Shigemi Matsumoto

Adjunct Assistant Professor

  • Program:
    Vocal Arts and Opera
  • Division:
    Classical Performance and Composition


Shigemi Matsumoto has performed with over 50 national and international opera companies including those in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Brussels (Belgium), Wolf Trap, Portland, Kansas City, San Antonio and Tucson. Her opera roles include Mimi, Musetta, Susanna, Micaela, Norina, Adina, Pamina, Despina, Rosina, Nanetta, Abigail, Adele and Zerlina.

She has performed with more than 60 national and international symphony orchestras including San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Minnesota, Houston, Lourdes (France), San Antonio and Denver. Ms. Matsumoto has given more than 300 solo recitals including recitals in the major cities of New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Tokyo, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Vancouver, Seattle, Houston and Dallas.

As a young singer, she won numerous national and regional awards and grants including First Prize in the Western Regional Metropolitan Auditions at the age of 21. At 22, she won the Grand Prize in the San Francisco Opera National Auditions, and with that, her first professional opera contract. She appears on two CDs with Luciano Pavarotti and one with the NBC Orchestra and has been nominated for and appears in nearly a dozen different Who’s Who publications. She was honored to be selected as Japanese Woman of the Year for Southern California. Ms. Matsumoto is the Founder and President of the Classical Singers Association a non-profit association of singers, dedicated towards developing the performance and professional singing skills of its members.

Many of her students have been among winners of various vocal competitions including First, Second and Third Places in the Western Regional Finals of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions and two First Place Prize Winners of The Spotlight Awards for the finest Classical High School singers in Southern California. One of her former students is now an author for Random House Inc. and has written a book on how to learn languages in brief periods of time.

Continuing on the success of her other students, one will be making his Metropolitan Opera debut in November 2013 while still another is in her second year as an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera. Still another former student, a Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano, is an orchestral and oratorio specialist and has sung nationally and internationally in opera including works written especially for her.

Ms. Matsumoto’s students have also performed with opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Houston Opera, San Diego Opera and Opera Pacific. While others have performed with international opera companies in Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Brazil and Chile. Many others have been invited to summer programs in Santa Fe, Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival, Glimmerglass, Salzburg and Graz.

Professional experience

Career Highlights:

  • U.S. operatic debut with the San Francisco Opera (at the age of 22)
  • European debut with the Brussels (Belgium) Opera
  • Featured soloist in concert commemorating the 25th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations
  • Leading role in the U.S. premiere of the previously lost John Phillips Sousa opera The Freelance
  • Nationwide broadcast of solo recital on the NHK Japan National Radio Networks

Honors, Awards & Competitions:

  • First Prize Winner, Metropolitan Opera Western Regional Audition Finals (at the age of 21)
  • Grand Prize National Winner, San Francisco Grand National Opera Auditions (at the age of 22)
  • Finalist, Geneva (Switzerland) International Vocal Competitions
  • Grant Winner, National Opera Institute and another from The International Institute of Education
  • Japanese Woman of the Year for Southern California

Music Festivals:

  • Ames Festival, leading role
  • Wolf Trap, leading role
  • Lourdes (France) Festival, soloist
  • St. Louis Symphony Summer Festival, featured soloist
  • Jarvis Conservatory Zarzuela Summer Festival, master coach


  • L’Elisir D’Amore with Luciano Pavarotti (2 different CDs), Butterfly Music
  • L’Elisir D’Amore with Luciano Pavarotti and the San Francisco Opera
  • Christmas Album with the NBC Symphony Orchestra

Research Interests:

  • Opera
  • Art Songs and Recital Materials


  • International Who’s Who in Music
  • 2000 Outstanding Musicians of the 20th Century
  • Who’s Who in Opera
  • Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers
  • Who’s Who in American Music

Academic degrees

  • BM, California State University, Northridge

Other academic experience:

  • Master coach-Jarvis Conservatory
  • Master classes-Canadian Federation of Music Teachers
  • Nationwide series of university residencies (in conjunction with solo recitals at the universities)
  • Voice Teacher-International Lyric Academy of Rome (Summer Program)

Studied with:

  • Martha Deatherage (Belgium/Texas)
  • Otto Guth (San Francisco/New York)
  • Herr Dennis Vaughn (Germany)
  • Kathleen Darragh (California)
  • Dr. David Scott (California)