The School of Music and Fine Arts
Full Name: Marilyn Mims
Artist in Residence in Vocal Music
B.M.E., University of Southern Mississippi; graduate studies, Indiana University. Grammy Award. Additional Studies: Conservatory of Milan.
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,
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
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
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,
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
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
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.
Listen to performances by Marilyn Mims by clicking the links below
Mozart--Per Pieta from Cosi Fan tutte
Verdi--E strano and Ah Forsa Lui from La Traviata
Verdi--Siempre Libera from La Traviata
Meyerbeer—Grace from Robert Le Diable