The Mildred Miller International Voice Competition was founded in 2011 to identify and nurture talented young singers. The competition,which offers young professionals cash prizes and solo roles in the 2019 Summer Season, is named for Pittsburgh Festival Opera founder Mildred Miller Posvar, who sang for 26 illustrious seasons at the Metropolitan Opera and other world capitals. Miller's acclaimed recordings include Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with conductor Bruno Walter, Mozart's Le Nozze de Figaro with Erich Leinsdorf, and the commemorative concert and album celebrating the Boston Pops Orchestra 100th anniversary with Arthur Fiedler.

View the 2018 Winners

Interested in the 2019 Mildred Miller International Voice Competition? The application process will open in late-August 2019.


General Information 

Saturday 26 October 2019 from 11:00 am–1:00 pm and 3:00–6:00 pm
Mellon Institute Auditorium, Carnegie Mellon University, 4400 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15213
[Entrance on Bellefield Avenue.]

Sunday 27 October 2019 from 2:00–5:00 pm
Frick Art & Historical Center, 7227 Reynolds Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15208

Age Eligibility
Contestants must be 35 or younger on Saturday 27 October 2019.

Applications are accepted through YAPTracker only. 

Application Fee
The application fee is $50, paid through YAPTracker.

Deadline to Apply
The application closes on Monday 7 October at 11:59 pm.


2018 Competition Finals





Three prizes will be awarded:

  • 1st Prize, $6,000 which includes a $3,000 contract to sing an appropriate substantial role in a Pittsburgh Festival Opera production and a guaranteed place in the Resident Artists Program during the 2020 summer festival.
  • 2nd Prize: $5,000 which includes a $3,000 contract to sing an appropriate role in a Pittsburgh Festival Opera production and a guaranteed place in the Resident Artists Program during the 2020 summer festival.
  • 3rd Prize: $4,000 which includes a $3,000 contract to sing an appropriate role in a Pittsburgh Festival Opera production and a guaranteed place in the Resident Artists Program during the 2020 summer festival.
  • Audience Favorite Prize: $1,000
  • Finalists who don't receive a prize will receive a small travel honorarium. 



Wednesday 21 August 2019
Applications become available on YAPTracker—available through 7 October 2019.

Monday 7 October 2019
Applications process closes at 11:59 pm.

Wednesday 9 October 2019
Notification to all semi-finalists.

Saturday 26 October 2019
Semi-final rounds begin in Pittsburgh at Mellon Institute Auditorium. The morning session will occur from 11:00 am–1:00 pm, and then will resume from 3:00–6:00 pm. (The semi-final round is open to the public free-of-charge.) At the end of the evening, all semi-finalists will be notified as to whether they have been selected to continue in the final round.

Sunday 27 October 2019
Final rounds will begin at the Frick Art & Historical Center at 2:00 pm, in a session open to the public as a ticketed event. Singers participating in the final round will be assigned a warm-up time and location. All singers in the final round (approximately 7–10 singers) will perform their selections on the first half of the program, and the judges will convene during the intermission to make their final selections. Awarding of prizes will occur at the conclusion of the event.

Immediately following the competition, all finalists will be invited to a private reception held in a nearby historic home.



Semi-Finalists and Finalists need to bring five selections, at least three contrasting operatic arias in three different languages, and two art songs, or all arias. At least one of these selections must be sung in English. Questions about repertoire can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Candidates must be available at the time of the competition to accept appropriate roles in the 2020 Summer Season, which runs from mid-June to mid-July, 2020. Lead roles will be offered to winners in the several productions—please see YAPTracker for a list of specific operas.


What the judges look for

The Mildred Miller International Voice Competition celebrates singers who, like Ms. Miller in her stellar career, excel in singing and performing opera as drama. The competition focuses on artists who can communicate through song and word, demonstrating not only the contestant’s vocal talent and musicianship, but also making a strong dramatic impression through the synthesis of singing and acting.

Candidates are encouraged in their audition arias to create a character and both sing and act it out as fully as possible in an audition context.


Comments from past winners

Andrey Nemzer, Countertenor
Competition winner 2011, Met Finalist 2012, Operalia Awardee 2014.
Roles with PFO have included Ramiro, La Finta Giardiniera; Old Lady, Candide; Monostatos, The Magic Flute; Caesar, Julius Caesar

"I am so pleased to write to you, expressing the wonderful experiences I had at Summerfest 2012. You are all extremely talented and SummerFest is an amazing organization.  Everyone was truly devoted to the great art of Opera and all involved worked from the heart.”


Juan José De León, Tenor
Competition Winner 2012, now at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Paris
Roles with PFO have included Tamino, The Magic Flute

“Performing with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh was a wonderful experience. I had the opportunity to revisit one of my favorite characters, Tamino, and breathe new life into him in a colorful and imaginative production.”


Elizabeth Baldwin, Soprano
Competition Winner 2013, San Francisco Symphony, Virginia Opera, Chautauqua Institution
Roles with PFO have included Ariadne, Ariadne on Naxos

“Thank you so much for this incredible experience of getting to work on some of my favorite music and characters! This company is truly THE BEST and I have loved every minute of it!”




Frequently Asked Questions


Note: Pittsburgh Festival Opera reserves the right to extend the deadline for application submissions.