Mera Yoshikazu is a Japanese counter-tenor. The counter-tenor sings the part which is higher than tenor, but lower than alto. Yoshikazu is one of about twenty counter-tenors in the world. His register is three and a half octaves. Yoshikazu sings classical music, foreign music, Japanese Classical Music, a Negro spirituals,folk songs, and songs from musicals.
Yoshikazu Mera has liked to sing since he was child. Before he became a senior high school student, he had already learned many folk songs. He sang Enka and Japanese Pops, too. He was pretty good at singing, so he wanted to be a pop singer in his childhood. Pop singers in the past needed more strength in their singing than singers today.
When he was at university, Yoshikazu Mera learned about classical music and changed from tenor to counter-tenor during his third year in college when he was a junior. He used to be criticized by one professor because he was not a real counter-tenor. That is because Yoshikazu had a high voice by nature. Yoshikazu suffered from the difference of opinion between the professor and him, but he continued to go straight the way he believed.
After he graduated from the Music college, Yoshikazu Mera won the first prize in The Eighth Folk Songs Competition in 1994. Mera is a winner of the highest prizes at the eight Early Music Competition Yamanashi in May 1994 and the sixth Tochigi Music Festival award. His keen interest in Japanese Art Song led to third prize at the sixth Sohgakudou Japanese Art Competition in 1995.
In October 1993 Yoshikazu Mera sang the solo part in Rossini’s Petite Messe solennelle, and in March 1994 he sang the counter-tenor solo part in Leonard Bernstein’s Skylark under the baton of Kazuyoshi Akiyama. Mera appears frequently as a soloist for the Bach Collegium Japan.
In 1997, Yoshikazu Mera became popular among the general public. That is because Yoshikazu sang the title song forThe Princess Mononoke produced by Hayao Miyazaki. The movie became the most popular movie in the summer. After this movie, he began to sing songs from movies and TV.
Yoshikazu Mera wants people to become interested in classical music or other types of music on their own. That is why, now Yoshikazu is active in all over the world, and continues to learn new fields of music with his beautiful clear voice.
Official Website: http://lamela.co.jp/mera_web/0100.html