Mildred Miller International Voice Competition

The Mildred Miller International Voice Competition was founded in 2011 to identify and nurture talented young singers. The competition is named for Pittsburgh Festival Opera founder Mildred Miller Posvar.
Mildred Miller International Voice Competition

This season, Pittsburgh Festival Opera will be presenting a special “All Mezzo” edition of the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition. Mezzo Sopranos ages 18 and up are encouraged to apply to the online-only competition to receive cash prizes. Prior winners have gone on to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Santa Fe Opera.

In this completely online edition, Artistic Administrator Lindsay Lehman and Hans and Leslie Fleischner Young Artists Program Director, Rob Frankenberry will screen the candidates and select ten  finalists. These finalists will then be heard by our esteemed panel of Mezzo All-Stars, including Pittsburgh Festival Opera Artistic Director Marianne Cornetti, and Ms. Posvar herself. The judges will select two arias from each finalist, and they will spend two weeks working with Rob Frankenberry to create personalized tracks of these arias. Each finalist will then be shipped a user-friendly camera to record themselves along with the track. These videos will be uploaded and will then be used to judge  the winners.

On Friday, November 6, all ten finalists will be presented in an online concert featuring the high-definition videos that were created by the finalists. The ‘Audience Favorite” prize will be selected based on votes cast from this online performance. Winners will be announced publicly on Sunday, November 8 and presented in an online concert featuring the videos of the First, Second, Third Prize, and Audience Favorite winners.

First Prize: $3,000

Second Prize: $2,000

Third Prize: $1,000

Eugene N. and Barbara L. Myers Audience Favorite Prize: $1,000

Timeline

  • Applications Due: September 25th, 2020
  • Finalists Notified: On, or around, October 3rd, 2020
  • Judges listen to finalist pre-screens and select two final arias: Selections made by October 11th, 2020
  • Finalists work with Rob Frankenberry: between October 11th and October 28th
  • Finalists are shipped cameras to record: between October 26th and October 31st. No uploads later than November 1st.
  • Finals Streaming Concert: November 6th, 2020
  • Winners Announced and Winners Streaming Concert: November 8th, 2020

Mildred Miller Posvar

Mezzo-soprano Mildred Miller Posvar was a featured artist for 23 consecutive seasons at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. She appeared with every major opera company in the United States and the leading houses of Europe, and toured the world as an acclaimed recitalist. Ms. Miller is widely recognized for her work with young singers.

As a recording artist, she holds the Grand Prix du Disque for Bruno Walter’s only recording of Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer. She appeared regularly on radio and television, popularizing the classics on The Bell Telephone Hour and The Voice of Firestone. She has sung to audiences as far-flung as Borneo and as all-American as the White House. She has won special acclaim for her singing of German Lieder. Her operatic roles included Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro—her debut role at the Met and her exclusive domain there for a decade; the title role in Carmen; Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier; Suzuki in Madama Butterfly; Rosina in The Barber of Seville; and Dorabella in Così fan tutte.

In 1978, Ms. Miller founded the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh (now Pittsburgh Festival Opera) as a professional company featuring emerging singers and dedicated to education and audience development. She fashioned the company after Boris Goldovsky’s New England Opera Theater where she performed before beginning her career as a principal artist at the Metropolitan Opera. She has taught at Carnegie Mellon University for several years.

Ms. Miller studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the New England Conservatory, and in Europe. She holds honorary degrees from the Cleveland Institute, the New England Conservatory, Bowling Green (Ohio) University, and Washington and Jefferson College. She is a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania (past President), and serves on the board of directors of a number of arts organizations and foundations including the Goldovsky Foundation.

Among recent awards are a Gold Medal from the National Society of Arts and Letters; the Keystone Salute from the Pennsylvania Association of Music Clubs; the Distinguished Service Award from Slippery Rock University; and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Cleveland Institute of Music. The University of Pittsburgh maintains a music scholarship in her name.

Past Winners

2019

  • 1st Place: Teresa Castillo, Soprano
  • 2nd Place: Elisabeth Rosenberg, Soprano
  • 3rd Place: Amber R. Monroe, Soprano
  • Eugene N. and Barbara L. Myers Audience Favorite: Teresa Castillo, Soprano

2018

  • 1st Place: Katherine Beck, Mezzo-Soprano
  • 2nd Place: Kylena Parks, Soprano
  • 3rd Place: Terrence Chin-Loy, Tenor
  • Eugene N. and Barbara L. Myers Audience Favorite: Kylena Parks, Soprano

2017

  • 1st Place: Meghan Kasanders, Soprano
  • 2nd Place: Shannon Jennings, Soprano
  • 3rd Place: Melinda Whittington, Soprano
  • Eugene N. and Barbara L. Myers Audience Favorite: Errin Duane Brooks, Tenor
  • Mildred Miller Mezzo-Soprano: Corrie Stallings, Mezzo-Soprano

2016

  • 1st Place: Alasdair Kent, Tenor
  • 2nd Place: Chelsea Basler, Soprano
  • 3rd Place: Jaquelyn Stucker, Soprano
  • Audience Favorite: Jonathan Tetelman, Tenor

MMIVC 2015 Finalists

2015

  • 1st Place: Kisma Jordan, Soprano
  • 2nd Place: Brian Vu, Baritone
  • 3rd Place: Aaron Short, Tenor and Reginald Smith Jr., Baritone
  • Audience Favorite: Brian Vu, Baritone

2014

  • 1st Place: Karen Chia-Ling Ho, Soprano
  • 2nd Place: Edward Nelson, Baritone
  • 3rd Place: Josh Quinn, Bass-Baritone
  • Audience Favorite: Alexandra Loutsion, Soprano
  • Commendation for Excellence: Jasmine Muhammed, Soprano

2013

  • 1st Place: Elizabeth Baldwin, Soprano
  • 2nd Place: Erik Van Heyningan, Bass-Baritone
  • 3rd Place: Danielle Messina, Soprano

2012

  • 1st Place: Juan José de León, Tenor
  • 2nd Place: Shannon Kessler Dooley, Soprano
  • 3rd Place: Stephanie Lauricella, Mezzo-Soprano
  • Honorary Certificate: Lara-Lynn Cottrill, Soprano

2011

  • 1st Place: Andrey Nemzer, Countertenor
  • 2nd Place: Jennifer Cherest, Soprano
  • 3rd Place: Suzanne Vinnik, Soprano