Soprano Gillian Hollis is noted for her “brilliant coloratura” (Rutland Herald), “strong sense of drama” (The Star-Ledger), and “great flexibility and poise-filled musicality” (Sequenza21). Notable roles include Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte (Central City Opera, Ash Lawn Opera & Northwestern University); Isabelle/Madeline in Mollicone's The Face on the Barroom Floor (Central City Opera); Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore (Mobile Opera); Kathie in The Student Prince (Ohio Light Opera & Opera Grand Rapids); Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance (Opera North); Berta in ll barbiere di Siviglia (Cleveland Opera Theater), Cupid in Offenbach’s Orfeus in the Underworld (Madison Opera); Sister Lillianne in Dead Man Walking (Madison Opera), Zémire in Grétry's Zémire et Azor (Skylight Music Theater); Guilette in The Ball at the Savoy (Chicago Folks Operetta), and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi (Ash Lawn Opera).
Hollis was a member of Madison Opera’s Young Artist Program in 2013-14. Recent concert performances include the Mozart Requiem with Sunnyvale Presbyterian and the world premiere of composer Dale Trumbore’s chamber work The Gleam with Chicago-based CHAI Collaborative Ensemble. In April 2023, Hollis will be featured on a new album of Trumbore’s music, also titled The Gleam, singing the world premiere recordings of three works.
Hollis is dedicated to the future of the opera genre and is a zealous advocate for outreach, believing arts education to be essential to the health of children, schools, and the future of the industry. She has worked with Madison-based Opera for the Young for more than four years. Previous roles in Opera for the Young’s adaptations include Mabel in Pirates of Penzance, Adina in The Elixir of Love, Flexibella in Super Storm, Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and Beauty in Gretry's Beauty and the Beast.
Notable awards for Hollis include First Place in the Classical Singer Magazine National Competition; the Virginia Cooper Maier Award through the Musician’s Club of Women, Chicago; and Central City Opera’s Lew Cady Memorial Award. She is a two-time finalist in Union League Civic and Arts Foundation’s annual vocal competition, a Chicago National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) first place winner, and a winner of Northwestern University’s annual Concerto Competition.
Hollis holds a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance and Operatic Literature from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from University of Maryland.