Matsumu Shibata

23 March 1913 Kojo (Okayama Prefecture) – 19 February 1988 Tokyo

Matsumu Shibata sings Ave Maria (Bach/Gounod), in Japanese

Matsumu Shibata sings Smoke gets in your eyes (Kern), in Japanese
Already while studying at the Tokyo Academy of Music, he made his first pop music records under the pseudonym Akira Sochika (1935). Under his real name, he became a popular recording artist on Japanese Victor, singing lots of military and propaganda songs during WWII.

From 1937, he also appeared occasionally in opera – not yet on stage, concert performances only. His stage debut took place in November 1946 in Tokyo as Pinkerton, in the very first production of the Miho Nagato Opera Institute.

In 1952, he was one of the founders of the Nikikai Opera Company, and he spent the rest of his life with that troupe, as a tenor (until 1963), conductor, stage director and manager.

His repertory included Turiddu, José, Radames, Cavaradossi, Faust (La damnation de Faust), Rodolfo, Tannhäuser, Don Basilio and Don Curzio (Nozze di Figaro), Lyonel, Duca, Rodrigo (Otello), Alfredo, Ferrando, Jeník, Peter Grimes, Italienischer Sänger, Don Ottavio, Almaviva, Monostatos, Stolzing, Canio, and several Japanese operas.

He never recorded any operatic excerpts, mostly Japanese songs, plus a few Western songs. His only recording of classical music is the above Ave Maria.

Reference for the biography
Picture source

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