Canadian soprano Sara Schabas, an artist acclaimed for her performances of nuance and beauty, recently returned from her second summer at the Aspen Music Festival as a Mercedes T. Bass Opera Fellow. Her 2016-2017 season includes recitals at Toronto’s Arts and Letters Club and Gallery 345, as well as her debut with the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra as Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen.
A former artist-in-residence with the Dayton Opera in Ohio, Schabas’ further operatic roles have included Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) with Premiere Productions Ottawa, Papagena (Die Zauberflöte) and Sister Catherine (Dead Man Walking) with Dayton Opera, and Corinna (Il viaggio a Reims), Laurette (Le docteur miracle) and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. At the Aspen Music Festival, Schabas’ roles have included Juliette (cover) in Roméo et Juliette and Candace in William Bolcom’s A Wedding, as well as scenes as Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), Anne Truelove (The Rake’s Progress), and Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel).
Schabas’ concert engagements have included “Shepherd on the Rock” and Brahms’ Liebeslieder Wälzer with members of the Dayton Philharmonic, Soprano Soloist in Messiah with the Dayton Philharmonic, Suite from The Tender Land with the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra and cover for Mahler’s Fourth Symphony under the late Maestro Lorin Maazel. Schabas has collaborated with the composer Jake Heggie and recently debuted with Tapestry Opera in a recital of Canadian opera excerpts. She has performed as a Fellow with Toronto Summer Music Festival’s Art of Song, the Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg and the Casalmaggiore International Festival in Italy.
Schabas has received awards from the Canadian Music Competition, Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects, the Orpheus Vocal Competition, the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto and most recently, the International Resource Centre for the Performing Arts. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto and a Master of Music in Performance from Roosevelt University in Chicago, where she studied with Jean MacPhail and Judith Haddon.
Also dedicated to giving back to her community through music, Schabas has sung with the charities Sharing Notes, where she performed for people in Chicago Hospitals, Songs by Heart, where she sang daily in nursing homes with people with alzheimer’s and dementia, and currently volunteers at Baycrest Hospital in Toronto.