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Erika Ikuta (生田絵梨花) is a japanese idol singer, actress and and a member of the Japanese idol girl group Nogizaka46. She played Cosette in the Japanese 30th Anniversary Tour and concert of the musical Les Misérables in 2017. She will also reprise the role in 2019.
Erika Ikuta was born on 22nd January 1997 in Düsseldorf, Germany and grew up in Tokyo, Japan. Her father's cousin, Masahide Sakuma, is a music producer known for producing many J-pop music. She also shares name and surname similarities with 9th Generation Morning Musume member Erina Ikuta.
In 2011, she auditioned for Nogizaka46 and was selected as one of the 36 first generation members. Her audition song was Aiko's Star. She was chosen as one of the select members for their debut song Guruguru Curtain released on February 22, 2012. In September 2012, she was selected for the leading role Alice in Nogizaka46's musical stage Sixteen Principal.
On April 20, 2014, she announced that she would suspend her activities of Nogizaka46 to prepare for further schooling. On August 3, 2014, in their variety show Nogizakatte, Doko?, it was revealed that she took the center position in Nogizaka46 for their 10th single Nandome no Aozora ka?, and she would resume her activities.
On January 14, 2015, a family drama Zannen na Otto started airing on Fuji TV, and she regularly appeared as a high school girl who had dreams of becoming a pianist. She released her first solo photo book Tenchō on January 21, 2016. It has sold 38,355 copies in a week, and ranked 1st on the Oricon weekly photo book sales chart. It also ranked 1st on the Oricon book ranking photobook category in the first half of the year 2016.
In July 2016, It was also announced that Erika Ikuta has been announced as the new Cosette in the 30th anniversary staging of Les Miserables in Japan. In the episode of Nogizaka46's variety show "Nogizaka Under Construction" aired last July 3, 2017, she was the winner of Takayama Kazumi's T-1, a competition amongst the members for the best omelet roll. It was considered a significant improvement on her cooking skills as she previously had zero knowledge in cooking as shown in the group's former variety show "Nogizakatte, Doko?" aired last 2011. On July 9, 2017, Erika Ikuta got her first solo song after beating Mai Shiraishi during Nogibingo TV show NOGIKOI Tournament.
Theatre Roles Edit
- Coco Smile: Asu e no Rock 'n' Roll (August 2007), Coco
- Heidi (2009), Clara
- Rainbow Prelude (Tennōzu Ginga Theater, 2 October 2014 - 5 October 2015), Louise
- Princess Knight (Akasaka ACT Theater, 12 November 2015 - 17 November 2015), Princess Sapphire
- Roméo et Juliette (Akasaka ACT Theater, 22 February 2017 - 5 March 2017), Juliet
- Les Misérables (Imperial Theatre, 2017 - 2019), Cosette
- Mozart (Imperial Theatre, 2018 - ), Constanze
- Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (January 2019), Natasha Rostova