Michiko Hayashi, mezzo soprano
Michiko Hayashi graduated from Tokyo College of Music. She completed the graduate course of Toho Gakuen College Music Department, the course of Nikikai Opera Studio, and the first term of the New National Theatre Tokyo Opera Studio. She studied in Munich on a fellowship for overseas study from the Japanese Ministry of Culture. Hayashi won the top prize at the 2003 Mitropoulos Competition for singers, held in Athens. She was also awarded the 5th Hotel Okura Music Award.
In 2002, Michiko Hayashi made her opera debut as Hansel in Hansel und Gretel at the New National Theatre. She received high praise for her performance as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier in a co-production by Nikikai and the Cologne Opera in 2003, and for performances in many other operas including Le nozze di Figaro (as Cherubino), Berg’s Lulu (3-act version/Japan premiere), Don Giovanni (as Zerlina), La clemenza de Tito (as Sesto), La Forza del Destino (as Preziosilla), I Capuleti e I Montecchi (as Romeo), and Carmen (in the title role). She also performed the role of Creosa in the Japan premiere of Reimann’s Medea in 2012, presented for the 50th anniversary of the Nissay Theater, the 50th anniversary of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, and the 60th anniversary of Nikikai. In 2013, she appeared in the performances of Die Fledermaus as Orlofsky and Le barbier de Séville as Rosina. In all of these roles, she captivated audiences with her superb singing voice and remarkable stage presence.
Together with major Japanese and non-Japanese orchestras, under the direction of conductors such as Myung-whun Chung, Paavo Jarvi and Sylvain Cambreling, Hayashi
has participated in performances of religious works including Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mahler’s “Resurrection” and 4th Symphony, Handel’s Messiah and Verdi’s Requiem, and other works including Brahms’s Alt-Rhapsodie, Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder, and Chausson’s Poem of Love and the Sea. She has been acclaimed for her sensitive and richly expressive singing.