Reviews | Features
MADAMA BUTTERFLY — Opera Australia 2015 | Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour 2014 (Opera Australia) | Opera Australia 2012 | Opéra de Lausanne 2009 | Opéra de Montréal 2008
TURANDOT — Opéra de Montréal 2014
NORMA — Opéra de Toulon 2013 | Opéra de Lausanne 2011
OTELLO — Opéra de Montréale 2016 | Opéra de Toulon 2012 | Opéra National de Lorraine 2010
Il TROVATORE — Opéra de Montréal 2012
SIMON BOCCANEGRA — Opéra de Montréal 2010
Jan. – Feb. 2016, Opéra de Montréal
As Desdemona, Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura also pleased as both singer and actor. The epitome of the sweet, loving bride who becomes stricken by grief and fear, she sang with extraordinary expression and emotional intensity. In the dramatic Willow Song in particular, her voice soared powerfully from pianissimo and mezzo-lows, to top notes of exquisite purity. (Read complete article)
Otello à l'Opéra de Montréal
... mais surtout Hiromi Omura (Desdemona). Cette soprano japonaise incarne à la perfection son personnage avec une voix à la fois puissante et cristalline. (Read complete article)
Le triomphe du méchant
... (Hiromi Omura) a livré la prestation qu’on attendait, avec une ligne parfaitement contrôlée, des émotions incarnées, une vraie prononciation et des aigus fins. S’y ajoutent une étonnante tenue et consistance dans le bas du registre. (Read complete article)
Mar. 2015, Sydney Opera House
May 2015, Melbourne State Theater
Opera Australia: Madama Butterly review [Melbourne 2015]
Hiromi Omura as Cio-Cio-San, Photo : Jeff Busby
Moffat Oxenbould's cherished production of Madama Butterfly goes out in high style with sublime soprano Hiromi Omura giving an exquisitely calibrated tour de force performance.
Emanating a vibe that is the antithesis of the stereotypical opera diva, Omura simultaneously commands attention whilst also maintaining a demure and serene grace. Omura's silken soprano pours forth in shimmering waves, conveying the spectrum of Butterfly's modesty, anticipation, joy, fear and heartbreak. Such is Omura's tireless stamina, at evening's end she seems like she would be able to start at the beginning and sing it all over again.
Enhancing Omura's rich vocal colour is her highly expressive countenance. The suspension of disbelief required to see Omura as a teenager is simple given the way she beams first with innocent radiance and then with the ecstasy of first love. Omura is particularly convincing in portraying Butterfly’s resolute mania as the deluded young woman steadfastly awaits the return of her American "husband." Finally, the beaming face crumbles to ashen despair as the realization sinks in that Pinkerton is not returning to her. (Read complete article)
Opera Australia's Hiromi Omura displays sensitivity and power in Puccini revival
Hiromi Omura's elegant and affecting Cio-Cio-San dominated the night, as she should have. Not only did she possess the right vocal sensitivity and power, her Butterfly was no shrinking violet (so to speak); rather, there was zealousness in Omura's character, an almost neurotic edge that made her the object of fascination as well as sympathy. Overall, Omura gave a telling performance that treated Puccini's great heroine with honour. (Read complete article)
Opera review: Madama Butterfly, Opera Australia
Hiromi Omura and James Egglestone, Photo : Jeff Busby
Does Butterfly's display of naivety, however, equate to foolishness in thinking Pinkerton will return? In a strikingly informative performance, soprano Hiromi Omura imbued Butterfly with a laudable ambiguity, battling pity and personal expectations embodied in Japanese “honne-tatemae” characteristics — the contrast between true inner feelings and outward behaviour.
Butterfly's teenage transition was breathtakingly portrayed by Omura' poignantly phrased, elegant soprano, feathery pianissimo and an attractively light vibrato to capture the determination of the coy 15-year-old, the delusional 18 year-old, and the grief of finally losing everything. (Read complete article)
She is a true singing actress: each performance brings fresh nuances and feels inhabited, not studied. Her endless fussing and fluttering during the scene with Sharpless reminded us of a saké-fied Mary Tyrone or Blanche DuBois. In the final scene, Cio-Cio-San struggled with the prostrated Suzuki on seeing Kate Pinkerton, only to hiss at her (Vespa! voglio / Che tu risponda). At the end, fate sealed, deed done, a half-smile of something like triumph played over her face as she heard Pinkerton terrifiedly climbing that fateful collina. ...
At the end of the opera, one half of the stalls (the eastern side, as it happened) was immediately on its feet, while the other half stayed comfortably seated; but after the curtain calls nearly everyone stood up to acknowledge this remarkable performance. Omura is a commanding performer; her Cio-Cio-San sets the standard against which all Australian Butterflys will surely be measured for years to come.
Butterfly remains Omura’s only role in Australia. Opera-goers being ravenous creatures, let us hope we hear her Violetta or Micaela or Countess before too long. (Read complete article)
May 2014, Opéra de Montréal
"Opéra de Montréal: une Turandot sur roulettes"
La plus belle réalisation vocale et dramatique nous vient cependant de la Japonaise Hiromi Omura, que l'OdM présente comme «un chouchou (sic) du public montréalais» et a bien raison de ramener, cette fois en Liù, la jeune esclave amoureuse de Calaf qui se poignarde plutôt que de révéler son nom. Au dernier acte, lorsque Liù révèle à l'inflexible Turandot ce qu'est l'amour, Omura crée une miraculeuse osmose de tendresse dans le regard et de plénitude dans la voix qui constitue le point fort du spectacle. Et c'est elle qui, au rideau final, recevra l'ovation la plus spontanée et la plus considérable de la salle absolument comble. (Read complete article)
"Opéra de Montréal’s Season Ends with a Hit"
All singers projected exceptionally well to the rear of the parterre, a relative rarity in the immense 3000-seat Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier. The standout was Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura as Liù. Her high notes in Act One’s "Signore, ascolta" rang with crystal clarity, and her final aria in Act Three, "Tu che di gel sei cinta" had warmth and pathos aplenty to melt the most hardened heart. (Read complete article)
Mar. – Apr. 2014, Opera on Sydney Harbour
"Opera Australia’s Madama Butterfly is superb, utterly contemporary"
Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura ... is sensational as Butterfly, her glorious, shining voice matched by wonderfully expressive acting. (Read complete article)
In a towering achievement, Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura gives an outstanding performance in the title role, matching the extraordinary splendour of her voice with the strength of her acting. For much of act two, the entire set and seating bank are absolutely bathed in the lush beauty of Omura’s all-powerful voice. As the story progresses, Butterfly becomes increasingly manic, and Omura immerses her every fibre in this mania, successfully and affectingly transmitting Butterfly’s desperate blind optimism right to the back rows of the bleachers. Omura breaks our hearts for Butterfly tragic plight, and received a full standing ovation, specifically for her, on opening night. (Read complete article)
Hiromi Omura sings Cio-Cio-San with peerless bony strength and smoothness and a focused sound that cuts thrillingly through the night air (and would do more so if the amplification followed her lead instead of airbrushing and boosting). (Read complete article)
Oct. 2013, Opéra de Toulon
The soprano Hiromi Omura emerged with honour from the difficult role of Norma, whose performance history, as we know, has always been the realm of major singers and considered, frankly, arduous. Ms Omura displayed great musicality, and right from the terrifying Casta Diva was securely in charge of the role, thanks to her excellent vocal colour and technical precision in the coloratura passages. Ms Omura also succeeded in injecting the right tone of pathos and drama at the key moments of the opera: the duets with Adalgisa and the finales of each act. (Read in Italian )
The Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura, a convincing Desdemona last season, is a Norma of great integrity, perfectly mastering the belcanto style. Her Norma is precise. She offers us a remarkable sense of legato and a mastery of pianissimo that has become rare. Excellent technician, she is able to transmit the interior emotions the character undergoes, and succeeds therefore in moving us. She is without doubt the revelation of this performance! (Read in French )
The ecstatic parenthesis of the invocation to the moon « Casta diva » in no way gives in to slackness or rhythmic languor, but equally does not disturb the lacy delicacy of Hiromi Omura’s vocal line, which gives back to this aria rendered so trite by adverts all its pure, magic charm, begging for the universal peace longer for by women, mothers and lovers. This tenderness, expressed by Omura’s milk and honey voice, only makes more cruel her ultimate desire for a woman’s vengeance against dynastic pride, the implacable male law of descent: to kill her children, to which she cannot resign herself, despite the constant war against betrayed love, hardness against tenderness.
More at ease at priestess than as passionate woman, the Japanese soprano (one thinks of the future sacrifice of Butterfly against the ingratitude of men) serves the formidable vocal line with a faultless technique and shimmering pianissimi. (Read in French )
NORMA : ÉBLOUISSANT!
The end of dazzling Norma, Center: Hiromi Omura, Photo CKA
Still two performances to go of this marvellous Norma, with extremely fine voices adorning the stage, from the Diva Hiromi Omura to the bass Taras Shtonda, from Stella Grigorian, Marie Karall and Guillaume François to Giuseppe Gipali. Although indisposed, the tenor gave of his best… The orchestra and chorus, under the masterly direction of Giuliano Carella, contribute to the creation of a sublime Norma.
The immortal aria Casta Diva has always struck terror into its interpreters – the title role has a reputation for being a voice-killer – and sopranos measuring themselves against it tend to come to grief, but Hiromi Omura plays with it with a seeming nonchalance!
"Maestro Carello advised me to sing it as if I was telling a story and to forget the difficulties" she told us in all simplicity. Casta Diva is "a huge melody, requiring a mix of technical bravura and artistry" insists Maestro Carella.
"Opera needs a message!" concludes Massimo Gasparoni, the stage director. (Read in French )
Sep. – Oct. 2012, Sydney Opera House
Nov. – Dec. 2012, Melbourne State Theater
The aforementioned Omura shimmered as Cio-Cio-San (Japanese for Butterfly). Her dynamic range is peerless and striking in its own right, but it's the fragility with which she imbues her character, thanks to her untypical ability to sing pianissimo all the way to the top of her register, that truly sets her apart. And from piano to forte, the quality of her vocal production is sublime, with an uncannily precise vibrato. Dramatically, too, she's convincing in the role; treading a fine line between modesty and wiles, making for a complex, (thereby) more interesting and challenging Madama B. Her performance provides a key to unlocking and unleashing some fresh energy from an opera all too easily relegated to the grobal geopolitical and social milieu of the late 19th century. (Read complete article)
Hiromi Omura's performance rapidly hit its stride and was tugging at the heartstrings by the end.
Her singing throughout was powerful, seamless and exquisitely beautiful.
Omura is a stunning Cio-Cio-San, capturing her journey from 15-years-old geisha bride to mother and desperate, jilted lover. Her performance of the opera's most famous aria, Un bel di drew thunderous applause on opening night.
(Read complete article)
... the clarity and attractive silken finish of her voice, and her dramatic persuasiveness and charm that made this performance so memorable.
(Read complete article)
Above all, it was an impressive Opera Australia debut for Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura.
She may just be the best Butterfly we've seen in Sydney and not just for that silvery, almost ethereal voice. As an artless young geisha, Omura combined warmth with an air of innocenceand a naivety that made her American lover's betrayal all the more heartless.
She was a natural in every way, from the stylized gestures of her native culture to her unfailing adherence to her wedding vows.
"Japanese soprano soars in moving Butterfly – MADAMA BUTTERFLY – Opera Australia"
The drama in this Puccini opera is powerfully realized by Opera Australia, thanks to all parts working well and to a performance of extraordinary emotional intensity by Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura in the title role. All around me as the second act unfolded there were furtive movements of knuckles towards eyes – including, I have to confess, in the seat occupied by this hoary old reviewer – ...
Omura married dramatic and vocal conviction, singing with delicacy and power, conveying beautifully the innocent girl's fragile vulnerability, then her courage, and finally her despair. (Read complete article)
May 2012, Opéra de Toulon Provence Méditerranée
Performing the role of Desdemona for the first time in Toulon, the beautiful Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura, with her rich and broad voice of impressive range, is deeply moving. (Read in French )
The Desdemona, Hiromi Omura…is a great discovery. She lends her immense resources to this role: the timbre is luminous, and there is such emotion in her singing, everything at the service of a genuine dramatic involvement. She is a particularly moving Desdemona, especially in the fourth Act where she also gives us some wonderful fine-spun high notes. (Read in French )
Jan. 2012, Opéra de Montréal
"Verdi's Il Trovatore at L'Opéra de Montréal"
Most impressive was the dramatic expressivity of Omura’s dynamic range, particularly in the high registers. Few sopranos can master this role due to the monumental task of singing so many athletic and high arias. Omura seemed at ease in the role due to her ability to sing piano in her uppermost register, a range in which most sopranos have but one dynamic. Her dying words were tinted with this same expressivity – making that tragic moment one of the more memorable moments in the performance. (Read complete article)
"Hiromi Omura steals the show"
Oct. – Nov. 2011, Opéra de Lausanne
... "Casta diva" impeccably sung on the breath, with a legato in the finest tradition. Exemplary in her artistic integrity, the Japanese soprano masters all the notes from the highest to the lowest. Flashing out easy top C's, she has no problem in carrying above the orchestra and chorus in the ensembles. Her point of reference would seem to be Montserrat Caballé, with surprising similarity in certain phrases, and a refined art of the piano (extremely moving, her "Son io"). (Read in French )
In the title role, Hiromi Omura irradiates a tender and poignant presence. The Japanese soprano gives to Norma a sublime abnegation, thanks to the extraordinary delicacy of her singing. Her luminous voice with its long and silky legato, bestows an ideal nobility and intimacy upon her entry aria, Casta diva ... (Read in French )
Jun. 2010, Opéra National de Lorraine
Sublime in the last Act, where she is profoundly moving in the willow song and her prayer ... (Read in French )
Mar. 2010, Opéra de Montréal
All the voices are excellent, but especially that of Hiromi Omura, radiant in the role of Amelia, and with a stage presence that takes one's breath away. (Read in French )
Hiromi Omura's performance as Amelia was stellar. Her sound was brilliant but warm, and her delivery was lyrical and convincing.
Feb. 2009, Opéra de Lausanne
From her very first phrases, sung in the wings in the midst of other female voices, one is straightaway struck by her rich timbre and presence. Her well-placed voice, both flexible and powerful and even throughout its range, carries with ease and is never forced. As musician she knows how to exploit colours and dynamics; as strikingly beautiful actress, she draws our tears. (Read in French )
May 2008, Opéra de Montréal
The soprano Hiromi Omura wears the emotions of the title role like a glove. Adolescent and ingénue in the first Act, patient mother in the second, betrayed women in the third. Her interpretation of the role penetrates deeply the three aspects of this women so passionately in love.
Hiromi Omura's powerful and emotional singing moves the entire audience right up to the gallery. (Read in French )
"Deeply moving Butterfly"
Hiromi Omura projects a large and beautiful voice whose colours and phrasing I would call almost Italian. It is so similar, yet the Italian sopranos don't have such warmth as hers. A great singer, and great tragedian, Hiromi Omura. And, previously: an always natural and convincing actress. (Read in French )