Daichi Fujiki, countertenor

In April 2017, Daichi Fujiki made a brilliant debut at that hallowed institution of opera, the Vienna State Opera.
 In making his debut in the role of the Herald in Aribert Reimann’s Medea (Conductor: M. Boder / Director: M.A. Marelli), which was composed for the Vienna State Opera and world premiered in 2010, Daichi Fujiki made history as the first Japanese, and East Asian, countertenor to perform at this venerable institution. “A great discovery is the countertenor Daichi Fujiki as the Herald, who pronounces the ban against the Colchians. He does so with breakneck coloraturas.” (Der Neue Merker); “Daichi Fujiki made a lasting impression as a countertenor in his role as the Herald” (Oper in Wien); “Daichi Fujiki, whose voice has a creamy quality at its core, as well as dazzling note-spinning: the embodiment of modern opera” (Parterre); and “Countertenor Daichi Fujiki fully masters the esoteric role of the Herald.” (Salzburger Nachrichten). His performance was enthusiastically acclaimed not only by audiences and media outlets of the city of music, but also in Japan, where it was covered by major news outlets including Good Morning Japan (NHK) and International News 2017 (NHK BS1) and various newspapers.

Fujiki was a finalist in the International Sacred Music Competition in Rome in 2011. In 2012, he was selected as the Austrian representative for the 31st International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition for the second consecutive year, and became a finalist in the world competition, eventually winning the Hans Gabor award. In the same year, he placed first in the vocal division of the Music Competition of Japan. As the first win by a countertenor in the 81-year history of this prestigious competition, it created a sensation.

In May 2013, Fujiki made his European debut at the 250-year anniversary of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna after being selected for the role of Mannio in Gluck’s Il Trionfo di Clelia (Conductor: G.S. di Risio / Director: N. Lowery). In June, he performed at the same theater in the role of Carmelo Patanè in G. Battistelli’s Divorzio all’italiana (Conductor: D. Kawka / Director: D. Pountney). He gained international acclaim over a total of 12 performances at this prestigious Italian theater, sacred ground of opera.

In Japan, under the instruction of renowned conductors including M. Pommer, L. Slatkin, T. Koopman, S. Cambreling, R. Egarr, A. Battistoni, Ken-ichiro Kobayashi, Michiyoshi Inoue, Kazuhiro Koizumi, Masaaki Suzuki, Ken Takaseki, Eiji Oue, Junichi Hirokami, Kazushi Ono, Toshiyuki Kamioka, Yutaka Sado, Sachio Fujioka, Ryusuke Numajiri, Tetsuro Ban, Tatsuya Shimono, Ryuichiro Sonoda, Keiko Mitsuhashi, Yuko Tanaka, and Masato Suzuki, he has performed at nearly all of Japan’s major orchestras, including NHK Symphony, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, Japan Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo City Philharmonic, Kanagawa Philharmonic, Nagoya Philharmonic, Central Aichi Symphony, Osaka Philharmonic, Japan Century Symphony, Kansai Philharmonic, Kyoto Symphony, Hyogo PAC Orchestra, Kyushu Symphony, Sapporo Symphony, Sendai Philharmonic, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, Gunma Symphony, Kyoto Philharmonic, Kioi Hall Chamber Orchestra Tokyo, Tokyo Mitaka Philharmonia, Ensemble Nomad, Tokyo Vivaldi Ensemble, New Vivaldi Ensemble, and Bach Collegium Japan, co-starring in operatic and orchestra works including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, The Coronation of Poppea, Written On Skin (Japan Premiere), Symphony No. 9, Carmina Burana, St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion, Messiah, Mass (Bernstein), Chichester Psalms (Bernstein), Requiem (Mozart), Requiem (Fauré), and more. He has also performed world premieres and repeated performances with music provided by Akira Nishimura, Yoichi Sugiyama, Masanori Kato, Kenji Sakai and others.

In recitals, Fujiki has co-performed with Martin Katz, a pianist in high demand by vocal artists around over the world, as well as guitarists Kiyoshi Shomura, Shin-ichi Fukuda, Daisuke Suzuki, Kaori Muraji, Yasuji Ohagi, oboist Mizuho Yoshii, renaissance harpist Marie Nishiyama, soprano Eri Nakamura, Ayako Tanaka, artist Sarah Àlainn and others, winning great praise. Co-performing with pianists such as Kazumasa Matsumoto, Takashi Sato, Mami Hagiwara, and others, his solo recitals have won high acclaim and he continues to field regular offers from all over Japan.

His success in the media is also remarkable, and he took the stage for five consecutive years at the NHK New Year Opera Concert, as well as appearing on NHK Meikyoku Album, and NHK Classic Ongaku-kan. He also performed in the Untitled Concert (TV Asahi), the Yomikyo Symphonic Live Concert (Nippon TV), Classic Club (NHK BS Premium), and Best of Classic (NHK FM), Ongaku Kosaten (BS Tokyo), and has frequent exposures on newspapers and magazines, gaining wide recognition.

In April 2017, he released his first album “All That the Man Left Behind When He Died” (King International) commemorating his debut at the Vienna State Opera. The poet Shuntaro Tanikawa celebrated him with the words “A new awakening of a nostalgic lyricism.” In October 2018, Fujiki sang the theme song of Hanalei Bay, a new movie based on an original work by Haruki Murakami and released his major debut album “Plaisir d’amour” (Warner Music Japan), of which the liner notes was written by the actor, Yoshio Inoue.

His recent activities have earned an increasingly high profile—for instance, his appearances in concerts of “Chichester Psalms” with the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of renowned American conductor Leonard Slatkin in March 2019, and in April, invited the pianist Martin Katz for a Japan recital tour visiting 4 cities achieving great success, and in August, sang the role of the First Angel / Boy in Benjamin’s much talked about opera “Written on Skin”, which was a Japan premiere at the Suntory Hall Summer Festival, conducted by Kazushi Ono. In the NHK Festival in October, Fujiki sang the solo alto part in Mozart’s “Requiem” conducted by Ton Koopman and received one of the biggest compliments from the world’s Maestro. In December, he was applauded for his outstanding performance of the new piece “Visions – d’aprés Gabriele D’Annunzio” by Kenji Sakai which was world premiered by Sylvain Cambreling and the Nagoya Philharmonic.

In February 2020, Fujiki starred in the successful new opera “The 400 year-old Castrato” of which he received the offer from Tokyo Bunka Kaikan for producing the original concept as well as playing the title role. It attracted so much attention even from before the actual performance. In his hometown Miyazaki, he has been producing a concert and outreach program series called “Kokokara Ongaku Daisakusen (The Major Music Strategy starting here) “ , and also has a duo recital series titled “The Duet” with the soprano Eri Nakamura that started in the Tokyo Spring Festival in 2018, and his ability of producing is also highly valued. He enjoys writing, and wrote a serial essay on the Kobe Shimbun (newspaper) and currently writes a monthly serial article for the online magazine “ONTOMO” amongst others.

Kazushi Ono, the Artistic Director of the New National Theatre praised Fujiki as “Our hero, the countertenor we Japanese are proud of”. Fujiki is invited from the New National Theatre Tokyo for appearances in the new production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare (Conductor: R. Alessandrini / Director: L. Pelly) as Tolomeo in April 2020, the new opera Super Angels by Keiichiro Shibuya which is an opera by children and android (Conductor: Kazushi Ono / Director: Eriko Ogawa) playing the part of Akira in August, and Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Conductor: M. Brabbins / Director: D. McVicar) in October, playing Oberon, the title roles.

As one of Japan’s highest-profile international artists, Fujiki’s current activities range over a diverse repertoire from baroque to contemporary.

Received the 19th Matsukata Hall Music Award.
Winner of the Aoyama Award at the 25th Aoyama Music Awards.
Graduated from the Tokyo University of the Arts (Vocal Music).
Completed his training at the Opera Studio of New National Theatre Tokyo.
Completed his studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Graduate School (Cultural Management and Cultural Studies).
Senzoku Gakuen College of Music Visiting Professor as of April 2020.
Born in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan.
Goodwill Ambassador of Miyazaki.

(April 2020)