Jillian Bonner is an artist and teacher whose love of music was developed and nurtured in her hometown of Saint John, New Brunswick. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba (Master of Music), Dalhousie University (Bachelor of Music) and the Calgary Opera Emerging Young Artist Program. During the 2019 - 20 season, Jillian was a Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Recipient at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, as well as part of soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan's Equilibrium Young Artist Initiative (EQ). Through EQ, Jillian made her debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in January 2020, performing Mozart's 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.
As a competitor, Jillian was a National Finalist at the Opera de Montreal’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 grant for travel. During the 2022-2023 season, Jillian was thrilled to sing Handel's Messiah with Symphony NB, once again.
Jillian's operatic roles include Concepcion in Ravel's L'Heure Espagnole (Glenn Gould School Opera and the RCM Orchestra), Arsace in Semiramide (Rossini Academy at the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance), Charlotte in Werther (LAMP's Richard Margison Opera Studio); Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte (Calgary Opera); The Fox in The Cunning Little Vixen by Janáček (Opera NUOVA).
Returning to live and work in her hometown, Jillian runs a voice studio in uptown Saint John, and is passionate about creating a nurturing environment for singers to experience artistic and personal growth.