AKEMI TSUTSUI-KUNITAKE

CULTURAL CONSULTANT

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"I am passionate about the melding of ideas, and the integration and interdependence of arts sectors.
 

I am motivated by the impetus that an inclusive arts culture leads to a more productive and empathetic society."

Margaret Ozaki-Graves is a Japanese American soprano actively performing in opera, musical theatre and concert work. This season she appears in recital with pianist Jessica Nilles and as soprano soloist in the Fauré Requiem (with Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Parish Choir at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception) and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (with Aurora Symphony), as Ivy Garland in The Polar Express (at the Colorado Railroad Museum) and as a Japanese folk music performer Tiny Tots: Music of the World (Inside the Orchestra’s Winter Tour). Recent highlights include performances with Lyric Opera of Chicago (The King and I), LA Opera EduCom (Japanese American Internment opera The White Bird of Poston and Madama Butterfly selections), Cincinnati and Arizona Opera, Colorado Springs and Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, and a summer in Germany as a “jump in” artist. 

Margaret regularly performs across the state—from Walker Opera House in Ouray and Equinox Theatre in North Denver to Loveland Opera Theatre and Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. With Opera Steamboat, she starred in Speed Dating, Tonight! and gave the regional premiere of the title role in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Orpheus and Euridice. Margaret was soprano soloist in Colorado Springs Philharmonic’s Peer Gynt and Aurora Symphony’s Malher Sym. No. 4 and appeared as Rosalia in Boulder Philharmonic’s semi-staged performances of West Side Story. She has presented multiple solo cabaret performances at Lone Tree Arts Center, including Shakespeare in Love with pianist Jeremy Reger and baritone Matthew Peterson and and Voyage à Paris with pianist Cody Guy Garrison and tenor Humberto Borboa. ​

An Art Song Colorado resident artist, Margaret enjoys sharing both well- and lesser-known art song literature with Front Range audiences. Most recently with Art Song Colorado, Margaret and pianist Mallory Bernstein performed Alexander Liebermann’s set of prize-winning songs, Bagatelles chantées, for the 5th Annual Abundant Silence New Works Concert.   Margaret has appeared in multiple productions with Loveland Opera Theatre, including: Yum Yum in The Mikado; Mimì in La bohème; soprano soloist in an operetta pastiche accompanying the classic Marx Brothers film, A Night at the Opera; and in numerous Holiday Concerts, Opera Jukebox Galas and promotional performances. Also in Northern Colorado, Margaret has been a frequent soloist at Arias at Avo’s (Opera Fort Collins Guild) and at Candlelight Dinner Theatre (She Loves Me, Miracle on 42nd Street, Singin’ in the Rain). 

Margaret performs as a touring artist with Central City Opera and was recently appointed Education Coordinator in the Education Department of Central City Opera. She has appeared as Guest Soloist with Inside the Orchestra’s Winter Tour, Denver Municipal Band’s Summer Concerts in the Park series and Irish Dance Theatre’s The Simple Gift Christmas tour. She enjoys the opportunity to lead and represent other singers and has served as co-manager of Opera on Tap Colorado, AGMA Delegate for Arizona Opera Chorus and as an AGMA Representative for the Western Regional Interview Panel. Currently, she is an acting Diversity Advocate for Denver Immersive Opera and an advisor to the Centennial Celebration of The Allied Arts, Inc. 

An avid ensemble singer, Margaret currently serves as a section leader at St. Paul in Denver and for The Renaissance Project in Boulder and has been a regular guest at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Parish. Previously, she held professional positions with Ars Nova Singers in Boulder and VAE: Cincinnati, as well as in music worship ensembles across the country and the opera choruses of Cincinnati Opera, Arizona Opera, Dayton Opera and Opera Colorado. Margaret holds a doctorate in vocal performance with cognate studies in Japanese aesthetics and music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Currently serving as Cultural Consultant and a roster artist for Japanese Arts Network, Margaret was Cultural Consultant for Central City Opera’s 2019 production of Madama Butterfly. She performed and presented on the Vocal Chamber Music of Japanese fusion composer Minoru Miki at conferences on Music and East Asian Studies, published an article on Japanese Lyric Diction in the NATS Journal of Singing and offered a Japanese diction intensive at Ithaca College.

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