Nikkei Canadian settler Teiya Kasahara 笠原貞野 (they/them) is a queer, trans non-binary, opera singer and theatre maker based in Tkarón:to/Treaty 13, and was recently featured in a CBC short-doc OPERA TRANS*FORMED. Heralded as “an artist with extraordinary things to say” (The Globe and Mail), Teiya comes from a background of over a decade and a half of singing both traditional and contemporary operatic roles across North America and Europe. They explore the intersections of identity through their original works such as the 5-time Dora nominated THE QUEEN IN ME (heading to the NAC in September 2023), and THE BUTTERFLY PROJECT (Toronto Summer Music July 2023). Teiya is a co-founder of Amplified Opera, and is the 2022 recipient of the Joseph S. Stauffer Prize in Music from the Canada Council for the Arts.
I am lucky that I am an artist. It’s my job to be curious, to uncover, understand, (un)learn, and grow through story, song, and movement. I can travel through time, borrow from tradition, embody wisdom, and continue to cultivate an ever-evolving practice of art-ing. My body and voice are my tools. I feel proud to be in this one, despite the many challenges and struggles in the world, and what I personally face. Being an artist also comes with a great responsibility: to be accountable to society and to reflect the kind of world that we want. Everyday I choose humility and gratitude.