Rebecca''s enchanting, crystalline voice has thrilled audiences in concert halls across North America.
Soon after receiving her bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Toronto Ms. Whelan was engaged by the Elmer Iseler Singers, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and then the Amadeus choir where her solo voice was featured on many CD recordings, CBC radio broadcasts and on tours throughout North America.
In 1994 she made her solo debut at Roy Thompson Hall with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Vaughan Williams’ Symphonie Antarctica, under the direction of Sir Andrew Davis, and has performed with the Sault Ste. Marie Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Brass, Nexus, the Amadeus Choir, the Esprit Orchestra, Academy Orchestra of Hamilton and Tapestry New Opera Works to name a few.
In 2001 Rebecca made her operatic debut with Opera Barrie as the role of Serpina in Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona and in 2002 she returned to Opera Barrie to perform the role of Laetitia in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief, both of which drew rave reviews. In 2003 she performed the role of the Angel of Death in a Tapestry New Opera Works production of Facing South.
Some of her television credits include No Night is Too Long (an international Alliance Atlantis production) as the off camera role of Sophie from Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier in 2001 and Beverley Thompson – Where There Is No Fear (a Global TV documentary) as the soloist of the title song Where There Is No Fear, written by Chris Dedrick, which aired in December of 2002, and in February of 2003.
In February of 2005 she was a guest soloist along with Michael Burgess in a benefit concert at Roy Thompson Hall to aid in the relief of Tsunami victims in South Asia.
Shades of Innocence
The collaboration that has brought forth this recording began a few years ago when Christopher Dedrick was asked to contribute a piece to the 2001 spring program of the Elmer Iseler Singers with the Canadian Brass. Thus Joysounds was premiered, its extended soprano solo performed by Rebecca Whelan. From the composer: “The beauty and musicality of her voice inspired me.” From the singer: “Chris'' music touched my heart deeply...I knew we had sparked something extraordinary.” And so they continued to work together on soundtracks as well as further works for choir. But it was the wish to write and perform a solo recital that took the partnership to a new level.
This recital proved to be a wonderful event, held at the Pennie residence on the summer solstice of 2006. The CD contains studio and live recordings of the repertoire. One of Canada’s premier pianists, David Swan accompanies with verve and nuance. Chris’ granddaughter, Taylor Linthorne, read the simple English translations of the French poetry by Gabriel Chalogany, written when he was 11 – in the year before he died.
Rebecca, having earned her degree in vocal performance at the University of Toronto, has soloed with the Iseler Singers, the Amedeus Choir, the Toronto Symphony, the Esprit Orchestra, Nexus, the Canadian Brass, various Canadian opera and theatre companies, and is featured on dozens of recordings. She is as marvelously at home in the studio as on stage, singing opera, jazz, pop, or avante garde choral music.
Chris began his professional career while still a student at the Manhattan School of Music, composing for and singing with the still sought-after “Free Design”, writing arrangements for Peter, Paul & Mary, Simon, Garfunkel, James Taylor, Melissa Manchester, and many other artists. He began scoring films and television shows in the 80’s and has a Genie and three Geminis, among some 13 nominations. His music has been performed by orchestras, choirs and chamber ensembles around the world.
This recording is only a first step on the way to bringing lyric soprano Rebecca Whelan into the fullness of a solo career. For lyrics, more information about the artists, the repertoire, and current developments, visit the other links on this site.
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