Eriko Ito is an opera singer. She lives in New York City, New York, United States.
DS: What are the most memorable years of your life and what happened to make them so memorable?
Eriko Ito: After graduating from Musashino Music Academy in Tokyo, I moved to New York to study ballet and add to my skills. The time was September 10th, 2011, so it was immediately memorable. In 2011, I saw a major project come to fruition. After 3 years of managing the NY city stage of the international Karaoke championship through my bar, I was asked directly by the greatly expanded organization to manage it personally for the city and state levels at multiple venues, and also to coordinate with ABC television for their reality show, based on the competition, Karaoke Battle USA.
I wanted to be a pop singer, but my voice is not well suited to pop music.
DS: How would you best describe yourself?
Eriko Ito: I am very humble, disciplined, and dedicated to what I love. I am very detail oriented and love helping others.
DS: What are the must-haves in your daily wardrobe?
Eriko Ito: Comfortable cotton shirts with black or beige cardigans. I am always taking ballet classes, and these are the easiest to change in and out of. Also many wedge shoes or sandals. I love heels but need to protect my knees.
DS: Who do people tell you you look like?
Eriko Ito: Yoko Ono (when she was young).
DS: How did you end-up being an opera singer?
Eriko Ito: My mother is a singer and performs frequently in Japan. I was listening to her singing since I was inside her womb. At first, I wanted to be a pop singer, but my voice is not well suited to pop music. Later, I was very much influenced by Mariah Carey, whose mother is an opera singer. Another major influence was Maria Callas, because of her beauty, voice and performance skills. I started out by training with two different voice teachers and also one for piano. My audition for Musashino music conservatory was quite intense- I had to pass 11 different subjects.
“To New Yorkers- How often do you go to see opera? We have in this city one of the finest opera theaters in the world, and opportunities to see and hear the greatest singers.”
Participate and answer Eriko Ito's question on The Wall below.
DS: Can you tell us more about your job?
Eriko Ito: In addition to my continuing studies, I have a few jobs. I am working at the moment for Docomo, Japan's largest cellphone company. They are expanding into the U.S. market, and I am helping them to establish a client base. I also work part time as an organizer for karaoke competitions. Last year I managed the NY state competition for KWCUSA, which led to a reality show on ABC television, Karaoke Battle USA. Sometimes I work as a karaoke bartender as well.
DS: Let's talk more about you and your tastes. Any hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time? Any thing you like and recommend?
Eriko Ito: After some years of other studies, I concentrated intensively with Valentin Peytchinov on Opera, and I am now working, in addition to Karaoke, as an Opera singer. I did perform at the Japanese Artists Matsuri (festival) last November, singing Liu’s aria from Turandot. I will also be working with Valentin’s new company, New Productions.
DS: What is a typical week for Eriko Ito?
Eriko Ito: I take 3 or 4 ballet classes a week, go to vocal coach once a week before work. In addition to my practicing at home I study Italian, German and French as much as possible.
DS: Some quick questions: What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Eriko Ito: Make coffee.
DS: What is your favorite restaurant in New York City?
Eriko Ito: I love Ido Sushi which is located in the West Village of New York City. They give opera singers a chance to perform on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and their Sushi is great.
DS: What is your favorite song today? Of all time?
Eriko Ito: My favorite classical song is Handel's " Lascia ch'io pianga". This was one of the first arias I learned at age 17, and I have a special memory attached to it as well. I also love "Vivo por Ella" of Andrea Bocelli. I want to work to combine my opera skills with popular music.
DS: What is your favorite "drug"?
Eriko Ito: Good Italian food.
The photo shoot
DS: What is in store for you? Any key projects for the next months? Anything you want to share? Can our readers help you with anything?
Eriko Ito: My up-coming events are getting on TV in Peru. I wanna be a Peruvian Idol!! I go to Ido Sushi once in a while either on Monday or Wednesday night to appear on their open mic, ‘Opera Night’. My future project will be singing many Russian folk songs, collaboration works with a Balalaika player and an accordionist in Japan.
DS: Anything you want to add to close this interview?
Eriko Ito: Thank you for taking time to read about me! Hope to see you soon.
DS: Thank you Eriko Ito
Eriko Ito: Bye.