ASAKO TAMURA – Soprano
Soprano Asako Tamura has impressed and delighted audiences with an extraordinary blend of vocal brilliance, powerful stage presence, and innate musicality. Since she began her career in 2002 as the female soloist in the Three Tenors Concert with Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras at the Arena of Yokohama during the World Cup Championship she has continued to be seen around the globe in a variety of roles.
In 2011 she made her debut at London’s Royal Albert Hall as Madama Butterfly in the acclaimed Raymond Gubbay production. She later continued singing Butterfly with the Dubuque Symphony and opening the 2011-12 season with Sarasota Opera. Also in 2011-12 she appeared with the Kalamazoo Symphony as Violetta in La Traviata before taking the rest of the season off to have her first baby. She returned to Sarasota Opera in 2013 as Leila in Les Pecheurs de Perle and will rejoin Teatro Gratticielo in the fall of ’13 in Alfano’s rarely performed Sakuntala.
She has performed in the Summer Opera Festival at the Foro Romano in Rome and sang in Strauss' Elektra at the Teatro Filarmonico in Verona . She sang the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor at the National Opera in Constanz, Romania which she later sang the Ente Luglio Musicale Trapanese in Sicily and at the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest, when she performed with tenor Ramon Vargas, earning her overwhelming critical acclaim. In 2004, Ms. Tamura sang Lucia with tenor Giuseppe Sabattini in Teatro Lirico di Cagliari in Sardegna, Italy and invited by the Hungarian State Opera to tour in Japan as Gilda in Rigoletto. In 2006 she sang Amalia in I Masnadieri with Sarasota Opera and Violetta in La Traviata with El Paso Opera. In 2007 she performed the female leads in a double bill of L'Oracolo by F. Leoni and L'Incantesimo by I. Montemezzi at Avery Fisher Hall with Teatro Grattacielo and L'Ottavia at the Scarlatti Festival in Tokyo and Alfred, Alfred by F Donatoni at the Contemporanea Arena di Verona. In 2008-09 Ms Tamura made her South American debut as Madama Butterfly at the Teatro Solis in Montevideo, Uruguay, a role she will repeat in London’s Royal Albert Hall in the winter of 2011. She sang her first Nedda in Pagliacci with the Westfield Symphony to open her 2010 season.
Ms Tamura’s extensive performance credits include appearances as Juliet in Romeo et Juliet with the Hungarian State Opera; and the Hacioji City Opera, Japan; Licenza in Il Sogno di Scipione with Gotham Chamber Opera; Despina in Cosi fan tutte with Pacific Music Festival and Musetta in La Boheme; Zerlina in Don Giovanni and the title role in Manon in New York. Additionally she has made numerous appearances with various orchestras around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra of Summer Festival in Roma, L.A. Asian American Philharmonic Orchestra, Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Hamamatsu City Bach Orchestra, and Tokyo City Orchestra.
Ms. Tamura has won many awards and prizes including the First Prize at the Giuseppe di Stefano International Competition in Trapani Italy; the All Japan Contest; the International Singing Competition in Hungary; New York district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council; the Connecticut Opera Guild Competition; the Marmomande International Competition in France and she was also a finalist at Operalia Competition in Tokyo and represented Japan at the Cardiff Singer of The World.
Born in Kyoto, Japan, Ms Tamura began studying piano at age four. She graduated from Kunitachi College of Music with a Bachelor of Arts in Voice and Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music where she earned a Master of Arts in Opera. A scholarship from Rotary International Foundation allowed her to continue her work at Mannes College of Music in New York City, where she was awarded the prize of “Best Opera Performer”. With full scholarships, she participated in the International Summer Academy in Mozarteum Hochshule Salzburg, Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo Japan, Aspen Music School in Colorado, and the Ravinia Festival in Chicago.