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Vocal Studio

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At Milena Kitic's master class in Rome, Italy, 2014
At Milena Kitic's master class
The Milena Kitic Vocal Studio was founded in 2011 and has accommodated over 200 students. It is primarily focused on learning proper vocal technique and performance skills.

Milena Kitic is a member of:
Within a last decade, Milena Kitic has taught a number of master classes at various Universities and Music Schools such USC, UCI, Orange County High School of the Arts (OCSA), Cal State Northridge, Saddleback College, San Diego University, Center Stage Opera, and from 2007. - present has been teaching master classes on a regular basis at the CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY in Orange.

Since 2013. - present Ms. Kitic also regularly teaches Master classes at OC Ars Vocalis Academy in Rome, Italy - for exact dates check at
For more information about Milena Kitic's Vocal Studio, please send an email to:

My teaching philosophy is the same as my own late Teacher's philosophy (KMS Biserka Cvejic), the one I grew up with and from whom I learned to love and perform Opera. We as teachers often look at our job holistically, not only helping a singer, but learning about students that we spend hours working with. Because of this, we can have a significant impact on their lives not only as educators, but as inspiration, sometimes even as a mentor or a friend, my ultimate goal.

I like to embrace all of my students, introduce them to one another to build community among themselves to exchange opinions and advice, even after they leave my studio. I like to organize visits to LA Opera‘s dress-rehearsals with groups of my students and make those events educational and fun. After general rehearsals, we discuss which moments and singers were most impressive and why, and try to apply some of these ideas to their work. I try to stay in contact with the majority of my students and help them out whenever they need help, giving them emotional support and encouragement that we all eventually need as we become performers. Whenever I can, I try to include my students in projects in which I am involved as a performer so that they can build their own experience and confidence firsthand, by singing or spending time with professional opera singers.

In my opinion, all students are created equal even if not all become professional singers. I enjoy dedicating ample amounts of time to all to enable them to develop their interest or passion for singing. But I like to say that a student's success will be unavoidable with a perfect mix of work, dedication, attention to details, tedious repetition etc. coming from both, the student and the teacher. Building proper vocal technique takes years of patient work and I try to make that abundantly clear to my students.

The other beautiful aspect is seeing enthusiasm and excitement in students' eyes when it comes to art, Opera, and performing beautiful music. It inspires me to keep transferring my experience and knowledge to them and learn even more through their curiosity so that this whole process of teaching enriches my life as much as it enriches theirs. I look forward to the day when many of my students sing on stages throughout the world.

Dr. Cheryl Lin Fielding
(Pianist and coach at Milena Kitic Vocal Studio; coach at Dolora Zajick Institure of Young Dramatic Voices, The Julliard School, USC, UCLA, Chapman University, Opera Pacific)

It's been inspiring to see Milena at work, not just to hear how magnificent she sounds, but also seeing her dedication. Great artists work hard, no matter what stage they are in. Wish the students can see it.

Milena Kitic is not only an international star on the world's finest stages, she is also one of the kindest teachers and human beings I have ever met. I have known Milena Kitic for decades as a colleague in opera productions, as well as witnessed her journey with students for many years. Milena goes above and beyond in nurturing her students, vocally, as well as the whole person. She inspires by example and encouragement, and is at every competition and recording sessions to gently guide and support. Her students blossom and shine on stage because of all that she pours into them. She bring her years of experience in advising her students in the wisest and joyful way. She bring the high standards from her Eastern European training, but also walks with the students every step of the way, as she herself has. She trains them to do the work, and teaches them how to fearlessly trust and generously give on stage.

I have learned many things from Milena Kitic as a performer and teacher. Above all, she inspires by always working hard, which never changed from when she was just a young student, or as a seasoned professional. Her confidence comes from doing the work, as well as her generosity of spirit. She approaches life just as her most famous role, Carmen, in the sense that she always makes full-hearted decisions and lives life accordingly. She treats everyone with respect, whether this person has a high position, or just a young student. Milena's great spirit is reflected in her art, her performances, as well as her teaching. The fearlessness and joy of life is truly contagious. One is always inspired in her presence to be the fullest version of oneself. This core of self-worth is so important for artists, who need to stand on stage and sing about the powerful moments in life. Young students who are just coming into beings especially benefit from this. As a teacher, she prioritizes the excellence in technique, so that at the core, each student has something strong and sound to build the foundation upon, and joyfully express what they want to. I highly recommend Milena Kitic. We are so lucky to have her in our midst.

Lauren Jorgensen, Soprano
(Graduate of University of Redlands, Alumni of Lyric Opera Studio of Weimar)

I was lucky to have worked with Milena Kitic for about a year and a half, and I would like to express how wonderful and fulfilling my experience as her student was. I am not only grateful for how quickly my voice transformed and opened up under her instruction, but also for Milena’s ability to challenge me to work at an extremely high level of professionalism. She sets the bar high for every lesson and actively encourages and guides you throughout it. It is very easy to become inspired and want to work hard for her, because she herself leads by example to be a singer with impeccable technique and high work ethic. I believe this is how most of her students grow so quickly and do so well. Less than a year of working with Milena, I was accepted into all five Young Artist Summer Programs I applied to, and a few months later I was making it into final rounds at German conservatories. This alone was a huge amount of progress in my professional goals to sing opera, and it was through Milena’s guidance that I was able to achieve this. Milena will also seek out opportunities for her students, such as competitions, Young Artist Programs, and auditions. She gives you 100% if you work hard for her, and her knowledge in this increasingly competitive field is invaluable. Milena was exactly the right teacher for me at the time I came to her, and I will always be so appreciative of the foundation she gave me as a singer.

She is truly the real deal when it comes to teaching proper technique and preparing you for the opera profession. This, paired with her generosity, kindness, and passion in teaching, makes her an incredible mentor and teacher.

Heart Perez, Soprano
(Mater Dei HS)

I remember receiving the news of becoming Ms. Milena’s student, and I was overjoyed. She is an incredible vocal coach for opera, providing the best advice and knowing what is best. I appreciate all the art-songs and arias she has given me and thank her for encouraging me to participate in competitions, showcasing my voice to the world. Thanks to her, I have gained so much more confidence in my singing ability. Her tips and techniques have improved my voice and made it easier for me to sing classical and opera songs.

Her vocalizations have brought out the hidden potential in my voice. Whenever I made a mistake while practicing, she encourages me to persevere. She has taught me invaluable techniques, such as singing in the dome, and has helped me understand how to express my emotions through the song. Ms.Kitic will always hold a special place as one the best teacher I've ever had throughout my singing journey.

Celine Curtis, Soprano
(Orange County School of the Arts, Classical Voice, 1st place winner of NATS-LA 2023, Concordia Music Competition 2024, and Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition Amsterdam and Vienna 2024)

Ms. Kitic is the most wonderful educator and singer I have ever studied under. In my short time working with her, I have progressed far beyond what I believed I could have accomplished. My voice is much stronger and my technique is in a much healthier, more comfortable place than it has ever been in. As a soprano, I am now able to reach registers that would have been unfeasible to me a few months ago, and as a performer, I am able to perform more emotionally and technically advanced pieces that I absolutely adore.

She is so knowledgeable about the interworking's of the voice and is so good at communicating the feelings of certain processes. Her method is nuanced and meticulous every lesson, yet so relaxed and freeing as Ms. Kitic has such a welcoming and nurturing demeanor which allows me to not be afraid of trying new or uncomfortable things during lessons. I am so grateful to have such a kind, knowledgeable, and fun teacher. I consider her to be without a doubt, a mentor of mine.

Maria Lazarova, DMA
(Dean of Arts at Orange County School of the Arts; Former Director of Classical Voice Conservatory at OCSA/Cal State University Long Beach)

I have had the distinct please of taking private voice lessons with Ms. Kitic over the past few months and the impact she has had on me has been significant. Ms. Kitic is a meticulous technician and takes great amount of time and care to make sure the sound is produced just right. I have noticed a marked improvement in areas that I had ignored for many years. Ms. Kitic pays careful attention to details and she has a vast knowledge of the operatic repertoire. After having studied voice for over 20 years, completed three music degrees, and participated in countless performances, I was looking for an individual who can help me reach my full potential and help me get to the next level of my craft. I am quite happy to say that Ms. Kitic is beginning to help me do just that.

Lydia Brown, mezzo-soprano
(USC, Winner of Spotlight Awards 2019)

I would like to express our profound appreciation for all that Milena Kitic has done for our 17 year old daughter, Lydia. We started with Milena about two years ago and she was quick to recognize our Lydia’s true voice as a mezzo-soprano. Since then she has guided Lydia to the winner of the LA Music Center’s recent spotlight award in classical voice and given her the direction she needed to continue in college. I can’t say enough about how Milena introduced Lydia to events for vocalists her age and encouraged her to participate. Her support for her students is tremendous and she takes an active role in guiding her students in the path they should follow. Her knowledge of the classical voice is great and her style of bringing the student “into” the character is greatly valued. It has been our pleasure to have had such a wonderful association with Milena. As our daughter heads off to college and beyond we hope to maintain a relationship with her as she has proven to be more than just an instructor. (Parent)

Milena is extremely nurturing with talent. She always pushes towards progress, not perfection. She's a brilliant teacher and really understands the balance of strict instruction versus fun discovery. She is extremely honest in her criticism and complements which stems from years of experience out in the field of opera. One of my favorite things about Milena is her incredible ability to pick songs that _it perfectly in my voice and register. She's given me repertoire that _its great in my voice that is also less commonly hear at auditions and competitions. She obviously did her research.

Never be afraid to push yourself (within reason that is). She taught me to look towards my vocal future and my goals, so that I could select pieces and warm-ups that reflect what I want to sing in the future. Because of her, I began to access what I would consider my "full voice" and my true potential. Not only that, but she also taught me to really listen to my body, and that as my teacher, her job was to supplement things that already felt good in my body. She never forced techniques on me if for whatever reason it didn't feel good for my voice in particular. She was open to experimentation and is very cognizant of vocal health. I've never had a teacher quite like her.

Adriana Manfredi, mezzo-soprano

I have studied with Milena Kitic for close to 5 years. Her technique is impeccable, her attention to detail exacting, and her warmth is overflowing. Once out of school it is challenging to find the 'right fit' - someone you trust with your instrument for a lifetime of singing. Milena is that person for me. Mil gracias, maestra!

Sophia Strobel, mezzo-soprano
OCSA, Baylor University

Milena inspires me to be both passionate and excellent at my craft as she exemplifies both qualities in all she does. She has extensive knowledge about opera and the ability to select songs that highlight an individual’s natural talent and make it shine. She herself takes great joy and loves her music and inspires students of all ages to not only enjoy but excel at it. She offers her experience, knowledge and professional advice in a humorous and creative manner, which is very encouraging and uplifting for a student. While she is very accomplished, having performed roles around the world in spectacular operas under prominent conductors, she is humble and seeks to teach in a very approachable method giving advice on both technical and performance details.

I have learned many valuable lessons from Milena:

  • Challenge yourself always and do more than is comfortable
  • Believe in your talent and practice, practice and practice some more
  • Understand and feel the purpose of the piece to convey the composer’s intent
  • Receive the audience’s reactions to enhance one’s performance
  • Relax, enjoy yourself and be confident
  • Every performance is not only for the audience but yourself

Isabella Szabo, coloratura soprano
OCSA; Stanford University

Milena inspires me to challenge myself to new artistic limits and express myself when I am singing. I used to be terrified to try new music and techniques with my voice, but her encouragement has led me to tackle pieces I never thought I could and really hone in on my talents. She has also inspired me to develop more stage presence while I'm singing and not be afraid to be more animated and less stiff on stage.

From studying with Milena, my technique has improved faster than it ever has. I have learned how to truly garner my true vocal power and play to my strengths as a singer. I have learned how to phrase pieces to give them more pizazz and add flourishes to make them more interesting. She has gotten me through really challenging pieces and helped me build my stamina as a singer—almost all of my repertoire now are super challenging pieces. I have also learned how to present myself as a singer in so many different ways and let the music shine through.

Michelle Aszterbaum, MD, FAAD
(Dermatology and Dermatology Surgery, Parent)

My daughters now aged 18 and 15, have had the pleasure to work with Ms Kitic for the past two years. She has a unique talent for identifying what needs to be strengthened, transformed and highlighted in a young voice. She is exceptionally kind, supportive and creative. In addition, she has helped discover opportunities for performances and competitions to fine-tune performance skills. We are very grateful for her vision, guidance and support.

Fahim Hashim, tenor
(Cornell University)

When Milena accepted me as her student, it was like I died and went to vocal heaven. With other teachers, it was like going to boxing class and getting beat up. Going to Milena is like going to the spa. You leave feeling stronger, freer, better, and completely relaxed like you never want it to end. I became addicted. She gets to the core of your weaknesses and then builds you up into an artist.

It’s very special that someone can be a world-class singer like herself but also be able to actually teach others a great technique. Although she is a true diva by definition, she is humble and makes the student the center of attention. That’s a rare combination. What separates her from other teachers is her ability to actually demonstrate herself how to approach a note and vocal line flawlessly. That inspires her students. Very few teachers in the world can do that.

If you’re lucky enough to take a lesson with her, you will see all this for yourself. Then you will never let go of your dream.

I have had many teachers for opera, learning to sing tenor roles. No one has been able to help me the way that Milena has. First of all, she herself has world-class experience singing in the major opera houses around the world in high-pressure roles where the expectations of her performances are very high. So she understands operatic singing on a level that few teachers can, because she has been on the big stages. She understands the highest level of technique and how to sing effortlessly in high pressure situations and she knows how to demonstrate the techniques required for world-class performers. Very few teachers can do this. Secondly, most professional singers from my experience, aren’t always the best teachers. Milena doesn’t just know how to demonstrate the singing, she also knows how to teach the technique effectively. This is rare for a world-class performer to also be able to teach other students technique, where in most cases they probably don’t have the same gifts that she has. She truly knows how to teach. This combination of top professional career and true teaching ability is very rare.

Finally, it is unusual to have a voice teacher that goes out of her way to help her students succeed. There is no ego, no self serving agendas, and other issues. She genuinely cares for her students to meet their own potential.

I am honored to be her student and I have had some of the best times in my life singing for her with my best results. Outside of being my teacher, she also keeps in touch with me to make sure I am following up on opportunities and my personal well-being. I sincerely feel she is the ultimate voice teacher and mentor. I am blessed to be able to work with her.

I have learned many things from her in advanced singing that a lot of teachers don’t teach well. For example, she taught me effective vowel modification in an ascending scale and at what points I need to put emphasis for my particular voice in vowel modification. This is critical for singing to optimize sound and resonance.

She taught me how to produce an even balance of air and production through my passagio for a seamless sound. How to keep the sound free throughout the transition. She taught me how to stay free in my vocal production and how to relax to produce the best sound under pressure performance situations. Furthermore, how to respond to high performance pressure situations on stage, based on her own experience at stages like LA Opera and the Met. Again, something most teachers simply have not experienced and cannot teach. Working with her, I feel my voice and technique have completely transformed. It’s a great feeling of confidence. I look forward to continuing to learn more from her.

Elissa Matthew, soprano
(OCSA; The University of British Columbia)

To be a world class performer and also an incredible teacher is extremely difficult, and yet, Ms. Kitic somehow does it with ease. Each week, I leave my lessons with a new set of knowledge and an even deeper love and appreciation for singing. From the moment I started working with her, I have been consistently challenged to improve. Ms. Kitic’s dedication and personal investment in the growth of each of her students is what I find truly inspiring. Many times, young people are overwhelmed by the intensity of their studies, but with Ms. Kitic, my passion and love for music has only deepened. Her focus on developing each student’s strengths has enabled me to explore and appreciate my natural sound. Her talents, commitment, and intelligence are what makes it truly an honor to learn from her. Ms. Kitic is everything I’ve ever wanted in a teacher.

Through my lessons each week, I am constantly learning and growing. I have learned more about technique, musicianship, artistry, and stage presence in the last two years than I expected to learn in a lifetime. Ms. Kitic constantly pushes me to be the best I can be at any given moment. She is demanding and encouraging, always helping me to expand my capabilities and reach new goals. Since working with Ms. Kitic, I have expanded my repertoire, been exposed to new performance opportunities and have refined my technique, enabling me to develop my instrument in an authentic way.

Sarah Horn, soprano spinto/musical theater
(Undergraduate: Belmont University; Graduate: California Baptist University ; OCAVA-in-Rome 2018)

If you’re ready to take your singing up a few notches, take regular lessons with Milena. Within six months of weekly lessons (plus reviewing on my own a few times a week), I was stunned at how much I improved! Her experience and keen ear are invaluable when it comes to making minute adjustments. Oftentimes, it’s those little things that make the biggest difference. I’m so happy with how far I’ve come. Milena’s the best!

Emily Summers, soprano
(USC; OCAVA-in-Rome 2016)

Working with Milena has been one of the most valuable experiences in my life. Not only because of her incredible vocal teaching, but because she pushes you in all areas of your life. Milena has helped me gain confidence in not only my voice, but myself as a person as well. Since working with her, I have gained a lot of confidence in myself because she has inspired me to do so. I appreciate that she is not afraid to challenge the limits that I set for myself, but still has patience and kindness when it matters most. She acknowledges that everything is a work in progress, but will not be afraid to tell you to keep improving and to not settle for less.

Milena does not settle for anything less than your best, which shows that she is personally invested in the growth of each of her students. As a student, it is encouraging to have a voice teacher who personally believes in you and so clearly wants you to succeed. Because she is fully invested in me, I have seen my voice develop incredibly quickly and do things I never thought I would be able to do. I wholeheartedly promote studying with Milena as she will teach you not only how to sing incredibly well, but to have the mindset of a professional singer. Milena’s teachings are invaluable and I leave every lesson encouraged, artistically inspired, and ready for the next lesson to come!

Aleesha Yan, soprano
OCSA; Scripps College

I came to Ms. Kitic at a time when I was particularly vulnerable. I previously struggled with making my voice do what countless teachers wanted to hear. Instead, Ms. Kitic is coaching me to understand and develop the talents of my natural voice. She has helped me embrace my organic sound, made me feel special, while supportively worked on fundamental concepts of classical voice singing. Within a few lessons, I am singing better than ever, and with much more freedom. My sound no longer feels constrained. LIBERATE…. RELAX…. RELEASE the voice from the fetters of placement, habit, bad posture, judgement, baggage….. these are all lessons that I have learned from Ms. Kitic. Her nurturing methods of teaching are also inspirational. I look forward to my lessons and feel like I am missing something any time I am unable to have a lesson. She motivates me and her encouragements propel me to work hard and achieve the next level. I wholeheartedly endorse Ms. Kitic’s vocal studio!!!

Milena's level of compassion and thoughtfulness she puts towards each student and their personal growth is unmatched to other teachers. Milena's desire to see her students grow and succeed are shown through her students goals and dreams becoming an extension of herself. She is an inspiration because she _ights through her problems alongside her students. Hardwork and determination are pivotal to the success of any goal and Milena has been a structural support system in my personal and professional growth as a young adult and singer. That is why Milena is an inspiration to me.

Milena is not only an instructor of the vocal arts but a role model younger singers aspire to embody. The amount of respect Milena garners is not only because of her strong presence on stage but because of the way she interacts and treats others off stage as well. Students of hers will not only grow as singers and performers but the level of personal growth one gains from Milena is truly invaluable.

Rae Yan

Milena inspires me because she gives so much of herself to each and every student! She draws out the potential and teaches the student how to develop that potential into something incredibly amazing! She does this with heart, determination, patience and extreme talent! Not only is Milena gifted in her talents in her own right, she transcends this talent to her students as well!

Things I learned from her includes hard work, consistency in effort and voice. Her hard work ethic translates into all aspects of her life. She is a talented singer. She is a talented teacher. She is a talented mother. Her talent brings forward hard work into all aspects of life. Practice. Diligence. Hard work. She is a role model for her students on how to be an exemplary student to teacher to mother to parent to person.

Chelsea Tan, soprano
(Chapman University; Pacific Chorale; Pacific Symphony)

Milena is talented, generous, kind, a wonderful musician and a great teacher! She talks a lot about the "third eye" in her teaching and how once you access it, your resonance will be brighter and more full. I always think of that analogy when I'm singing.

Robin Follman, soprano
(New York City Opera, Washington Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Baltimore Opera, Opera Pacific, Florentine Opera, Singapore Lyric Opera, Lyric Opera Malaysia, Hawaii Opera, and Opera Carolina, Indianapolis Opera, Utah Symphony & Opera, Manitoba Opera, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)

Milena Kitic is a true artist who is willing to share her professional insights with not only her colleagues but also aspiring young artists. She has a keen sense of what is a marketable sound but also a healthy approach to classical singing and technique. Milena is positive, thoughtful and purposeful in her teaching style; working with her is a joy and creatively inspiring.

Dr. Vivian I-Miao Liu
Adjunct faculty at Chapman University,
DMA in keyboard collaborative arts from University of Southern California,
Keyboardist with Los Angeles Opera's Education Program since 2006,
Principal pianist with National Children's Chorus

Ms. Kitic is an amazing voice teacher. She is able to pinpoint out the technic issues in every student as well as giving advises of interpretations. She herself is a super musical singer, the best demonstration to voice students. Her goal is to help each student to find their true voice on the stage in big theater. She has the power of transforming student-singers into professional singers.

Aumna Iqbal, mezzo-soprano
Master of Studies (Musicology/Voice) at University of Oxford, GBR

Milena is a wonderful and wonderfully supportive teacher. She goes above and beyond improving my technique, which of course has improved by leaps and bounds since I started studying with her. She brings all kinds of singing opportunities to my attention in addition to giving the kind of invaluable advice that comes from her experience as a working professional. I credit my winning competitions like NATS and POSA, as well as my success with companies like Center Stage Opera as much to Milena's generosity and dedication as to my own hard work. If I had one word to describe Milena it would be "generous" as she is always generous with her time, her support, and her passion with all of her students, and she really believes in her students as a teacher and as a mentor.

Milena inspires me because she believes in me. She is totally focused on what she believes can help me to grow, finding a delicate balance between material that is challenging and is also rewarding and attainable in a reasonable amount of time. She really ignited a love for opera in me and gave me some great repertoire to get started that I otherwise would not have found on my own. Her experience as a soloist is great to draw on where I am, as a person who is just starting out. She is also happy to dialogue between lessons whenever I have a question. Her vocal exercises are fun, beneficial, and memorable. She has really given me a solid foundation that I haven't gotten anywhere else and I had quite a few teachers before her, finding her as a typically older student. I appreciate all the opportunities I have received, being a student of hers.

Things I learned from this teacher have been invaluable. Because of her, I experienced Italy for the first time. She teaches in a summer program called OCAVA (Orange County Academy of Vocal Arts) and I was immersed in opera for the first time for 3 weeks and it was wonderful. I got to sing multiple times in a gorgeous church, see multiple operas, and experience the country in which some of my favorite operas were written and experience the culture they were written about. She has been able to transition my voice from musical theater to opera in a way that feels congruent. I have so much more volume, thanks to her, and my sound is so much richer. It took me years to fully grasp and implement the concept of the "window" in the back of my head, but my sound unlocked when I finally did and she had the patience to guide me there. Milena is an awesome teacher and she will always have a special place in my heart, no matter where life takes me.

She is incredibly dedicated to her students- she is personally invested in my success and I would not have gotten as far in my career as I did without her believing in me. I learned how to go from sounding like an amateur to having a professional technique. She taught me resilience and the power of consistent hard work.

Madison Hatten, soprano
(Boston Conservatory at Berklee, California State University, Long Beach and OCAVA-in-Rome)

I have had the utmost privilege to work with Milena since January, 2013 in her private vocal studio. Milena understands the importance to develop the vocal technique with careful attention and persistent motivation; with these skills she continues to guide me, a young classical singer, to build a strong vocal foundation which I can build upon such a beautiful artistry. With the positive and truthful environment she provides through her feedback and guidance, I feel I can push myself and explore different vocal strategies to break through problematic passages and technique issues without thoughts of self-consciousness or doubt that can take a toll on one's confidence in their abilities. Because of Milena's keen musical ear and understanding of this art form in all its facets, I always leave each lesson with a new goal to work towards but always with a smile on my face from my renewed joy for classical singing.

Brook de Rosa, soprano
(a graduate of Washington and Lee University)

Milena is the best coach I have worked with. She's tough but very encouraging and I along with others noticed an improvement almost immediately. Since coaching with Milena I have started working in Opera, performing in a new opera, Aesopera at the Pasadena Playhouse, and in Suor Angelica with Center Stage Opera. She has worked tirelessly with me to get ready for upcoming auditions and competitions and her technique is flawless and works for a wide range of voice types.

Christine Suits, soprano
(a graduate of Chapman University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance)

Best!!! Studying with Milena is a true gift and special opportunity. Learning from such a gifted and experienced singer who really knows the lifestyle, demands, and expectations of having a high profile operatic career is an invaluable experience. Her teachings and intimate understandings on proper vocal technique continue to greatly surpass my expectations of what I thought I could get out of any teacher. She has been instrumental in helping me break old habits build confidence, and to really create a freedom with flexibility in my voice and character. Having Milena as my support in the opera world has seriously boosted my confidence and greatly shifted my ability to audition and feel professional, grounded, and prepared.

Tanja Radic, soprano
(OCSA and Chapman University)

My name is Tanja Radic, I’m 17 years old, and I’ve been studying with Milena Kitic for almost a year. I can say, as a developing musician and artist, that working with her has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Her personality is wonderful, she’s very warm and nurturing, however she knows when to be firm with her students, and treats us like adults and professionals. She has helped me grow and progress in ways that I never would have been able to without her guidance. Although she’s helped me cultivate my technique as a vocalist, (I have improved more over the past few months of study with her than I have in all the previous years combined) she emphasizes musicality and expression above else, which is something no other teacher has taught me. I study at a performing arts high school, and before studying with Milena, I was not accepted into the highest level classes, and I didn’t get cast in the opera. However, since studying with her, I’ve caught up and even surpassed the rest of my classmates: I was cast as a principle role in this year’s Opera, Hansel and Gretel, I’m in all the top choirs and classes, and I was accepted into the premier performance ensemble of my school, the Bel Canto Singers, which features just 10 singers selected from a pool of over 300. Without Milena’s guidance I would not have the confidence or skill level necessary to be at this level. And, considering that college auditions are coming up, I’m eternally grateful to her because I know that I will be more prepared for college than many of my peers because of the amazing experience I’ve had insofar with Milena. It’s been a wonderful few months and I highly recommend her for any student interested in growing as a performer, artist, and musician.

Sandra Jurca (on behalf of her daughter, Rachel Jurca, soprano)
HR Data Coordinator, Human Resources, Chapman University

A tremendous improvement! My daughter, Rachel, just recently began studying with Milena; however, in a short time her improvement has been remarkable. Milena has inspired Rachel to reach deep within and find a way to express her artistry through her voice. Milena has also emphasized how important proper technique is to be able to sustain and preserve the vocal instrument. Many of the poor habits that Rachel had developed have begun to subside, and the quality of her tone is more beautiful than it has ever been. Milena is a genius and we are honored that Rachel is working with her.

Hannah Engelhardt, soprano
(OCSA and Chapman University)

I won a private lesson with Milena Kitic from silent auction at my high school's annual "Opera Night" that she attended and performed in as a special guest and have been taking private lessons with her ever since. I have learned more from Milena in one lesson than I have from my last vocal teacher who I trained with for four years. She is very encouraging, yet still very diligent and thorough and is very clear and succinct getting her point across. She will make you work to grow with your voice, but she is extremely understanding and always compassionate with her students. Even more, she is an outstanding singer herself and an incredibly inspiring example to follow.

Brittany Danielle Bethurum, mezzo-soprano
(a graduate of Chapman University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance)

Milena Kitic has been vastly influential in my vocal and stage development. She is dedicated to excellence and expects nothing less from her students. She is also very openminded and really knows how to address certain vocal issues with her students without intimidating them but rather inspiring them to conquer their goals. Not only is Milena Kitic a phenomenal artist, but a wonderful teacher without whom I would not be the person I am today.

Rachel Koons, soprano
(a graduate of Chapman University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance)

Working with Milena has affected my life positively in several dynamic ways. Her confidence and conviction provides a role model for me, a role model of the kind of woman I want to be and can be through self-determination and self-possession. This kind of poise is integral to becoming successful singer. Milena has also shown me how it is ultimately my job to teach myself how to sing – she can give me tools and constructive feedback, but it is my responsibility to take these ideas home and work them into my own instrument. This keeps me curious to discover how much progress I can make for myself over time. In the eight months I have worked with Milena, I have made equal to the three years of progress I had with my previous teacher. It is amazing what can happen during an hour-long lesson with Ms. Kitic. In addition to confidence and responsibility, Milena has taught me the importance of making music. Music is what happens between the notes – singing out to the end of the house even after you finish the tone is what really separates a good singer from an excellent singer. I had never thought about sending the energy out at all times, but Milena has shown me how beautiful and powerful this concept is: it captivates and moves the audience inwardly. This arousal of emotion: this is the reason we sing, the reason we perform - this is the power of music. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Milena’s direction and mentorship – she has been the single most significant person to my development of voice and self, and for that I express my deepest gratitude and affection.

Milena is a powerhouse - she emits a positivity and belief in her students that is truly unique and formidable. She never gives up on her students, giving 150% of herself to each and every one of them - they are her pride and joy. Milena has opened up her heart and her home for the love of her work and for the betterment of her students, and she deserves this recognition.

Milena has taught me how to love my voice and love myself - how to be confident, how to bring _ire and support to my sound. She has taught me how to be resilient in the face of criticism and how to believe in my instrument and my own talent. She has been a teacher, mentor, and friend for the last 12 years, and has encouraged me when I did not believe in myself. She has gone out of her way to help me in many ways, personal and professional. I am the singer and the person I am today because of Milena.

Venicia Rasmussen, soprano
(Hochshule fur Musik Karlsruhe; L’Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese, OCAVA-in-Rome)

I have had the great joy and honor to study under Milena Kitic since 2006. Her grace and intellect to communicate the wisdom and importance of classical singing, is a talent within itself. Milena connects with every student individually and nurtures every living, colorful being that steps in her voice studio. I am grateful to have a teacher who comprehends my passion to learn Opera, while challenging my abilities.

Studying with Milena has strongly enriched my vocal technique and knowledge for the singing instrument: la voce. In our lessons, we do not solely focus on mastering the musical nuances and phrasing, the pronunciation and phonation, or the interpretation of the role. Moreover, Milena embodies one's voice and natural ability to express the music with our entire instrument: the face (maschera), the breathing diaphragm/body, the color and expression, and the production of the voice. It is truly unique to find a teacher who encourages the singer to recreate the music in a personal, authentic way.

Milena is clearly a brilliant, successful artist onstage, and offstage. She has proven to obtain success as a talented teacher and mentor among young and new singers. Her voice technique is like a Roman structure that can never be destroyed. I have innately learned the confidence and stability when it comes to agility, strength and health of the voice. While singing daily Milena's warm-up exercises, I sense right away the connection to my breath and body, the focus and clarity of my voice, forming legato, and the production of tone quality and resonance. Since 2009 I have been studying Opera in Germany. In 2012 I will receive a Degree from Karlsruhe Music Conservatory in Opera, Lied, Oratorium, and Teaching. At the moment I am singing the main role of the (Cat) in the children's Opera: Der Gestiefelte Karter (Puss in Boots). New Years eve 2013 I will be singing a Baroque program in the Neunburger Castle with Organist and Trumpet. In 2010 I performed the role Amor in Orpheus and Eurydice, in 2011 the role from Taumann and Sandmann in Haensel und Gretel. Since 2010 I have sung in the Karlsruhe Opera Theater, in the ensemble. Since 2012 I have been a scholar of the organization Live Music Now, performing with a Baroque trio in classical venues. I am also a winner of the DAAD scholarship for foreign music students.

It is for these reasons that I offer high recommendations for Milena without reservation

Milena Kitic is one of the most outstanding Mentors I have encountered as a young opera singer. She was my first vocal teacher (2006) and I was her first student. Milena has been the role-model who encouraged my profound musical vision of instrument and mindset with grace, poise, strength and determination. Her elegance and intellect eloquently communicate a successful diva onstage and a brilliant teacher offstage; with wisdom and vitality to enlighten classical singers of this generation. It was a blessing to have had her encouragement while studying and preparing my first full opera roles with orchestra at LA High school of the Arts as an Opera/Musical Theater major. Milena powerfully enriched and supported my early development as a singer preparing for auditions throughout Europe. She enabled me from early on, to bloom into the authentic, multi-faceted voice I am, without putting me in a fach shelf.

Studying with Milena has been the most profound educational experiences that empowered my technique and career as a touring young singer throughout Europe- Asia.

She communicates a precise yet transparent understanding for the complex yet tender vocal chords. This unbreakable technique, is like a roman forum; a consistent foundation of inner vocal line and strength, powerful stage charisma through role studying, a flourishing stable technique based on the natural feeling for the vibration, resonation and dynamic timbre of the instrumental voice. Her role enabled me to build an intimate, inborn relationship with my voice, so I could become my greatest teacher and listener. Our training together was a very fruitful time and helped me mentally engage and express the core of the music with my entire instrument; physically with the breathing diaphragm, through artistry and expression, through healthy vibration and production of the voice. Mastering the natural beautiful legato: Belcanto.

Dusan Grubisic, tenor
(Carnegie Mellon University; Oberlin Conservatory of Music; The Royal Danish Academy of Music)

Od prvog trenutka I kontatka sa g-djom Kitic, je blio neverovatno iskustvo. Moja ocekivanja su bila da cu upoznati osobu koja je profesionalno ostvarena, nedodirljiva I poprilicno rezervisana, medjutim od prvih recenica i nase komunikacije, njena energija je izuzetno zarazna, a njene reci uvek motivisuce. Kao coach je izuzetno zahtevna sa razlogom i puna ocekivanja koja su vrlo realna I kojih mlada osoba najcesce nije ni svesna. Milenina energija odgovara mladosti, entuzijazmu i leprsavosti i nijednog trenutka ne sputava vec podstice na razvoj, a Milenino iskustvo ukazuje na one delove na kojima treba raditi I pokazuje kojim tehnikama i metodama se podstize uspeh. Milena je prvenstveno izuzetna licnost i karakter, a zatim i fantastican profesor, trener I prijatelj.

From the first moment of contacting Ms. Kitic, it was an incredible experience! Since Ms. Kitic is professionally very accomplished I had expected she would be in a way untouchable and reserved, however, from the first sentences of our conversation, her energy has been extremely addictive, and her words always motivating. As a vocal coach Ms. Kitic is quite demanding with a reason, and full of expectations which become real and of which young person is usually not aware of. Milena's energy corresponds to youth, enthusiasm, and flawlessness, and it does not stop you, but instantly encourages you to develop and grow. Milena's experience points out those parts that need to be worked on and shows to young singers with which techniques and methods they can achieve success. Milena is an exceptional person and character, besides being a fantastic professor, coach and friend.

Milena is a rare diamond of excellent artistry, loving and nurturing teaching skills and very charismatic personality. Her voice and stage presence is delightful when she performs and when she teaches. Her international experience and Slavic background makes her very unique in the US! I learned to be patient and to NEVER GIVE UP!

Ethan Baker, tenor

Ms Kitic is a dear teacher and she trained me very well! I always enjoy taking her voice lessons. She not only gave me music lessons but also shared with me culture and languages. My family and I love to be invited to her concerts!

Ms Kitic had taught me songs in German, Italian, Dutch and English. Her passion of music has inspired me. When I traveled to Europe, she had motivated me to dive deep into their culture and music history. Her performances were enchanted! I am proud to be her student!

Julie Anna Crookston-Gulenko '15, soprano
(Communications Fellow Oberlin Conservatory of Music; OCAVA-in-Rome)

Milena is an incredibly passionate and thoughtful mentor. I had an entire week of lessons with her in the summer of 2017 as part of the Orange County Ars Vocalis Academy (OCAVA) program in Rome and was inspired by her commitment to the music, the voice, and the growth of each student. I still refer to the valuable technical lessons and artistic lessons that Milena shared with me during that week—from working through postural habits and finding ease in my upper register to focusing and grounding my sound. I hope to continue my studies with this incredible artist, teacher, and coach soon! Mille grazie, cara professoressa!!!

Angeline Petronijevic, soprano
(Chicago College of Performing Arts; Opera Santa Barbara; Opera San Jose)

Milena Kitic is not only an amazing performer, she is a great teacher! Milena and I worked together in summer 2017 at OCAVA, a training program in Rome Italy and she was able to pinpointed my strengths and what I needed to correct right away. The wonderful thing is she gave me the tools to fix the problems. Studying with her gave me much needed confidence and a better understand of my voice. I look forward to many years of progress with her on my team!

Milena Kitic inspires me because she continues to work on her craft. Milena is a beautiful performer and her voice is so consistent. She inspires me to always put my best forward and to do that it takes patience, dedication, and love for myself.

Being kind to yourself when it gets hard can be hard but Milena taught me that. My voice blooms when I work with her and I know that if I run into trouble with technique she will bring me right back on track.

Maggie Liu
(Orange County School of the Arts, Columbia University)

Studying with Milena Kitic has helped me improve in many aspects of vocal performance, especially vocal technique. I have been able to work on getting rid of some of my bad habits, and my family has witnessed my immense progress after just one year of study with Milena. Her patience and unwavering support to her students are awe-inspiring She is mindful and attentive, careful and considerate, and the technique she teaches is impeccable. It is truly an honor to study with her. I am continuously enthralled by her teachings, and she constantly inspires me to be a teacher myself in the future. Milena is an accomplished role model, and I am perpetually grateful to call myself her student.

Shira Renee Thomas, soprano
(General Director/Co-Founder of Valley Opera & Performing Arts; Opera Pacific; LA Opera)

Milena is an expert vocal technician, and gets incredible results with her voice students. She is exceptionally knowledgeable not only about vocal technique, but also about repertoire, diction, interpretation, musicality, and the opera industry in general. She is extremely accessible and caring, and often becomes a mentor to her students

I learned a great deal about my middle voice from Milena. As a mezzo soprano, she was able to skillfully help me smooth out and strengthen a typically uncomfortable range of my voice. Milena’s own masterful singing and performing career are incredibly inspiring, and really motivate me to continue working hard and striving for my own personal singing goals.

Anzhela Kushnirenko, soprano
(Chapman University)

I have Miss Kitic as my teacher for over a year. I had a pleasure working with her while attending Chapman university. I admire how wonderful, intuitive Miss Kitic is. She addresses all my vocal aspects with a sharp precision. It is wonderful to have a teacher that knows you as a person and cares about you as a person and your individual vocal instrument.

I am learning each time we have a lesson be patient don't over think. I feel I learn how to work hard and pick the musical pieces which connect personally to me.

Henry Courtney, baritone

Ms. Kitic has high expectations, and she always thinks that I can do more than I think I can do. Usually, she is right! I can hit notes that I didn’t think would be possible by using the right technique. She pushes me to be more expressive, and I’ve learned that I’m able to do that as well. Despite these high expectations, Ms. Kitic is chill. She gives her instructions cheerfully, and she gives me time to figure it out for myself. During this quarantine, I have looked forward to every lesson that I have with Ms. Kitic. It’s like a little bit of sunshine in my week.

Ms. Kitic has taught me to be more expressive in my singing. I have learned that it’s important to tell my musical story in an engaging way. It’s not just about the right pitch. I have also learned that proper technique can help me sing with greater range and better tone.

Bree Betourne, soprano
(University of the Pacific)

Milena has inspired me since I first started studying with her with her positive yet firm teaching technique. Her strong, warm and gentle heart has helped me accomplish so much as a professional singer. She truly cares about me and I know that she will help me prepare for whatever role or production I am working on. I trust Milena with my voice, mentally and physically.

Milena Kitic is by far the best voice teacher I’ve ever had. My vocal range has grown beyond anything I ever imagined and she helps me to sing in a way that feels easy and effortless. My technique, tone and confidence are much more consistent now, thanks to Milena’s knowledge and expertise.