Growing up I had dreams of what I wanted to be. They were: Prime minister. A psychiatrist. A journalist. A Broadway performer. A world famous opera singer. These all felt like crazy ideas since my dad worked in construction as crane operator 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. For eighteen months I was heard across British Columbia CBC Radio One’s North By Northwest, as a 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 tremendous 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. Since then I’ve been heard as the regular guest host for Saturday Afternoon at the Opera and In Concert on CBC radio 2. With support from several producers at CBC I’ve grown into a creator of radio documentary and tape/talks for CBC Radio One on shows like The Current, Tapestry, The Sunday Edition, The Doc Project and North By Northwest.
The one consistent thing in my life is that whatever I do, I do it as a freelancer. I’ve developed a trust in myself and the universe which has allowed me to make my living concentrating on projects that inspire me.
Currently, I live in Victoria BC with my two practically grown up kids, Clara and Fletcher, my husband Mike, our aging Portuguese Water dog Hudson, and my mom even has a suite here now. 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 is a woman of many creative passions. A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University with an Honours Bachelor in Music performance and the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble, she has devoted much of her professional life to singing. From her early career, appearing with major opera companies and symphonies across Canada she also appeared with The Phantom of the Opera in Toronto as a swing. Recenly, she has moved into acting, writing and producing a broad range of creative projects (The Belfry, Theatre Skam, Victoria Fringe Festival) and several intimate cabarets (Wanna Sing a Showtune). Rebecca is on staff with The Canadian College of Performing Arts teaching Music Theatre styles and has acted as a vocal clinician for The Victoria Conservatory of Music, University of Victoria, University of British Columbia and Opera Nuova. A Certified Life coach and meditation instructor, she is on staff with the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble and has given artist-centered workshops for Opera Nuova, Calgary Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria and St. Andrews Arts Council Opera Workshop. A writer and broadcaster, you can hear her regularly as guest host and documentary maker on CBC Radio One and Two. Rebecca’s latest project is writing a guide for artist’s on meeting the challenge of creative living. A practicing Buddhist, Rebecca lives in Victoria BC. In the 2017/18 season Rebecca is appearing with The Vancouver and Calgary Symphonies as a soloist in Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation and Pacific Opera Victoria’s Jenufa, directed by Atom Egoyan.
She has a great passion for communication in its many forms and continues to find exciting new ways to tell a story.