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Yoshikazu Mera (Counter-tenor)

Born: 1971 - Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan

Mera Yoshikazu is a Japanese counter-tenor. The counter-tenor sings the part which is higher than tenor, but lower than alto. Yoshikazu is one of about twenty counter-tenors in the world. His register is three and a half octaves. Yoshikazu sings classical music, foreign music, Japanese Classical Music, a Negro spirituals,folk songs, and songs from musicals.

Yoshikazu Mera has liked to sing since he was child. Before he became a senior high school student, he had already learned many folk songs. He sang Enka and Japanese Pops, too. He was pretty good at singing, so he wanted to be a pop singer in his childhood. Pop singers in the past needed more strength in their singing than singers today.

When he was at university, Yoshikazu Mera learned about classical music and changed from tenor to counter-tenor during his third year in college when he was a junior. He used to be criticized by one professor because he was not a real counter-tenor. That is because Yoshikazu had a high voice by nature. Yoshikazu suffered from the difference of opinion between the professor and him, but he continued to go straight the way he believed.

After he graduated from the Music college, Yoshikazu Mera won the first prize in The Eighth Folk Songs Competition in 1994. Mera is a winner of the highest prizes at the eight Early Music Competition Yamanashi in May 1994 and the sixth Tochigi Music Festival award. His keen interest in Japanese Art Song led to third prize at the sixth Sohgakudou Japanese Art Competition in 1995.

In October 1993 Yoshikazu Mera sang the solo part in Rossiniís Petite Messe solennelle, and in March 1994 he sang the counter-tenor solo part in Leonard Bernsteinís Skylark under the baton of Kazuyoshi Akiyama. Mera appears frequently as a soloist for the Bach Collegium Japan (Director: Masaaki Suzuki).

In 1997, Yoshikazu Mera became popular among the general public. That is because Yoshikazu sang the title song for The Princess Mononoke produced by Hayao Miyazaki. The movie became the most popular movie in the summer. After this movie, he began to sing songs from movies and TV.

Yoshikazu Mera wants people to become interested in classical music or other types of music on their own. That is why, now Yoshikazu is active in all over the world, and continues to learn new fields of music with his beautiful clear voice.

Source: Liner notes BIS CD-781 (Cantatas 2, conducted by Suzuki, 1996); Famous Japanese Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2001)

Yoshikazu Mera: Short Biography | General Discussions

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Friedrich Haider


Duet from BWV 78

Masaaki Suzuki


BWV 12, BWV 22, BWV 23, BWV 54, BWV 63, BWV 71, BWV 75, BWV 106, BWV 131, BWV 132, BWV 155, BWV 161, BWV 162, BWV 172, BWV 182
BWV 245, BWV 248; Recitative & Aria from BWV 72

Masaaki Suzuki


Member of Bach Collegium Japan:
Sacred Cantatas Vol. 1:
BWV 4, BWV 150, BWV 196
Sacred Cantatas Vol. 2:
BWV 71, BWV 106, BWV 131
Sacred Cantatas Vol. 3:
BWV 12, BWV 182
Sacred Cantatas Vol. 5: BWV 18, BWV 161
Sacred Cantatas Vol. 6:
BWV 31, BWV 21 [1714/1720 edition]

Links to other Sites

Yoshikazu Mera (Famous Japanese)

Profile: Mr. Yoshikazu Mera

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