Teiya Kasahara 笠原 貞野
Nikkei-Canadian settler Teiya Kasahara 笠原 貞野 (they/them) is a queer, trans/non-binary, interdisciplinary creator-performer based in Tkarón:to (Toronto). Heralded as “a force of nature” (Toronto Star) and “an artist with extraordinary things to say” (The Globe and Mail) Teiya comes from a background of over a decade of singing both traditional and contemporary operatic roles across North America and Europe such as the Queen of the Night/THE MAGIC FLUTE (Essen, Vancouver, Edmonton), Fata Morgana/L’AMOUR DES TROIS ORANGES (Essen), and the title role in MADAMA BUTTERFLY (Windsor Symphony). Other highlights include creator-performer of dora-nominated THE WAGER(Theatre Gargantua), their first video series 19 VIDEOS FOR COVID-19 which garnered Teiya the nickname, “the balcony soprano” (Toronto Star), and various digital offerings: S.O.S. SKETCH OPERA SINGERS (Tapestry Opera), ELECTRIC MESSIAH (Soundstreams), and SYMPHONIC PRIDE (Vancouver Symphony Orchestra).
Teiya is also a co-founder of Amplified Opera (AO), a new initiative which is bringing Canada an “injection of […] creativity & politics of inclusivity” (barczablog) to the opera sector, and is also the Canadian Opera Company’s Disruptor-in-Residence since 2021, working closely with young opera artists who are developing new ways to decolonize their artistries.
Within their own artistic practice, Teiya explores the intersections of gender, queerness, and race through opera, theatre, electronics, and taiko as both creator and performer, noted in their original works THE QUEEN IN ME (World Premiere 2022), YORU 夜 (currently in development with Nightwood’s Write From The Hip Program), the BUTTERFLY PROJECT (Confluence Concerts & Amplified Opera), and a new work in development LITTLE MIS(S)GENDER as the artist-in-residence at the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto for the 2021/22 season.
Teiya is a graduate of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio and the University of British Columbia (B.Mus). They founded the Vocal Dōjō in 2016, a voice and wellness studio, and share a home with their partner and two cats, Moira Rose and Stevie Budd. For more information visit www.teiyakasahara.com or follow @teiyakasahara.