A native of Toronto, soprano Sara Schabas has been praised for her “crystalline singing” (Schmopera) and “pure sound” (Ludwig van Toronto) and for maintaining a “clear, soft tone, despite her vocal power” (Opera Canada). A 2019 Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Schabas was the winner of the 2018 Career Blueprint Award from the International Resource Centre for the Performing Arts, chosen by Adrianne Pieczonka, O.C., and is the 2019/2020 recipient of the Hnatyshyn Foundation Grant for Classical Vocal Performance.
This season, Schabas makes her debut with Vancouver Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria, starring as the Hummingbird in the world premiere of Maxime Goulet’s The Flight of the Hummingbird, in a tour of Western Canada. She returns to the Internationale Barocktage Melk in Austria, singing First Witch and covering Belinda in Dido and Aeneas with the Concentus Musicus Wien in a televised performance conducted by Stefan Gottfried. She looks forward to soloist debuts with the Bach-Elgar Choir in Handel’s Messiah, as well as performing as Anne Frank in the world premiere of Cecilia Livingston’s Singing Only Softly with Loose Tea Music Theatre.
In the 2018/2019 season, Schabas debuted with Highlands Opera Studio as Najade (Ariadne auf Naxos) and Genovieffa (Suor Angelica), Oakville Masterworks Orchestra in Rutter’s Requiem, and Stratford Summer Music Festival in its gala finale concert. She was also a cover for the Messiah under Daniel Harding and the Concentus Musicus Wien.
Schabas’ previous roles have included Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Juliette (Roméo et Juliette), Corinna (Il viaggio a Reims), and Frasquita (Carmen), as well as Henri in the Dora-nominated production of Bandits in the Valley with Tapestry Opera. Previous soloist engagements have included Mahler’s Fourth Symphony at the Castleton Festival under Lorin Maazel, as well as performances with the Dayton Philharmonic, Mississauga Symphony, Oakville Chamber Orchestra, and the Canadian Opera Company’s Free Concert Series.
A graduate of the University of Toronto and Roosevelt University in Chicago, Schabas has held fellowships at the Aspen Opera Center, Toronto Summer Music Festival, the Castleton Festival and the Fall Island Festival, and was previously an artist-in-residence with the Dayton Opera. Passionate about the intersection of music and social justice, Schabas has also produced the Canadian premieres of Jake Heggie’s one-act Holocaust operas Another Sunrise and Farewell, Auschwitz, and has worked as a singer and volunteer for the charities Songs by Heart and Sharing Notes, bringing music to hospital patients and people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Currently based in Vienna, Schabas continues her studies with Michael Schade and Neil Semer.