Was part of a choir group for a church in his youth.He graduated from KunitachiMusicCollege with a bachelorfs degree in singing. His activities include mainly opera performances, but also pop concerts, gospel music, Beethovenfs 9th and others.He won the 38thItaly vocal concurso and also won the Yomiuri Shimbun Award, and Japan-Italy Music Association Award and became a member in its second year.
He also performs with his wife, Mikayo Oguro, also an opera singer (soprano), performs regularly at Kick Back Cafe and has become one of the attractions that customers come to the cafe to see.
gThe owner asked me if I wanted to do a ecafe livef at Kick Back and there was no hesitation in my answer.I answered with an immediate yes as I was reminded of what opera once was.Unlike today, opera was not originally meant for the high class but for the general public to enjoyh,
says Shinichiro Ryu of Opera Tanto who performs at Kick Back Cafe regularly.
There is not one personfs life that is exactly the same as another personfs, and in the same way, Kick Back Style differs for each and every person.For Ryu, Kick Back is not just another venue for his profession, but it has become a part of his daily life.
gOne morning, I received a phone call from a venue that I had a contract with.They informed me that the soloist was sick and they asked me, his back up, to perform in place of him.h
This almost never happens and certainly has never happened in Ryufs opera career.
gEven though I had signed a contract, I never thought I would actually perform. It was a gigantic venue and I wasnft trained properly to perform on that specific stage. I was scared to death.h
He felt the pressure of the performance as his heart was beating faster and faster each second.Being faithful to his contract, he got on the Keio line and headed for Shinjuku, his final destination.
gIt was as if I was going to war.But for some reason, I wanted to go to Kick Back.I thought maybe the espresso there would calm me.h
He got off the train on his way to the venue at Shinjuku and visited Kick Back Cafe.
Unfortunately, Kick Back was packed at the time, during the lunch hour, and there was even a line waiting outside.It took a while before he could get seated at the counter where he could converse with the Kick Back staff.But seeing how busy they were, preparing meals and drinks for the customers, he could sense that it was no time for a casual conversation. He decided not to order anything and simply left.
It would have been understandable if he were disappointed that he was not able to have a conversation with the staff.But instead, he somehow received great power when he left the cafe.
gYou know, looking at it now, seeing the Kick Back staff trying to feed their customers as fast as they possibly could was very appealing to me.I realized then that the one thing I could do was to prepare myself for a battle on stage, like the battles the staff was going through at the time, and to give it my best shot.The way the staff worked for the customers inspired me to think that way.h
So what happened on stage?
His demeanor of stage and his voice got the attention of the director of the opera show and the director asked him to come back next season not as the backup soloist but as the actual soloist.
His reaction is almost visible isnft it?
"I give all the credit to Kick Back.If I hadn't seen the Kick Back
crew work that hard, I wouldn't have gotten the energy and encouragement
that I got that day, needless to say the contract as well.
For Ryu, Kick Back was a place to get his vitamins for success.
The desire of the Kick Back crew is to provide a place where people can
come in and get energized with or without an order.
Ryu, your success has also been a great encouragement to us.