Jill Gardner | Press / Acclaim for American opera singer soprano Jill Gardner.
American soprano Jill Gardner has established herself among today's leading operatic heroines. Read reviews and acclaim here.
Jill Gardner, soprano, American, opera, tosca, puccini, lyric, singer, actor, singing actor, acclaim, accolades, reviews, press, Jill Garner, Jill Gardener



“Soprano Jill Gardner was superb as the tragic Madame Butterfly. In addition to her rich and nuanced voice, she is a superb actress with subtle gestures and great timing. Particularly touching was the famous aria, “Un bel di…” One fine day… —, where she matched the intensity of her vibrato to the musical moment with astonishing effectiveness.

—Peter Perret, Greensboro News & Record

“Lyrico spinto, Puccini girl through and through,” Jill Gardner was Butterfly. Her demure acting contrasted with her strong, confident singing. Her beautiful singing of “Un bel di vedremo” in Act II was a show-stopper. ”

—Timothy H. Lindeman, Classical Voice of North Carolina

STREET SCENE—Virginia Opera

“But Street Scene rests on the performance of four big voices. Number one is Mrs. Maurrant. Virginia Opera is blessed by the return of Jill Gardner to essay this very difficult role. She won the day last season as Minnie in The Girl of the Golden West. This time she has a more difficult challenge: to make an adulterous wife sympathetic. And she does. “Somehow I Never Could Believe” is a bear of an aria, but Ms. Gardner creates such a strong bond with her audience that it allows her to lead them along to wherever she chooses. She alone is a reason to see this production.

—Paul Kuritz, Theater and Film Blog

“Jill Gardner, as the neglected, longing, wife, Anna, possesses a clear dramatic soprano range that soars with “Somehow I Never Could Believe”…

—Mal Vincent, The Virginian-Pilot


“On December 3, at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, Jill Gardner performed the title role with considerable flair. The soprano had sufficient power for the big, upper-reach moments, but it was the rest of her singing that really impressed, the tone tender, the phrasing thoroughly natural. She proved a knowing actress, too, capable of making the character seem totally believable from the get-go; she did especially disarming work in in the bible-reading passage.

—Tim Smith, Opera News

“Soprano Jill Gardner was a brilliant Minnie. Her voice is a powerful instrument that, combined with her natural ability to act brought the pistol-packing, Bible reading, never-been-kissed character with a heart as good as gold to vivid life. Her’s is one of the strongest, most solid soprano sounds to grace the VOA roster. One can only imagine the dramatic heights of her acclaimed Tosca.”

—John Shulson, The Virginia Gazette

“Minnie was sung by Jill Gardner, in a Virginia Opera mainstage debut. Her voice is powerful and well-produced…Gardner’s is a real verismo voice, making it sound easy, and acting every moment. It is understandable that her bio contains raves for her Tosca. She has been through nearly all the Puccini heroines, though not yet Turandot, but I can’t imagine what will stop her. Her Liù is already on the books, and if there’s a soprano today who could work both sides of the Gong, she’s it.”

—David Wagner, Opera Wire

“Around the middle of Act I, Jill Gardner’s Minnie, the pistol-packing saloon owner, makes her entrance, completely shutting down an all too classic bar fight. Gardner wins the audience’s heart early, and keeps it the whole show. Her singing touches every emotion, and she hits notes on both sides of the scale. Her acting, however, is what really makes the show. Gardner truly becomes Minnie. The audience feels her loneliness, her vulnerability, and most of all, her heart. We get to know her as a mother figure to the miners, as their (literal) teacher, and their protector.”

—Matthew S. Sporn, RVA MAG

 TOSCA—Opera Coeur d’Alene

“The plot of Tosca concerns the passionate feelings of two men for the same woman, Floria Tosca, a celebrated singer. Tosca’s character is a compelling mixture of piety and sexuality. This challenging part was taken by Jill Gardner, who vividly embodied both Tosca’s spiritual and sensual passion. Ms. Gardner’s beautiful lyric soprano moved sweetly or powerfully through Puccini’s taxing writing without ever sacrificing tone, pitch or projection.”

—Larry Lapidus, The Spokesman-Review


“Perhaps most admired in central North Carolina as a Puccini singer, not least in the wake of her triumphant Tosca for Piedmont Opera, Gardner deepened her Verdi credentials with poised, artfully-phrased vocalism in UNCG’s Messa da Requiem.”

—Joseph Newsome, Voix des Arts


“Jill Gardner delivered a powerful and finely nuanced performance as Blanche, the opera’s focal point. Her voice, healthier and more robust than Blanche’s character, is huge, richly hued, with clear enunciation and great control.”

—Ruth Bingham, Honolulu Star Advertiser

“…but it is Gardner who delivers a powerhouse performance that calls for both vocal and physical endurance throughout the entire duration of the approximately two-and-a-half-hour show. She carries the show stalwartly, radiating valiant notes that permeate the theatre, all without a microphone. I give major credit to her for her endurance and heterogeneous performance.”

—Chenye Nomura, Hitting the Stage


TOSCA—Piedmont Opera

“In the title role, soprano Jill Gardner was everything one could hope for in a beautiful and imperiously jealous diva – beauty, a lovely rich voice, and a superb sense of dramatic timing.”

—Peter Perret, Classical Voice of North Carolina (CVNC)

“We hear Tosca/Jill Gardner offstage before we see her, and we never tire of the sound of her voice. In her prayer, “Vissi D’Arte,” literally, “I lived for art” and love, Tosca pitiably asks the ages-old question — why me? — but there is nothing selfish or self-indulgent about her plea nor about Jill Gardner’s expression of it. She makes Tosca’s anguish exquisitely palpable. Her ability to hold clarity in a whisper as cleanly as at higher volumes and her apparent ease in the higher registers is awe-inspiring. Her voice is agile and crystalline, and her final scene is heartbreaking and fearless.”

—Lynn Felder, Winston-Salem Journal

“Well, I’ve just seen the best Tosca I’ve ever seen.”

—Warren Dunn, author



“…The true love story of the night, however, was between Jill and Jake Gardner, husband and wife in real life and in the opera. Jill Gardner is a true diva, and her portrayal of Tatyana rocketed this production from great to exceptional. Her letter scene breathed sweet passion while her final scene wrought anguish and tormented resolve. It is no wonder why this star continues to rise.”

—Alison Kaufman, The Register Guard


MACBETH—Chautauqua Opera

“Gardner’s version of the sleepwalking scene was thrilling, quicksilver in dynamics and her diction was flawless.”

—Robert Plyler, The Post-Journal

“Jill Gardner, in her Chautauqua debut, gave a strong performance…Her acting was generous and her entry from the rear of the auditorium during her sleepwalking scene — holding a lamp — was an apt means of heightening what little pity we can feel for this ruthless figure.”

—Arthur Kaptainis, The Chautauquan Daily



“As Madame Lidoine, Jill Gardner was gently commanding, the voice beautiful and sounding enormous, which is always a treat to hear. Her final scenes infinitely touching, and watching her bless her daughters before their brutal execution most compelling.”

—Sharky, pArts (Portland Arts Blog)



“Soprano Jill Gardner creates an innocent and modest, yet deeply passionate, Butterfly. Gardner’s voice is powerful, lustrous and rich in emotion, filling the Stevens Center seemingly effortlessly. Her subtle blend of strength and fragility makes this Butterfly completely appealing and believable, and it’s not all gloom and doom. Butterfly is full of love, life and, sometimes, even humor.”

—Lynn Felder, Winston-Salem Journal

“Jill Gardner was superb as the tragic Madama Pinkerton, as she reminded the American Consul when he called her “Madama Butterfly.” Her voice is rich and warm over the entire range. Her famous aria “Un bel di…” was a show stopper! And she acts well, as in the 10-minute entr’acte between the sunset of Act II and the sunrise of Act III, during which she mimed over the gorgeous wordless chorus without ever becoming repetitious…”

—Peter Perret, Classical Voice of North Carolina (CVNC) 

“Jill had a simply phenomenal night. There is no way to sing and act the role of Cio-Cio San any better than Jill Gardner did. She was able to accurately portray with voice and body movements both the juvenile enthusiasm of the young geisha, and the bitter sorrow of the betrayed wife, as well as the heartbroken mother. And the singing! Perfect pitch control, precise notes never missing one, beautiful phrasing, powerful projection when needed together with the most delicate low volume lines (knowing how powerful this true spinto soprano’s voice is, listening to her holding it all back and lowering the volume is quite striking), secure vibrato, crystalline and pure high notes, she had it all. The end of her love duet in first act, “Vogliatemi bene,” brought me literally to tears, something I wasn’t expecting to happen in an opera I’ve seen so many times. Her “Un bel dì” drew the most prolonged and delirious applause I’ve heard in recent memory. The public just wouldn’t stop applauding. This is one of those occasions when an Encore would have been appropriate. Simply put, it was the best Cio-Cio San I’ve ever seen live on stage.”

—Luiz Gazzola, Opera Lively


 TOSCA—Toledo Opera

“Gardner’s creamy, warm voice remained even throughout her considerable range, changing timbre most effectively at peak moments… Of equal weight was her characterization of this complex heroine; her Tosca is equal parts emotion and intellect, and the conflicts are evident in Gardner’s interpretation.”

—Sally Vallongo, The Blade


IL TRITTICO—Opera Carolina

“Among the singers, the pride of place goes to Jill Gardner, who sang the role of Georgette in “Il Tabarro” and the name role in “Suor Angelica.” Gardner was an impressive Tosca in Opera Carolina’s production in 2012, but here she surpassed herself. There doesn’t seem to be anything standing between her and Puccini’s heroines – her identification with both parts seemed complete. Her voice also has become fresher, almost seamless, as if to float an extended high note is as natural as daylight. Furthermore, she moves like an actress, not an opera singer. Her Suor Angelica was among the best I’ve seen.”

—Phillip Larrimore, Charlotte Observer

“Winston-Salem native, the dramatic soprano Jill Gardner was outstanding in both Il Tabarro and Suor Angelica. Her voice, even across its range, is strong enough to soar over Puccini’s emotional climaxes. Her control of color and dynamics was marvelous, as was her ability to convey fully the raw emotions of each character. Her intonation and diction were excellent.”

—William Thomas Walker, Classical Voice of North Carolina (CVNC) 

“As soon as as the second opera rolled in, the stage caught fire. Jill Gardner was simply phenomenal as the tortured nun, both vocally and in her acting.”

—Luiz Gazzola, Opera Lively

“Jill Gardner sang both Giorgetta in Il Tabarro and the title role of Suor Angelica with a pure soprano well suited to the demands of Puccini. Her excellent singing was matched by her believable acting, making her a joy to hear and to watch.”

—Luther Wade, Opera News

TOSCA—Lyric Opera Baltimore

“Onstage, Jill Gardner brought abundant conviction to the title role of the ardent, jealous woman of Tosca…Although she tended to push the melodramatic side of the character, Gardner was, in the end, a theatrically persuasive Tosca whose singing had plenty of expressive fire…”

—Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun

“Gardner, as the show’s title character is astonishing. A true vocal phenomenon, her approach to the aria Vissi d’Arte, is sublime. Her voice radiates the desperation of love and regret in that moment, stirring deep from a place in her soul. Gardner’s soprano is pitch perfect, holding her extenuated notes with the perfection of vibrato. Her ability to quickly showcase love and jealousy is astounding; flipping back and forth between oozing passionate ardor and spitting vicious quips in the series of duets, Non la sospiri, la nostra casetta and Qual’occhio with Cavaradossi (Dinyar Vania) early in Act I. But the most striking duet that the pair shares is Amaro sol per te m’era il morire a ballad that tangles their voices aglow in a celestial fire of blissful ecstasy; their final profession of love to one another complete. Gardner as Tosca is a smashing success; bringing the audience to their feet demanding an encore by the show’s twisted end.”

—Amanda Gunther, DC Metro Theater Arts (DCMTA)

“Jill Gardner, as the ill-fated Tosca, made full use of her force/counter-force proficiency whether loving and flirtatious with Dinyar Vaniaas Cavaradossi or terrified and vengeful with Raymond Aceto as Scarpia.”

—Megan Ihnen, The Sybaritic Singer 

ART TO POETRY TO MUSIC—Opera Carolina Gala Concert

“Jill Gardner was able to shine in the evening’s opening aria, from Tannhäuser. She displayed good dynamic variations and color, and was very effective in her emotional portrayal of Elizabeth… She again impressed in Angelica’s aria from Suor Angelica, repeating her good acting from her first appearance—she was able to show all the pathos of this piece and sang it beautifully.”

Luiz Gazzola, Opera Lively

TOSCA—Hawai‘i Opera Theater

“HOT’s production begins slowly, but the pace picks up when soprano Jill Gardner (Tosca) sweeps in. Gardner (whose husband, Jake Gardner, sang Scarpia in 2006, HOT’s last production of Tosca), is dynamite, in voice and acting. She embodies Tosca, flirting with Cavaradossi one minute, devout the next, pleading with Scarpia, then murdering him. She is powerless, yet the most powerful of all. Gardner has a large, richly-toned, burgundy voice, and her performance in this very demanding role is worth the price of a ticket all by itself.”

—Ruth Bingham, Honolulu Star-Advertiser

TOSCA—Opera Carolina

“Jill Gardner’s beautifully crafted ‘Vissi d’arte’ was even more of a standout. Gardner’s Tosca looked the part and was well acted and sensitively sung. Her clear, even soprano had adequate power when needed, but what was most satisfying was the vocal nuance she used to depict the many moods demanded by the role. This was an impressive performance.”

—Luther Wade, Opera News

“Gardner’s was more like the Tosca I wished to see…Gardner was more like a lover in Act I, a hellcat in Act II, and a romantic in Act III. Her ‘Vissi d’arte’ in Scarpia’s apartment is more thoroughly tinged with pure religiosity than bitterness, and there is vibrancy in her optimism as she joins Melo for their final duet, poignantly envisioning their future happiness before the firing squad arrives.Gardner captures the youth and fire of Tosca, stinting a little on the diva’s hauteur while humanizing her artistry.”

—Perry Tannenbaum, Classical Voice of North Carolina (CVNC)  

“Jill Gardner is… a true spinto whose outbursts of anger are just as impressive as her mastery of the lyric moments. Her Vissi d’arte was simply sublime and deserved very long applause. Her voice is capable of good color and her range navigates effortlessly both the lower and the higher notes. Projection is excellent, and she cuts through the orchestra easily, being heard loud and clear throughout the very large Belk Theater. She acts with her voice, something that is regrettably becoming rarer these days. Ms. Gardner also looks the part, in the fact that she is a very attractive lady.”

— Luiz Gazzola, Opera Lively

TOSCA—Arizona Opera

“Jill Gardner’s Tosca was a thinking diva who used her feminine wiles to get her way. She sang with dramatic tones that belied her slim stature.”

—Maria Nockin, Opera Today

I PAGLIACCI—Michigan Opera Theater

“American soprano Jill Gardner negotiated Nedda’s music successfully, sailing through her “Stridono lassù” with airy grace…Gardner also offered just the right kind of cocky arrogance in the play-within-a-play portion of Act II…”

—John Guinn, Opera News

“As Nedda, soprano Jill Gardner appears here for the first time…She warmed up to provide forceful, dynamic singing, and in Act II, a beautifully delineated impersonation of Colombina in the play within a play.”

—Michael H. Margolin, Encore Michigan

“Soprano Jill Gardner makes her MOT debut as Nedda, and does an excellent job of conveying the passionate, manipulative and often scornful Nedda with whom Canio, Silvio and her co-star in the traveling show, Tonio, are all obsessed.”

—David Kiley, Huffington Post

I PAGLIACCI—Mill City Summer Opera

“He [Canio] is complemented by the sweet soprano of Jill Gardner, whose Nedda is both earthbound and flighty, her comedic skills emerging during the base and bawdy street theater of the second act, a kind of human-sized Punch and Judy puppet show blown apart by Canio’s rage.”

—Ron Hubbard, The Pioneer Press

MANON LESCAUT—Opera Grand Rapids

“Jill Gardner, as Manon, giving up the ghost with the impassioned aria, “Sola, perduta, abbandonata,” was breathtaking, both for the music and for the performance…Gardner sang a full-bodied performance with magnificent projection, a lyrico spinto, Puccini girl through and through.”

—Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk, The Grand Rapids Press

TOSCA—Boston Lyric Opera

“Soprano Jill Gardner, whose voice was fresh and focused, undertook the title role as if it were newly written.  There was little of the traditional grand diva in her approach, and her character was all the more human for it. In Gardner’s hands, her Act II aria, ‘Vissi d’arte’, was not merely a famous showstopper but an opportunity to reveal layers of Tosca’s character.”

—Kalen Ratzlaff, Opera News  

“Jill Gardner’s Floria Tosca is superior. She transports her character from the petulant jealousy of act one to mortified disbelief in act three with a convincing presence and an instrument that is both powerful and nuanced.”

—Joseph E. Morgan, Boston Musical Intelligencer  

“Soprano Jill Gardner returns to BLO as the titular Diva, Floria Tosca, and her commanding and full voice fits the bill of the jealous, fiery heroine. Her second act aria ‘Vissi d’arte’, arguably the most famous to come out of the opera, was brilliantly sung and Gardner ably conveyed all the emotions wrapped in the aria without overstepping the bounds of believability.”

—Emma Bushnell, Tufts Daily  

“The nihilistic theme of helpless innocence pointlessly punished…still packs a punch, particularly in the moving performance of Jill Gardner in the title role. Ms. Gardner possesses a glowing soprano…but Gardner is also a truly wonderful stage actress—one of the best stage actresses I’ve seen cross a Boston operatic stage—and her Tosca was always both amusingly vain and yet poignantly, vibrantly alive. Her sudden killing of Scarpia—you could see the mad inspiration dawn on her—chilled just as it should, while the famously macabre, guilt-ridden scene that follows she played to the absolute hilt.” 

—Thomas Garvey, The Hub Review

“But it was the resident Tosca that shone the brightest. An exceptional actress who could slip from coy to heartbroken convincingly, Gardner was the one to keep an eye on that night. A heavy-hitting soprano, Gardner grabbed the role of Tosca and refused to let go; the role was right in her wheelhouse, and she excelled in both her vocalizations and acting.”

—Sujin Shin, The Justice

“Soprano Jill Gardner was his thespian match as Tosca, never abandoning her diva’s deportment, maintaining until the end her protective bubble of theatricality.  Her voice showed more brightness than depth…She navigated the lines with skill and her physical bearing had dynamic flair.”

—Matthew Guerrieri, Boston Globe

TURANDOT—Arizona Opera

“Jill Gardner in the part of Liù also brings the house to their feet at curtain call. The sound is full, the middle registry velvety, with a seductively golden tone, allowing Gardner to naturally convey every emotion. She sings a touching “Signore, ascolta” in Act 1, complete with the traditional sobs, and a deeply moving ‘Tanto amore segreto’ before she stabs herself in Act 3.”  

—Christian Dalzon, Concertonet.com—The Classical Music Network

“Jill Gardner was a poignant Liù who sang with a clear radiant sound.”

—Maria Nockin, Music & Vision

LA BOHÈME—Eugene Opera

“Musetta was played with verve by Jill Gardner…Her voice has a bright, solid color which revealed in the famous ‘Musetta’s Waltz’, and her acting as the tempestuous character was excellent.”

—Marilyn Farwell, The Register-Guard

IL TROVATORE—Piedmont Opera

“Jill Gardner…starts strong and gets even stronger as the night progresses—which is a good thing, since her parts in the opera’s fourth and final act can be among the most challenging in the entire repertoire.  She sings them with fervor and assurance.”

—Ken Keuffel, Winston-Salem Journal

The Washington Chorus—The Essential Puccini Concert

“…It was left to Jill Gardner’s lustrous, beautifully poised soprano…to remind us that—all guilty pleasures aside—Puccini can be more than the sum of his decibels.”

—Joe Banno, The Washington Post

TURANDOT—Piedmont Opera

“But my heart was stolen (and broken) in the third act by Jill Gardner, soprano, singing the role of the slave girl, Liù, whose moving ‘Tu, che di gel sei cint’ (‘You, who are gird by ice’, referring to the icy cruelty of Turandot) was the emotional highlight of the entire evening.”

—Peter Perret, Classical Voice of North Carolina

FAUST—Madison Opera

“Among the leads, soprano Jill Gardner portrayed Marguerite with lustrous tone and sympathetic characterization.”

—John Barker, Madison Daily Page

“As the young innocent, Jill Gardner is blessed with a golden soprano as smooth as butter. Her rendition of the famous jewel song, ‘Ah! je ris,’ is lovely, as is her poignant, heart-wrenching ‘Attends! Voici la rue ou tu m’as vue,’ when she reminisces in her cell about when Faust first approached her.”

—Lindsay Christians, 77 Square

“Jill Gardner sang a passionate, lyrically satisfying Marguerite and was entirely convincing dramatically in what can be a very tricky role. One might desire a more precisely calibrated trill in the jewel song, though that seems a minor quibble given the gleaming purity of tone with which the soprano crowned the final trio.”

—Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News

TOSCA—Mercury Opera Rochester

“As the doomed heroine Floria Tosca, Jill Gardner lit up the somber plot with a lustrous soprano and riveting stage presence. This role demands a tremendous emotional range, from love-struck singer to avenging angel who defies the dreaded police chief, Scarpia. Gardner was utterly convincing Friday as the clingy, jealous lover of artist Mario Cavaradossi. The variety of embraces they tried throughout the show should be a model for younger viewers. And when it came time for Tosca to confront Scarpia, Gardner turned in a mad scene worthy of Maria Callas.”

—Stuart Low, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

“Gardner, in her first Tosca, delivered a nuanced and virtuosic performance; it’s a role that seems to fit her personality as a strong, commanding woman.”

—Anna Reguero, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle


“Gardner, as Johnson, is up to each of the many challenges facing her. She sings beautifully, narrates some of the story in a way that doesn’t feel jarring, and, in her acting, convincingly illuminates her character’s growth from an overbearing protector to a liberated, independent thinker.”

—Ken Keuffel, Winston-Salem Journal

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC—Hawai‘i Opera Theater

“Gardner and her darkish voice had the humor and sarcasm required of the Countess.”

—Valeria Wenderoth, Honolulu Star Bulletin

LA BOHÈME—Florida Grand Opera

“Soprano Jill Gardner sang the role of Musetta, a glamorous and coquettish figure. Gardner has a sparkling personality and a lovely voice which carried the Cafe Momus scene to a high level… giving extra verve to this often produced, much loved opera scene.”

—Rex Alan Hearn, Coral Gables Gazette

“Soprano Jill Gardner was a delicious Musetta, with just the right touch of apparent frivolity, but capable of deep feelings for the pain of others, which she showed in the last act. She earned well-deserved applause.”

—Ariel Remos, Diario las Americas

“The young soprano Jill Gardner rescued the production with an excellent Musetta…She stole the scene with her very feminine pranks…Gardner has a solid instrument and good technique which allows it to flow naturally, with even coloration.”

—Ximena Sepulveda, Revista Pro-Opera (Mexico)

“Separate mention for the very graceful and defined Musetta of Jill Gardner.”

—Daniel Fernandez, El Nuevo Herald

DON GIOVANNI—Mercury Opera Rochester

“Jill Gardner brought a lustrous soprano and impressive acting chops to the part of Donna Anna.”

—Stuart Low, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Offenbach’s ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD—Glimmerglass Opera

“The focal characters were…played with zesty authority…Eurydice [was] just as forthright and brassy in Jill Gardner’s hands.”

—John W. Freeman, Opera News

“Jill Gardner cavorts as Eurydice with a smile and a wink.”

—Joan E. Vadeboncoeur, Syracuse Post-Standard

“…powerhouse soprano Jill Gardner…”

—James MacKillop, Syracuse New Times

“Jill Gardner sings her way through Eurydice with aplomb.”

—James Karas, Greek Press

THE MERRY WIDOW—Syracuse Opera

“Jill Gardner’s Hanna, the title character, stood head and shoulders above all the rest. She is a powerhouse yet often touching soprano, who moves as if she is floating and acts with more nuance than most opera singers.”

—Joan E. Vadeboncoeur, Syracuse Post-Standard

Hartke’s BOULE DE SUIF, OR THE GREATER GOOD—Glimmerglass Opera

“Jill Gardner (Mme. Loiseau), given an arioso…and much ensemble singing, acquitted [herself] with distinction.”

—David Shengold, Gay City News

“There are some exceptionally colorful set pieces, including Madame Loiseau’s rangy, indignant aria about Boule (‘Isn’t it her job to be a whore?’), impressively delivered by soprano Jill Gardner in a leaping, swooping frenzy of righteousness.”

—Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News

LA BOHÈME—Piedmont Opera

“The same can be said for Jill Gardner, singing the lead role of Mimi. Her voice, and especially her acting, soon settled into a complete package which touched the emotions of the packed house.”

—Jeffrey Rossman, Classical Voice of North Carolina

“Jill Gardner … is making a wonderful local debut as Mimi. Her rich and expressive soprano rings out with heft, glory and subtlety. It perfectly complements the tenor… who plays Rodolfo. Their voices soar splendidly in duet or touch us deeply on their own.”

—Ken Keuffel, Winston-Salem Journal


“[Gardner], perhaps the most promising of the current TCO residents, sang one of the most grueling roles in opera, dominating the second act with gorgeous arias, particularly the well-known ‘Un Bel Di’. She was never less than smooth and confident, and the scene in which she realizes Pinkerton will never return to her is heartbreaking.”

—Gene Gray, Press & Sun Bulletin

LA TRAVIATA—Tri-Cities Opera

“[Gardner’s] full sound, with a particularly rich bloom in the middle register, was well suited to the later acts (of La Traviata) … Her commitment and passion, her thorough involvement in Violetta’s predicament, and her ability to convey vocally the slightest nuance of emotion made for gripping theatre.”

—William D. West, Opera News

“[Gardner] as Violetta is a superb singer with a fine acting range, singing with a supple and flowing voice…Even in its highest register, her voice produces nothing less than beautiful sounds. Soaring as her arias are, they are always in character and earthbound.”

—Gene Gray, Press & Sun Bulletin

“Jill Bowen [Gardner], playing the role of Violetta, easily held stage for the duration of the opera. Unfailingly accurate in pitch, her voice has meat on its bones but was light enough to soar to the heavens. There was a naturalness to her actions that made for real theater.”

—Mark G. Simon, Ithaca Times


“The truly remarkable performances came from Jill Bowen [Gardner] as the Countess (Le Nozze di Figaro) … [Her] effortlessly produced, rich voice filled the auditorium, making ‘Dove sono’ breathtakingly poignant and, in the letter duet, blending perfectly with [Susanna].”

—William D. West, Opera News