The short version
Hillary Jean Young is a singer and a multi-disciplinary artist currently based in San Diego, CA.
The straightforward version
Canadian soprano Hillary Jean Young is happiest when they are making music amongst friends. Hillary’s eclectic creative practice involves a diverse range of projects, including traditional opera, contemporary chamber music, devised dance theatre work, experimental pop music, and more. Last year, Hillary and pianist Kyle Adam Blair’s performance of Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine was described as “creating something remarkable: an intertwined sensitivity that resulted in remarkable music-making” (UT San Diego). Hillary also recently toured around western Canada with their queercore performance art duo, “masc4masc”, with a final sold out homecoming show at Weird Hues in Chula Vista. Hillary has performed with numerous ensembles and orchestras, such as UCSD’s Palimpsest, kallisti chamber opera, red fish blue fish, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra. Hillary’s operatic experience includes roles such as the title role in Janáček’s Příhody lišky Bystroušky, La Modista in Rota’s Il cappello di paglia di Firenze, and Lisha in the premiere of Steve Lewis’ Noon at Dusk. In addition, their interpretation of Jenny in Weill’s The Threepenny Opera was hailed as “showing both the acidity and the humanity at the core of this work” (UT San Diego). From the studio of Nancy Hermiston, Hillary received their Masters of Music in Opera from the University of British Columbia in May, 2014. Hillary is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in Contemporary Music Performance at the University of California, San Diego under the tutelage of Susan Narucki.
The long-winded version
Hillary Jean Young (they/them) isn’t just an opera singer. Hillary was born in Grand Forks, British Columbia, where they were homeschooled, giving them the opportunity to fully embrace their budding interest in music. Hillary started the Camosun College diploma in Voice at the Victoria Conservatory of Music when they were sixteen. At the Victoria Conservatory, Hillary was blessed with the confident guidance of Canadian soprano Joanne Hounsell. With Joanne's encouragement, Hillary auditioned for the University of British Columbia Voice Performance program where they were accepted with a scholarship. At UBC, Hillary was given world-class training as a singer and a performer, which they owe all to the incomparable Nancy Hermiston. During their BMus in Voice and their MMus in Opera, Hillary was given the opportunity to perform a variety of operatic roles and chamber music, nurturing their love for 20th and 21st century music. Highlights include performing the title role in Janáček’s Příhody lišky Bystroušky in Vancouver and the Czech Republic, winning the prestigious Roberto and Mary Wood Scholarship, winning the UBC Concerto Competition and performing Berg's Sieben frühe Lieder with the UBC Symphony Orchestra, studying and performing Kurtág's Attila József Fragments, and participating in the renowned Vancouver International Song Institute. Hillary decided to chase their contemporary music dreams all the way to Southern California, where they are now pursuing their DMA in Contemporary Music Performance at the University of California, San Diego, under the tutelage of Susan Narucki.
In their time at UCSD, Hillary has been experimenting more with mixing genres and using their voice in new ways. Hillary recently curated and performed in a multidisciplinary show titled "Hillary(Jean Young)2016" at the legendary Che Cafe. Hillary performed works by Missy Mazzoli, Carolyn Chen, Gabriel Kahane, and Laurie Anderson, and featured several of their extremely talented friends, including pianist Kyle Adam Blair, dancer Erin Tracy, electronic musician Johannes Regnier, and artist Jessica Buie. Hillary was also recently involved in the experimental opera project "The Voice Machine"; a collaboration between performers and composers at UCSD and Stanford. In addition, Hillary has enjoyed fruitful collaborations with their dear friend and fellow artist Sadie Hochman; together, they have crafted queercore performance art projects !.!vOdKaGuMmYbEaRlOlLiPoP!.! and masc4masc and performed in and hosted a variety of events around San Diego. Hillary’s other recent career highlights include performing the role of Lisha in the recent premier of Steve Lewis' opera Noon at Dusk, performing Luciano Berio's Sinfonia with the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra, performing Steve Reich's Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ in San Diego Symphony's "It's About Time" festival, and participating in the devised interdisciplinary dance performance, Though it May Shift, directed by Erin Tracy. In May 2017, Hillary performed Francis Poulenc's La Voix Humaine with long time collaborator Kyle Adam Blair and UCSD's Kallisti ensemble, and the San Diego U-T seemed to like it.
Hillary completed their qualifying examinations for their DMA in September 2017. So far in 2018 they have made their Mexican debut with Kallisti at the Autonomous University of Baja California, Ensenada and performed masc4masc's most recent multimedia piece "Dawson'sCreamo" around western Canada as well as in San Diego. This fall, they will be defending their dissertation, performing their final DMA recital, and appearing in the premiere of Lei Liang's opera Inheritance.