For the past 15 years, Milijana Nikolić’s artistic engagements have risen to such heights that rightfully give her a place among the world’s leading mezzo-sopranos of the younger generation. In 2015 alone, she was engaged at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in two rare operas from Donizetti’s Trilogy: Anna Bolena and Roberto Devereux. In Anna Bolena, Milijana appeared side by side with the world’s most eminent opera artists (Sondra Radvanovsky, Ildar Abdrazakov etc.), under the leadership of Marco Armiliato, when she also made her broadcast debut, which is considered a special curiosity as the performance is broadcast over the radio in the USA and Canada.
On the international scene, Milijana has sung major mezzo-soprano roles throughout Europe, America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Her professional career began at the Opera of the National Theatre in Belgrade, where she debuted while still a student in La Cenerentola and Cavalleria rusticana.
She received professional training in Belgrade, studying with Prof. Radmila Smiljanić, before she received a scholarship in 2001 from Teatro alla Scala, Milan. Her principal role debut at La Scala was in 2002, in the role of Cuniza in Verdi’s Oberto, and then she repeated this role in Genoa. Other Italian engagements have included Iphigénie en Tauride at the opening of the season 2002/2003 at La Scala, and then also at the Rome Opera, under Riccardo Muti; Emma in Donizetti’s Ugo Conte di Parigi in Bergamo, which she also staged at La Scala and at the Teatro Bellini Catania. This opera was published on CD by Naxos label. Milijana has also sung Rossini’s Petit Messe Solenelle and Fenena in Nabucco in Sardinia.
Milijana has appeared at several festivals: in 2010, she sang the title role in Carmen at the Savolinna Festival in Finland, where she returned in 2014 in the role of Dalila, and singing the solo part in Verdi’s Requiem. She also sang the title role in Juditha triumphans in 2010 at the Macerata Festival in Italy, as well as in the world premiere of the opera Bliss for Opera Australia in Sydney, Melbourne and at the Edinburgh Festival. Ten years ago, she started very fruitful cooperation with the Opera Australia, singing many roles in her guest appearances, including Carmen, Amneris (Aida), Ježibaba (Rusalka), Azucena (Il Trovatore), Venus (Tannhäuser), Ulrica (Un ballo in maschera) and Adelaide (Arabella). Her role of Amneris for Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour in 2013 was published on DVD, and in the same role she made her American debut in 2012 for the Michigan Opera Theatre.
In Asia, Milijana sung Eboli in Don Carlos (Seoul, Korea), as well as for the Hong Kong Opera. She was also Dalila in Tokyo Metropolitan Opera’s productions of Samson and Delilah. At the Kanazawa Festival in Japan, she introduced herself with a series of concerts in which she sang pieces by Russian composers, and she also appeared with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.
Milijana has been a frequent soloist with the Queensland and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in works by Verdi, Mozart, de Falla, Mendelssohn and others. Her upcoming engagements include Opera Real in Madrid, Amneris at the Seattle Opera, USA, a tour of China in the role of Carmen and the role of Amneris a the Sidney Opera.