Jillian Bonner – Winner, 2018 International Aria Competition

Canadian Mezzo-Soprano, Jillian Bonner wins the 2018 St. Andrews International Aria Competition The St. Andrews Arts Council, Inc. has announced the winner of the 2018 St. Andrews International Aria Competition as Canadian mezzo-soprano, Jillian Bonner. Ms. Bonner will be soloing with the St. Andrews Festival Orchestra, Hok Kwan conductor on August 8, 2018 in St. Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick, Canada. The annual St. Andrews International Aria Competition is open to singers between the ages of 20 – 30. Past competition winners include Measha Brueggergosman, Anna Bateman, Tracy Cantin, Tonatiuth Abrego and Danielle MacMillan (Canada), Mai Washio (Japan), Eric Jurenas, David Blalock and Becca Conviser (USA). Ms. Bonner is a graduate of the University of Manitoba, where she studied with Tracy Dahl (MMus ’16) and Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS (BMus ’11). In Fall 2016, she travelled to Kitchener ON where she studied with mezzo soprano Kimberly Barber, thanks to a Career Development grant from the New Brunswick Arts Board. A native of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, Ms. Bonner attended Saint John High School where she was enrolled in the school’s International Baccalaureate Music program. She studied with Mabel Doak in Fredericton from 2005-2007 and Monette Gould in Moncton in 2012-2013. She participated as a soloist in the New Brunswick Festival of Music from 1999 to 2011 and won first runner-up Intermediate Star in 2007. Jillian was also in the Rothesay-Kings Rotary Girls choir from 2000-2006 and took private voice lessons with Kevin Langford. In 2015, Jillian was the alto soloist for the Mozart Requiem with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. She was an invited soloist with the University of Manitoba Wind Orchestra in 2015 and 2016, and a winner of the Winnipeg Music Festival Rose Bowl in 2015. Also in 2015, she was a winner at the North Dakota-Manitoba District Metropolitan Opera Council auditions, and sang in the Upper Midwest Regionals. In 2017, she received an Encouragement Award from the Toronto-Buffalo District of the MONC. Her favorite roles include Fox in The Cunning Little Vixen by Janáček (Opera NUOVA, 2017); The Dog in Dean Burry’s Bremen Town Musicians (Saskatoon Opera School Tour, 2017); Hansel in Hansel & Gretel (Little Opera Company, 2015); Angelina in La Cenerentola (University of Manitoba Opera Workshop & Symphony Orchestra, 2015); The Sorceress in Dido & Aeneas (Dalhousie Opera Workshop, 2011). In 2017, Ms. Bonner was soprano soloist in a chamber performance of Richard Kidd and Mark Belgrave’s Marco Polo Suite at the Tall Ships Festival Concert in Saint John, NB. She was also artist-in-residence at The 2017 Atlantic Music Festival (Waterville, Maine) and performed in numerous recitals and concerts during this month-long festival. They include performances of R. Fleming’s Confession Stone with Arlene Shrut and Brahm’s Zwei Gesange (op.91) with viola and Susan McDaniel, piano, as well as opera scenes conducted by Daniel Helgot and Barbara Day-Turner. In July 2018 she wlll be attending the St. Andrews Arts Council’s Opera Workshop for Advanced singers under the direction of Wendy Nielsen. Jillian is currently a member of the Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artist Program for their 2017-18 season.   This program provides up to eight young Canadian singers with the opportunity to study and perform under a highly prestigious professional staff of teachers and performers. Jillian will be performing the role of Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte at the Mamdani Opera Centre in May 2018. Jillian Bonner, winner of the 2018 St. Andrews International Aria Competition