Bass-baritone Zachary James, who originated the role of Lurch in The Addams Family on Broadway and made his Met Opera debut as Amenhotep III in Philip Glass' Akhnaten, for which he won a Grammy award; has released his first full-length classical vocal album, Song of Myself.
Based on Walt Whitman's work of the same title, Song of Myself is a song cycle for bass-baritone, cello, guitar, percussion, and untuned piano. The piece marks James' classical composition debut, with additional music by additional music by cellist Wick Simmons, percussionist Ariel Campos, and guitarist Frederick Poholek.
James said in a statement: "Creating Song of Myself has been a deeply personal and transformative experience artistically, emotionally and spiritually... While there are countless musical settings of Whitmans’s words I wanted to create a song cycle that specifically focused on the human experience of feeling alone in oneself and finding love for oneself through self-acceptance and celebration. There are also overarching themes of what it is to be queer. Whitman’s own experience as a gay man in a time when it was not socially acceptable is revelatory to explore when we are still in a battle for equal rights and inclusion in society over a hundred years later."
Song of Myself is available for streaming on all platforms.