American mezzo-soprano, Ronnita Miller, continues her upward career trajectory in the 2021-2022 season, appearing with the Metropolitan Opera as Big Stone in Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice, Michigan Opera Theatre as Ella in a new production of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, and in recital with the New World Symphony. Ms. Miller’s 2020-2021 season saw performances at The Atlanta Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin, and in the summer of 2021 she curated a recital titled What the Heart Desires with tenor Nicholas Phan for the Merola Festival.
Last season, she completed her seventh season as a member of the ensemble at Deutsche Oper Berlin. Performances there included Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana, Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Mary in Der fliegende Holländer, Madelon in Andrea Chenier, and Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera. She also made her debut at the Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam as Fricka in a performance of Die Walküre, conducted by Jaap van Zweden, and in the US she joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to sing Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana under the baton of Riccardo Muti. Ms. Miller was then scheduled to returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago to continue her portrayal of Erda and First Norn in Der Ring des Nibelungen, sing the Verdi Requiem in Utrecht, and end the season at Cincinnati Opera in her role debut as Amneris in Aida, however these performances were cancelled due to the global pandemic.
In previous seasons at Deutsche Oper Berlin, she sang Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette before returning to Lyric Opera Chicago in her signature role of Erda in Siegfried. She gave further performances of Erda in Das Rheingold at Teatro Real, Madrid before returning to The Metropolitan Opera to sing the First Norn in Götterdämmerung, and to Boston Symphony Orchestra where she sang Schwertleite in Die Walküre at Tanglewood. In the UK she sang First Norn at the Edinburgh International Festival with Sir Andrew Davis, and at Brighton Festival, Tippett’s A Child of our Time with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Role highlights at Deutsche Oper Berlin include the Handmaiden in L’invisible, Fenena in Nabucco, and Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as appearing in revival performances of some of the roles that have brought her the admiration of Berlin audiences such as Marthe Schwertlein in Faust. Other recent highlights include Erda and First Norn at San Francisco Opera and performances at Semperoper Dresden as Erda under the baton of Christian Thielemann. Guest appearances elsewhere included the role of Amando in Le Grand Macabre under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle with both the London Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic, as well as Verdi’s Requiem at Staatsoper Hannover.
Ms. Miller joined the ensemble at the Deutsche Oper Berlin for the 2013-14 season and made her house and role debut as Fenena in Nabucco, additionally singing Grimgerde in Die Walküre and First Norn in Götterdämmerung. Other roles have included Anna in Les Troyens, Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos, Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia, Alice in Lucia di Lammermoor, Filipyevna in Eugene Onegin, Wowkle in La Fanciulla del West, Geneviève in Pelléas et Mélisande, and Maddalena/Giovanna in Rigoletto.
She made her role debut as Fricka with the Odense Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the late Alexander Vedernikov. In previous seasons she debuted as Mistress Quickly in Falstaff with Los Angeles Opera, where she also sang Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer, a role she also performed at the Ravinia Festival. She joined the Cincinnati May Festival for both the Mahler’s Eighth Symphony and a special anniversary performance of Nathaniel Dett’s The Ordering of Moses under the baton of James Conlon, which was also presented at New York’s Carnegie Hall in a live broadcast performance.
In addition to performing, Ms. Miller has conducted masterclasses at St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, Florida, outreach classes in NYC, written for online publications including Interview En L’air, and has taught private lessons.
Carnegie Hall – The Ordering of Moses
Many a Beethoven Ninth and Mahler Eighth could be rescued from banality by singing such as mezzo-soprano Ronnita Nicole Miller accomplishes in her embodiment of The Voice of Israel. Commendably even-toned throughout the range required by her music, Miller’s voice is lushly beautiful, her singing of ‘O Lord, behold my affliction’ a stretch of firm, focused vocalism in the tradition of Marian Anderson and Carol Brice. It is the haunting voice of Brazilian contralto Maura Moreira that Miller’s singing in this performance most readily brings to mind, however. Already heard in numerous leading roles in European opera houses and as a granite-voiced Norn in Wagner’s Götterdämmerung at the Metropolitan Opera, Miller is a singer of tremendous potential whose superlative singing in The Ordering of Moses is but the proverbial tip of her artistic iceberg.”
Joseph Newsome, Voix des Arts
Los Angeles Opera – The Barber of Seville
Ronnita Nicole Miller made the sneezing, smoking servant Berta an arresting figure, singing her over-the-hill aria with joyous amplitude and strength, and cutting a crisp caper in her flamenco dancer-like exit.”
Chris Pasles, Los Angeles Times
Deutsche Opera Berlin – Mahler’s 2nd Symphony
Perhaps appropriately, however, given the forces involved, this was a performance that was at its best once voices were added into the mix. And what a voice it was in Urlicht: Ronnita Miller’s wonderfully soulful contralto – rich, with a velvety legato, conjures up an almost unbearably moving sense of lamentation and, as she soared delicately to the tops of phrases, hope.”
Hugo Shirley, Bachtrack
Deutsche Oper Berlin – Faust
Ronnita Miller as Marthe Schwerdtlein is also well on the way to becoming the audience favorite of the Deutsche Oper. Her beautiful, warm alto voice with a very interesting core is a great musical basis for many scenes. Her as the foundation sounds particularly beautiful in the quartet of Marguerite, Faust, Méphistophélès, Marthe!”
Alexander Hildebrandt, Opernfan
“As Marthe Schwerdtlein, Ronnita Miller is a stunner in every respect and the only (self) ironic ray of hope of the evening.”
Frederick Hanssen, Der Tagesspiegel
“With a wink, Ronnita MIller sets the humorous antithesis as a man-horny Marthe, a round woman with a wonderfully round mezzo.”
Ursula Wiegand, Online Merker
Deutsche Oper Berlin – Le Prophète
In the first place, Ronnita Miller must be mentioned as Fidès. She was the rock of the evening: all-embracing, immovable, heroic and touching. The seamlessness of the medium in the lightly sung highs as well as the sonorous bass depth made you dizzy. And yet – it was, as I said, not the high virtuosity of the singer. No, I was touched by her immovable humanity in the portrayal, being in the role to a one hundred percent state that I have seldom experienced in my long career as an opera goer. Singer and role were one. Bravo Ronnita Miller! It moved me to tears and made me silent for long moments.”
Geerd Heinsen, Opera Lounge
Los Angeles Opera – Falstaff
Ronnita Nicole Miller was confident and secure as Mistress Quickly. Possessing a burnished alto, Miller was magnetic on stage”
Matthew Richard Martinez, Bachtrack
San Francisco Opera – Ring Cycle
The mezzo-soprano Ronnita Miller brought a rich voice and noble phrasing to the role of the fateful earth goddess, Erda.”
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
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