Hailed as "impeccable" by Broadway World, award-winning American mezzo-soprano Gillian Lynn Cotter is quickly impressing audiences with her strong voice and dynamic presence. Recent roles include Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with Opera Louisiane, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Pensacola Opera, Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking with Shreveport Opera, the title role in Rinaldo with Fresco Opera and Angelica in the world premiere of A Capacity for Evil with Opera MODO. The 2020-2021 season’s engagements include a concert with Intermountain Opera Bozeman and rejoining the same company for their digital Singing Telegrams as well as canceled performances as Vera Lynn in Another Brick in the Wall with Michigan Opera Theatre.
Ms. Cotter recently completed her second year as an Apprentice Artist at the Santa Fe Opera. Her assignments there included covering Karolka in Jenůfa, La Madre in Madama Butterfly, and she was featured in Act 2 of Hänsel und Gretel as Hänsel in the Apprentice Scenes Showcase.
Other recent engagements have seen Ms. Cotter as Edith in The Pirates of Penzance with Opera Ithaca, her PORTopera debut as Mrs. Nolan in Gian Carlo Menotti's The Medium, and Older Alyce in Glory Denied and Jade Boucher in Heggie's Dead Man Walking with Pensacola Opera.
As the founder and Creative Director of EMITHA, Gillian Riesen is passionate about helping artists to develop digital and online media that beautifully reflects their art. As a classically trained opera singer, Gillian has a thorough and valuable understanding of unique digital needs that musicians have.
Gillian began her training in website design in 2014 with her debut company - Ink Fox Web Design - and received immediate attention for her modern designs and thoughtful layouts. Her passion for helping fellow musicians to establish a web presence led to a client family of over 60 singers, directors, conductors and instrumentalists by 2019.
During the pandemic of 2020, Gillian noticed the increasing demand for digital and online media for artists and musicians. She set out to create a single studio that could accommodate all of an artist's needs in one place, bypassing the complexity and high cost of multiple design firms for a single project.
At her core, Gillian believes in supporting artists and helping them to create the projects that they have always dreamed of. Emitha creates a space where the quality and love for art comes first, never the dollar. "As a former live performer, I know what it's like to feel like you have very little autonomy over your life - living gig to gig, only able to perform when an opportunity is given to you. I want artists to feel like they can create their own opportunities and not feel overwhelmed with having to hire 8 different studios to do so. They should be able to focus on the art and leave the rest to us."
Gillian currently lives outside of Buffalo, NY with her husband John and son Roman. She recently received her Doctorate in Opera Performance with a specialty in American and Polish Art Song. In her free time Gillian enjoys long-distance running, sci-fi movies and moonlights as a wedding photographer.