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Brian Asawa

About this Artist

BRIAN ASAWA’s (Belize / Mr. Lies / Woman / Angel Africanii) groundbreaking career has established him 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 Plácido 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, Opéra National de Paris (Garnier), Teatro Real (Madrid), Barcelona Opera, Staatsoper unter den Linden (Berlin), Hamburgische Staatsoper, Munchner Bayerische Staatsoper, Opéra de Lyon, Opéra 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 Opéra de Genève. 

On the concert platform he has performed with the Seattle Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, the Washington Chorale (D.C.), the National Symphony (D.C.), the London Symphony Orchestra, the Alberta Early Music Festival, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Vail Valley Music Festival, the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, Lincoln Center (NYC), Vienna Musikverein, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the Collegiate Chorale of New York (Skirball Center). 

This season, Asawa records Baroque arias and cantatas with mezzo-soprano Diana Tash, makes his Hawaii Opera Theater debut as Orlofsky in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, and debuts a new recital tour in California with accompanist Douglas Law. He then returns to Théâtre de la Monnaie (Brussels) for a revival of Le Grand Macabre with the directing tour de force La Fura dels Baus. He also makes his LA Phil debut in Peter Eötvös’ Angels in America. 

Asawa has recorded five solo discs: The Dark is my Delight (lute songs by Dowland, Campion, and others, with David Tayler), Vocalise (arias and songs by Medtner, Fauré, Rachmaninoff, and Villa-Lobos), cantatas by Alessandro Scarlatti with Nicholas McGegan, and two song cycles by Ned Rorem with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. He is featured on video as Baba the Turk in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress (conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen) for Swedish Television One, as well as Fyodor in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (Willy Decker production) and l’umana fragilità and Anfinomo in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria (Pierre Audi production), both with de Nederlandse Opera.