A Man of Many Talents
by Ezra Schabas
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Jan Rubes has been a leading performer and director on stage, film, and TV, and in concert, opera, musical comedy, and drama. With an operatic career already established, the Czechoslovakia native immigrated to Canada in 1949 and was soon the leading bass in the Canadian Opera Company. He has performed throughout Canada and the U.S. both with the company and in countless solo recitals and appearances with symphony orchestras. Rubes has done more than 100 operatic roles and has appeared in more than 70 films, including the well-remembered Witness with Harrison Ford.
With his wife, Susan Douglas Rubes, he helped develop Young People’s Theatre in Toronto. A member of the Order of Canada and holder of two honourary doctorates, he has won Geminis for his film work. His life is rich in detail – he has been both a national tennis champion and an important part of the history of the performing arts in Canada.
- Dundurn, October 2007
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