DONATE Mildred Miller Posvar 1924-2023 Rest in peace and song Together, we are heartbroken, mourning the loss of our company’s founder, her spirit and generosity as beautiful as her voice. Mildred Miller Purple curtain

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.

Mildred Miller as Octavian

Mildred Miller, Stalwart of the Metropolitan Opera, Dies at 98

The New York Times (December 24, 2023) – In her 23 years at the Met, she sang with the greatest stars of her day. She had a second career as a leading figure in the artistic life of Pittsburgh.

Video still of Mildred Miller

A Tribute to Mildred Miller Posvar and the Tenth Anniversary

Hear from the diva herself the story of her career, along with some special guests coming by to thank her for her contributions to opera, family, and Pittsburgh.

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.

Past Winners

2020: Mezzo-Soprano Edition

  • 1st Place: Kate Tombaugh, Mezzo-Soprano
  • 2nd Place: Talin Nalbandian, Mezzo-Soprano
  • 3rd Place: Alice Chung, Mezzo-Soprano
  • 3rd Place: Emily Harmon, Mezzo-Soprano
  • Eugene N. and Barbara L. Myers Audience Favorite: Kimberly E. Milton, Mezzo-Soprano

2019 Mildred Miller International Voice Competition winners


  • 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 Mildred Miller International Voice Competition winner


  • 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 Mildred Miller International Voice Competition winners


  • 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 Mildred Miller International Voice Competition winners


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

MMIVC 2015 Finalists


  • 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


  • 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


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


  • 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


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

Watch the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition 2017

1st Place: Meghan Kasanders, Soprano

2nd Place: Shannon Jennings, Soprano

3rd Place: Melinda Whittington, Soprano