Brian Asawa, American opera singer, Died at 49


Brian Asawa was born on October 1, 1966, and died on April 18, 2016.

He was a Japanese-American countertenor.

“During his prime”, according to Opera News, “Asawa was an electric performer, his fearless performing style supported by a voice of arresting beauty and expressivity”.

Brian Asawa’s career was launched in 1991 when he became the first countertenor to win both the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and an Adler Fellowship to the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program.

Asawa made his professional opera debut at the San Francisco Opera in 1991 in Hans Werner Henze’s Das verratene Meer where he also sang the Shepherd in Tosca and Oberon in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1992.

During his time at the SFO he continued voice studies with Jane Randolph.

Asawa also made his first opera appearance in New York City in 1992 at the Mozart Bicentennial celebration at Lincoln Center, singing the title role in Mozart’s Ascanio in Alba with the Mostly Mozart Festival Chorus and the New York Chamber Symphony under conductor Ádám Fischer.

He performed a recital program with mezzo-soprano Diana Tash at the Festival de Mayo in Guadalajara, Mexico, in May 2014.

Brian and Peter Somogyi established Asawa and Associates, an operatic artists’ management agency, in 2014.

His discography includes four solo recital discs ranging from Dowland and Edmund Campion to Rachmaninoff and Ned Rorem.

His Opera recordings include Farnace in Mitridate for Decca, Arsamene in Serse for Conifer and Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Philips with the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Colin Davis.

Brian Asawa passed away at 49 yrs old.