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

Always her own woman, Jean did not follow a conventional path to the worlds of opera, concerts, art song recitals and cabaret. She was awarded grants and scholarships* that allowed her to customize her own education, as befitted the daughter of two musicians from whom she had already learned a great deal.

Jean's art is the direct result of her innate musicality. A career that began in church and professional choirs and operetta quickly evolved into a career in opera that included performances around the world.

Early in her career, Jean spent three seasons at the Stratford Festival performing in Gilbert and Sullivan productions.  Availing herself of drama and movement classes there helped her to realize the importance of becoming not only a good singer, but a good actor.  Words and 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 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 

Additional links: 

*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

Patti Loach has been playing the piano since she was six.

She is a grateful product of the vocal (low alto) and instrumental (clarinet) music programmes offered by Scarborough's public schools; a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto (A.R.C.T. Performance), and of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto (MusBachHons).

In addition to loving classical music, she’s mad for the American Songbook… and musical theatre, in general.

Her recordings, Carmen UnZipped (with Jean Stilwell) and Pull Me Through (with Patricia Zentilli), as well as her work in shows like "The Shopping Cart of Love" and "Patti with an 'i' and Patty with a 'y'" (Patricia Zentilli), "The Picture of Happiness" (Brad Hampton)"Love, Lunacy and Longing" (Lindsay Sutherland Boal), and PS: Patti and Susan,  (Susan Henleyreflect her love of music written for singer with pianist. 

She has written five shows including "What Was I Saying?" and  “Carmen UnZipped”, which she performed around the world with opera diva Jean Stilwell.

Patti loves to listen to jazz and to jazz piano, in particular. Some of her favorite pianists are Glenn Gould, Alex Rybeck, Hélène Grimaud, Mike Renzi, Bill Evans, Gene Di Novi and Bill Charlap, that is,  pianists from the varying worlds of classical music, jazz, musical theatre and cabaret.

Patti lives happily and busily with her beautiful, trumpet-playing husband, John, in the Beach neighbourhood of Toronto, just around the corner from Glenn Gould’s childhood home. They are the amazed parents of three beautiful men - Will, Rob and Ned and enamored grandparents of twins - Harper and Emmett.  When they’re not making their own music, or hosting salons and soirées for musician and actor friends, Patti and John record other singers and instrumentalists in the studio they’ve built in their kitchen.

Patti's idea of a perfect evening is one spent in the company of friends and family, cooking, making music, laughing and loving.

"Loach is a chameleon of the keyboard, playing brilliantly in so many different styles I sometimes feel she should be checked out for multiple personality disorder!"  Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star


  • The Shopping Cart of Love (as performer): with Patricia Zentilli
  • The Picture of Happiness (as music director, performer): with Brad Hampton, directed by Rae Ellen Bodie
  • Conversations at 3 a.m. (as pianist):  Lindsay Sutherland Boal
  • Love and Life (as writer, music director, performer): Jean Stilwell
  • Here’s To You (as writer, music director, performer): Jean Stilwell
  • Carmen UnZipped (as writer, music director, performer): Jean Stilwell, co-directed by Brad Hampton and Rae Ellen Bodie
  • Not Exactly Paris (as writer, music director, performer): Jean Stilwell
  • What Was I Saying? (as writer, music director, performer): Jean Stilwell
  • PS: Patti and Susan (collaborator, performer): Susan Henley



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