction and conducting. James is the Chair of Vocal Studies at Pacific Lutheran University where he directs the opera and oversees a large voice program. Brown’s students have gone on to study at University of Arizona, Indiana University, The Juilliard School, University of Michigan, Oberlin Conservatory and Yale University and have performed on stages from the Metropolitan Opera in New York to Opernhaus Zürich. As Director of Opera at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA, Brown follows a three-year cycle of repertoire with his students that includes the early baroque, standard repertoire, and modern repertoire. The director received a production grant from the Kurt Weill Foundation in New York City for a production of Street Scene. James has directed stylistically diverse operas for PLU Opera such as Handel’s Semele, Die Fledermaus, and Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen.

For ten years, he has been the conductor and stage director for Vashon Opera in Washington State in diverse repertoire such as Britten’s Albert Herring, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Carmen, Così fan tutte, Eugene Onegin, La Traviata, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Magic Flute, Massenet’s Werther, Poulenc’s Les Dialogues des Carmélites, Puccini’s Tosca, and Previn’s A Streetcar named Desire. James has also directed regularly for Pacific Northwest Opera in productions such as Carmen, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, La Boheme, and Mefistofele. Brown also directed for Seattle Opera’s Education and Outreach productions of Il Barbiere di Siviglia and The Magic Flute. Other productions in Washington State include Don Carlo and La Boheme for Bellevue Opera and a critically acclaimed production of Sweeney Todd for Lakewood Playhouse. Upcoming productions for James include Cavalleria Rusticana, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Rameau’s Anacréon/Pygmalion with Vashon Opera.

As a singer, James has distinguished himself on the opera and concert stage. He has sung with Il Festival dei due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, New Orleans Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pacific MusicWorks, Rogue Opera, Skylight Opera Theatre and Tulsa Opera. The tenor has appeared with Seattle’s world-renowned community of early music specialists in concerts and operas at Seattle’s Town Hall, St. James Cathedral, Intiman Theatre and the Moore Theatre. James sang in Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria with Tony award winners Handspring Puppet Company with music direction by Stephen Stubbs and stage direction by internationally celebrated artist William Kentridge at Seattle’s Moore Theatre and in San Francisco (as part of a retrospective of Kentridge’s artistic work for the Museum of Modern Art). James has appeared as concert soloist at the Aspen Music Festival, Ravinia Festival (Steans Institute) and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. In the Pacific Northwest, he has performed the tenor solos in Messiah with the Tacoma Symphony and Mozart’s Requiem with Central Washington University.

James holds degrees in voice from Loyola University/New Orleans, The Juilliard School and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and served for three years as a Resident Artist at The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.