February 28, 2023

Pinoy classical singer talks about his training and winning WCOPA Grand Championship

From a shy boy to a frequent singing contestant in various barangays, citywide competitions to province-wide, and finally, on the world stage, Cristiani Rebada has proven that he is “called to sing” for life.
According to Rebada, “I started singing even before I went to Kindergarten. According to my parents, I mimicked songs, and to their surprise, I was in tune.

“I started singing in our local church (in my elementary years), but I was too shy to sing in any competitions. My dad enrolled me in the Bel Canto School Of Music for voice lessons.”
He even mentioned that [at first], his dad’s decision was against his will.

“My dad still pushed me to do it because he believed in me. After a few months of training, I finally gained the self-confidence to join some competitions.”

Music as his mission.

The confidence he got from his singing lessons, he joined his first singing competition.

“I was still in sixth grade. I was shy but still managed to do it and got first place. I think that validates that I have a talent for singing.”

Rebada is the epitome of what Ralph Waldo Emerson described as an excellent artist, “Every artist was first an amateur.”

For him, his first mentor was his father.

“He discovered that I have the gift of singing. He encouraged me to sing and even bought cassette tapes for my music. He then enrolled me in voice lessons at Bel Canto School of Music in our place.

He engaged in different competitions and learned a lot from experience. The seeds planted in him have flourished as he opted to pursue Music at Silliman University in Dumaguete City.

“It was where I got my degree in Music and majored in Voice.”

Classically trained, but open to exploring more about music.

“I’m usually into mellow love songs, but since I am a classically trained singer, I prefer crossover, where my voice fits, but I’m open to different genres.”

He pursued his passion for classical music by joining the Philippine Opera Company as one of the artists for Ang Bagong Harana. He also taught voice lessons at the music company.

As a singer, he doesn’t limit himself to one genre, thus he wants to embrace more.

He joined the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) Team Philippines in 2017, and he went home with six medals as an industrial awardee (two gold medals as a Grand Finalist and for Opera, three silvers for Broadway, Gospel, and Open, and a bronze for Pop). He also earned the Industry award, a glass globe, and a plaque as the division winner for Opera, and two major awards–the glass star trophy as the Senior Grand Champion Vocalist of the World, and the diamond glass trophy as the Senior Grand Champion Performer of the World.

Like Jed Madela, the first Filipino to win the WCOPA title, the competition has opened doors for him.

His dream of getting validation for all the hard work he has put into his singing–the award gave him more reason to thrive and excel in his chosen craft.

“First of all, God gave me this talent to glorify Him, to praise and worship His name.”

What Fuels His Passion for Music?

Apart from God, he considers his family as his inspiration.

“I would like to bring joy and happiness to them, who sacrificed a lot to give me a brighter future.”

Lou Holtz‘s words hold true to who Rebada is–that talent determines what one can do.

It is his motivation that determined how much he is willing to do. His attitude determined how well he did with the gift entrusted to him by God.

The awards or recognitions he earned the ones at the 29th Asia-Pacific Excellence 2017 Awards, Asian Achiever Awardee 2017 as an Outstanding Asian Young Performer, and the 2017 Asian Entertainer Awardee as an Outstanding Young Performing Artist–are some of those that pushed him to do better and excel.

His recent awards were the 2022 Gawad Amerika Awardee as a Classical Crossover Artist of the Year and the 2022 Spotlight Awardee as Best Classical Artist.

Today, he is part of Fil-Trio with LA Master Balladeer Kenneth Laurente and Broadway star Lyndon Apostol.

On September 29 of last year, Rebada’s debut single, Ikaw pa rin got released and streamed on Spotify and other online streaming platforms.
He’s proud Negrense from Cadiz City, Negros Occidental. His musical influences are the multi-national classical crossover vocal group Il Divo, the World’s Most Beloved Tenor Andrea Bocelli, the Italian operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti, and a Spanish opera singer, conductor, and arts administrator Pl├ícido Domingo. Among the Filipino singer-performers, he appreciates Gary Valenciano, Jaya, Lani Misalucha, and Jed Madela.

“I want them to remember me as an inspiration,” was his prompt response when asked what he envisioned himself as a singer-performer.

“That talent is just secondary, and good character will come first. Respect our differences. Spread love, peace, and hope by creating music. Music is the language of the soul. Whatever status in life we are in, the color of our skin, and our beliefs in life–we speak the same language through music.”

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