In 1988, Mika Shigematsu was awarded first prize in the mezzo-soprano division of the “Japan Italy Vocal Concorso”.The following year she moved to New York obtaining a fellowship as an overseas artist dispatched by the Japanese Agency of Cultural Affairs. After her research period, she won first place at the All Japan Music Competition in 1991. Subsequently, she obtained a fellowship of two years from the San Francisco Opera Center, during which time she performed in numerous operas and concerts. In 1993, she received considerable attention internationally with her principal debut in the role of Elvira in Bellini’s “Puritani” (the US premier of the Maria Malibran version) at the Boston Lyric Opera.
In Europe, she has performed at the Opera National de Lyon; as Suzuki for Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” at the Royal Albert Hall, London; as the Musician in Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” at the Opera national de Paris (Bastille); in the role of Agnese in Bellini’s “Dante and Beatrice” in collaboration with Mariella Devia at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam for the “Concert Opera Series” of VARA radio. In Italy she sang in the role of Charlotte for Jules Massenet’s “Werther” (conductor Daniel Oren) at Teatro Carlo Felice with Ramon Vargas.
She has also been active with recitals. Starting with the recital series of the Opera National de Lyon, she has been invited to perform in San Francisco, Geneva, Santa Barbara, with artists such as Brian Asawa and Christophe Rousset. In Japan, she has held recitals in cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto with excellent reviews.
Her activity in the recent years include; participation as a guest artist for the Vermont International Opera Festival; Romeo in Bellini’s “I Capuleti e I Montecchi” in concert form for the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest (Holland); “Madame Butterfly” at the Opera et Orchestre National de Montpellier (France); a soloist for the National Choir Symphony at Avery Fisher Hall (New York); made her debut in “Madame Butterfly” and “Flavio” at the New York City Opera; “Madame Butterfly” at the San Diego Opera.
In Japan, she has been invited as a soloist from numerous orchestras including, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra and Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, performing with foreign conductors such as Charles Edouard Dutoit, Gerd Albrecht and Kurt Masur.