Brian Asawa’s groundbreaking career has established himself as one of the foremost countertenors of our time. The Japanese American singer was the first countertenor Grand Prize Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the first countertenor Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera, and the first countertenor honored with Seattle Opera’s Artist of the Year Award. He is also the only countertenor ever to win the top prize of Placido Domingo’s Operalia International Vocal Competition.
Over a career spanning 21 years, he has sung in most major opera houses worldwide, including San Francisco Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, de Nederlandse Opera, Opera National de Paris (Garnier), Teatro Real (Madrid), Barcelona Opera, Staatsoper Unter den Linden (Berlin), Hamburgische Staatsoper, Munchner Bayerische Staatsoper, Opera de Lyon, Opera de Montpellier, The Spoleto Festival, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera di Roma, Teatro di San Carlo (Napoli), Florida Grand Opera, Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires), Dallas Opera, San Diego Opera, New Israeli Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Cologne Opera, and Opera de Geneve.On the concert platform he has performed with Seattle Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Boston’s Haydn and Handel Festival, Washington Chorale (D.C.), National Symphony (D.C), London Symphony Orchestra, Alberta Early Music Festival, Philadelphia Orchestra, Vail Valley Music Festival, Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, Lincoln Center (NYC), Vienna Musikverein, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Collegiate Chorale of New York (Skirball Center).
This past season, Asawa recorded Baroque arias and cantatas with mezzo-soprano Diana Tash, Baroque cellist Frederic Rosselet, and harpsichordist Arthur Omura (due out in Oct.). He also made his Hawaii Opera Theater debut as Orlofsky in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus signifying the first time in history where a countertenor performed on the stage of HOT. He also made his LA Phil debut in Peter Oetvos’ Angels in America which was well received.
Mr. Asawa has recorded five solo discs: The Dark is my Delight (lute songs with David Tayler by Dowland, Campion, and others), Vocalise (arias and songs by Medtner, Faure, Rachmaninov, and Villa-Lobos), cantatas by Alessandro Scarlatti with Nicholas McGegan, and 2 song cycles by Ned Rorem with the LA Chamber Orchestra. He is featured on video as Baba the Turk in Stravinsky’sThe Rake’s Progress with Swedish Television One, Fyodor in Mussorgsky’s Boris Gudonov (Willy Decker production) and l’Umana Fragilita and Anfinomo in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria (Pierre Audi production) both with de Nederlandse Opera.
Upcoming engagements include a solo recital tour of Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Francisco, and Lacey, Washington and a concert with Diana Tash, Frederic Rosselet, and Arthur Omura in Guadalajara in May 2014, headlining their Festival de Mayo.