AOC DIGITAL SHOWCASE: LUKA KAWABATA – HE/HIM
Luka Kawabata – Baritone
Praised for his “well-projected, heroic baritone” (Opera Canada), Nikkei-Canadian baritone Luka Kawabata is quickly establishing himself as a formidable interpreter of both classical and contemporary operatic repertoire. He is a current participant in the Yulanda M Faris Young Artists’ Program with Vancouver Opera, having appeared as Dmitri in Wargo’s The Music Shop and as Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen: Up Close and Personal during the 2020-2021 digital season.
In the 2021-2022 season, Luka will make two company debuts as Schaunard in La Bohème (Edmonton Opera) and Escamillo in Carmen (Saskatoon Opera). He appeared as a soloist with the Vancouver Bach Choir in Rossini’s La Petite Messe Solennelle and understudied the roles of Alfio (Cavalleria Rusticana) and Captain Corcoran (HMS Pinafore) with Vancouver Opera. Luka recently also made his mainstage debut with Vancouver Opera as Bill Bobstay in HMS Pinafore.
He is a graduate of the ‘Digital Emerging Artist Program’ with Manitoba Opera, the ‘Opera in the 21st Century’ program through the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and an active mentor with Opera InReach.
Past role highlights include the title role in Don Giovanni, Lieutenant Audebert in Silent Night, Dappertutto and Dr. Miracle in Les contes d’Hoffmann as well as Tadeusz in the Canadian Premiere of Pasazerka (The Passenger). Luka has performed across Canada and Europe including performances with the Westben Arts Festival, Pacific Opera Victoria, City Opera Vancouver, and European Music Academy.
Luka recently premiered his debut artistic directorial project, “Paueru-gai パウエル街” (Manitoba Opera) during IndieFest 2021, faciliated by re:Naissance Opera. The project centres around his intersectional lived experience and the history of Japanese immigration to Canada. The second installment of “The Hafu ハーフ Project” will continue this journey of self-discovery through Japanese and Swedish art song.
ARTIST STATEMENT ON “HAFU”