Praised for her bell-like and crisp tone, award winning American soprano Rebekah Howell is making her mark as a truly versatile artist. Howell’s budding career showcases excellence and adaptability in a wide variety of repertoire including opera, musical theater, and concert works. Currently based in Nashville, TN, she has performed with Nashville Opera as an Artist in Residence (2020), as well as several theater companies including Springhouse Theatre and Elite Studio Works. Rebekah was also a featured soloist in the Tennessee Performing Arts Center's 40th Anniversary Virtual Gala as well as the Middle Tennessee Choral Society's Opera to Broadway Concert. In August of 2021, Rebekah joined Belmont University as the newest adjunct faculty member in the voice department immediately after returning from the Lotte Lenya Competition Finals in New York, where she earned the Kurt Weill Award — never given before — for an outstanding performance of two contrasting selections by Weill: “Wie lange noch?” and “What Good Would the Moon Be?” from Street Scene.
During the 2018–19 season, Howell was a frequent performer in Denver as the resident soprano with Opera Colorado, performing the roles of Annina in La traviata, Barbarina and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. In addition, she was prominently featured as Girl in Tom Cipullo’s After Life, which was an on-site joint production with the Kirkland Museum of Fine Arts. Portraying one of three characters in the new chamber opera, Howell earned praise for her interpretation: “Rebekah Howell was a suitably sweet Girl, singing Cipullo’s taxing soprano lines with ease.” (Opera News)
In the summer of 2018, Howell made two role debuts with Chautauqua Opera under the baton of Maestro Steven Osgood. First, as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, she “captured the mix of innocence and vacillation that characterizes Zerlina.” (The Chautauquan Daily) Later in the summer season, she also captivated audiences as Cunegonde in Candide. Guest critic Tom DiNardo gave her high praise, especially for her interpretation of “Glitter and be gay”: “you won’t ever hear it sung better than in Howell’s rendition.” (The Chautauquan Daily)
During the 2017-18 season, Howell made her role debut as Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute in October with Opera Louisiàne. In the summer of 2017, Howell was prominently featured as a Studio Artist at Chautauqua Opera where she performed the world premiere of composer-in-residence Gity Razaz’s setting of Edward Leer’s “The Broom, the Shovel, the Poker and the Tongs.” Howell also covered and performed scenes as Norina in Don Pasquale, and she sang Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in the Studio Scenes Program. At the end of the season, Howell was awarded the Jay Lesenger Award, along with an invitation to return to work with the company during the 2018 summer season.
In concert, Howell enjoys a wide variety of repertoire. Recent performances have included the soprano solos in Mahler’s 4th Symphony (Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra), Carmina Burana (Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra), and The Messiah (Seventh and James Baptist Church). In the summer of 2018, Howell was also featured in the Opera Highlights Concert with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra; she received a standing ovation from the 4,000-seat amphitheater for her rendition of “Les oiseaux dans la charmille” from Les contes d’Hoffmann. A lover of musical theater repertoire, she was also delighted to perform selections from 1776, Fiddler on the Roof, and West Side Story in the Opera Pops Concert with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Stuart Chafetz.
Howell has garnered recognition from several national and international competitions and auditions. She was the first singer to be a national semifinalist in both the NATS Artist Awards Competition and the NATS Musical Theater Competition, in which she was awarded fourth place (2020). She was also an international semifinalist in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions (2019). Other awards and honors include first place in the Fielder Grant Competition for Career Advancement (2019), first place in the Ruth Burr Vocal Competition (2018), an encouragement award from Career Bridges (2018), second place in the National Opera Association Vocal Competition (2017), second place in the Orpheus Vocal Competition (2017), a Georgina Joshi International Fellowship (2016), first place in the Edward Baird Singer of the Year Competition (2015), first place at the national finals of the MTNA Young Artist Vocal Competition (2015), and the Grady Harlan Award (2015). In 2014, she was also a finalist in the Dallas Opera Guild Competition.
Rebekah holds degrees in voice performance from both Baylor University (B. M.) and Indiana University (M. M.). At the start of the pandemic, Rebekah launched a career as an agent in the real estate industry. As a masterclass clinician and frequent panelist, she champions the benefits of parallel careers for performing artists. When not performing, teaching, or selling houses, Rebekah is likely volunteering at her church or playing with her many nieces and nephews just north of Nashville in Hendersonville, TN.
After Life | Opera Colorado | 2019
"Rebekah Howell was a suitably sweet Girl, singing Cipullo's taxing soprano lines with ease."
Marc Shulgold | OPERA NEWS
Candide | Chautauqua Opera | 2018
"Glitter and Be Gay,"
now a staple of operatic recitalists, has fun with the heroine’s conflict in ruing her descent into debauchery for the advantages of lush creature comfort. But the jewels win out, and
you won’t ever hear it sung better than in Howell's rendition.
TOM DI NARDO | The Chautauquan Daily
Don Giovanni | Chautauqua Opera | 2018
a crisp toned
captured the mix of
innocence and vacilation
that characterizes Zerlina.
ARTHUR KAPTAINIS | The Chautauquan Daily
Die Fledermaus | Indiana University | 2015
As the Eisenstein's
flirtatious and scheming
soprano Rebekah Howell
spread plenty of
high notes and
PETER JACOBI | The Herald Times