By: Jessie Chrobocinski Photos by: Lillian Reitz
You might recognize her from special performances at Bellino’s Italiano Restaurant or Sunday services at First United Methodist. But for those who don’t, Belarusian-born opera singer and pianist Olga Miliuta is a rare talent who has made the Coastal Bend her new home, and is harnessing her talent and the power of music to build confidence and inspiration in others.
Born into a family of musicians and doctors, Miliuta began her musical journey at a very young age. A graduate from Minsk State College of Arts, Miliuta went to school for 16 years to become a choral director, music teacher, opera singer, and piano player. With an impressive repertoire of more than 200 musical pieces in 15 languages, Miliuta’s work has encompassed performances as a guest soloist in Germany, Russia, Italy, and France for various symphony orchestras, as well as victory in numerous opera competitions worldwide, including France, Italy, Belarus, and the United States.
“I give piano and voice lessons—not just opera voice lessons, all styles. I know from my experience that if you [understand] classical basics, you can sing everything. I am an example of that for my students,” Miliuta said kindly.
Miliuta also works with disabled individuals for therapy and applies her expertise in music therapy toward helping those with autism and the risk of stroke. She expresses strong beliefs in music’s healing power for mental health and attributes her native culture as its proof.
“I believe people need culture. When you have music in your life, you have a different priority. I like to help people because people need culture. People need music,” she said. “In America, this can be very expensive. In Europe, it’s more available for people. It is a natural part of our culture to bring your child to the studio to sing. It’s normal. I want to make [music] more available for people here.”
Collaborating with the Chopin Society of Corpus Christi helps her expand her opportunities for herself and her students—future plans include preparing her students for an intimate recital building up to singing competitions. For now, her primary goals remain to bring confidence to her students and help them learn the tools to live happily and healthfully through music.
“You never know what’s going to happen in your life. Today, maybe you [feel like] you’re number one, and tomorrow you might have something different happen in your life and be on the opposite side of the world starting from the bottom,” Miliuta said. “I want to show people and lead them by my example how to be confident and happy, because music and art help us to open our possibilities and our minds.”
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