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Biography

  • © Opera Australia

    Winning first prize in the Australian Singing Competition of 1990 marked the beginning of an international career for the Japanese soprano Akiko Nakajima. There followed in quick succession her debut for Opera Australia and her European debut at the Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli as Musetta, La Bohème.

    Following on from this, her international career as both opera and concert singer flourished. She made her Austrian debut in the title role of Händel's Alcina for Innsbruck's Festwochen der Alten Musik – a production that received the European Broadcasting Union Award. Her sensational triumph as Lucia di Lammermoor at the Staatstheater Darmstadt led her to be nominated as the best new generation singer of the year by the Opernwelt magazine in 1999.

    © Volksoper

    Her stunning debut as Sonja in Der Zarewitsch at the Vienna Volksoper in 1999 was followed by other successes: Violetta in La Traviata, Anne in The Rake's Progress and Annina in Eine Nacht in Venedig. In 2007 she made her debut at the Hamburg State Opera as Donna Fiorilla in Il Turco in Italia. At the same time, her career has continued to develop in her native country, Japan, where she frequently performs with various symphonic orchestras as well as opera institutions.

    The celebrated conductors with whom she has appeared include Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, André Previn, Herbert Blomstedt, Charles Dutoit, Kazushi Ono, Myung-Whun Chung and Thomas Hengelbrock.

    Akiko Nakajima's first solo CD La Pastorella (PR90647) was nominated for the Deutschen Schallplattenkritik list. Female Portraits (PR90691) was followed by another recording, Plaisir d’amour (CDS556) for the Italian label Dynamic in 2008. A DVD recording of a live concert of Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream with Seiji Ozawa was documented by NHK Enterprise in 2009. In early 2011, she recorded her much awaited operetta CD, Wien, Stadt meiner Träume (Gramola 98908) at the famous Musikverein for the Viennese label, Gramola.

    Highlights from her recent engagements include a newly commissioned opera written for her voice, Taki no Shiraito, by the Ishikawa Music Foundation, her appointment as the artistic leader for a new festival, “Mozarthaus in Japan 2014” at Otemachi Hall in Tokyo, as well as the first overseas performance of her stage production, Mugen Noh - Pierrot Lunaire, at Sion Festival in Switzerland in 2016, in which she directed and performed the principal role. Forthcoming appearances include the NHK live broadcast performance, the 60th NHK New Year Concert, as well as Cio-cio san in Madama Butterfly in Kanazawa, Osaka, Takasaki and Tokyo under the direction of the legendary director Yoshi Oida in 2017.

    Akiko Nakajima is the general director of the Gunma Opera Academy “Noura-Juku”, and artistic adviser for the Mozarthaus Vienna. From 2016 she lectures in the faculty of Performing Arts – “Voice and Opera” at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna (MUK).

    Website: www.akikonakajima.org

    Text as PDF file

  • Winning first prize in the Australian Singing Competition in 1990 marked the beginning of an international career for the Japanese soprano, Akiko Nakajima. In quick succession there followed her debut with Opera Australia in La Clemenza di Tito under Christopher Hogwood and her European debut at the Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli as Musetta in La Bohème. She made her Austrian debut in the title role of Händel’s Alcina for Innsbruck’s Festwochen der Alten Musik - a production that received the European Broadcasting Union Award.

    Her triumph as Lucia di Lammermoor at the Staatstheater Darmstadt led her to the nomination in category of best new generation singer of the year by Opernwelt magazine. Ms. Nakajima made her debut at the Vienna Volksoper in 1999 as Sonja in Der Zarewitsch, and continues to perform leading roles in both Europe and Japan. In 2014 she also made a name for herself as artistic leader for the “Mozarthaus in Japan 2014” Festival in Tokyo, and in 2016 the first overseas performance of her stage production, Mugen Noh - Pierrot Lunaire, at Sion Festival in Switzerland was received with great success. Ms. Nakajima’s solo recordings include La Pastorella, Female Portraits and Wien, Stadt meiner Träume which was recorded in Musikverein by the Viennese label, Gramola.

    Currently she is the general director of the Gunma Opera Academy “Noura-Juku”, and artistic adviser of the Mozarthaus Vienna. From 2016 she lecturers in the faculty of Performing Arts - “Voice and Opera” at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna (MUK).

    Website: www.akikonakajima.org

    Text as PDF file