who is teiya?
Having many interests was always something Teiya was known for in her youth whether it was piano lessons, writing songs on the guitar, soccer, choir, jazz band, student council, learning German, or public speaking. But being solely a professional opera singer for 9 years post university wasn’t about to hold her from exploring her desire to create.
Teiya Kasahara 笠原貞野 is a multidisciplinary queer, gender non-conforming performing artist/creator, and first-generation Nikkei-Canadian of both Japanese and German roots who uses the pronouns they/them/theirs. Teiya comes from a background of over 11 years of singing operatic roles across North America and Europe and has recently begun a career in theatre creation and acting. Equally comfortable on the operatic, concert hall or cabaret stage, you can find her singing and making music with or without a microphone, sometimes even with a taiko drum or looping machine.
2017 marks the creation and ongoing development of Teiya’s first ever solo work — an opera-inspired theatre piece entitled The Queen in Me (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre 2017; Tapestry Opera, SummerWorks, ROM Friday Night Live 2018; Queer Arts Festival 2019) directed by Andrea Donaldson and originated during Buddies’ Emerging Creators Unit. The debut work reflects Teiya’s passion to revolutionize and queer the operatic art-form.
This work and their new work Yoru no kimyō / The Queer of the Night are currently in development with the support of Theatre Gargantua’s SideStream Cycle and the new Toronto indie opera company Amplified Opera, where Teiya shares the position of co-artistic director with director/producer/writer Aria Umezawa (co-founder and past artistic director of indie opera company Opera 5).
Teiya is also an active voice teacher, founder of the voice and wellness studio The Vocal Dojo, and as a theatre maker and performer is co-founder and active member of the Queer As Fuck Collective with Bilal Baig, François Macdonald and Sofía Rodríguez.
Since 2017, Teiya has been an apprentice with Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers and performs regularly throughout Toronto as a taiko drummer. In February 2019, Teiya will participate and perform at the East Coast Taiko Conference in Ithaca, NY.
This season Teiya is producing the independent opera Pomegranate by Kye Marshall and Amanda Hale set to premiere in June 2019, and is a part of Generator’s Artist Producer Training program.