A Summer of Discovery: The Voices of Operavision Academy and a promise to the future

•October 18, 2015 • Comments Off on A Summer of Discovery: The Voices of Operavision Academy and a promise to the future

This entire summer proved to be a revelation.

Not always in the best terms, but for spirit, and guts and desire.  These young people who worked so hard and endured one of the hottest summers on record in Italy with really no fans, or AC,  showed themselves hungry to learn, eager to be better.  Various levels of career…. but no one without that little nugget of gold.     Everyone of them stepped up their game, and improved and entertained and made a great effect on themselves and those that were moved by them.

This is a little video I will expand on later…. it details the birth of the Academy, and the stories of just a handful of the incredible young voices we heard.  It reveals the honor we enjoyed with the presence of a true bel canto legend and champion of wit and candor and wisdom….

Giovanni Eric Pasotto is a real find….here is a man who should be running an agency, as he has the vision, and the smarts to manage such detailed and dreamlike situations …. He had approached his dear friend, Mary-Lou with the idea to come with this inaugural program to the Centro Studi Italiani in Urbania, Italy.

The  concept of doing one of these summer programs, which I always dreaded and avoided, was something unusual for me.

But when I took a look at the times we are in, how they keep saying opera doesn’t attract the young, or it is dying.

Well, I don’t think you need go further with that. There are thousands of young and not so young folks that want to make a difference in opera.

Where  will they get the training?  How do you feel safe to make mistakes and grow, and strive to be better….

Does anyone remind you of the levels that came before you? The singers that excelled, so you even KNOW their names, much less learn from their incredible journeys in music.  Does anyone make you feel a part of the vast tradition and beauty and exalted thought that is opera? That they are whole styles missing today and treatments to the music that are glaringly NOT THERE.  It does’t sound in my discussions with younger artists that they get much exposure to the singers who came before them, much less the composers. They don’t dress, they treat things causal like they have other day jobs. This is not to say everyone is this way, but where is the elegance, the good taste, the dignity. People sing everything the same, Puccini like Mozart, Verdi like Verismo, and bel canto? With very few exceptions we do not have it on display today.

So, count me in… more than I did before, I will help with all that I know and have. I join all those who are trying to stem the tide of indifference. We will all have to fight hard, audience and performer and it can of course be successful..every voyage starts with the first step….

So to avoid the usual program, I had the great good blessing of knowing a deeply amazing young man who came to opera and fell madly in love with it….                 Mr. Luigi Caiola. I will never know how to thank him enough, for without him none of this could have been done, and done in the way I wanted it to be….

In short, to be a place where we start chipping away at the marble, to find the vocal Davids out there.

To put them in history, while. they are making their own.

To GIVE as well as take….

Take the abundance of three weeks in the most gorgeous, breathtaking country in the world… full of history and important milestone history

in opera and classical music that is being picked to pieces in front of our very eyes…..

The arts are under siege….

But also, GIVE….  in large donations for the three beautiful centers of music and history we chose….

Casa di Riposo per Musicisti… of Verdi in Milano, Villa Puccini at Torre del Lago with Simonetta Puccini’s efforts to restore the Villa to full glory, and the hauntingly beautiful, Museo Tebaldi in Busseto.

You cannot believe how much it feels like Renata Tebaldi will walk in at any minute, how very beautifully they have done this tribute to her. Giovanna Colombo, with Marisa Pak, and with Renata’s great protector and a true part of her heart, Tina Vigano’ lovingly putting every piece in order and working tirelessly to keep this glorious voice and woman before the public and part of musical talk.  She is very much there and I cried and cried at all the memories I could touch and feel and see again…. much more to come in the follow ups, but just these few thoughts….

To Carlo Menconi and the Amici della Lirica, Circolo Carrarese, for his incredible genius in helping to arrange two special concerts to help us raise funds to give to the three mighty centers of music we wanted to honor..He is also a Knight in shining armor of a man, and I adore and cherish his friendship always…..

And of course, my thanks, to Richard Bonynge for being a comrade in arms this summer and fighting the good battle for something he loves dearly. Music and the magic of the human voice.

Mary-Lou Vetere, you are an amazing woman, or many accomplishments, one after the other done to excellence. Your finest gift is your voice, and I am so thrilled to see you advance so beautifully and soon share with the world this special artistry….. and thank you for bringing this beautiful dream to me…. and for the fire that burns within you for the arts, it can truly light and warm the world……Brava….

So, let’s start that army…. of soldiers for the Arts….                                                                                 respect, reverence for the music and the words….                                                                                           Let’s go Olivia Pope on everyone and combine artists who will be gladiators for the arts, that will not back down, that are disciplined and ever vigilant to be of service to music and to keep this beautiful combination of emotion, and music and theater, and text and dance….EVERYTHING…..keep it alive….

More lovely things to announce shortly…. but take a moment and share with us the maiden voyage…. ups and downs, and joys and sorrows,  and so much to look forward to.

Next year ?  Oh you have no idea how fun this is going to be……

To HONOR and Celebrate Opera and its GREATS/ A Summer of Discovery!

•June 9, 2015 • Comments Off on To HONOR and Celebrate Opera and its GREATS/ A Summer of Discovery!

A chance for this beautiful summer to unfold, with people from 16 to 65 showing their love for the world of opera, in concerts and immersion into the fabric of a society of beautiful people in a culture that breeds beauty and melody and is a place and country so full of opera history is boggles the mind.

I have to thank profoundly Carlo Menconi and the amazing champions of opera The Circolo Carrarese Amici della Lirici “A. Mercuriali” for the profound inspiration and priceless help and advice.  They are a miraculous, intelligent amazing people and I thank them most profoundly, especially Carlo Menconi for his great heart, and knowledge and guidance.

How do I say thank you to a great man of family, and of society, and of theater. Thank you to Tony Award Winning Producer, Luigi Caiola, without whom, this Summer of LOVE for the Art of Opera and the Operavision Academy would never have been able to happen at the level we are able to present it to our beloved Italy….. Luigi, thank you, and your amazing family, but thank you…. from my heart and all our hearts.  You know I love you…..

Here then,

Operavision Academy and its young artists make this pilgrimage to a place of so much history and are humbled to be even a small part of the spiritual and musical prism of genius melody, prodigious profound poetry and beauty that is Italy. Instead of just partaking the sights, and enjoying the food resplendant and unsurpassed, the wines kissed by Italian sunshine grown in a rich soil of centuries of care and love, and share this with the people so full of joy and passion, we wish also to leave a trace of our heart to remain always faithfully in Italy with our song and from our hearts, the sounds of our very souls.

Operavision Academy is giving several concerts featuring the young artists of this year’s Academy, and also some of the wonderful Italian artists who serve music so fabulously here in Italy and make their nation proud…..There we are pleased and honored to be presenting formally donations to three of the most important and historic Foundations in Italy who are some of the beloved guardians of the memories and the works of some of the Sons and Daughters of Italy who gave so prodigiously their gifts to the world. May they NEVER be forgot, and thank you to these great and worthy Foundations.

A United family in service to Opera!   One month and counting…..launching with hearts full and hopes high!!!!

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The 12 of July In Carrara: To Honor an Angel in a Church! Renata Tebaldi

•June 4, 2015 • Comments Off on The 12 of July In Carrara: To Honor an Angel in a Church! Renata Tebaldi

duomo3I am so pleased to announce, that with magnificent help from many dear friends, one giant of a man, we are able to present in the incredibly beautiful, awe inspiring IL Duomo di Carrara, a marvel of antiquity and artistic history and beauty, a special concert that will mark my return to Italy to sing with many wonderful artists, as an evening in a Church for one of our most beloved singing angels, the great, the unique the one the only…..Renata Tebaldi….

Much more to come, and information on the gracious artists who will be lending their gifts from God to pay homage to this great legendary voice, all  to raise monies for the sparkling success that is the brand new Museo Tebaldi, curated with love and true adoration by the Comitato Tebaldi, tireless work by Giovanna Colombo and the shining presence of one of Renata’s truest and biggest parts of her heart, Tina Vigano’.  This Museo is to remember Renata, and in a small way as well, the history of melodrama as their are also rare examples of costumes and momentoes from some of the greats that served opera.  During Milano’s EXPO and in this fabulous week of the busy Weeks of Festival of Marmo in historic Carrara where so many geniuses went to their quarries to summon the magic from their pieces of marble, as Michelangelo said of his David, to “release him” from inside that giant piece of marble…. and so many artisans have honored the Duomo of Carrara…. by leaving examples and treasures of their work to adorn the church…. You are surrounded by art at every glance, and now joined to the art of the human voice, you will be bathed in beauty and some of God’s greatest reminders…..Much more to share…but save the DATE and come celebrate with me as we open this Summer of Discovery with a gift of love and support and our voices raised in song for Renata Tebaldi.  Stay tuned….. you will not want to miss this!

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They seem to be saying….. stay tuned….. much more to come…..and Brava Renata…. so many to thank and so many to share with you all, but save the date, 12 of July….. in Carrara…..Il Duomo di Carrara….. come be with me!

Ladies and Gentlemen: We have lift-off!

•January 28, 2015 • Comments Off on Ladies and Gentlemen: We have lift-off!

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I am, along with Dr. Mary-Lou Vetere, thrilled beyond measure to announce the launch of an Italian Summer of Discovery!    Operavision Academy – L’Accademia Millo-Vetere,  in association with the historic Centro Studi Italiani, the wonderful Giovanni Pasotto and his amazing family and staff are offering this chance to be the change we wish to encourage in all those that serve music as a performing artist. I am proud beyond measure to welcome to the OV Family, the truly legendary, Maestro, voice pedagogue and music scholar, bel canto’s mighty champion:  Richard Bonynge. To have a an Italian genius, iconic director of film and opera in Franco Zeffirelli giving us the beginning of each week in fabulous little spoken films that anoint the focus of the weeks work. Very rare and very appreciated. So many wonderful guests, and the honored presence of the amazing Simonetta Puccini. A personal favorite of mine for her brilliant mind, passion for the Arts and her devotion to her family and their legacy. Fantastic treasure of Italy she is.

A Three Week intense immersion into all things operatic, a feast for the hungry singing soul to find substance, to allow the Operavision Academy and the amazing people assembled this year to help artists across the age spectrum to SEE themselves differently. Nourish the artist inside  with information, tools to become free to risk, free to communicate, express. proper style and diction and the encouragement to be different, be individual, yet part of a great tradition. Be the canvas seen with the colors and the strokes of the master composer, as it is all in the text and the music. We have assembled a fabulous group of devoted music lovers who passionately believe in its power, how very much alive it is, and how that can be carried to the world in a message of renewed vigor and immense commitment through the artists we will meet.

As with everything in abundance, we offer the courses like “food for the soul”, and we are acutely aware of the crisis in funds for all those who serve the arts, so we are determined to offer, one, two or three week courses as an option.  Those participating in the entire “banquet” will of course see it all.   

Please go on this website to the information links and avail yourself of the many pleasures and opportunities to learn and inspire yourself to greater heights.      This is an incredible chance to be with us for our inaugural year. www.operavisionacademy.co for all the information and applications and important updates.  

We are on  Facebook, Twitter and many more places as the roll out continues. In the next few days, a few little films, and constant updates as this has fantastically caught fire in Italy, and around the world, and people are stepping forward to help in any way they can…. it has been amazing.  A family of opera lovers imploring the artists to be the best they can be…….   See you in Urbania…….!


Italian Summer of Great Possibility……

•January 19, 2015 • Comments Off on Italian Summer of Great Possibility……

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Some Music and Photos from the Toronto Recital NOV 2014

•January 9, 2015 • Comments Off on Some Music and Photos from the Toronto Recital NOV 2014



Ippolito, piano,  Millo and Aregentine Baritone, Gustavo Ahaulli fro AIDA duet


Millo with harpist, Merynda Adams


Mary-Lou Vetere, hear astounding with the accordion….. two nights before winning standing ovations for her gorgeous singing…..


A demonic orchestra masquerading as a pianist of rare finesse and power.


Norma Trio……  Millo, Vetere, Folinazzo    Vetere Studio, Chorus     Linda Ippolito, piano


The first 11 pieces I would say are the Toronto recital of Nov. 2104. The gorgeous sanctuary of Trinity St. Paul’s in Toronto was the most beautiful setting…. click on this jumble of links below and it will take you to page where you can hear all the clips if you like….

Enjoy, I certainly did…..


Are the Roses Still Blooming by the sweet Bendemeer?

•September 26, 2014 • Comments Off on Are the Roses Still Blooming by the sweet Bendemeer?


Such an exciting time ahead. Filled with opportunity to feel alive and sing and share music.

In a world where I am entering literally the adult prime of my life for a voice grown in size, now become a true spinto, leaning towards dramatic, my luck is that the world of opera has gone crazy and after 35 you are supposed to slink off and what? For what?  40 and you are supposed to be done?  We would never have had Flagstad, who debuted at 39 in her true voice, and so many other voices that grew into their instruments, the way fine wine gets better with time.  It was and is supposed to be that way with voice too.

I have never ever been dutiful and done what I was told to do, why start now?  I have been singing since I was 9, made my debut in 1980 in Aida in Utah, 1982 at La Scala, 84 at the Metropolitan Opera… we are looking at a 30 plus year career of singing!   I have a little more to say in my soul and in my singing, so I resolve to sing. I find an industry more like MGM, and figure and face is everything. It isn’t just presentation, that is important, but it isn’t everything, yet so many have drunk the Kool-Aid and bought in to this gotta dance, gotta sing, gotta….whatever, but look good and be prepared to show a lot of skin.  Luciano did warn me this was where it was all going and I did not help matters by growing larger than I should be, and certainly I played recluse better than Garbo.  Listening to what is presented on stage, I felt, why not. Get back in the parade.  I don’t want to sit back, hide. I want to fight for this art form I love. I hate when they call it a dinosaur, then they say it is dead.  It isn’t dead, they aren’t good enough to kill it.  It adjusts, but it has to keep the core of what it is to go forward.

I am  true to my old fashioned ways, same message I gave at the beginning of my life in music is the consistent one I still offer today.  Stay true to the music, let the words carry the story, fill it with noble sound, and get out there and leave everything on the stage….

Listening to Anna Netrebko the other night, who sang a wonderful Lady Macbeth, she did what I love and she gave it everything she had. I admire her so much, and she enjoyed a terrific success, and it helps that I like her a lot. She has always been herself as much as one can before the public, and she is one of the few I will actually go and see, this next Saturday matinee I hope, if I can get in. Happy news when something sells out and it might just do that.

Why do I love this?   Because it is generous and giving and ample…..  what I like in singing….  I don’t have press people running around for me, telling everyone, I just do it, and those that come and hear me, see and hear that.

My advice to everyone singing, wanting to, or trying to, or studying to?  Just do it, have love for what you are doing,  be humble in the face of the greatness of the music , make sure your style is correct in the utterance of the composer, and have nothing but pride about be a singing instrument, a living Strad . Being an opera singer is a disciplined privilege  and an honor,  and working towards being a really great communicator is something special. Working for, and living in the words given to you to express the composers time and feelings, yet, when you have thought about it, couldn’t they really be your own? Haven’t we all loved and lost, and won? Wanted someone who did not want us back, or couldn’t love someone who wanted us? Had to please our families, appease their expectations of us, fulfill their hopes as well as our own. Politically charged times are exactly like the times most of the supposed dinosaur operas were written in?  Far from dead, opera has a lot more to say… and I guess so do I!

Opera is so screamingly relevant now as it ever was, it just doesn’t seem to have people as trusting of its greatness.

And so, we continue. Pray to be worthy and go forward. Happily, at this writing I am looking forward to a weekend in Canada, presenting a fabulous group of young Canadians,all under the watchful eye of a young PhD scholar who happens to sing really well, in fact as gorgeous as she is, so is her voice. Hate her. Mary-Lou Vetere is a throw back. A properly, beautifully raised young Canadian girl, from a third generation Calabrese family…. and she is every bit that, Italian to the core. You cannot imagine how good she is…It will also  be very interesting hearing this studio she works so hard for, filled with fantastic talent, and presenting it in a sanctuary is perfect. A refuge. An oasis. Young people in LOVE with the Art and inspired. I feel blessed being around this and it renews my spirit. I have chosen to do it differently,this evening will be like nothing you could imagine. Opera will come alive right in front of your eyes….

Nov.13th, 2014    Aprile Millo presents the Vetere Studio in OPERA SPECTACULAR! At the gorgeous Trinity St.Paul’s Centre in Toronto, Canada.

Opera Spectacular!  Final Draft

Then  NOV 15th, 2014  immediately after, …is a recital with me.….same bat-time, same-bat place, well one half hour later for my concert at 7:30 with the amazing virtuoso pianist, Linda Ippolito, a fantastic attorney and a very accomplished concert pianist. Featuring Guest Star Gustavo Ahualli, a rich-voiced baritone from The Teatro Colon, and Mary-Lou on accordion, Merynda Adams, on harp and possibly the organist from the St. Paul’s Church as they have a massive organ on stage….and some surprises…..maybe.

aprile millo recital toronto

Then dashing back to New York for the rare privilege of singing for Duane Printz and her amazing Teatro Grattacielo as they celebrate their 20th Anniversary in New York. An evening of seldom heard Verismo pieces, and I have the august opportunity and emotional chance to celebrate also two great friends of mine who were so very fabulous in so many roles but in these kinds of roles that demand attention to word and line and truthful heartbreak, they reigned supreme, they even knew some of the composers! Licia Albanese and Magda Olivero,  and Carlo Bergonzi, all who just this year, within a few months of each other,  crossed into the Paradise they would bring us every time they sang… . I will light a little flicker of their flame that night and sing in their memories what I was asked to sing…. the Third Act from Leoncavallo’s amazing “Zazá” with some terrific colleagues and Maestro Israel Gurksy, and a piece my mom studied with the composer herself,  Refice.  Licia sang together with Muzio on tour,alternating roles,  and she gave me a great compliment  after she heard me sing this scene for a Gala At AVA, saying she had never heard anyone do it since Muzio as well as me….she was crying when she said it…it will be hard to sing it that night to be sure. The Last Act death and transfiguration of Cecilia in the beautiful music that was penned by a priest who adored Claudia Muzio’s voice. He wrote her a sacred opera on the life of the patron saint of music. Cecilia. Nov.18th at the Skirball Hall in New York.


We arrive at end of November and I return to a brand new production of Tosca in Genoa beginning the 20th of December with Maestro Auguin and with Gregory Kunde and Carlos Alvarez. We could have something special here. Working feels good, serving music feels best. I cannot wait to sing again in that vital and wonderful theater filled with people who believe in the power of opera and in the beauty of it’s message. Italy after all…of course , they would know.


I am enjoying this so much….those of you who read and understand what this means to me, pray for me. I want to please Puccini, the public, his dearest Granddaughter, Simonetta, who I have come to adore. And most importantly, I want to serve music, feel it’s glory around me. We will see if the roses still bloom, and I think I see a few new buds springing up, and that is strong good news, because it will be winter! Here I go, down the path that life leads me…. it’s the best thing I have in life, the gift that God gave me…. In this depressing time of people ringing death knells for the opera,  I want to get out and fight for it… I am not alone!   This is just the start and so much more to come!

Come find me on this walk, and come say,  alla Puccini,  “hallo!”.


Gather ye rosebuds while thee may….. I plan to do so, with everything I got, and  with so much joy and gratitude!!!



Friedhofs-Fotografien von Michael Wassenberg

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Aprile Millo's View of the Opera/World

Aprile Millo's View of the Opera/World

parterre box

Aprile Millo's View of the Opera/World


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