Jillian Bonner, mezzo soprano is from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba (MMus, 2016) and the Calgary Opera Emerging Artist Program (2017-18). During the 2019-20 season, Jillian received a Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto. That same year, she was also part of Barbara Hannigan’s Equilibrium Young Artist Initiative (EQ). Through EQ, Jillian made her debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in January 2020, performing the Mozart Requiem under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis at Roy Thomson Hall. During the Christmas season that year, she performed Messiah with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra.
In the summer of 2021, Jillian performed in the Canadian premiere of choreographer Neshana Nashman’s setting of J.S. Bach’s “Erbarme Dich” with dancer Martin ten Kortenaar, and Rebanks Family Fellowship recipients Michael Bridge, accordion, and Luri Lee, violin.
As a competitor, Jillian was a National Finalist at the Opéra de Montréal’s Atelier Lyrique competition (2019), a Regional finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (2019 & 2015), a winner of the St. Andrews International Aria competition (2018), a semi-finalist for the WMC Doris McLellan Competition in Winnipeg (2020), and a finalist in the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition (2020). During the 2018-19 season, Jillian made her debut with her “home” orchestra of Symphony New Brunswick, singing her first Handel’s Messiah in Fredericton, Saint John, and Moncton. That same season, she performed rarely-heard early music with the Calgary Bach Society Chorus and Orchestra, for which she received a Canada Council travel grant.
Jillian’s recent operatic roles include Concepción in Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnole, Arsace in Semiramide, Charlotte in Werther, Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte, and The Fox in The Cunning Little Vixen by Janáček.