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Anglo-Japanese Society of Wessex

An Unincorporated Association

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柳田 和江(名誉パトロン)AJSW日本代表

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Ayaka Tanimoto (mezzo-soprano) & Kumi Matsuo (piano) - 'A Concert For Christmas'

Tue Dec 9th 2014, 1:15–2:00 pm ◀ This event has finished
Bristol Cathedral, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TJ


A deligthful selection of operatic and seasonal favourites from the golden voice of Ayaka Tanimoto supported by multi-international prize winning pianist Kumi Matsuo.

A. Lara (1897 – 1970)  :-  Granada    
G. Bizet (25 October 1838 – 3 June 1875) :-  Habanera   
Pablo Luna (1879 – 1942)  :-  Zarzuela "De España vengo" 
F. Obrador  (1897 – 1945) :-   Del Cabello mas sutil  
                                            Aquel sombrero de monte   
                                            El vito
Villa-lobos (1887 – 1959):-  Canção do Poeta do século XVIII  
E. Greig (1843 – 1907)  :-    Ein Traum    
F. Gruber (music) / J. Mohr (lyrics) :- Silent Night, Holy Night  
C. Franck (1822 – 1890) :- Panis Angelicus   
Adolphe Adam (1803 – 1856)  :-  O Holy Night               
F. Schubert (1797 – 1828):-  Ave Maria

Artist info:-

Ayaka Tanimoto

Close one’s eyes and one is instantly struck by a hauntingly beautiful yet powerful voice that resonates with the soul. Open one’s eyes and one cannot help but feel mesmerized. Just as Giacomo Puccini’s critically acclaimed Madama Butterfly successfully married two cultures, Ayaka brings an Eastern elegance and beauty to the Western world of opera, and most certainly has the voice to match.

Ayaka’s global sensitivity comes as no surprise. Born in Japan in 1987, Ayaka relocated to London in 2005 and subsequently graduated from the prestigious Royal College of Music with a Bachelor of Music (BMus Hons) in 2009 and a Masters in Vocal Performance (MPerf) in 2011. Having trained extensively under Margaret Cable and Patricia Rozario OBE, Ayaka’s studies were supported in confidence by the Okada Cultural Foundation Scholarship as well as the Mie International Exchange Foundation Scholarship (Japan).

Fluent in Japanese and English, a rarity even within the world of modern opera, Ayaka has embarked on a musical venture that sees her actively continue her efforts on both sides of the globe.

Aged just 26, Ayaka has won numerous awards in Japan, including the crowning achievement of 1st prize at the 15th MIE Music Competition, coupled with 3rd prize (1st & 2nd not awarded) at the 19th Classical Music Competition. Following these wins, Ayaka was further awarded 1st prize at the 3rd International Ernest Bloch Competition in London, UK. To date, Ayaka has taken to the stage in a number of highly regarded venues throughout London and Japan, such as the National Gallery, King’s Place, St. Martin in the Fields, Purcell Room and St. James’s Piccadilly to name but a few.

Fast becoming a seasoned performer, Ayaka’s roles have comprised of many over such a short span. To list a few, Ayaka has performed the title role of Carmen, Cherubino in Marriage of Figaro, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Tisbe in La Cenerentola, 2nd & 3rd Boy in Magic Flute, Bianca in Rape of Lucretia, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, Romeo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier (Opera Scenes) and the title role of Iolanthe for the BrentOpera. Her highest accolade thus far came when Ayaka sung 2nd Boy in addition to acting as the understudy for 2nd Lady in Mozart's Magic Flute with the Longborough Festival Opera (LFO) in the Summer of 2012, in which she undoubtedly made an impact, prompting Christopher Morley of the Birmingham Post to keenly observe, "Particularly outstanding were the commanding…and above all, the ever-present (a Longborough hallmark) attentions of the Three Spirits, among whom Ayaka Tanimoto brought the most attractive stage-presence I can remember in a long time.”

In addition to the above classic roles, Ayaka demonstrates her versatility as a keen performer of contemporary music. As a result, she was selected as the voice that would introduce UK audiences to the premier works of Japanese composers such as Nobuya Monta and Ko Matsushita. Furthermore, her chorus experience lies with renowned conductors such as the distinguished Michael Rosewell (RCM BBIOS Opera Production of Bartered Bride and Cosi fan Tutte), Martin André (Beethoven's Symphony 9th and Britten's War Requiem), Leif Segerstam (Brahms' Requiem) and Bernard Haitink (Bruckner's Te Deum). As of September 2013, Ayaka will for the very first time grace the stage at the Peacock Theatre in London, and bless the audience as the voice of Poppet in the British Youth Opera’s production of Benjamin Britten’s Paul Bunyan. Immediately after the curtain closes on this production, Ayaka will return to Scotland in order to commence her second year as a Scholar at the Alexander Gibson Opera School, where she will be singing as Melanto in Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria and Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito.

And this is only the beginning. Having just spread her wings, Ayaka’s career has already taken flight, and is about to propel this budding talent to new heights within the operatic stratosphere. As Ayaka continues to bridge the gulf between Eastern and Western cultures through her passion and love of music, her dedication and commitment to her craft is evident and admirable. To quote Eleanor Roosevelt, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” No truer words have ever been spoken, and in the steadfast pursuit of her dreams, the future is indeed bright for this young star.

SEPTEMBER 2013 (Click for Japanese translation)

© 2013 by Ayaka Tanimoto

Kumi Matsuo

Kumi Matsuo was born in Tokyo, Japan. Winner of the 5th Louisiana International Piano Competition in 2013, she has also won Second Prize at the 75th Music Competition of Japan in 2006, Third Prize at the 22nd Ferrol International Piano Competition in 2008 and First Prize at the 6th Isidor Bajic International Piano Competition in 2012.

Kumi graduated from the Toho Gakuen High School of Music and the Toho Gakuen University of Music in Tokyo. In 2007 she moved to London for her further study at the Royal College of Music where she gained an Artist Diploma and a Master of Music in Performance. Kumi studied piano with Jyoko Gondo, Mikhail Voskresensky, John Blakely and Ashley Wass and chamber music with Jan Repko. Her study was supported by the Charles Napper Award, the Russell Gander Award and the Rohm Music Foundation.

In 2008 Kumi gave her London debut playing Ravel's Piano Concerto for Left Hand in Cadogan Hall with RCM Sinfonietta conducted by Peter Stark. She has also played with orchestras such as Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Galicia Symphony Orchestra, Banatul Symphony Orchestra and Rapides Symphony Orchestra. Kumi has given numerous solo recitals and chamber music concerts in major venues throughout the UK and Japan including Elgar Room at Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Bristol Cathedral, National Gallery, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo Opera City Hall, Kioi Hall and Oji Hall.

The AJSW, in view of Kumi’s recent achievments, is especially proud to be associated with her through various concerts she has played for us and that she helped originate our ‘8hands on 2 pianos’ group ‘Inzpir8tion’.

Venue: Bristol Cathedral

Bristol Cathedral (photo: Adrian Pingstone)

Bristol Cathedral is situated in the middle of the city at the bottom of Park Street. It was founded in 1140, but was built gradually over a period of 700 years. The Cathedral hosts numerous events and concerts throughout the year. Many of these are open to the public, and some are free, including the regular lunchtime concerts on Tuesdays.

Visit the Bristol Cathedral website.


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