Asawa, Brian Laurence

Asawa, Brian Laurence äsäˈwä [key], 1966–2016, American countertenor, b. Fullerton, Calif., B.A., Univ. of Calif., Los Angeles. Known for the the clear, silvery fluidity of his voice and his elegant theatricality, Asawa made his professional debut (1991) with the San Francisco Opera, the company with which he was most closely associated. He was the first countertenor to win the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (1991), and made his formal Met debut as the Voice of Apollo in Britten's Death in Venice (1994). A specialist in Baroque opera, he was especially noted as Tolomeo in Handel's Giulio Cesare. Asawa performed widely, with opera companies and in recitals, and commissioned works from contemporary composers, including the song cycle Encountertenor by Jake Heggie.

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