Ryoko Aoki holds a unique position in the field of Noh theatre as a female singer and performer. She has performed in several traditional Noh plays, historically the reserve of male actors. Above all, she is the pioneer of and inspiration for a new artistic form combining Noh with contemporary music. More than 50 works have been written for her.
Ryoko Aoki made appearances at festivals including the Asia-Pacific Weeks Berlin, Bartok Festival Szombathely, Xenakis Festival in New York and the Takefu International Music Festival. She has performed with ensembles and orchestras including the Arditti Quartet, the Quatour Diotima, the Munich Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
In 2013, Ryoko Aoki made her debut at the Teatro Real de Madrid in Wolfgang Rihm’s opera “The Conquest of Mexico” in the role of Malinche. In 2016 she premiered Noriko Baba’s Nopera “AOI” with the Ensemble 2e2m in Paris. 2017 she performed the world premieres of two works composed for her: Federico Gardella’s “Two Souls” at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino as well as Toshio Hosokawa’s “Futari Shizuka” (“The Maiden from the Sea”) with the Ensemble intercontemporain at the Philharmonie de Paris and Kölner Philharmonie.
Her 2018/19 season included performances of “Futari Shizuka” at the University of Toronto and during the TIMF Festival in Tongyeong/Korea. Another highlight of this season was the world premiere of Peter Eötvös’ “Secret kiss” with the Gageego Ensemble in Gothenburg, followed by performances in Tokyo, with the Remix Ensemble in Porto and with the Plural Ensemble in Madrid.
The 2019/20 season starts with Secret kiss and the Ensemble Musikfabrik in Berlin, Cologne and Budapest.
Ryoko Aoki obtained a BA and a Master of Music from the Faculty of Music at the Tokyo National University of Fine Art and Music with a focus on the Kanze school of Noh theatre, before obtaining a PhD at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies, with a thesis on “Women and Noh”.
As of July 2019