Born and raised in Toronto, Sara Schabas has performed as a soloist across North America and Europe. She is currently a member of Barbara Hannigan's Equilibrium Young Artists, and performs a mixture of standard operatic repertoire as well as contemporary and baroque. She recently premiered the title role in Maxime Goulet’s The Flight of the Hummingbird with Pacific Opera Victoria and Vancouver Opera, returning the following season to sing as the Dormouse in POV’s filmed production of Elizabeth Raum’s The Garden of Alice. Sara began her career singing Papagena (Die Zauberflöte) with the Dayton Opera in Ohio and Juliette (Roméo et Juliette) with the Aspen Opera Theatre as well as Mahler's Fourth Symphony under the baton of the late Maestro Lorin Maazel. She has been a district winner at the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition, Canada's Eckhardt-Grammaté Competition, the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, the IRCPA's Singing Stars of Tomorrow and was recently nominated for the Dora Award for Outstanding Performance by an Individual for her performance of Anne Frank in Cecilia Livingston's Singing Only Softly.
Headshot by Jessica Osber
As the Hummingbird in The Flight of the Hummingbird with Vancouver Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria (photo by Nadia Zheng)
As Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos with Highlands Opera (photo by Brenden Friesen)
Sara recently worked with Vienna’s Concentus Musicus after moving to Vienna as a grant winner with the Hnatyshyn Foundation and gave a recital in the Zürich Opera House’s Spiegelsaal with Canadian pianist Marie-Ève Scarfone. She performed as Henri in Tapestry Opera’s Dora-nominated production of Bandits in the Valley and recorded her debut album with Red Shift Records of Amy Brandon's The Bond, with funding from the Canada Council for the Arts. As a soloist, she has performed with orchestras including the Dayton Philharmonic, Oakville Chamber Symphony, the Missisauga Symphony, Thirteen Strings, the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and the Bach-Elgar Choir. Her operatic repertoire includes Susanna, Lauretta, Corinna (Il viaggio a Reims), Anne Truelove, Juliette, Pamina, Gretel, and numerous other roles.
This season, Sara sings Musetta in La bohème with the Institut Canadien d'Art Vocal with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal conducted by Victorien Vanoosten and staged by Francois Racine, under the leadership of Nicole Car and Étienne Dupuis. She gives a recital in the Canadian Opera Company’s Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, including the Canadian premiere of Pulitzer-nominated composer Alex Weiser's in a dark blue night, and debuts with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Grand Philharmonic Choir as the soloist in James Whitbourn’s Annelies.
Sara holds degrees from the University of Toronto (Hon. Voice Perf., Eng. Literature Minor) and Roosevelt University (M.Mus., Siragusa Endowed Scholarship) with additional studies at Vienna’s Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst with support from the Hnatyshyn Foundation of Canada. She is a certified yoga teacher and a founding board member of the charity Sharing Notes, which brings free musical performances to hospitals and prisons. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies at McGill University researching the Austrian-Canadian Emmy Heim and writes for the classical music newsletter Ludwig Van and is fluent in English, German and French.
As Anne Frank in Singing Only Softly (photo by Alaina Viau)
As Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel (photo by Stephanie Sedlbauer)
As Henri in Bandits in the Valley with Tapestry Opera.
As the Dormouse in The Garden of Alice with Pacific Opera Victoria.