Lauded for her “soaring lyric soprano capable of heart-stopping soft effects” (Philadelphia Magazine), Italian-American Ashley Milanese (she/her) is quickly emerging as an exciting young presence in the operatic world. In the 2021-22 season, Ms. Milanese returned to Teatro Regio Torino as the High Priestess in Aida, covered Johanna in Opera Omaha’s production of Sweeney Todd, and joined the roster of The Metropolitan Opera where she made her debut as Pit Singer – Soprano 2 in Dean’s Hamlet. In 2022-2023, Ms. Milanese made her New Orleans Opera debut as the Sandman in Hansel and Gretel, joins the LA Phil with National Children’s Chorus of the United States of America as the soprano soloist in Britten’s War Requiem at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and joins On Site Opera as Giorgetta in Il tabarro.
During the 2020-2021 season, she was scheduled to make her role debut as Mimi in La bohème with Teatro Regio Torino (canceled due to COVID-19) where she instead sang Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore and Annina in La traviata.
In her 2018-2019 season, Ms. Milanese joined Komische Oper Berlin’s touring production of Barrie Kosky’s Die Zauberflöte where she sang Erste Dame in Perth (Western Australia), Adelaide (Australia), Auckland (New Zealand), and the Mostly Mozart Festival (New York City). This coincided with a full season as an artist-in-residence with Teatro Regio Torino where she sang the roles of Ines in Il trovatore, Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore, Cugina in Madama Butterfly, and Lisa in La sonnambula while also covering Elvira in L’italiani in Algeri and Carlotta/Vespina in Agnese. Additionally, she had the opportunity to perform as Annina in La traviata at the Ljubljana Festival.
Ms. Milanese’s most recent North American performances included Frasquita in Carmen, Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Philadelphia where she was an emerging artist from 2016-2018. Additional operatic credits include Dede (A Quiet Place), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Italian Singer (Capriccio), Manon (Manon), Yvette (La rondine), Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) and Soeur Constance (Dialogues des Carmélites).
Passionate about contemporary music, Ms. Milanese has collaborated with many composers including Kevin Puts, Rene Orth, Tobias Picker, David T. Little, Daniel Schnyder and Nico Muhly. She has had the opportunity to cover lead roles in multiple operatic premieres including Lola in David Hertzberg’s The Wake World and Bess McNeil in Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves. Ms. Milanese was also the original Chan Parker and Aveline Mortimer in Opera Philadelphia’s workshops of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird and Elizabeth Cree, respectively.
Symphonic performances include operatic selections with the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic/Wolf Trap Opera and Mainline Symphony Orchestra, Faure’s Requiem with Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Allentown Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Milanese participated in summer festivals and programs including Wolf Trap Opera Studio and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. She was named a winner of the 2018 Opera Foundation competition, receiving the Amber Capitol Scholarship and the residency with Teatro Regio Torino. She has also received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions including being named a winner in the 2017 New Orleans and Puerto Rico district finals.
Ms. Milanese studied at The Juilliard School and Curtis Institute of Music where she completed her Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and her Artistic Diploma.