Japanese & French Citizenship
Hiromi Omura was born in Tokyo, Japan. After obtaining her Master of Arts in singing at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, she moved to Italy, training in Mantua and Milan. She then transferred to France to join the Opera Studio CNIPAL in Marseille.
She was the 1st prize winner in the Concours International d’Opéra de Marseille (2001), and won prizes in international competitions such as the Concours International de chant de Paris (Paris), Belvedere Competition (Vienna), Concorso Ismaele Voltolini (Buscoldo, Mantua/ Italy), Concorso Gianfranco Masini (Reggio Emilia/ Italy) among others.
Highly regarded as Puccini’s doomed Japanese heroine, Ms. Omura continues to be engaged for the role of Cio-Cio San from Portland Oregon to Estonia. She began her 2017-18 season with a return to the Latvian National Opera in this role under the baton of Alberto Veronesi, and then at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and in Saga (South of Japan) with the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gaetano D’Espinosa. She recently debuted with both Manitoba Opera and the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki as Cio-Cio San and received great acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Seasons highlights on the concert platform include a New Year’s Opera Concert with NHK TV (live broadcast) at the NHK Hall with the Tokyo Philharmonic conducted by Ryusuke Numajiri and in a New Year’s Opera Gala Concert at Suntory Hall with Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Kazushi Ono. She also appeared in the title role of Norma at the Bunkamura Orchard Hall (Tokyo) with Tokyo Philharmonic under the baton of Riccardo Frizza in March followed by a return to Latvia for further performances of Madama Butterfly through till the end of 2018. Of particular note was her recent appearance at Torre del Lago as Cio Cio San for the Puccini Festival.
Highlights of the 2016-17 season include her first Tosca under the baton of Daniele Rustioni at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan with Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony and Madama Butterfly for the Latvian National Opera. Her 2015-16 season included Opéra de Montréal’s Otello in the role of Desdemona under the baton of Keri-Lynn Wilson with director Glynis Leyshon. She appeared as La contessa d’Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan in Nikikai Opera under Sascha Goetzel’s musical direction.
In 2014-15, she made debuts in South America at the Teatro Municipal Rio de Janeiro and for the Latvian National Opera both in the title role of Madama Butterfly. She returned again to the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne State Theatre for their season opening as Cio-Cio San.
Hiromi Omura has performed the title role in Madama Butterfly since 2004, receiving great acclaim around the world in numerous theatres, such as the New National Theatre Tokyo, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opera Israeli (Tel Aviv), Montreal Opera, Malaga, Cordoba, Santander, Metz (France), Lausanne Opera, Polish National Opera (Theatre Wielki), Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland, Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House and the Melbourne State Theatre and others. She can be seen in a DVD production of Madama Butterfly in a new production directed by Alex Ollé (La Fura dels Baus), released from ABC Classics.
Other recent highly acclaimed performances include Norma in Bellini’s masterpiece for Lausanne Opera and Opera de Toulon, Desdemona (Otello) for Toulon Opera and Opera National de Lorraine, where she has also performed Silvia (Zanetto, Mascagni) and Contessa (Le nozze di Figaro, Mozart). Liu (Turandot, Puccini), Amelia (Simon Boccanegra, Verdi) and Leonora (Il trovatore, Verdi) for Opéra de Montréal, Sieglinde (Die Walküre, Wagner) at the Biwako Theatre in Otsu (Japan) and Ariadne (Ariadne auf Naxos, R. Strauss) for the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo-city are other repertoire credits.
In her homeland Japan, after her first appearance as Violetta (La Traviata, Verdi) for Nikikai Opera, she made her debut in the New National Theatre Tokyo in 2004 in the role of Micaëla (Carmen, Bizet). Subsequently she returned to this theatre in such roles as Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly, Puccini), Nedda (I Pagliacci, Leoncavallo) and Elisabetta (Don Carlo, Verdi).
In the concert field, Hiromi Omura has sung Deutsches Requiem (Brahms) at the City of London Festival with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tadaaki Otaka, Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven) with the Tokyo Philharmonic and Orchestre symphonique de Nancy,
Missa Solemnis (Beethoven) with the Tokyo City Philharmonic, Mass in C Minor (Mozart) with the Tokyo Philharmonic, Messiah (Handel) with l’Orchestre de Picardie, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Elias (Mendelssohn) both with the Orchestre National de France under the baton of Kurt Mazur. She has been invited regularly for operatic gala concerts such as the Verdi gala in Montreal, Puccini gala with the Latvian National Opera, season opening gala concerts in New National Theatre Tokyo and New Year’s Opera concerts by NHK, broadcast on live TV nationwide in Japan and elsewhere.
Hiromi Omura is resident in France.
|Mozart||Contessa||LE NOZZE DI FIGARO|
|Strauss, R.||Primadonna/Ariadne||ARIADNE AUF NAXOS|
|Symphony No. 9|
|Brahms||Ein Deutsches Requiem|
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Mass in C minor
“Omura performed Cio-Cio San’s aria “Un bel di vedremo” with limpid fragility and ringing high notes, trembling in anticipation as her husband’s shit sails back into harbour. However, it was during her silent vigil awaiting Pinkerton’s return during the exquisite ‘Humming Chorus’ where Omura’s profoundly moving artistry, spoke loudest, as every graduation of raw, vulnerable emotion flashed across her face – from hope to fear and love to loss…” – Madama Butterfly, Manitoba Opera
Holly Harris, Opera News Magazine
“…world-renowned Tokyo-born soprano Hiromi Omura, performing the role [of Cio-Cio San] for her 101st time while also marking her MO debut; she delivers a masterful portrayal of the young geisha. She morphs before our eyes from lovesick girl to noble young woman who chooses to die for honour, her soaring, well-paced vocals displayed from her opening Ancora un passo or via — Spira sul mar, until her final, heart-stopping “suicide aria,” Con onor muore.
Omura performs her aria, Un bel di, with limpid fragility and ringing high notes as sparkling as the starry night sky, trembling in anticipation for her husband’s ship to sail back into harbour. It earned her the night’s only spontaneous applause and cries of “brava.”
However, it’s during the silent, all-night vigil as she awaits Pinkerton’s return where Omura’s deeply felt, exquisite artistry is most evidenced. Every gradation of raw emotional vulnerability flashes across her face with prismatic colour: from hope to fear; love to loss. This is not merely acting a role, but feeling it in every fibre of her being.” – Madam Butterfly, Manitoba Opera
Winnipeg Free Press, Holly Harris
“The opera contains some of the most sumptuous and sensual music Puccini ever wrote. Un Bel di vermo, the showcase aria of Act 2, stands with Nessun Dorma at the pinnacle of operatic tear-jerkers. But Con onur muore (To die with honour) which Omura sings with a delicacy, was — for this reviewer — the highlight of this exceptional show.” – Madam Butterfly, Manitoba Opera
CBC News, Lara Ray
“As Desdemona, Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura also pleased as both singer and actor. The epitome of the sweet, loving bride who becomes stricken by grief and fear, she sang with extraordinary expression and emotional intensity. In the dramatic Willow Song in particular, her voice soared powerfully from pianissimo and mezzo-lows, to top notes of exquisite purity.” Otello, Opéra de Montréal
Bachtrack, Patricia Maunder
“…mais surtout Hiromi Omura (Desdemona). Cette soprano japonaise incarne à la perfection son personnage avec une voix à la fois puissante et cristalline.” – Otello, Opéra de Montréal,
“Does Butterfly’s display of naivety, however, equate to foolishness in thinking Pinkerton will return? In a strikingly informative performance, soprano Hiromi Omura imbued Butterfly with a laudable ambiguity, battling pity and personal expectations embodied in Japanese “honne-tatemae” characteristics — the contrast between true inner feelings and outward behaviour.
Butterfly’s teenage transition was breathtakingly portrayed by Omura‘ poignantly phrased, elegant soprano, feathery pianissimo and an attractively light vibrato to capture the determination of the coy 15-year-old, the delusional 18 year-old, and the grief of finally losing everything.” – Madama Butterfly, Opera Australia
Herald Sun, Paul Selar
“Hiromi Omura ‘s elegant and affecting Cio-Cio-San dominated the night, as she should have. Not only did she possess the right vocal sensitivity and power, her Butterfly was no shrinking violet (so to speak); rather, there was zealousness in Omura’s character, an almost neurotic edge that made her the object of fascination as well as sympathy. Overall, Omura gave a telling performance that treated Puccini’s great heroine with honour.” – Madama Butterfly, Opera Australia
Sydney Morning Herald, Michael Smith
“Moffat Oxenbould’s cherished production of Madama Butterfly goes out in high style with sublime soprano Hiromi Omura giving an exquisitely calibrated tour de force performance. Emanating a vibe that is the antithesis of the stereotypical opera diva, Omura simultaneously commands attention whilst also maintaining a demure and serene grace. Omura’s silken soprano pours forth in shimmering waves, conveying the spectrum of Butterfly’s modesty, anticipation, joy, fear and heartbreak. Such is Omura’s tireless stamina, at evening’s end she seems like she would be able to start at the beginning and sing it all over again. Enhancing Omura’s rich vocal colour is her highly expressive countenance. The suspension of disbelief required to see Omura as a teenager is simple given the way she beams first with innocent radiance and then with the ecstasy of first love. Omura is particularly convincing in portraying Butterfly’s resolute mania as the deluded young woman steadfastly awaits the return of her American “husband.” Finally, the beaming face crumbles to ashen despair as the realization sinks in that Pinkerton is not returning to her.” – Madama Butterfly, Opera Australia
Man in Chair, Simon Parris
“Omura breaks our hearts for Butterfly’s tragic plight, and received a full standing ovation, specifically for her, on opening night.”
“Her singing was powerful, seamless and exquisitely beautiful.” – Madama Butterfly
North Shore Times
“The beautiful Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura, with her rich and broad voice of impressive range, is a deeply moving Desdemona.” – Otello
“…impeccably sung on the breath, with a legato in the finest tradition.” – Norma
“La plus belle réalisation vocale et dramatique nous vient cependant de la Japonaise Hiromi Omura, que l’OdM présente comme «un chouchou (sic) du public montréalais» et a bien raison de ramener, cette fois en Liù, la jeune esclave amoureuse de Calaf qui se poignarde plutôt que de révéler son nom. Au dernier acte, lorsque Liù révèle à l’inflexible Turandot ce qu’est l’amour, Omura crée une miraculeuse osmose de tendresse dans le regard et de plénitude dans la voix qui constitue le point fort du spectacle. Et c’est elle qui, au rideau final, recevra l’ovation la plus spontanée et la plus considérable de la salle absolument comble.” – Turandot, Opéra de Montréal
La Presse, Claude Gingras
“All singers projected exceptionally well to the rear of the parterre, a relative rarity in the immense 3000-seat Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier. The standout was Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura as Liù. Her high notes in Act One’s “Signore, ascolta” rang with crystal clarity, and her final aria in Act Three, “Tu che di gel sei cinta” had warmth and pathos aplenty to melt the most hardened heart.”
– Turandot, Opéra de Montréal
Concerto.net, Earl Arthure
“The soprano Hiromi Omura emerged with honour from the difficult role of Norma, whose performance history, as we know, has always been the realm of major singers and considered, frankly, arduous. Ms Omura displayed great musicality, and right from the terrifying Casta Diva was securely in charge of the role, thanks to her excellent vocal colour and technical precision in the coloratura passages. Ms Omura also succeeded in injecting the right tone of pathos and drama at the key moments of the opera: the duets with Adalgisa and the finales of each act.” – Norma, Opéra Toulon
GB Opera, Jocelyne De Nicola
“The ecstatic parenthesis of the invocation to the moon “Casta diva” in no way gives in to slackness or rhythmic languor, but equally does not disturb the lacy delicacy of Hiromi Omura’s vocal line, which gives back to this aria rendered so trite by adverts all its pure, magic charm, begging for the universal peace longer for by women, mothers and lovers. This tenderness, expressed by Omura’s milk and honey voice, only makes more cruel her ultimate desire for a woman’s vengeance against dynastic pride, the implacable male law of descent: to kill her children, to which she cannot resign herself, despite the constant war against betrayed love, hardness against tenderness. More at ease at priestess than as passionate woman, the Japanese soprano (one thinks of the future sacrifice of Butterfly against the ingratitude of men) serves the formidable vocal line with a faultless technique and shimmering pianissimi.”
– Norma, Opéra Toulon
Classiquenews.com, Benito Pelegrim
“Most impressive was the dramatic expressivity of Omura’s dynamic range, particularly in the high registers. Few sopranos can master this role due to the monumental task of singing so many athletic and high arias. Omura seemed at ease in the role due to her ability to sing piano in her uppermost register, a range in which most sopranos have but one dynamic. Her dying words were tinted with this same expressivity – making that tragic moment one of the more memorable moments in the performance.” – Il Trovatore, Opéra de Montréal
Bachtrack, Andrew Crust
“All the voices are excellent, but especially that of Hiromi Omura, radiant in the role of Amelia, and with a stage presence that takes one’s breath away.” – Simon Boccanegra, Opéra de Montréal
Resmusica, Jacques Hétu
MADAMA BUTTERFLY WITH THE PORTLAND OPERA
For the Portland Opera, Hiromi is Cio-Cio-San in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly from October 25 through November 2, 2019. portlandopera.org
“Un Bel Di, Vedremo” from Madama Butterfly (Puccini) with Opera Australia, 2013
“Un bel di” from Madama Butterfly by Puccini
“Casta diva” from Norma by Bellini