Young Met finalist dies of cancer

Young Met finalist dies of cancer


norman lebrecht

February 28, 2021

The soprano Chelsea Miller, who reached the finals of the Met auditions in 2014 and became a star of Opera Memphis, has died tragically young of cancer.

Opera Memphis writes:

Anyone who has been a part of Opera Memphis in the past several years knows Chelsea Miller. She has been our Queen of the Night, our Mabel, our Zerllina, our Soldier in The Falling and the Rising. She sang dozens of performances across eight years as a part of 30 Days of Opera. She has been at the heart and soul of all we’ve done. She was, as we often introduced her, “Memphis’ own Chelsea Miller”.

We are devastated by the news that yesterday she succumbed to cancer. The loss of her talent, her generosity, her wit, and everything about her are beyond description. As an opera company, we present tragedy on an annual basis. We ritualize loss and grief, in the hopes that somehow that communal experience will help ease our pain and grief when we experience loss ourselves. And in the face of a loss like this, it seems all for naught.

Chelsea brought joy and beauty into the lives of thousands upon thousands of us here in Memphis. It is near impossible to focus on that instead of the performances she will never have a chance to give, the roles she will never have the chance to play, but it is almost certainly what she would want us to do.

photo: Ziggy Mack for Memphis Opera



  • Chiara says:

    Very sad news. R.I.P.

  • BruceB says:

    How awful.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Unbearable story. Human life is as fragile as art.