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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Q&A | 20 Questions for Aprile Millo

By Michael Vincent on November 5, 2014

Aprile Millo, soprano
Aprile Millo, soprano

Every so often, MT poses 60 questions to a local or visiting artist in Toronto who has made our classical music community that much more interesting. They pick and choose. The minimum response is 20 answers. A kind of Rorschach personality test, if you will.

After filling in for an indisposed soprano at the Metropolitan Opera in 1984, Aprile Millo got her big break as Amelia, in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. The reviews rolled in calling her, “the Verdi soprano we’ve all be waiting for.” Performing in over 160 performances across 15 different, she has since gone on to become one of the most essential spinto sopranos of our time.  She has performed alongside Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, Ben Heppner, Herbert von Karajan, Riccardo Muti, James Levine, and Giuseppe Sinopoli (to name a few). Franco Zeffirelli chose her as the singing voice of Elizabeth Taylor in the bio film, “Young Toscanini”. Her career has been nothing short of remarkable, and based upon a single foundation: her voice.

Aprile Millo will be in Toronto on 13 November 2014, 7:00 p.m. to present the Vetere Studio in Opera Spectacular! She will also perform a rare solo recital on 15 November 15 20014, at 7:30 p.m. Both shows will be held at Trinity St. Paul’s and are expected to sell out fast. 


What are three things about Toronto that make you want to live here?

The evidence of true independence, in thought, and design and execution.

What are three things that Toronto doesn’t have but should?

Another opera house, like New York did once to give chances to everyone to sing and grow in experience.

Name the musical equivalent to junk food.

Hybrid opera singers – hinting at the real thing and then being coke when you expect champagne!

Default drink/cocktail of choice?

Brazilian drink, Caipirinha.

Name your favourite concert hall/venue in Toronto?

The one I sing in.

Name your favourite concert hall/venue anywhere.

Carnegie hall New York – history and acoustics.

Your role models?

Angelina Jolie, Pope Francis, and anyone with vision and courage.

Your favourite sound?

The word “yes”, or children laughing.

Your least favourite sound?

The word “no”, or people being bullied.

Your favourite smells?

Cinnamon, pasta, fresh towels, warm.

Your least favourite smells?

Neglect of anything, person or place.

First thing that comes to your mind when you think about Toronto?

Fast, energy, variety.

The historical personalities, both good and bad, that fascinate you the most?

Cleopatra, Charlemagne, and Alexander the Great.

The dumbest thing that you’ve ever done to your hair?

Put 1940 hair “rats” in for volume and a forties hairstyle, and it came undone onstage. I looked like Einstein at the end.

The three books that you read that made an impact on you in your formative years?

Black Beauty, Little Women, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Whose musical style do you covet?

None. I am crazy in love with opera.

Where was the last place you traveled to for work or pleasure?

Genoa. Loved it!

What is your biggest phobia?

Fear itself.

Where did you go to school?

Hollywood High, no kidding.

The strangest talent that you possess?

Playing trumpet with my mouth.  Sounds real.

Shoe of choice?

Anything retro or for comfort.

The different career path that you could have gone on?

Comedy, Broadway.

Your ancestry?

Irish, English, Italian and Russian.

Your three favourite films?

Gone with the Wind, Sound of Music, and Maleficent.

Television show that you could tolerate re-runs of?

I Love Lucy.

Your major character flaw?

Too many to mention, but I am working on all of it.

The character flaw in others that you can’t abide?

Prejudice and judging someone.

How do you know when you can trust someone?

When they can trust you. Or when you are at your worst, and they bring you back to center.

What are you the most proud of?

Still curious.

What are you the least proud of?

Still searching.

The biggest mistake you’ve ever made?

Getting heavy.

What is the best thing about your work?

The music – takes you somewhere you will not go until you die and you live to tell the story!

Four things of no monetary value that you own and will keep dearly until you die?

The ashes of my best friend, a little terrier named Jesse James, a stuffed doll that looks like a lamb, and a beautiful ring of great importance to me from Tiffany & Co.

Michael Vincent
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Michael Vincent
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