BIOGRAPHY AND GALLERY

Mezzo-Soprano Janessa Shae O’Hearn returned to Canada in June after studying classical voice at the Accademia di Alta Formazione Musicale in Verona, Italy. Previously Ms. O’Hearn attended the Vancouver Academy of Music under the guidance of Maestro David Meek.

Her favorite roles include Cherubino in Vancouver Island Opera’s production of The Marriage of Figaro, Hansel in Hansel & Gretel and Siebel in Faust. Other roles include Lolo in The Merry Widow, Clotilde in Norma, Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto and The Notary in Gianni Schicchi.

 

 

Raised in Qualicum Beach, BC, Ms. O’Hearn discovered her love for the performing arts at a young age.

She began her professional acting career at the age of twelve as a part of a touring theatre company in British Columbia. At fourteen she joined Opera OLE as a chorus member singing alongside her mother who was cast in roles such as Carmen in Carmen and Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus.

That year Ms. O’Hearn also began studying the Stanislavski technique which later earned her the “Best Youth Performer” award at the Theatre BC’s Mainstage Festival for her portrayal of Nurse in Wrong Turn at Lungfish written by Gary Marshall & Lowell Ganz.

 

At the age of seventeen she directed her first theatrical production at the Echo Players Village Theatre and later went on to be an annual assistant director for the IACT Children’s Theatre Company in Qualicum Beach, BC.

 

At eighteen Janessa acquired an agent for film & television in Vancouver, BC appearing in multiple short films, theatre, commercials, feature films, music videos, and also lent her voice to podcasts, a video game and two cartoon series.

Her involvement in musical theatre led her to seek vocal guidance with original Canadian Tenors member Paul Ouellette. Within a few lessons working on broadway-style repertoire, Mr.Ouellette suggested Janessa learn a piece from Puccini’s famous opera La Boheme “For fun”, he said.

Together they listened to a recording of Mirella Freni sing “Si, mi chiamano Mimi”.

 

With her ear pressed against the speaker on the CD player, Janessa’s eyes filled with tears. “It’s beautiful.” she said. Without understanding a single word of Italian nor having the ability to read sheet music, she agreed to learn her very first aria by ear.

 

That same year she auditioned for Vancouver Island Opera’s production of Faust and was overwhelmed with excitement when she learned that she was cast as Siebel.

 

She then received an honorable mention in the Opera Canada magazine for her portrayal of Siebel, and was referred to the Vancouver Academy of Music to begin her operatic education under the tutelage of Maestro David Meek.

 

Two years later, after learning to read music, Janessa was referred to a Maestro in Verona, Italy. He then invited her to return to study under him at the Accademia di Alta Formazione Musicale.

 

Janessa Shae O’Hearn is currently in Canada touring a recital series with Holly Beckmyer and raising funds to return to Italy to continue her studies.

 

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Email: Janessa@janessashae.com