Jillian Arthur was born in Amersham, Buckinghamshire and trained at Trinity College of Music, with Iris Bourne and Elizabeth Hawes.
She was then awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music Opera School, where she studied with Marion Studholme, winning the Carrie Tubb Prize.
On leaving the Royal College, she was awarded a scholarship to study Lieder at the Mozarteum, Salzburg and was a finalist in Morriston Orpheus Welsh Singer of the Year, at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea.
Jillian made her operatic debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1992 as a Young Nun in The Fiery Angel, Prokofiev. She sang an Apprentice for the Royal Opera’s production of Die Meistersinger (director Graham Vick), and in the same production at the Teatro Reggio, Turin.
She created the role of Gillian Cullen in Heroes Don’t Dance, a new opera written by Julian Grant, with libretto by Christina Jones. Written for the Royal Opera Education Project, this was performed at the Cambridge Corn Exchange and involved many local people.
Other roles include
Adele (Die Fledermaus), London City Opera
Agathe (Der Freischutz), Opera Omnibus
Bastienne (Bastienne and Bastien), Opera da Camera
Belinda (Dido and Aeneas), Royal College of Music
Dido (Dido and Aeneas), The Penn Singers
Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Opera at Bearwood
Fisherwoman (Peter Grimes), L’Opera du Chatelet
Geneviève (Geneviève de Brabant), Teatro Due di Parma
Madame Trillwell (The Impresario), Opera da Camera
Magnolia (Showboat), The Croydon Stagers
Princess/Squirrel (L’Enfant et les Sortilleges), Curious Opera Group
Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica), Royal College of Music
Queen of the Night (Magic Flute), Royal College of Music, Isle of Man Opera and Court Opera Productions
Oratorio repertoire includes
Carmina Burana (Carl Orff), at Eltham Palace
Elijah (Mendelssohn), at Brentwood Cathedral
Messiah (Handel), at Christ’s Hospital School
Monteverdi Christmas Vespers, at the Purcell Room
Serenade to Music (Vaughan Williams), at Lincoln Cathedral and St John’s, Smith Square.
As an Extra Chorister with the Royal Opera for twenty years, Jillian has taken part in many productions both at the Opera House and on tour. She has also sung and recorded with L’Opera de Lyon, L’Opera du Chatelet, Paris, and with the London Voices and London Sinfonietta Voices.