Philadelphia singer brings opera into music video world with new album

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By KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Phildelphia musician is using his time in pandemic isolation to let his voice better connect with others.

Before the coronavirus pandemic began, opera singer Zachary James was preparing to debut his solo recital at New York's famed Carnegie Hall.

But in the age of social distancing, those plans soon went out the window.

"We didn't want to scrap the whole program because a lot of this music was brand new, written specifically for this event," said James.

The Brewerytown resident didn't let COVID-19 stop him from working on his craft, and by doing so, he stumbled on a unique way to present opera music.

"I thought, 'Why not do a visual album in the classical music world?' That's something that would be kind of rad," he recalled. "I'm an '80s kid so I grew up on music videos, so I thought, 'Wait a second, this could be really cool.'"

James assembled a 25-song, 2-hour long album, titled "Call Out," with all of the works coming from female composers.

"Which is kind of like, unheard of in the classical musical industry, unfortunately," he said. "For women, it's really unequal terrain out there."

James said the visual album he created at home is now online and free for people to enjoy.