The Scene


Luka Kawabata

Luka Kawabata

Nikkei-Canadian baritone, Luka Kawabata is a current participant in the Yulanda M Faris Young Artist Program with Vancouver Opera. Last season, he appeared as Bill Bobstay in Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore and in Vancouver Opera’s digital season as Dmitri in Wargo’s The Music Shop and as Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen: Up Close and Personal. He is a graduate of the Digital Emerging Artist Program with Manitoba Opera and a former fellow in The Association of Opera in Canada’s ‘RBC Fellowship’.

This season, Luka is set to appear as Peter Quince in Vancouver Opera’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Benjamin Britten. He is excited to cover the roles of Zurga in Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles and Mr XE in the co-production of Du Yun’s Angel’s Bone (Sound the Alarm/re:Naissance Opera/Loose Tea Theatre).

In the 2021-2022 season, Luka made two company debuts as Schaunard in La Bohème (Edmonton Opera) and Escamillo in Carmen (Saskatoon Opera). He was featured as a soloist with the Vancouver Bach Choir in Rossini’s La Petite Messe Solennelle and understudied the roles of Alfio (Cavalleria Rusticana) and Captain Corcoran (HMS Pinafore) with Vancouver Opera.

As a portfolio artist and producer, Luka seeks to create new works that speak to a diverse audience. He is passionate about bringing contemporary opera and new projects to the forefront of performance. Luka’s self-directed series “The HAFU ハーフ Project” looks to broaden the social scope of classical music.

He has been the recipient of various awards, including the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation, the Toni and Hildegard Cavelti Foundation Fund from the Vancouver Opera Foundation, and the Vancouver Opera Guild Award.

Luka is a mentor for the BC chapter of Opera InReach’s community engagement programs and alumnus of the Banff Centre’s ‘Opera in the 21st Century’ program. He holds a Master of Music in Opera Performance from the University of British Columbia under the instruction of Peter Barcza. He currently studies with renowned Bass-Baritone, Daniel Okulitch.

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