Internationally acclaimed Japanese soprano Mihoko Kinoshita brings her life and emotional depth to iconic characters. Among many of her major roles, Kinoshita won acclaim for Mimi in La Bohème, Liu in Turandot, and her signature role of Cio-Cio-san in Madame Butterfly. Critics praise her “luxurious and elegant, entrancing and exhilarating” voice (Houston Grand Opera), and acting skills that convey a “deep grasp of (the tragic) character’s emotions and nuances” (Ventura County Star).
The recent years show Kinoshita’s escalated popularity more than ever. Her biggest achievement of 2018 is the role debut as Elsa in Lohengrin with Tokyo Nikikai. Today, she appeared as a title role of Tosca with Tokyo Nikikai in cooperation with Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma (2017) and New National Theatre Tokyo (2018), Butterfly with Vancouver Opera, and Aida with Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Andrea Battistoni, with whom she worked two years in a row. She also had the honor of performing Yani Rose at the world premiere of New Arrivals, and Hana in The Memory Stone with Houston Grand Opera. Her other latest concerts took place with Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. Her first solo aria CD “Il Cuore” with the record label Exton was released in 2015.
Throughout her career, Kinoshita has earned a world-wide reputation with her renowned Cio-Cio-san. Her performance in the role has received numerous accolades from both fans and critics. England’s hard-to-please Guardian noted Kinoshita’s compelling Butterfly “rises fearless to the challenges of the second half of the drama.” And The Detroit News praised, “Kinoshita’s vocal accomplishment is absolute. … Her acting instincts elevate her singing to a devastating naturalism.” Although Butterfly is an important part of her career, Kinoshita proudly presents herself in other major roles such as Verdian heroines. With her authentic and flawless Italian opera style she acquired through many years of training in Italy, she experienced stunning roles as Violetta in La Traviata, Leonora in Il Trovatore, Desdemona in Otello, Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera, and as a soloist in Messa de Requiem. She also has unveiled her fluency in French and German through Micaela in Carmen, Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffman, and Leonore in Fidelio.
After completing her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the Musashino Academy of Music, Kinoshita studied abroad in Italy as a recipient of Rotary International Friendship Scholarship, Recruit Scholarship, and Rohme Music Foundation Scholarship. Her extended studies with Renata Scotto in Accademia Santa Cecilia and the master class of Mirella Freni in Georg Solti Accademia in Italy further refined her talent and skills, leading to her brilliant debut as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan under Seiji Ozawa, and as Mimi in La Bohème.
The year of 2001 was such a sensational one for Japan’s opera field, as Kinoshita swept first prizes of the following competitions in just that year: Italian Vocal Concorso, Japan Italy Vocal Concorso, and Music Competition of Japan. She has then won many more prestigious awards, including first prize at the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation Competition (2007), as well as second prizes at the Verdian Voice International Competition in Busseto (2005) and the Riccardo Zandonai International Opera Competition (2004). She was honored with the New Nippon Steel’s Fresh Artist Award (2005) and Japan’s highest honor, Idemitsu Music Award (2006).
Kinoshita will perform Cio-Cio-san at the Kelowna Opera in Canada and at the New National Theatre Tokyo in 2019, and Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffman in 2020.