The Scene


Luka Kawabata

Luka Kawabata

Nikkei-Canadian baritone, Luka Kawabata is a current participant in the Yulanda M Faris Young Artists’ Program with Vancouver Opera, having appeared as Dmitri in Wargo’s The Music Shop and as Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen: Up Close and Personal in the 2020-2021 Digital Season. He is also a graduate of the Digital Emerging Artist Program with Manitoba Opera. Luka has been a featured soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Bard on the Beach and the Vancouver Opera/Pacific Opera Victoria’s school tour of The Flight of the Hummingbird.

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

Recent credits include the title role in Don Giovanni, Lieutenant Audebert in Silent Night, Dappertutto and Dr. Miracle in Les contes d’Hoffmann as well as Tadeusz in the Canadian Premiere of Pasazerka (The Passenger) with the UBC Opera Ensemble. He has performed roles with the Westben Arts Festival’s La Traviata as well as the European Music Academy’s La Bohème and Il Barbiere di Siviglia in the Czech Republic.

He has been the recipient of various awards, including the Toni and Hildegard Cavelti Foundation Fund from the Vancouver Opera Foundation, the Dal Richard Award in Opera, the Nancy Phipps Memorial Award in Opera, the Harry and Marjorie Slim Memorial Scholarship 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.

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