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Jill Anna Ponasik

Lecturer, Opera Theatre


MM, Voice Performance, Rice University


As producing artistic director of Milwaukee Opera TheatreJill Anna Ponasik revels in the opportunity to direct, perform, program, and support artists and their work.

Actively engaged in expanding access to opera, MOT works with community partners in dance, theatre, and music to generate new work and create innovative productions of existing work that aim to transform the landscape of contemporary lyric theatre -  with a special emphasis on artists who live and work in the Milwaukee area.  These projects have included 26 - a fantasy inspired by Italian songs and arias, a toy-theatre production of Amahl and the Night Visitors, Jason Powell’s comic opera Fortuna the Time Bender vs. The Schoolgirls of Doom, Dominic Argento’s From the Diary of Virginia Woolf, Nautilus Music-Theatre’s Meditations on Arion, the tango-opera Maria de Buenos Aires, a classroom CandideThe Eurydice Project - a three year collaboration with Carroll University, The One Stop Opera Shop - a cabaret for Skylight Music Theatre, the rock recital Guns N’ Rosenkavalier, the world premiere of Kamran Ince’s Judgment of Midas, Walton and Sitwell’s Façade, and a L'enfant et les sortiléges that was built out of trash.

Jill Anna has maintained a commitment to new work, fresh approaches to the classics, and working with excellent, innovative companies throughout her career. As a performer, she has appeared in productions with Nautilus Music-Theater, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, Skylight Music Theatre, VocalEssence, Theatre Latte Da, Skylark Opera, Ohio Light Opera, Bronx Opera, New Dramatists, and Milwaukee Opera Theatre among others.

Jill Anna has received awards from The Metropolitan National Council Auditions, The Schubert Club of St. Paul, Milwaukee's Civic Music Association and the Wisconsin and Minnesota chapters of NATS. She holds degrees from the University of Minnesota and the Rice University Shepherd School of Music. She was recently named Artistic Associate at Skylight Music Theatre for the 2017-18 season.

Recent Work