Japanese opera producer / stage director, was born in 1979, grew up in Chicago, Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Michigan and Tokyo. At the age of 4, he started to play the violin; he was a member of the Asian Youth Orchestra, and the Junior Philharmonic Orchestra Tokyo.
Ever since he directed and conducted W.A.Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) at the age of 18, Tomo Sugao has been producing plays and operas both in Asia and Europe including Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots and John Adams’ Nixon in China (Mainfranken Theater Würzburg), Frank Schwemmer’s Robin Hood (Opernhaus Zürich), Die Zauberflöte for Children (Salzburg Festival), Bellini’s Norma (State Opera Prague), Maurice Ravel’s L'Enfant et les Sortilèges (Kinderoper Köln), Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Hogboon (Philharmonique du Luxembourg), Kosaku Yamada’s RETTE UNS, OKICHI! / Black Ships (Neuköllner Oper Berlin), W.A.Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni (Nissay Theatre Tokyo), Jules Massenet’s Don Quichotte (Biwako Hall, Otsu), Georg Friedrich Händel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Tokyo Nikikai Opera), Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz (Hyogo Performing Arts Center), May-Tchi Chen’s The Firmiana Rain (World Première at National Theater Taiwan), Chan Hing-yan’s Ghost Love (World Première at Hong Kong City Hall Theatre), Jacques Offenbach’s Monsieur Choufleuri & Pomme d’api (Japan Première), William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Romeo and Juliet.
He has received numerous scholarships and awards such as Gotoh Memorial Cultural Award, Key Miho Music Prize, Scholarship of the International Association of Wagner Societies, and of the Agency for Cultural Affairs Japan.
Sugao worked at New National Theatre Tokyo (2004–2008) and Komische Oper Berlin (2008–2012) as an assistant director and Spielleiter with producers / directors such as Andreas Homoki, Josef Ernst Köpplinger, Benedikt von Peter, Sebastian Baumgarten, Jetske Mijnssen, Marco Arturo Marelli, David Pountney, Jonathan Miller, Hans-Peter Lehmann, Philippe Arlaud, Emilio Sagi, Grischa Asagaroff, Bernd Weikl, Heinz Zednik, Cordula Däuper, Thilo Reinhardt, Jasmina Hadziahmetovic, Matthias von Stegmann, Kornelia Repschläger, Yukio Ninagawa, Hideki Noda, Tamiya Kuriyama, Amon Miyamoto, Keiichi Nakamura, Tatsuji Iwata, Jun Aguni, Shigetaka Matsumoto, Yoshi Oida, Tetsu Taoshita and many others.
In 2013, Bungei Shunju, Japanese leading magazine named him in “the list of 108 promising young talents, who represent the future of Japan”.