Obituary: countertenor Brian Asawa, 49

Posted on: April 20, 2016

“Brian Asawa, a celebrated countertenor whose bright, rich falsetto won him lead roles in operas throughout the United States and Europe, died Monday at the age of 49,” writes Ryan Kost in Tuesday’s (4/19) San Francisco Chronicle. “His family has not reported the cause of death, but many news outlets have referred to an ongoing illness. Mr. Asawa was born in Los Angeles but began his operatic career in San Francisco in 1991 as the first countertenor to be accepted into San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program [and in 1992] won ‘huge critical acclaim,’ according to [David Gockley, general director of the San Francisco Opera], for his role as Oberon in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ One year after that, he made his debut in Europe, launching a string of well-received performances in major opera houses throughout the United States and Europe. Mr. Asawa found a particular sweet spot in Baroque opera, specifically with those composed by George Frederic Handel…. Mr. Asawa … passed away while living in Los Angeles. There, he ran an opera management company that represents singers and stage directors. He also taught private voice lessons, according to the firm’s website.”

Posted April 20, 2016