Ahead of the Curve

Meagan Miller, vocalist

Vocalist performs at Dickinson just weeks before Met debut 

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

Soprano Meagan Miller was fresh out of Juilliard and the Juilliard Opera Center when she visited the campus in 1999 to present a concert with the Dickinson Orchestra. When she returned for a second performance a few years later, Miller was on the cusp of her European debut. And on Friday, Sept. 20, when Miller returned to Dickinson for a third concert, she came back a star. 

In the four years since her debut in Vienna, Miller has played leading roles in operas by Mozart, Strauss, Verdi and Wagner, appearing on important stages around the world. Her Dickinson performance arrived just weeks before her Metropolitan Opera debut. 

While on campus, Miller met with students in Associate Professor of Music Amy Wlodarski’s German Opera and Society class to discuss operatic roles and themes, share her experiences as an opera singer who focuses on the works of German composers, and offer her own take on the psychological profiles of the leading ladies she's portrayed. It's a perfect tie-in with the class's lesson on women and gender in Mozart's Viennese operas, says Wlodarski, and when the class dives into Strauss, they'll delve into a role that Miller will perform at the Met this fall. 

Music majors who study voice with Associate Professor of Music Lynn Helding also were able talk with Ms. Miller about how she researches and interprets a role and to what extent historical or analytical research informs her performances. Holly Kelly ’15, for one, was thrilled.

“As an aspiring professional opera singer, I was excited to hear about Ms. Miller's journey from undergrad to her Met debut,” says Kelly, a double-major in music and theatre arts. “It’s a special opportunity, because she can not only give us some insight into the music and into opera as an art form, but also give us useful career advice.”

Published September 19, 2013