Ms. Mims debuted during the 1987-88 season as leading lady with the New York City Opera in La Traviata, at Carnegie Hall with the Opera Orchestra of New York in Meyerbeer's Robert le Diable, and with the Metropolitan Opera in Die Fledermaus. During the next seven seasons she sang seven major roles at the Metropolitan Opera (Violetta, Fiordiligi, Konstanze, Gilda, Lucia, Rosalinde, and Donna Anna) including two live Saturday afternoon broadcasts as Violetta and Fiordiligi, with James Levine conducting.
Her performance of Ortlinde in Levine’s recording of Wagner’s Die Walküre earned her a “Grammy” Award. Her career as a professional operatic soprano included appearances with major opera companies and orchestras spanning five continents including major appearances with San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Grand Theatre of Geneva, Teatro Colon of Buenos Aires, Canadian Opera, and the New Israeli Opera. In 1995 she retired from full-time professional stage pursuits to start a family; and prior to coming to PBA she taught voice at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
She is a member of Mu Phi Epsilon, the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the National Opera Association. She is a judge and master class clinician for numerous vocal events; she presently serves as a master teacher for Intermezzo Opera and presented a Master Class at the Classical Singer Convention in New York City in 2008.
At Palm Beach Atlantic she teaches voice and is producing director of the Opera Workshop program; recent productions include Gianni Schicchi, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Hansel and Gretel. She has students who perform with New York City Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, and numerous other companies.
Former students have gone to graduate school at Juilliard and other prestigious institutions. She and her husband, Lloyd, along with their daughter, Virginia, are participants in the music program of Royal Poinciana Chapel in Palm Beach.
Marilyn Mims' Career Performance History
Abduction from the Seraglio: Konstanze; Hawaii Opera TheatreFebruary 1988, 4 performances
Abduction from the Seraglio: Konstanze; Metropolitan OperaMarch 1989, 4 performances
Abduction from the Seraglio: Konstanze; Metropolitan Opera February 1990, 4 performances
Abduction from the Seraglio: Konstanze; Metropolitan Opera December 1991, 2 performances
Anna Bolena: Anna Bolena; Virginia Opera January 1989, 6 performances
Anna Bolena: Anna Bolena; New York City Opera August 1989, 4 performances
Anna Bolena: Anna Bolena; Santiago, Chile June 1992, 4 performances
Cosi fan Tutte: Fiordiligi; Santa Fe Opera August 1988, 3 performances
Cosi fan Tutte: Fiordiligi; Metropolitan Opera January 1990, 4 performances
Die Fledermaus: Rosalinde; Metropolitan Opera January 1988, 2 performances
Die Fledermaus: Rosalinde; Michigan Opera Theatre May 1988, 4 performances
Die Walküre: Ortlinde; Metropolitan Opera April 1987, 1 recording for Deutsch Gramophone
Don Giovanni: Donna Anna; Virginia Opera October 1987, 6 performances
Don Giovanni: Donna Anna; Metropolitan Opera March 1988, 8 performances
Don Giovanni: Donna Anna; Canadian Opera April 1988, 6 performances
Don Giovanni: Donna Anna; Metropolitan Opera March 1989, 8 performances
Don Giovanni: Donna Anna; Orlando Opera April 1989, 3 performances
Don Giovanni: Donna Anna; Metropolitan Opera March 1990, 8 performances
Don Giovanni: Donna Anna; Metropolitan Opera April 1990, 4 performances
Don Giovanni: Donna Anna; Geneva, Switzerland March 1991, 8 performances
Don Giovanni: Donna Anna; Metropolitan Opera June 1991, 4 performances
Don Giovanni: Donna Anna; San Francisco Opera October 1991, 6 performances
Don Giovanni: Donna Anna; Metropolitan Opera January 1992, 5 performances
Don Giovanni: Donna Anna; New Israeli Opera January 1995, 5 performances
La Traviata: Violetta; Wolftrap June 1987, 2 performances
La Traviata: Violetta; New York City Opera July 1987, 4 performances
La Traviata: Violetta; New York City Opera September 1987, 4 performances
La Traviata: Violetta; Chattanooga Opera October 1987, 2 performances
La Traviata: Violetta; New York City Opera June 1988, 6 performances
La Traviata: Violetta; New York City Opera June 1989, 2 performances
La Traviata: Violetta; New York City Opera September 1989, 4 performances
La Traviata: Violetta; Kentucky Opera October 1989, 3 performances
La Traviata: Violetta; Metropolitan Opera January 1990, 4 performances
La Traviata: Violetta; Metropolitan Opera June 1990, 4 performances
La Traviata: Violetta; Avignon, France October 1990, 3 performances
La Traviata: Violetta; New Orleans Opera December 1990, 3 performances
La Traviata: Violetta; Monterrey, Mexico May 1991, 1 performance
La Traviata: Violetta; Metropolitan Opera November 1991, 8 performances
La Traviata: Violetta; Spokane Symphony April 1992, 2 performances
La Traviata: Violetta; Greater Miami Opera January 1993, 6 performances
La Traviata: Violetta; Metropolitan Opera November 1990 - January 1991, 8 performances
Lucia di Lammermoor: Lucia; Virginia Opera January 1987, 6 performances
Lucia di Lammermoor: Lucia; Metropolitan Opera October 1988, 4 performances
Lucia di Lammermoor: Lucia; Metropolitan Opera June 1989, 4 performances
Lucia di Lammermoor: Lucia; Chicago - Lake Forest Symphony December 1989, 1 performance
Lucia di Lammermoor: Lucia; Kentucky Opera May 1992, 3 performances
Lucia di Lammermoor: Lucia; Teatro Colon--Buenos Aires, Argentina October 1992, 3 performances
Otello: Desdemona; Louisville Orchestra October 1991, 2 performances
Pagliacci: Nedda; San Francisco Opera September 1990, 6 performances
Pagliacci: Nedda; Opera Grand Rapids, Michigan October 1994, 3 performances
Rigoletto: Gilda; Metropolitan Opera March 1992, 2 performances
Rigoletto: Gilda; Kentucky Opera May 1994, 3 performances
Robert Le Diable: Isabelle; Carnegie Hall - Opera Orchestra of New York January 1988, 1 performance
Verdi Requiem: Soprano; Virginia Symphony April 1993, 1 performance
Excerpts of Critical Reviews for Marilyn Mims
|Hear and see Marilyn Mims (and Diane Bish) at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.|
Allan Kozinn, New York Times Saturday, June 23, 1990: “Miss Mims offered a performance that ably explored the role’s extremes. She handled the acrobatics in Sempre Libera electrifyingly, but was at her best in the more tender passionate music of the second act.” –Metropolitan Opera performance of La Traviata with Alfredo Kraus and Sherrill Milnes.
Gary Schmidgall in Opera News, March 1988: “Thomas Allen’s wittily off-the-wall Eisenstein and the Rosalinde of Marilyn Mims, a Met Auditions winner two years ago. She took her comic turns with aplomb in her Met debut and displayed a forthright, agile voice.” –Metropolitan Opera performance of Die Fledermaus.
Allan Kozinn, New York Times Monday, August 1, 1988: “Ms. Mims is able to show off not only her high notes but also her ability to float a limpid, beautifully shaded pianissimo line. In her long soliloquy at the end of the first act (E strano through Sempre Libera), and again in the last act’s Addio del passato, she shaped her phrases thoughtfully and expressively, and used a rich array of vocal colors to excellent effect.” –New York City Opera performance of La Traviata.
Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, Friday, July 17, 1987: “The New York City Opera’s production of La Traviata…brought to the stage an outstanding young soprano in the role of Violetta. Marilyn Mims, making her City Opera debut, sang in a strong, fresh, flexible, pleasing voice, and her performance drew long rounds of well-deserved applause. She handled easily the vocal demands of the part, gaining in confidence and conviction as the evening went on. Her first-act aria, Sempre Libera, established Ms. Mims as a singer of unusual technical accomplishment, and she provided a moving Addio del passato in the final act. Throughout, Ms. Mims shaped, shaded and phrased with an attention to long lines and an uncommon care for detail, sustaining vibrant pianissimos even at the extremes of her range and hitting notes with certainty, clarity and purpose.” –New York City Opera performance of La Traviata.
Heidi Watson, New York Post, Thursday, July 16, 1987: Title: In Opera Circles, Mims the Word. “The Violetta, soprano Marilyn Mims, made her debut and we should be seeing a good deal more of her. Mims, who is from Mississippi, won the Metropolitan Opera national auditions last year and will be singing Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus at the Metropolitan in the coming season. She has that rare commodity—a big voice which is also smooth, sensitive and controllable. She went from the all out dramatic singing of her first-act aria to an appealing fragility while at death’s door in the final act and handled the florid singing of Sempre Libera with polish.—New York City Opera performance of La Traviata.
Charles Passy, New York Newsday, Saturday, August 12, 1989: “The real vocal fireworks, however, came from soprano Marilyn Mims in the title role. The Mississippi native demonstrated both an agility and lyricism rare among even today’s most established artists. She was especially captivating in the final act’s ‘mad’ scene, covering the full range of human emotion in her charged rendering. Mims could prove to be an overwhelming talent.” –New York City Opera performance of Anna Bolena.
Shirley Fleming, New York Post, Friday, August 11, 1989: “New York City Opera has such a soprano, as Marilyn Mims proved on Wednesday night when the opera was revived. It was she who galvanized the performance at the start of Act II and focused our pity in the mad scene at the close. The voice is clear and shining, never slips into edginess, and Mims colors her phrases beautifully, mastering the vocal perils with no sense of strain.” –New York City Opera performance of Anna Bolena.
Manuella Hoelterhoff, The Wall Street Journal, Thursday, February 12, 1987: “Marilyn Mims has high E-flats loud enough to rouse all Scotland. And the news that she was starring in a Lucia di Lammermoor took me to Norfolk’s Virginia Opera two weeks ago. She does indeed have a healthy, very pretty voice, though the somewhat disconnected, booming top suggests a lyric soprano taking shape beneath all the coloratura icing.”—Virginia Opera performance of Lucia di Lammermoor.
Joan T. Kretschmer, New York Post, Tuesday, February 23, 1988: “Marilyn Mims, as Isabelle, sang with lyricism and a pure, glowing sound which was especially moving in soft passages.” –Opera Orchestra of New York performance of Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable at Carnegie Hall.
Will Crutchfield, New York Times, Tuesday, February 23, 1988: “The best piece of singing, and the only one to rouse widespread enthusiasm in the audience, fortunately coincided with the best piece of music: Isabella’s famous aria, Robert, toi que j’aime. Marilyn Mims sang it Sunday with beautiful lyric tone and put some feeling into it. (The latter quality was lacking in almost everything else all evening.)” –Opera Orchestra of New York performance of Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable at Carnegie Hall.
Manuella Hoelterhoff, The Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, February 24, 1988: “Maestra Queler had filled the large space with a big orchestra, a big chorus and many singers, including a big bass: Samuel Ramey. Mr. Ramey shared the stage with singers with higher voices and rising reputations: tenor Chris Merritt and Robert and two sopranos, Marilyn Mims as Isabelle, the princess Robert loves, and Frances Ginsberg as Alice. Ms. Mims gave an account of Robert, toi que j’aime that was so ravishingly sung and sophisticated, those of us who remember her only a year ago couldn’t help but be amazed. The transformation is astonishing.” –Opera Orchestra of New York performance of Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable at Carnegie Hall.
Robert Commanday, San Francisco Chronicle, Tuesday, September 18, 1990: “Mims soprano was full, sensuous and rich in tone. Her singing as well as her spirited acting conveyed an independent, lively and determined spirit.” –San Francisco Opera performance of Pagliacci.
Robert Commanday, San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, October 4, 1990: “Marilyn Mims was transporting in the rhapsodic solo aria, the Ballatella, and continued thereafter with her soprano pouring out splendidly.” –San Francisco Opera performance of Pagliacci.
Tim Smith, Opera News, August 1989: “Sherrill Milnes sang the title role with distinction. Marilyn Mims provided solid, often striking vocalism as Donna Anna.”–Orlando Opera performance of Don Giovanni.