Danish bass Stephen Milling was born in Copenhagen and was educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. In 1994 he became a member of the Royal Danish Opera where he sang roles including König Marke (Tristan und Isolde), Daland (Der fliegende Holländer), Philip II (Don Carlos), Fafner (Siegfried) and Gurnemanz (Parsifal). Two engagements secured his international career: His debut at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala as Don Fernando in Fidelio (under Riccardo Muti) and his North American debut as both Fasolt and Hunding in the new Ring cycle for The Seattle Opera.
After his initial success in Wagner’s Ring, he has returned to Seattle for Gurnemanz (Parsifal) and as König Marke and other appearances in America include The Metropolitan Opera as Sparafucile (Rigoletto) - returning as Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte) and as Hunding (under Valery Gergiev); the Lyric Opera of Chicago as König Marke; with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as Narbal in Les Troyens (under Zubin Mehta); at the San Francisco Opera as Philip II; with the San Francisco Symphony as Daland (under Michael Tilson Thomas) and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as König Marke (under Esa-Pekka Salonen).
As one of the world’s foremost interpreters of the Wagner repertoire, Stephen Milling collaborates with some of the world’s leading conductors including Zubin Mehta, Christian Thielemann, Sir Simon Rattle, Franz Welser-Möst and Sir Antonio Pappano. Recent European highlights include Gurnemanz in a new production of Parsifal at the 2013 Osterfestspiele Salzburg; Fasolt at de Nederlandse Opera (under Hartmut Haenchen); Hunding and Commendatore (Don Giovanni) at the Maggio Musicale di Firenze (under Mehta); and Daland at the Wiener Staatsoper (under Daniel Harding). Other major appearances include the Salzburg Festival as Fafner (Rattle); at the Wiener Staatsoper as Gurnemanz (Rattle and Thielemann); at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as Hunding (Pappano); at the Bayerische Staatsoper as Rocco; at the Opéra national de Paris in Kaija Saariaho’s Adriana Mater (Salonen); and Rocco at the Gran Teatro del Liceu, Barcelona (under Sebastian Weigle).
Stephen Milling made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker in Verdi’s Requiem under Mariss Jansons, and features on several recordings including Les Troyens with the London Symphony Orchestra (Sir Colin Davis) released on the LSO Live label; Der Ring des Nibelungen staged by La Fura dels Baus in Valencia which is released on Unitel Classics (Zubin Mehta); three collaborations with Kasper Holten at Royal Danish Opera: The Copenhagen Ring, Tannhäuser, both released on Decca, and Maskarade on Dacapo; and he stars on the recent release by DGG of the Salzburg production of Parsifal.
In the 2013/2014 season Stephen Milling returns to the Wiener Staatsoper as König Marke (Franz Welser-Möst), to de Nederlandse Opera to sing Fasolt (Haenchen) and to Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, Valencia for performances of Die Walküre (Mehta). Concert appearances include Das Rheingold at the BBC Proms with the Berliner Staatskapelle under Daniel Barenboim, a Verdi 200 gala concert with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos) and Verdi Requiem with the Staatskapelle Dresden (Thielemann).