In 2019, Opus Concert Theatre hired Ms. Finnamore to sing the extremely demanding role of Abigaille, from Verdi’s Nabucco. In 2018, Jillian covered the iconic role of Aïda (from the opera Aïda). And in 2017, she made her role debut as Tosca (from Tosca) in Sicily’s magnificent Valle dei Templi. She also served as cover for Lucia di Lammermoor (from Lucia di Lammermoor), after performing the title role several years previously. Ms. Finnamore has enjoyed many opportunities to sing dramatic leading ladies. Besides the ones already mentioned, Jillian has performed Mimì from La Bohème, Violetta (from La Traviata), and Desdemona (from Otello), among others. She also created the role of Tourist A in the world premiere of the opera Lost in Translation, by Bruce Trinkley and Jason Charnesky. Ms. Finnamore covered the role of Zemphira (from Rachmaninoff’s Aleko), sung in Russian, and has performed extensive operatic excerpts from Manon, La Juive, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Cendrillon, Die Zauberflöte (both Queen of the Night and The First Lady), and Don Pasquale.
Shealyn Jae Photography
Shealyn Jae Photography
Jillian greatly enjoys comic opera. She has performed the hilarious roles of Miss Pinkerton from The Old Maid and the Thief as well as Helène in the American premiere of Victor Herbert’s Orange Blossoms. Ms. Finnamore was a finalist in both The Rising Star Emerging Artist Award and the Harold Haugh Competition.
Ms. Finnamore is equally comfortable on the concert stage and has done extensive oratorio work. She has been soprano soloist in the Messiah, Faure’s Requiem, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Haydn’s Little Organ Mass, and Handel’s Lord Nelson Mass. Other past engagements include Mozart’s Exsulate Jubilate, Dyson’s Hierusalem, Schubert’s Mass in G, and the Christmas Oratorio by Camille Saint-Saëns. Ms. Finnamore sang the role of Mabel in the Southern Great Lakes Symphony’s orchestral concert of Pirates of Penzance. Jillian continues to light up the concert stage with her beautiful, authentic singing. She has performed 1920’s & 30’s German lieder and opera, both in Germany and New York City. Ms. Finnamore has sung the Brahms Requiem soprano solo, along with selected Brahms lieder. She has been featured in concerts singing “O patria mia” (from Aïda) and the moving aria “To this we’ve come,” from Menotti’s 1950 opera The Consul. In a 200th Verdian Anniversary Celebration, Jillian performed the 2nd act duet with Germont (La Traviata), along with excerpts from Otello and Falstaff.
Recently, Jillian has added themed recitals to her repertoire of concerts. She programs concerts for social justice causes, as well archetypal and mythological themes. Ms. Finnamore has taken Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey—the story template on which the Star Wars franchise is built—and created classical recitals around this topic. Jillian is currently creating A Heroine’s Journey recital based on the life experiences of Mother Mary.
In 2003, Ms. Finnamore graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in vocal performance. While there, she performed several roles with orchestra, including First Witch in Dido and Aeneas, La Prima Cercatrice from Suor Angelica, and Anna Gomez in The Consul. She also performed the role of Nadezhda (in Russian) from Rimsky-Korsakov’s little-known opera Boyarina Vera Sheloga. Since 2003, Jillian has studied and worked with many wonderful teachers, coaches, conductors, and directors. They include Kamal Kahn, Karen Huffstodt, Anthony Pilavachi, Graciela Araya, Mary Mills, Janet Williams, Angelo Raciti, David Aronson, Jack Li Vigni, Elizabeth Bishop, Giovanni Reggioli, Dona Vaughn, Dr. Joy Schreier, David Gowland, Curt Peters, Caroline Rogers, Martin Katz, Felice Venanzoni, and many more amazing music professionals. She has participated in both the Harrower and Crittenden Opera Workshops, the Lotte Lehmann Akademie, Bel Canto in Tuscany, and the Mediterranean Opera Festival. Finally, Jillian joined Total Vocal Freedom for 1 ½ years, an Alexander Technique training course led by Peter Jacobson.
Jillian Finnamore was born in Papua New Guinea and raised in West Africa.
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