Ten Questions with
Julie Miller, mezzo soprano
Charlie Parker’s Yardbird
1. Where were you born / raised?
2. If you weren’t a singer, what profession would you be in?
3. The first opera I was ever in was…
Ottavia in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea.
4. My favorite opera is…
It is a toss-up between Madame Butterfly and Der Rosenkavelier. Madame Butterfly holds a special place in my heart because it was the first opera I ever saw, as it was my grandmother’s (childhood musical mentor) favorite, but I feel like the music in Der Rosenkavalier is unmatched.
5. My favorite pre-show / post-show meal is…
I’m not too picky about pre-show meals as long as they are well-balanced, but I almost always crave fried food as a post-show meal.
6. People would be surprised to know that…
My first musical love was violin and I have a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance. I only decided to add a voice degree to my studies during my sophomore year of undergrad because I thought it would be a good addition to my music studies and a help to my violin playing.
7. A few of my favorite books are…
Currently, at the suggestion of a friend, I’m enjoying reading several books by John le Carré. However, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, and Harry Potter are books I’m happy to read and reread.
8. I like to binge-watch…
Reality cooking shows and criminal mysteries.
9. What four people (living or deceased) would you like to invite for a dinner party?
Gustav Mahler, Emily Dickinson, Dame Janet Baker, and Mozart.
10. Everyone should see Charlie Parker’s Yardbird because….
Charlie Parker’s Yardbird is a new piece in my repertoire and I have enjoyed delving into it over the last few months. The things that I have found most compelling about it are its use of a jazz-based style, and its compelling story of a phenomenal musician and his struggle to cope with the demands of music (his first love) and real life.
11. Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer).
Q: Why do you sing?
A: I sing to tell a story; to strive to connect with people on a deeper level that, in my opinion, can only be achieved through music.
Don’t miss the chance to see Julie in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, the Midwest premiere of this acclaimed new opera about the legendary saxophone player. Performances are February 10 and 12 in the Capitol Theater. Tickets start at $25; visit madisonopera.org for more information.