Métis/Canadian, Mezzo-Soprano Rebecca Cuddy is a fast up and comer on Canadian operatic stages. Acknowledged as ‘fresh and funny, with a large supple voice’ (MacLean, Gigcity.ca 2018) ‘moving’ (Gilks, Opera Canada 2019) and ‘the next generation who are going to do incredible things’ (Newman, The Whole Note 2019). This season saw her twice nominated at the Dora Awards alongside her colleagues for exceptional ensemble work, winning for Soundstreams’ Two Odysseys; Pimootewin and Gállábártnit. Her recent career highlights include singing La Métisse, in the world premiere of Riel; Heart of the North with Regina Symphony Orchestra, Kwe in the world premiere of Shanawdithit with Tapestry Opera/Opera on the Avalon, Mercedes (Cover Carmen) in Carmen, and Dreitte Dame in Die Zauberflöte.
Rebecca has a keen interest in Indigenous relations and music, along with contemporary composition. She is immensely proud to be a collaborator on multiple productions and part of six new Indigenous Opera productions in the last three years. Most recently, she premiered the role of Bunny/Crow 1 in The Flight of the Hummingbird on a tour of British Columbia with Vancouver Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria, Winter 2020. Rebecca’s engagement with Pacific Opera Victoria/Vancouver Opera for The Flight of the Hummingbird was cut short due to COVID-19. However, a video recording of this production is available for a limited time on Pacific Opera Victoria’s website.
Other postponed engagements include the new opera production Medusa in which Rebecca will premier the titular role with OperaQ, her debut with Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra as Josette la belle Métisse in Li Keur: Riel’s Heart of the North and her debut with Toronto Symphony Orchestra as The Page/Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto.
Her 2019 season saw her debut with Tapestry Opera and Opera on the Avalon as Kwe/Spirit Chorus in the premiere of Shanawdithit, and her debut with Regina Symphony as La Métisse in the world premier of Riel; Heart of the North. She appeared as The Golden Fish-Boy with Unsettled Scores in Contraries; A Chamber Requiem at the 3rd Annual Celebration of Nations and appeared in Soundstreams’ Two Odysseys; Pimootewin and Gállábártnit. In 2017 Rebecca premiered Ian Cusson and Marylin Dumont’s new Métis song cycle on an Ontario tour with Toronto Concert Orchestra in Voice of a Nation.
Rebecca is equally excited about her ventures in the traditional operatic repertoire. She sang Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte with Berlin Opera Academy in June 2019, before joining Highlands Opera Studio as Melanie in The Chair (Attalah) and multiple roles in Suor Angelica. In her previous seasons she performed Mercedes and covered Carmen in Mercury Opera/Opera Classica Europa’s Carmen (2018). Elmire in Tartuffe (Mechem) and Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods with Opera NUOVA (2018). Frau Viehmann in Opera NUOVA’s school tour of The Brothers Grimm (Burry) (2018). Dinah in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti (2017) and Madame Popova in Walton’s The Bear (2016) with Bloomsbury Opera, London, U.K.
Rebecca is an advocate for Indigenous voices in the opera industry. She is a member of the Opera.ca Equity Diversity and Inclusion committee and a member of the Canadian Opera Company Circle of Artists, a collaboration between Indigenous Artists and COC decision makers to garner mutual respect and reciprocity with Indigenous communities and their values.
Rebecca has been recognized for her thoughtful performing style and acting ability through multiple awards and commendations. In 2019 she was awarded the Joyce Mostert Memorial Scholarship with Berlin Opera Academy and was a finalist for L’Opèra de Montrèal’s Atelier Lyrique Competition. In 2016 and 2017 she was a finalist for the Sylva Gelber Award and received Indspire’s Lynda Joyce Ganly Award and Fine Arts Award respectively. She is proud to have received the support of the Canada Council for the Arts for Indigenous classical music development.
In addition to training in opera, Rebecca has studied multiple styles of dance for over 10 years and, through Fight Directors of Canada, is proficient in hand-to-hand stage combat, rapier and quarterstaff.
Rebecca will be continuing to explore her love of the performing arts by joining the National Theatre School of Canada as the Indigenous Artist in Residence in Fall 2020. She completed her Master of Arts in Voice Performance and Opera in 2017 at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England, studying under Mezzo-Soprano Sarah Walker and Vocal Coach Jonathan Papp. She received her Bachelor of Music with Honours in Performance from The University of Western Ontario in 2015 where she studied with Jackie Short and Todd Wieczorek. She currently studies in Toronto with Claudiu Stoia.