Ayaka was born into a family of traditional Japanese potters and grew up in Iga, the town of Ninjas. Her musical journey started with her father singing Beatles to her while playing guitar. She was deeply influenced by hip-hop and R&B music as a teenager and her first performance as a singer was at a live house in Kyoto with a soul and funk band.
Multi-cultured, having spent every summer in the United Kingdom and Spain, she was educated at Kyoto International School and Osaka International School before relocating to London. She trained at The Royal College of Music and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland before starting her career as an opera singer performing across Europe and Japan.
From her deep interest in the balance of body and mind, she also works as a certified personal trainer while singing opera.
Espoir Prize, Osaka International Music Competition, Japan
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Fund, UK
1st Prize - 3rd Ernest Bloch Music Competition, UK
Okada Cultural Foundation Scholarship, Japan
Mie International Exchange Fund, Japan
1st Prize - 15th Mie Music Competition, Japan
3rd Prize (1st and 2nd Prize n/a) - 19th Classical Music Competition, Japan
Madame Butterfly- Bury Court Opera
"The natural elegance and marvelous subtle acting of the Suzuki, Ayaka Tanimoto, were matched by a cushioned, contralto-like timbre. "(Opera Magazine)
"Ayaka Tanimoto’s Suzuki alone could have held the stage, and the audience, mesmerized. This was a gorgeous, possibly unusual, mezzo, laden with undertow so that her every utterance gained in expressiveness. Her moves seemed natural, though obviously were partly stylized: her prayerful caution offset to splendid effect the youthful optimism of her younger charge." (Seen and Heard International)
Madame Butterfly- Grimeborn Festival
"Ayaka Tanimoto wasn’t your usual Suzuki – no mothering of Butterfly or waspish flying at slippery marriage-broker Goro. Tanimoto was the devoted servant, a portrait of quiet dignity, with a light, pliant mezzo that sounded most beautiful." (Bachtrack)
La Clemenza di Tito- RCS
"The young Japanese mezzo Ayaka Tanimoto was a delightful surprise as Sesto. Slim and boyish looking, with a beautiful sweet-toned voice, she gave lovely accounts of her arias.
" (Opera Scotland)
"Singing honours of the evening went to Japanese mezzo-soprano Ayaka Tanimoto as Sesto, who made performing Mozart seem effortless and completely natural with her hauntingly beautiful voice and strong stage presence."(Bachtrack)
"the glowing high points of Ayaka Tanimoto’s Sesto...A challenge well met."(Scotsman)
Il ritorno d'Ulisse- RCS
"Ayaka Tanimoto finds a beguiling voice for Melanto." (Herald Scotland)
Paul Bunyan- British Youth Opera
"Emily Vine, Grace Durham and Ayaka Tanimoto were the camp pets, Fido, Moppet and Poppet, with Britten and Auden binding highly imaginative ways to use the three roles and Vine, Durham and Tanimoto did not disappoint. "(Planet Hugill)
Magic Flute- Longborough Opera Festival
"---and above all, the ever-present (a Longborough hallmark) attentions of the Three Spirits, among whom Ayaka Tanimoto brought the most attractive stage-presence I can remember in a long time." (Birmingham Post)
"谷本 綾香は２０代半ばの新進メゾソプラノながら、声の面ではほぼ完成域にある逸材...仄かな官能性を湛えた瑞々しい歌いぶりでことに光る" (音楽の友)