Aprille Millo (b 1958) is an American soprano who became famous in her twenties. She appeared 161 times at the Met between 1984 and 2007. She was at her vocal peak between 1986 and 1996. Thereafter her appearances at the Met decreased until until she stopped singing with the company before she was 50.

She was the daughter of two opera singers. Born in New York and raised in California she received most of her musical education from her parents. The details of her life can be found here. Why her career tailed off at a premature age is not known to me. At her best, she had a lush spinto soprano that was reminiscent of Zinka Milanov. Like Milanov she was best known for her Verdi interpretations. Her roles outside the Verdi canon were those that Milanov also sang. Though there are numerous recordings of her singing a lot of them are not readily available. Below are seven examples of her art all from live performances. They are presented in the order of their composition.

‘Di geloso amor sprezzato’ is the trio that close Act 1 of Verdi’s Il Trovatore. It is the perfect example of the composer’s striking ability to depict jealousy and explosive energy in music. Luciano Pavarotti and Sherrill Milnes join Millo.

In the first scene of Act 3 of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera Renato decides to kill his wife Amelia whom he thinks guilty of an adulterous affair with his best friend. She’s almost guilty but not quite as Renato happened on the pair before carnal contact was possible. In ‘Morrò ma prima in grazia’ she protests her innocence and begs to see her son one last time.

‘Pace, pace, mio Dio’ from La Forza Del Destino is too well known to require more comment than I have already given it here in previous posts. Millo’s reading is outstanding both in the timbre of her sound and for its sensitive phrasing.

Next, Aida’s two great arias. The role was one of Millo’s finest. ‘Ritorna vincitor’ depicts Aida’s inner conflict between the welfare of her country (Ethiopia) and her father versus that of the man she loves who has just been appointed general of the Egyptian army that is intent on crushing her country. in the Nile Scene after her country has been decisively defeated by the Egyptians Aida laments that she will never see her homeland again. ‘O Patria mia’

Umberto Giordano’s universally successful opera is Andrea Chenier. Premiered in 1896 at La Scala it has virtuoso parts for soprano, baritone, and tenor – especially the last who had four arias. The big soprano aria ‘La momma morta’ is in Act 3. The French Revolution claimed the life of the mother of the aristocrat Maddalena di Coigny and left her homeless.

Antonín Dvořák’s ninth of 10 operas was written in 1900. It is the only one to have achieved a place in the international repertory. The ‘Song to the Moon’ is the most well known piece from the opera. It is often performed in recitals and on recordings. It occurs in Act 1. The water nymph, Rusalka, has fallen in love with a human prince. In the aria, she asks the moon to tell the prince of her love.

Millo was one of the great spinto sopranos for about a decade. Her singing at its best places her among the great singers of her type of any era. She still has a devoted following who relish her accomplishments.