Growing up I had dreams of what I wanted to be. They were: Prime minister. A psychiatrist. A journalist. Adrianne Clarkson when she was host of CBC’s the Fifth Estate. A Broadway performer. An opera singer. These all felt like crazy ideas since my dad was a crane operator in construction and I had a stay at home mom. To top it off, we lived in a town of 800 people in rural Ontario. But it turns out; these have not been crazy dreams at all.
I started performing in musicals in my teens, and went on to train at Wilfrid Laurier University as a singer. At 22, I began my professional career singing opera and concert repertoire. I’ve continued with that path for almost three decades now. I have sung as a soloist in opera houses and with orchestras through out Canada. That dream went pretty well.
In my mid-twenties I took a detour and spent a few years in the Toronto cast of Phantom of the Opera. Inspired by Broadway once again, I turned to writing and performing in my own shows. These showcased songs from the great American Songbook. I toured those shows in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
After a move to Victoria in 2005 I explored teaching voice to the next generation of singers. I found that teaching students to sing was not enough. Why? I realized that singers often had many personal issues that blocked them. Tied up on the inside, their voice couldn’t come out. They needed support. Armed with that inspiration, I studied and become a Certified Life Coach. I love mentoring singers, not only in their performance craft, but also in the art of living as a freelance performer. Since then I’ve enjoyed an ever growing private practise as a coach helping all sorts of people, not just performers, get unstuck and moving again. In 2015 I started working with Sheryl MacKay at CBC Radio One’s North By Northwest, and I can be heard monthly as her in house life coach and wellness columnist. I also am a regular clinician for young artists with Opera Nuvoa, Opera Workshop with St. Andrews By the Sea and The Canadian Opera Company Ensemble.
In 2010 I found myself in Vancouver singing in the terrific opera, Nixon in China. While I was on my way to a costume fitting one morning, I had a chance meeting on the boulevard, outside of CBC Vancouver. That chance meeting and several auspicious coincidences later I realized my dream to work as an on air personality at CBC. It has been the most satisfying work I have ever done. I’m currently the regular guest host for Saturday Afternoon at the Opera and In Concert on CBC radio 2. From my experiences as a host, I’ve moved into being a writer and creator of radio documentary for CBC Radio One and Two on shows like Tapestry, The Sunday Edition, The Doc Project and North By Northwest.
Currently, I live in Victoria BC with my two teenaged children, Clara and Fletcher, and my husband Mike. My life is a sweet juggle of old passions and new inspiring projects.
The Official Version of the Biography (for the linear thinkers in the crowd)
Rebecca Hass has enjoyed a rich and varied musical career that has embraced opera, concert work, musicals and cabarets. She is also a regular contributor to CBC Radio One (NXNW, Tapestry, The Sunday Edition) and is the regular guest host of Saturday Afternoon at the Opera and In Concert, both on CBC radio 2. She has sung on stages across Canada, appearing with almost every Canadian opera company and most of the symphony orchestras as well. Teaching voice and performance has been a natural out growth of Rebecca’s professional singing career. Rebecca graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with an Honors Bachelor of Music in 1987 with a major in Vocal Performance and went on to spend four years as an artist in Residence with the Canadian Opera Co. Ensemble and is a graduate of the prestigious Merola Program with San Francisco Opera. As well as working one on one with students she has given many Master Classes and taught private voice for upcoming classical singers with the likes of Opera Nuova, The Victoria Conservatory of Music and Edmonton and Calgary Opera and the University of Victoria.
Not limited to classical works, Rebecca also employed her love of the Broadway musical in performing with the Toronto cast of The Phantom of the Opera from 1993 to 1996. She toured a one -woman show for several years as well called “Wanna Sing a Show Tune”. Rebecca has been in demand recently teaching Broadway styled singing and is on staff at the Canadian College of the Performing Arts in Victoria B.C working with triple threat students.
She has a great passion for communication in its many forms and continues to find exciting new ways to tell a story.