Baritone Takaoki Onishi is quickly gaining recognition as one of the most talented singers of his generation. He recently made his successful debut as the title role in Eugene Onegin at Seiji Ozawa Festival under the baton of Fabio Luisi, making him the first Japanese singer ever to sing the leading role in the festival. 2019-20 season’s engagements include Don Fernando in Fidelio with NHK Symphony Orchestra, a role debut as Silvio in I pagliacci at North Carolina Opera, Ein Deutsches Requiem at Carnegie Hall, and the company debut in Madame Butterfly at Opera Philadelphia. He will also return to his native Japan for various concerts, including Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and Das Lied von der Erde.
As an ensemble member of Lyric Opera of Chicago, Mr. Onishi performed and covered diverse roles in many operas including I puritani, Les pêcheurs de perles, Les Troyens, and Carmen. During his tenure, he also sang Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer with the Elgin Symphony, as well as Roberto Sierra’s Missa Latina at the Grant Park Music Festival. Last season in Chicago, Mr. Onishi shared a recital program with Renée Fleming and appeared in a Gala tribute to Plácido Domingo.
In his debut with the company, during the 2015-16 season, he created the role of Father Arguedas in the world premiere performances of Bel Canto, a production that was recorded and later telecast on PBS.
He also has had an impressive series of successes in major vocal competitions. He was the inaugural First Prize winner of the IFAC-Juilliard Prize Singing Competition in Japan, which provided him a full scholarship to attend The Juilliard School. In just one year (2013), he won the Top Prize in the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, and the First Prize in both the Opera Index, Inc. Vocal Competition and the Licia Albanese-Puccini International Vocal Competition. Mr. Onishi recently won both Grand Prize and Dmitri Hvorostovsky Memorial Grant in Premiere Opera Foundation Competition.