Biography

Michelle Kei Ishuu, a soprano of Japanese and American heritage, “uses her strong dramatic soprano to slice through the orchestra” in a varied repertoire that encompasses Verismo to Broadway. Possessing a captivating stage presence and praised as “superb,” “gifted,” and a “constant breakaway from the rest of the vocal pack,” she has entertained audiences on operatic and orchestral stages around the world, including New York, Washington D.C., San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, and Vienna, Austria. She has sung roles with San Diego Opera, Lyric Opera San Diego, Indianapolis Opera, and the North Shore Music Festival. She has also been a featured soloist with the Garden State Philharmonic, the San Diego Symphony, the Bloomington Chamber Choir, the Japanese Chicago Oratorio Choir and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra with Maestro Erich Kunzel.

By Abigail Cuevas

By Abigail Cuevas

Ms. Ishuu’s operatic repertoire includes the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Nedda in I Pagliacci, Fiakermilli in Arabella, Madame Mao in Adams’ Nixon in China, Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte, Berta in Barber of Seville, Paquette in Candide, Yvette and Georgette in La Rondine, and Luna 1 in the premiere of Dreamwalker by Lucia Patiño. As her voice has matured, it has opened up new possibilities for more dramatic characters. Her roles in preparation include two powerful Puccini heroines, Tosca and Madama Butterfly.

Ms. Ishuu received both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the prestigious Indiana University School of Music, where she was an Associate Instructor and the recipient of multiple Friends of Music fellowships. As the Assistant-Coordinator and Student Ambassador of the study-abroad program, she lived and studied in Vienna, Austria, with the Institute for the International Education of Students. She also attended the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute in San Francisco, CA. Once she completed her studies, she was accepted into the San Diego Opera Ensemble, where she was awarded the Pierson Fellowship and she premiered the roles of the Queen and the Lilac Fairy in the original production of Reveles’ The Sleeping Beauty. From 2005 to 2007, Ms. Ishuu performed for tens of thousands of children and adults throughout Southern California.

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