B i o g r a p h y
A native of Tokyo, Japan, baritone Takaoki Onishi is quickly gaining recognition as one of the most talented singers of his generation. In just one year, he won the Top Prize in 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. He also received a prize in the 2013 Loren L. Zachary Competition. Most recently, he was named First Prize winner in the 2015 Giulio Gari Competition.
Mr. Onishi is also the inaugural First prize winner of IFAC-Juilliard Prize Singing Competition in Japan, which provided him a full scholarship to attend the Juilliard School. At Juilliard, he appeared in the American Premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ KOMMILITONEN!, as well as singing Blansac in LA SCALA DI SETA and Masetto in DON GIOVANNI. in 2013-14, he sang the title role in EUGENE ONEGIN at Juilliard. He also sang the role of Jesus in ST. MATTHEW PASSION at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. Mr. Onishi’s performances in these two works were met with acclaim by both the public and press, including the NY Times.
In spring 2013, he created a leading role in the world premiere of Marty Roger’s THE MEMORY STONE with Houston Grand Opera’s East/West program. In January, 2014, Mr. Onishi returned to Tokyo to give a recital for a Sold Out audience. In Summer 2014, he joined the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan, to cover the role of Ford in FALSTAFF, conducted by Fabio Luisi.
In the 2014-15 season, he made his Carnegie Hall debut, as the baritone soloist in Vaughan Williams' HODIE with The Cecilia Chorus, returning there in spring 2015 to sing CARMINA BURANA with Oratorio Society of New York. Also in April of that year he sang the role of The Count in Juilliard’s production of LE NOZZE DI FIGARO.
In the 2015-16 season, Mr. Onishi joined the prestigious Ryan Opera Center of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He made his debut with the company creating the role of Father Arguedas, in the very successful World Premiere of BEL CANTO. This production was recorded for future telecast on PBS. He then sang Paris (and covered Mercutio) in ROMEO ET JULIETTE.
He returns to the Ryan Center for the 2016-17 season.
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Photo by Dario Acosta