Jean Stilwell Bio

Jean Stilwell is famous for her twenty-five blisteringly sexy Carmens in Canada, the US, Britain and Japan.

Always her own woman, Jean did not follow a conventional path to reach the stature that she enjoys in the world of opera, concerts, art song recitals and cabaret. She was awarded grants that encouraged her to customize her own education as befitted the daughter of two musicians from whom she had already learned a great deal, playing the piano to singing in professional choirs

Jean was the grateful recipient of scholarships and grants from the following arts organizations:

  • The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir
  • The Women's Art Association
  • The Chalmer's Foundation
  • Two grants from the Canada Council
  • Three Scholarships from the Banff School of Fine Arts

Her art is the direct result of her innate musicality. A career that began in choirs and operetta quickly evolved into a career in opera that has included performances around the world, and twenty-five blisteringly sexy Carmens.

Ms Stilwell spent three seasons at the Stratford Festival singing in Gilbert and Sullivan productions.  Availing herself of all the acting and moving classes helped her realize the importance of becoming a good singer/actor.  Words and the music became equally important to her when telling a story, and she used those storytelling skills to great effect on opera and concert stages as well as in  five cabaret shows with pianist-writer Patti Loach: "Love and Life", "Carmen UnZipped", "Here's To You", "Not Exactly Paris", and "What Was I Saying?".

Musicians who have worked with Jean speak with enormous respect for her talent as well as with an appreciation for her terrific laugh.

Jean is the co-host on Toronto's The New Classical 96.3fm morning show.


  • Berio Folksongs—CBC Records 1994
  • Harry Somers/Celebration “Five Songs for Dark Voice”, The Esprit Orchestra — CBC 2000
  • Les Chemin de l’Amour with Robert Kortgaard, Pianist and Ensemble—CBC 2000
  • Millenium New Year’s 2000 Opera Gala recorded live at Roy Thomson Hall—CBC Records 2001
  • Harry Somers: Songs From The Heart of Somers (2 CDs) with John Hess, Pianist—CMC 2003
  • Louis Spohr: Sechs Lieder with The Amici Ensemble — CBC Records 2003
  • German Cabaret Songs with Robert Kortgaard, Pianist and Ensemble — CBC Records 2003
  • Carmen UnZipped, with Patti Loach, Pianist 2006


"You touched us, each one of us, with depth of sorrow, humour, hope and despair, riveting and heartrending. I will never, ever forget the magic of your evening. Never!!!"  Veronica Tennant 

Please visit Jean's artist and cabaret sites for more information.