Today's Classical Music Video

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Soprano Aprile Millo - A Life for Art

One of the few authentic Verdi sopranos of our generation, Aprile Millo is noted for her large, warm spinto sound and dramatic commitment.  After winning several European vocal competitions including ones in Bussetto and Barcelona, Millo was propelled to fame in 1982 as a replacement for an ailing Mirella Freni as Elvira in Ernani at La Scala. She was all of 24 at the time. Millo made her Met debut as Amelia in Simone Boccanegra in 1984, and in her many years of tenure there, sang over 160 performances. The Millo timbre bears a strong resemblance to the great Renata Tebaldi, who was one of her mentors.  Her repertoire of Verdi and verismo composers is also similar to Tebaldi's.  By mid 2000's, Millo cut back on her performances and has recently focused on teaching. Her appearances in Toronto has been very infrequent, limited to Maddalena in Andrea Chenier with the COC in 1989, and a recital in the Roy Thomson Hall.  So it is good to have Millo back in town on Tuesday, Oct. 11 when she gives a masterclass at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. There are plenty of video clips of Millo on Youtube, particularly interesting is this half hour compilation of her live performances, here called Millo: A Life for Art. The dates of the various performances are uncertain but my guess is 1985-95. Lots of wonderful singing, and always exciting, sincere and heart-felt.

- Joseph K. So

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