Kristen Marie

Kristen Marie Gillis
(She/Her) Black Mexican-American soprano, Kristen Marie Gillis, is a Texas native currently residing in Philadelphia, PA pursuing her M.M. at Temple University. 
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Kristen Marie Gillis

Kristen Marie Gillis is a Black Mexican-American soprano currently pursuing her Master of Music in Voice Performance at Temple University, under the tutelage of mezzo-soprano, Dr. Kathryn Leemhuis. This season, she is excited to make her role debut as Eliza in Nico Muhly’s "Dark Sisters" with Temple Opera Theater, under the baton and direction of Danielle Jagelski and Brandon McShaffrey, respectively. Kristen has been named one of four finalists in the Mario Lanza Institute Scholarship Auditions and will compete in the Tulsa District of the Metropolitan Opera Eric & Dominique Laffont Competition later this season. This winter, she will perform the title role of Puccini’s "Suor Angelica" with Music on Site, Inc. in a special performance at the Marion Performing Arts Center in Marion, KS. Kristen looks forward to making her role debut as the Mother in Humperdinck’s "Hänsel und Gretel" with Temple Opera Theater. under the baton of Keith Chambers and direction of Ben Robinson. Ms. Gillis will also be featured as the Soprano I soloist in Mozart’s "Missa in C minor" with her alma mater to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Abilene Christian University A Cappella Chorus. On the stage, Ms. Gillis is establishing herself as an artist through opera and concert. This past summer season, Kristen participated in a masterclass with internationally renowned voice teacher, Gregory Lamar, in collaboration with the Black Opera Alliance and the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts. In her 21/22 season, she revisited the role of Countess Rosina Almaviva ("Le nozze di Figaro") and performed in scenes as Carolina ("Il matrimonio segreto"), and the title roles of Strauss’ "Arabella" and Floyd’s "Susannah". In past seasons, Ms. Gillis has been seen on stage as the Second Lady in "Die Zauberflöte", Lauretta in "Gianni Schicchi", the title role of "Suor Angelica", and in scenes as Donna Anna ("Don Giovanni") and Marschallin ("Der Rosenkavalier"). Although canceled due to COVID-19, Kristen was accepted in the Varna International Summer Program as a Principal Artist to make her role and company debut as Rosalinde in "Die Fledermaus". In concert, Ms. Gillis has been a soloist in Handel's "Messiah" with both The Lubbock Chorale and Amarillo Opera. She has also been the soprano soloist in Fauré’s "Requiem" and Hadyn’s "Missa Sancti Nicolai" with the Abilene Christian University A Cappella Chorus and University Chorale, respectively. As an avid competitor, Kristen has advanced and placed in many competitions in the past seasons. In the 2021/2022 season, she most recently was awarded 3rd Prize in the Advanced Treble Voice category of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Eastern Region student auditions. Kristen was also a recipient of the John T. Douglas Award for Young Artists through the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University. Ms. Gillis was also a Winner of the Tulsa District in the 2021 Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition, awarded the First Prize of the Charleston International Music Competition, and Second Prize in the Advanced Division of the Rocky Mountain Music Competition. Kristen has advanced as a Semi-Finalist in the Premiere Opera Foundation + NYIOP International Competition and the SAS Company Vocal Competition. In February 2020, Ms. Gillis was the First Place Winner of the Texas Tech University’s Concert Competition. During her undergraduate studies, she was Winner of the NATS Texoma Region Auditions, in 2017 and 2018 respectively. In Summer of 2020, Ms. Gillis had the privilege of working with soprano Angel Blue in her Opera Training Studio as a Young Artist. She has also been a masterclass participant with Christine Goerke, Melissa Wegner, Ana María Martínez, and Barbara Hill Moore and performed under the baton of Michael Sakir, John Hollins, Brian Holman, Imre Palló, among others. During her time in Lubbock, TX, she was also one of five Young Artists to be part of the Susan Graham Studio at Texas Tech University in the 2019-2020 school year. Kristen is a proud alumna of the summer training programs Red River Lyric Opera in Wichita Falls, TX and Taos Opera Institute in Taos, NM. Kristen is a Texas native and currently resides in Philadelphia, PA. She is a proud first-generation college graduate and earned her B.M. in Vocal Performance from Abilene Christian University, under the tutelage of Dr. Julie Pruett and Dr. Rick Piersall.