The internationally-successful lyric soprano might not have turned professional if it wasn't for advice from a young Bryn Terfel.
In 1986, Rebecca was working as a nurse and singing in her spare time. She met the baritone at a concert in which they were both appearing as soloists, and he was astounded to hear that she was not planning to take up a singing career and told her that she should do. She took his advice and applied to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, as he had done. She got in, studied with Laura Sarti, and never looked back.
It was maybe not such a big leap for Rebecca to make as there was always music and opera around her as she grew up, and her mother had been a professional singer with the D'Oyly Carte opera company. Rebecca comes from Pontrhydyfen, a small village near Neath with a knack of producing theatrical talent - Richard Burton and Ivor Emmanuel were also born there.
Bryn Terfel's belief in her talents was not misplaced, and Rebecca's career has been very busy and increasingly successful since she left the Guildhall in 1988. She made her name with the lighter lyric soprano roles, such as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Despina in Così fan tutte, all by Mozart, as well as Nannetta in Verdi's Falstaff and Gretel in Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel. She won a Grammy for her recording of this last role, conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras.
As her voice matures, Rebecca is choosing to perform some of the fuller lyric soprano roles, such as the Countess in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and Mimì in Puccini's La bohème, both of which she has sung to great acclaim for Welsh National Opera. But her career extends far beyond her home town - she appears regularly in leading roles at three of the greatest opera houses in the world - the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Met in New York and the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. Rebecca's busy career has also taken her to many other major houses including San Francisco, Chicago, Santa Fe, Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin and Netherlands Opera as well as English National Opera and Scottish Opera.
She also performs on the concert stage throughout the world with many of the greatest orchestras and conductors, and sings on the recital stage as well, although the main focus of her work is in the opera house.
Rebecca's links with Bryn Terfel have continued. Since that day in 1986 when they first met, they have remained firm friends and she appeared twice at his Faenol Festival in north Wales.