Cape Breton Island tenor Peter Gillis has performed throughout Canada, the US and abroad, including debuts at Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. ateuke’s, the Kennedy Center with the Washington Opera, and regular engagements at Italy’s Festival dei due Mondi. He has appeared in many of North America’s most prestigious venues, with such notable artists as soprano Renee Fleming and actress/comedienne Anne Meara.
Canadian performances, both Celtic and classical, have included a national tour of Canada with folk luminary Rita MacNeil, concerts with Symphony Nova Scotia, the Celtic Colours International Festival, and a debut with Opera Nova Scotia, singing the leading role in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. He has also collaborated with fellow Cape Bretoners the Barra MacNeils and comedienne Bette MacDonald.
Of his Celtic cross-over CD Cape Breton Tenor, the Halifax Chronicle Herald wrote:
“A superbly modulated voice, healthy and well-trained… superior vocal armament.”
His CD, A Cape Breton Tenor Christmas, the Herald called “A trove of subtle treasures.”
Peter Gillis has sung by special invitation at the New York Irish Historical Society, and as soloist during the internationally televised visit of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark, NJ, with the President of the United States in attendance.
As a student Peter toured internationally and recorded on the Gothic label as a soloist with the famed Westminster Choir of Princeton. At the encouragement of legendary Metropolitan Opera soprano Margaret Harshaw, he pursued a Master of Music degree at Indiana University, where he was a teaching assistant to Miss Harshaw, and graduated “With Distinction.” He holds both a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and a Postgraduate Diploma from the Juilliard School.
Currently part of the voice faculty at Montclair State University, Peter Gillis has taught at universities throughout the Metro New York area, and maintains a private studio in Great Notch, NJ. His students have appeared in principal roles on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in first national tours, and in regional opera companies. Peter’s adjudicating activities have included the Nova Scotia Music Festival, the New Glasgow Music Festival, the New York Singing Teachers Association’s Young Professional Competition at Steinway Hall, and the Master Teacher series at Dalhousie University and Acadia University.