Meet Soprano Meagan Miller!
Meagan Miller, a rapidly rising opera star from West Chester, PA, has been making celebrated debuts on important stages all over the world, interpreting the leading ladies of Mozart, Strauss, Verdi and Wagner. Her current season took her to a series of role and house debuts, the most recent – in the title role in Richard Strauss’ Daphne at the Vienna State Opera in December 2011.
From the review of Miller’s performance in Daphne: “With her rich, radiant soprano, she leads us into the longing of her fantasies, webbed into the depths of her dream world. In flawless beauty, she sings Strauss’s wide spanning cantilena, presents the wealth of melodic ideas with perfection, and delights with her solo scenes. Impressing with her textual clarity, her high register shining, her warmth radiating…” (Kronen Zeitung)
Hear and see Meagan Miller live as she debuts in Philadelphia March 23 & 25 in the Lyric Fest’s program “A Very Good Year – Happy Birthday to 1912” where the singer will perform another Richard Strauss’ aria, Es gibt ein Reich (Ariadne auf Naxos), among other arias and songs.
More about Meagan Miller at www.meaganmillersoprano.com
Lyric Fest’s Interview with Soprano Meagan Miller
LF: How and when did you start thinking about a career in singing? Was there a certain person or event that inspired you in the first place?
MM: I started thinking seriously about being a professional singer one summer during high school when I attended the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts. I had already found out that I loved singing classical music in my wonderful high school choir (Archmere Academy in Claymont, DE), and was taking solo voice lessons. But the experience at the PA Governor’s School really got solo performing into my blood and showed me a possible way to harness my interest into a career.
LF: What do you enjoy the most in a recital setting that you don’t usually get from an opera performance?
MM: Most of the time when a singer performs in a recital, they are standing there as themselves, not playing a character as in opera and often in oratorio. And for me, a very compelling facet of recital is that so much of what you eventually present is actually up to only you and one other person. And you have such flexibility in the moment, because one other person can respond much faster and with less information than a full orchestra. You can also use more of the soft colors in a voice, when there is not a thick orchestra texture over which to be heard.
LF: What is the best advice you ever received in your life (either personal or professional)?
MM: Make your thoughts, words, and actions align.
LF: How does it feel to finally debut in Philadelphia?
MM: It’s great to debut in Philadelphia! The closest I have come so far was when I sang an opera in concert in Princeton, which was close-ish to home. But it happened to coincide with the game when the Eagles were in the Superbowl… a very painful decision for many of my Philly fans!!! I am going to relish this one!
LF: What attracted you in Lyric Fest’s invitation?
MM: There can hardly be a colleague I love to work with more than Randall Scarlata, who put Laura Ward and me in contact. As I learned more about Lyric Fest and the great programs that have been presented, I was thrilled to have been invited.
LF: Your selections for this program are so diverse (just like the rest of the program): Strauss, Marx, Friml, Puccini and Rachmaninoff. Would you like to tell us why you made these choices besides their connection to 1912?
MM: I am very excited to hear this fantastic survey of the musical world at that time! Laura Ward worked with me to choose the repertoire, and what I will sing is a great combination of pieces that I know and love, and new discoveries. Laura knows exactly what will showcase my voice and temperament, so that is part of what my pieces have in common.
LF: Do you have any plans to return to Philadelphia or anywhere in the East Coast this year?
MM: I’ll be traveling a lot outside of the USA this year, but I will debut at the Washington National Opera this fall, singing a Mozart opera. I also will sing a duo recital with Marcello Giordani on March 4 in New York City, and (although this will not take place on the East Coast) the soprano solos in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Cleveland Orchestra March 8-12.
LF: Since we are talking about a Happy Birthday program, when is your birthday?
MM: My birthday is November 11 – a proud Scorpio!
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Interviewed for Lyric Fest by Inna Lobanova-Heasley. February 6, 2012.