"James Ioelu’s Colline works the poignant magic that turns on the tears as he bids farewell to his coat – only Puccini could get away with this shameless sentimentality. It works. If it doesn’t work, the end of the story falls flat. And here it is as sharply painful as you could wish."
Fine Times Recorder, June 2017
"Fine was the stentorian bass of James Ioelu in the role of the nasty king Toante. In addition to the woody richness of his voice across its range, he also showed keen attention to the words, bringing venom to some of his key phrases in recitative and a warmth to his wooing of Ermione.
Bachtrack, August 2016
"in the role of King Thoas, James Ioelu excels, his charisma and commanding bass-baritone contributing the pivotal role of the King"
Theatre Review, August 2016
“The Pasquale-Maletesta pairing was ideal. DeSocio, a baritone from Kansas, provided a worthy fellow protagonist to Ioelu, a big-voiced bass-baritone from New Zealand. Both showed well-projected voices, with good diction: Their interactions and duets were among highlights of the matinee”
San Francisco Classical Voice, August 2015
"There were plenty of great solos, too. Ioelu gave a fluent account of "Vien, Leonora" from Donizetti's "La Favorita"
Mercury News, September 2015
“resonant and rhythmically secure”
Opera News, November 2015
Other highlights here were the resonant baritone of James Ioelu's Raimondo and the celebrated Sextet, so beautifully sung that some may have secretly wished for an immediate encore.
NZ Herald, October 2014
“And the physically imposing James Ioelu, as Trinity Moses, was especially energized in his role as prosecutor in the corrupt court of justice, almost gleeful in denouncing the wickedness of Jimmy's crime, and vociferous in his demands that justice be served”
Opera News, July, 2013
“As the devil himself, bass-baritone James Ioelu used his sturdy sound to fine effect and was appropriately arrogant, smug, cynical and seductive.”
Voce di meche, April 2013