headshot photo of Milena Kitic

Milena Kitic

Artist in Residence
College of Performing Arts; Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music
Office Location: Oliphant Hall 206


A star of the Belgrade Opera, Serbia (former Yugoslavia), Ms. Kitic made her debut in 1989 as Olga in Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin."

She has performed with the National Theater in Belgrade for 8 years in a wide range of roles: from Rosina in Rossini's "Il Baribiere di Siviglia", Cherubino in Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro", Preziosilla in Verdi's "La Forza del Destino", Fenena in "Nabucco'', Bastien in "Bastien e Bastiena", Flora in "Traviata", Lola in "Cavalleria Rusticana", Mercedes in "Carmen", Orlofsky in "Die Fledermaus", Fiodor in "Boris Godunov" - to the title role of Carmen, and Principessa de Bouillon in Cilea's "Adriana Lecouvreur."

Season of 1988-89 Kitic performed with the Croatian National Theatre in Split, singing the role of Nicklaus in "The Tales of Hoffmann."

The 1997-99 seasons Ms. Kitic signed 3 year engagement contract with the Essen Opera in Germany, where she sang Giulietta in Offenbach's "The Tales of Hoffman", Sextus in Handel's "Giulio Cesare" and "Carmen" - for which she earned the German music critic's award as, "Performer Of The Season" for 1998. She performed as Carmen throughout Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Belgium and Czech Republic.

Other highlight European engagements include the roles of Laura in Ponchielli's "Gioconda" at the Dorset Festival in England in 1999, and Maddalena in Verdi's "Rigoletto" at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Festspielhaus Salzburg in 2000.

During 1998-99. season, Kitic made her US debut in the demanding role of Eboli in Verdi's "Don Carlo", with the Palm Beach Opera, conducted by Mo. Guadagno. This inspired a return to that same opera company in season 2000, as Rosina in "Il Barbiere". In 1999, Kitic made her Carnegie Hall debut with Opera Orchestra of New York as Emilia in Otello for Carlo Bergonzi’s farewell concert conducted by Eve Queler, subsequently returning to Opera Orchestra of New York as Laura in "La Gioconda," opposite Marcello GIordani and Aprile Millo. Collaborating with Mo. Queler and NYOO has produced a recording of famous arias for the mezzo-soprano.

In 2002, Kitic debuted with the Washington DC Opera, as Carmen. Critics and audiences praised her performance in the role of Giulietta in "Les Contes d' Hoffman" with the Los Angeles Opera. During that same season, she again performed with the LA Opera at the "Concert of Passion and Poetry", conducted by Placido Domingo. 2003 began with her debut, with the Opera Pacific as Herodias in Strauss' "Salome", and the Benefit Concert for the same company, in which she performed with P. Domingo and Mo. De Main. Another production of Carmen with Baltimore Opera rounded out the season.

In 2004, Ms. Kitic again, won unanimous raves for performing Carmen with Los Angeles Opera, opposite Richard Leech, and conducted by Placido Domingo and Nicola Luisotti.

The 2005 year started with a successful debut in the role of Dalila, in "Samson and Dalila" with the Opera Pacific. That same year Ms. Kitic was also proclaimed "Diva of the Year" from the Opera Pacific Guild.

Highlight engagements from 2005.-2008. include, Meg in Verdi's "Falstaff" with the Los Angeles Opera, conducted by Kent Nagano; Emilia in Verdi's "Othello" at the Ravinia Festival, conducted by James Conlon; debut at the Metropolitan Opera in the title role of Carmen (October 2005.); Carmen and Amneris in Verdi's "Aida" with Opera Pacific; Giulietta in "The Tales of Hoffmann" with the Cincinnati Opera.

In 2007, Ms. Kitic became the Inaugural Recipient of the Artist-in-Residence award given by Chapman University, of Orange, California.

Currently, she is an Adjunct Professor, and master class instructor at Chapman. Ms. Kitic has also lead master classes and did guest teaching at USC's Thornton School of Music, the University of Irvine, The Classical Singers Association, Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, the Orange County High School of the Arts OCHA), Cal State Northridge, Azusa Pacific University, MTAC Convention at UC San Diego, as well as in Rome, Italy.  All this while operating a private "Milena Kitic Vocal Studio."

Ms. Kitic is a member of AGMA (American Guild of Musical Artists), NATS (National Association of Teaches of Singing),  NATS-LA (National Association of Teachers of Singing, Los Angeles), MTAC (Music Teacher Association of CA). She has been teaching a Vocal Summer Program OCAVA-in-Rome every summer from 2013 - present which takes place in Rome, Italy.

Kitic is often seen as a judge for the Music Center Spotlight Awards in Los Angeles, MTAC, POSA and Center Stage Opera Competitions, and is an enthusiastic donor for several Young Artist Programs in the United States.

The International Jeunesses Musical Competition in Belgrade, Serbia has established a special prize for "the best young Mezzo-Soprano", under the name of "Milena Kitic."

In 2008, Ms. Kitic served as a Board member of the Opera Pacific in Costa Mesa, and was on the advisory board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County from 2009-2012. She has served  as chair for artistic excellence for LA Opera with whom she most recently performed the role of Suzuki in "Madame Butterfly" (2013 and 2016, broadcasted nationally), her "signature role" of Carmen in 2013., Albine in "Thais"  (2014) with Nino Machaidze and Placido Domingo, and Mrs. Noah in Britten's "Noah's Flood" (2015 and 2017) , conducted by Mo. James Conlon. Kitic has also performed Beethoven's 9th Symphony at the Walt Disney Hall in 2013 and a number of times with the Pacific Symphony in 2015-2018.

In February 2015, Kitic performed a solo-recital in Houston, TX and her "signature" role of Carmen with The Pacific Symphony, conducted by Mo. Carl St.Clair, which she repeats the same year during Pacific Symphony's Summer Festival in Irvine, CA.  On March 19, 2016, Ms. Kitic has performed alongside Placido Domingo and Deborah Voigt at the grand opening of Chapman University's Musco Center for the Arts and at the same venue gives a solo-recital and public Master Class on March 9, 2017.  In February 2017 she has again performed with the Pacific Symphony as Amneris in Verdi's Aida and in December 2017 has performed the role of The Witch in Hansel and Gretel with OCYSO.

In 2019 Kitic performed with The Madison Symphony Orchestra and their Grammy and Tony Award-winning conductor John DeMain singing 1st Alto in Mahler's 8th Symphony, and in June 2020 she will again appear in the project, this time with the Pacific Symphony led by Mo. St.Clair at Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, CA.

Ms. Kitic has studied with Metropolitan and Vienna State Opera star, Kammersaengerin Biserka Cvejic. She holds BM (Bachelor of Music in Performance) from the University of Music in Belgrade, Serbia and MM (Master of Music in Performance) from the University of the Arts in Novi Sad, Serbia.

On Oct. 27th, 2019  Kitic will be a Guest of Honor at the "Viennese Luncheon" presented by Loren Zachary National Voice Competition for Young Opera Singers at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.