|Takaoki in "The Memory Stone" at Houston Grand Opera East + West|
Opera Idols: What have you been up to since the auditions?
Takaoki Onishi: I've been very busy since the auditions. I went to Texas to perform the world premiere of Marty Regan’s new opera "The Memory Stone," which was presented by the Houston Grand Opera’s East + West program. I also sang other competitions this year, and won the Top Prize in the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition, First Prize in the Licia Albanese-Puccini Competition... So I should say it's been a great year!
I also got accepted into the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies (ADOS) at Juilliard. I am very glad that I can continue my training in such an excellent environment!
OI: What are your plans for the summer?
TO: I'm going to Germany to participate in the program called IMA - International Meistersinger Akademie, where I'm singing in concerts such as VIVA VERDI! with Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra. I'll also be taking many auditions for companies and opera houses in Europe.
OI: How has participating in the National Council Auditions changed your career?
I have reconsidered my audition's repertoire since the auditions. I took the feedback from the judges very seriously. Even though I was not in the very best of health for the auditions, I also realized I was singing repertoire that was a bit heavy. I was singing mainly Verdi and Verismo arias, which are really not the arias that I should be singing right now. I still may sound good with those arias, but I had to find the repertoire that fits me even more. After changing my arias, I've been very successful in the competitions and auditions.