Heday Inoue: An Opera Singer Who Hated Opera

August 26, 2020

Heday Inoue is a professional opera singer.

Which is pretty ironic considering he hated opera for the first 25 years of his life. In fact, he straight up avoided it. You’ll be equally surprised to discover that, previous to becoming a professional opera singer, Heday was a businessman. In Japan. With a law degree. He has quite the dynamic background, and it all started with four musical grandparents and two opera singing parents. There’s no way around it- music runs in his blood.

Heday moved from Japan to Pennsylvania in 2012 and spent two years working in business. His aversion to opera turned itself around as he began to miss his musical family back home in Japan. The son of two opera singers, Heday began to find solace in music. He describes his first voice lesson as doomsday, because from that moment on- he was hooked. Singing quickly went from a hobby, to a passion, to a career path as Heday found himself leaving the corporate world to pursue an opera degree in NYC. Since then, he has traveled around the world, carrying on a family legacy and creating new path for himself.

So, how does a world-traveling opera singer end up in sweet, sweet Tulsa, Oklahoma? In 2017, Heday was brought on by the Tulsa Opera as a resident artist and has returned several times as a principal artist in the years since. Heday says that each time he returned to Tulsa, he witnessed more change and growth in the city. After his most recent visit, he decided to make Tulsa his new home base and become an active part of its development. Heday joined the Tulsa Remote program this year and now he’s a local!

In a non-COVID world, Heday’s schedule is typically packed with shows that take him all over the globe. In today’s world, he stays busy with radio performances, fine-tuning his craft and starting a business. Wait- starting a business!? Let’s circle back to that. As if a law degree and a career in opera doesn’t create a diverse enough portfolio- Heday is adding business owner to the line up. His next venture, Lockdown Live Concerts, will provide customers with private, live opera concerts that take the precautions necessary to keep guests safe while still giving them an interactive and lively concert experience.

Heday already has a list of favorite Tulsa spots, starting with coffee (right on, my man). Double Shot and Topeca are two of his favorite roasters- as he is a self-proclaimed light-roast coffee snob. If alcohol is more your jam, he suggests Valkyrie, Vintage Wine Bar and Bull In The Alley. Topping his list of local favorites is Jinya Ramen Bar, a nod to his Japanese heritage. And, of course, he loves the Gathering Place. But who doesn’t?

So, what’s next for Heday? On top of starting his new business, he’s looking forward to next year when he and his fiancé will get married (pending COVID). It’s actually thanks to quarantine that they are engaged! According to Heday, the two met right before COVID at a gig. Thanks to all the quality time they were “forced” to spend together in quarantine, they fell in love and got engaged! They are well on their way to building a life together in Tulsa with their rescued cat, Yuzu, whose namesake is a Japanese citrus fruit. On top of that, Heday is looking forward to the day that he can get back on tour to see new places and meet new people. He has plans to make his opera debut in Hong Kong and other destinations worldwide. Worldwide. Not too bad for a guy who swore off singing for 25 years.

You can check out Heday’s website here to keep up with his tour and see more photos of his productions!