Katsuumi Niwa with Mme. Lehmann at her home "Orplid" in Santa Barbara

Katsuumi Niwa was born in 1938 and has taught for years at Nihon University. Known in three vocal areas, he sang countertenor in Minao Shibata’s vocal works, as well as traditional Japanese contemporary opera and European Baroque music. As a tenor and baritone he is respected in French vocal music. An active member of NATS and JARS, he has often represented Japan at international festivals and conferences.

He has performed in many world premiers of both opera and song, and has sung at Lincoln Center’s Fisher Hall in “Himiko” as the Earth Diety; sung John Cage in New York, Pinkerton in Mme. Butterfly in Japan, appeared as a helden-tenor in Wagner operas there. Dr. Niwa has also taken part in films including “Tora-san, The Go-between) 1985.

Part of a group of Japanese singers that Dr. Jan Popper brought to UCLA for study under a Fulbright fellowship, Niwa went on to study with Lehmann, and Jennie Tourel.

His other teachers include Yoshiko Fukuzawa, Takeshi Isogaya, and Jan Popper.

You can listen to Katsuumi Niwa discussing his studies with Mme. Lehmann in two interviews. First Interview Second Interview