Aprile Millo holds the distinction of being considered today's true Verdi soprano. Critics worldwide have confirmed this unique position comparing her to such legendary artists as Renata Tebaldi, Claudia Muzio, Zinka Milanov, and Maria Callas for her seamless legato, Italianate color and beauty of voice wed to dramatic commitment.
One critic wrote of a recital in Spain: "There is no mistaking the real thing. Millo is all about communication, immediate and intense, a beguiling mix of the spiritual and the carnal...Breathtaking piani and gorgeous sounds"
Millo burst upon the operatic scene at the Metropolitan Opera in a dramatic last minute replacement of an ailing colleague, as Amelia in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra on December 3rd, 1984.
Hailed as "the new Verdi Star," Millo subsequently went on to become an audience favorite and the head of the Verdi wing at the Metropolitan Opera, performing in nine Verdi operas: Aida, Otello, Luisa Miller, Un Ballo in Maschera, Il Trovatore, Don Carlo, Ernani, and was the first Griselda in Met history for the premiere of l Lombardi. Additionally, she starred in Giordano's Andrea Chenier, Boito's Mefistofole and Puccini's Tosca and Turandot, and Ponchielli's La Gioconda.
Millo added Adriana Lecouvreur to her repertory in 2002, debuting it with The Opera Orchestra of New York with Eve Queler at Carnegie Hall. Millo's association with The Opera Orchestra of New York has encompassed triumphs in I Lombardi with Carlo Bergonzi, La Wally, Il Pirata, and most recently the sold-out performances of her first La Gioconda and the highly acclaimed Minnie in La Fanciulla del West in 2004. "The audience reaction was explosive; I was half-prepared for a frenzied rush to the stage at her curtain calls....A white-hot performance by Millo!!!" wrote Brian Kellow for Opera News. Newsday wrote, "Millo is the high-priestess of that old time operatic religion, her singing brought the audience to a foot-stomping frenzy!…"
Mme Millo has also triumphed in the theaters of Frankfurt, Barcelona, Parma, Rome, Bologna, Torino, the Arena of Verona, The Baths of Caracalla, Munich, Berlin, Vienna, Paris, Orange, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Santiago, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, and, of course, La Scala, Milan. She has collaborated with such great conductor as Herbert von Karajan, and Riccardo Muti (both at La Scala), as well as James Levine, and Giuseppe Sinopoli, and has sung in productions by the greatest stage directors, including Liù in Turandot for with Franco Zeffirelli. She was also chosen by Maestro Zefferelli to be the voice of Elizabeth Taylor for the film Young Toscanini.
Millo's recordings include her debut disc of Verdi arias, (the best selling classical recording of that year for Angel EMI), and for Sony Classical, Aida, Don Carlo, Luisa Miller, and Il Trovatore, all under the direction of James Levine. The recordings have elicited the most enthusiastic reviews. Alan Blyth of Gramophone writes of her Leonora, " Millo's account of the aria 'Tacea La Notte' matches some of the very best on disc. Throughout, her part is replete with right kind of Verdian spinto sound, the correct phraseology and inner feeling for the role. A reading to please the ear and move the heart."
Millo has been seen and heard on worldwide television, in the Emmy award winning broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera of Aida with Domingo and Levine, and the Live From The Met Broadcast of Un Ballo in Maschera for The Great Performances Series on PBS with Luciano Pavarotti and James Levine. Both are now available on DVD.
Of Millo's Metropolitan Tosca the critics wrote "…thunderous ovation after ovation for the return of this artist to her artistic home…gleaming high notes…opulent sound…."
Mme Millo's first performances of the 21st Century included performances of Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera, for her debut in Lisbon, Portugal, and for performances of Tosca for the Teatro Dell'Opera in Rome.
Millo is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards. In 1978, by unanimous decision, The First Prize in The Voci Verdiane Concorso in Busetto, Italy, the birthplace of Giuseppe Verdi. The Francisco Vinas Prize in Spain followed in 1978, The Montserrat Caballe-Bernabe Merti Special Verdi Prize, The Geraldine Farrar Award in San Diego in 1979, The Richard Tucker Foundation Award in 1985, and the very special award in 1986 from The Maria Callas Foundation Award.