Millicent Scarlett, biography

Described as a “juicy tone" by the Baltimore Sun, Canadian soprano Millicent Scarlett, continues to display her artistic and musical artistry on the recital, orchestral and operatic stage. Since making her  operatic debut in the role of Clara, in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. she has gone on to a very promising career.


In the 2019-2020 season,  Ms. Scarlett is currently preparing for her lecture recital, entitled Mighty Women: The Women of the Civil Rights Movement. She was  most recently heard in A Tribute to Marian Anderson with the Dana Tai Soon Burgess  Dance  Company at the National Portrait gallery in Washington, DC.  She took part in the MNCPPC's  Black history Month Program, by performing excerpts  from 19 : The Musical.  In November 2019, the World Premiere  of 19 : The Musical debuted at the Museum of Women in th Arts in DC.  She was featured in a number of recitals in the DMV and Florida, and will be returning to Canada in the summer to sing in Augustfest 2020.


In the 2018-2019 season, she  was the soloist in the Messiah Sing-Along, held at the Kennedy Center, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with NIH Philharmonia, both under the baton of Maestra Nancia D’Alimonte. Millicent, along with Dr Eileen Guenther presented two concerts “Who’ll be a Witness” with Mark Reppert and the Siskiyou Singers in Ashland, OR. They also presented “The Power of Spirituals” in Virginia, and were heard on the soundtrack of a new PBS documentary called “Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story”. Other performances  included “A Gershwin Celebration” with the Amadeus Concert Series in McLean, VA and work shops of  ” 19 ", in which she plays the roles of Ida B. Wells and Emmeline Pankhurst.  She has been described as “powerful and a standout in the cast”,  “earthy and powerful. In June 2019, the cast of 19 did selections from the musical at the Library of Congress’ opening of their “Shall Not Be Denied” exhibit, and at the National Archives.  She was featured in a series of solo recitals throughout the DMV area, including the Arts Club of Washington.  

During the 2016-2017 season, Scarlett was in demand a soloist with a series of recitals, and performances in the US and Canada.  She performed in an all Gershwin concert with the Augustfest 2017 String Quartet in Brandon, MB, Canada, as well as at the Arts Club of Washington, in “A Night of Song”. Ms. Scarlett was the guest soloist at the Washington National Cathedral in two separate performances, the Veterans Day concert in 2016 where she performed with “The President’s Own” Marine Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Lt. Col. Jason Fettig. Prior to that engagement, she was the featured soloist in the National Cathedral’s “God’s Gonna Trouble the Waters” concert, celebrating the opening of Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NAAHC). With a chamber orchestra, under the baton of John Wakefield, Scarlett sang Faure’s Requiem at University United Methodist Church, and Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, under the direction of Peter Schmidt. In the summer of 2016, she performed in a concert of spirituals in Winchester, VA with Dr. Eileen Guenther, and performed at her Alma Mater, Brandon University, in Augustfest 2016.  

The 2015-2016 season included Scarlett performing Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs with NIH Philharmonia under the baton of Maestra Nancia D’Alimonte. She also made her first voice-over debut for the first official event at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in October 2015.  Millicent performed with the Maryland Community Concert Band in their “Next Now” concert held at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, singing the music of Gershwin.  She performed at numerous award and cultural events throughout the DMV area, including recent events honoring Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, U.S Attorney General Eric Holder, Bryan Stevenson and Bob Dole.

Some of Scarlett’s highlights in previous years include her performing at an awards ceremony in 2010 honoring then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In that same year, she was heard in the World Premiere of Ozone, featuring the music of Larry Alan Smith, set to the poetry of U.S. Poet Laureate, Rita Dove, and the Bowen McCauley Dance troupe at the Kennedy Center. Ms. Scarlett also sang at The George Washington University Commencement on the National Mall, where First Lady Michelle Obama was the keynote speaker. 

In 2008, Scarlett debuted in the World Premiere of Free to Sing: The First African American Opera Company, where she sang the role of Inez, from the operetta The Doctor of Alcantara with the Post-Classical Ensemble under the baton of Angel Gil-Ordonez and directed by Scot Reece; the entire project was commissioned by The Music Center at Strathmore. She made her second appearance with Opera Lafayette in the role of Donna Anna in The Genesis of Don Giovanni. Washington Post said, “she added grandeur to the role”. Her first appearance with Opera Lafayette was singing the role of Electra in Idomeneo. Ms. Scarlett was  one of the featured soloist with the In Series and the Washington Ballet's joint production of Moon/Dance. Washington Post said, “fine vocals, most notably Millicent Scarlett, who combined grandeur with companionable warmth”. She also performed Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the NIH Philharmonia as their soprano soloist. 

With her “sublime and beautifully suggestive voice” Millicent Scarlett has been a recipient of many awards and scholarships. Most notably she was a winner of the Luciano Pavarotti Voice Competition and returned to perform in the role of Mrs. Ford in Falstaff. She was also a winner in the Mid-Atlantic Region Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and a National Semifinalist. She received her M.Mus. in Opera Performance from The Maryland Opera Studio, in College Park, MD and her B. Mus in Voice Performance (silver medalist) in Brandon, MB.


Ms. Scarlett currently resides in Maryland, and is an Adjunct professor, and Voice Area Facilitator at George Washington University in DC. She also is one of the voice teachers for Washington National Opera's Summer Institute, and Interim Music Director at University United Methodist Church in College Park, MD.