Kate Milner Evans/Radmilovic
So why the two names? I began my career in Opera and Operetta under my Mothers Maiden family Croatian name Radmilovic, with my Great Grand Father being Paulo Radmilovic, Wales Olympian four gold medallist British Water Polo Captain ....For most of my teens I trained twice a day as a 400 metre swimming competitor with dreams of entering the Olympics, but by the of sixteen, drama and music prevailed and at eighteen I auditioned for both Music and Acting colleges where I was advised to retry in a year or so ....so instead of having a gap year and travelling to Thailand I managed to get on the BA Hons degree course at Birmingham University in Music, Drama and Dance that concentrated on the classical and contemporary. By the end of the course I decided that it was the Musical Drama of Opera that indeed was to be my path, and finally in 1990 I got into the Royal Northern College of Music for a postgraduate Course in Vocal studies.
I was told that I was very much an actor-singer which I did'nt quite understand at the time but those words have repeated themselves by many a jury or critic in different guises. I became a Peter Moores Scholar who supported most of my training, and the penultimate summer of my training, a group of us were invited to be part of the famous ensemble of the Bayreuth Wagner Festival where I discovered the German Repertory House system with its flourishing eighty opera houses. I rushed back to college for my final year, took a flight to Switzerland to audition for the International Zurich Opera Studio and was awarded a place, (again with the words from the Head of the Studio "you must Act when you sing as your voice alone is not enough) and winning the Elizabeth Harwood Best Singer of the Year in 1994 I left the UK to then spend thirteen extraordinary years as an Opera singer in Germany and Switzerland, my first home was to be at the wonderful State Opera Houses Osnabrück. playing roles such as Madame Butterfly , Violetta in La Traviata and Lehar's Merry Widow. Versatility seemed to be my calling card.
In 2002 I entered the Robert Stolz Operetta competition in Hamburg, winning the Public Vote performance Prize and I would say it was at this time that Theatre started to beckon. I moved back to the UK in 2006 and played my first Wagnarian role, Freia in the Longborough Wagner Festivals Ring Cycle and apart from stepping in to play the wonderful Lady Billows in Britten's Albert Herring at the Darmstadt opera House, a friend of mine who was playing Christine in the Phantom of the Opera at the time, suggested I leave my CV at the stage door of her Majesty's, and in 2008 out of the blue I took a years contract as Carlotta in Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's, West End. An experience I shall never forget suddenly doing eight shows a week (instead of a month!) and entering the whirl wind of Theatre life on the West End, London. However I returned to opera for a few more years, and covering Sieglinde and Brünnhilde for Longborough and returning to Germany to audition for heavier repertoire I was feeling burnt out with opera and my gut instincts and the haunting words that I was an "actor-singer" helped me make a decision to crossover into the world of musical theatre, and my days in operetta helped this transition. I became an associate singing teacher at Guildford School of Acting, took classes at the Actors Centre with some great acting teachers and in 2014 I got a theatre agent and changed my name to something that people could pronounce returning to my Fathers Name Milner-Evans and my first role was in the Rock Musical Jackie - say no more...
Recently I have discovered the UK independent film scene and in 2019 won Best Actress at the "Rob Knox Film Festival". (see screen page). In 2020 I recorded the role of Mirele in Soviet Zion concept album, and the musical film Desiderata to be released 2022, alongside being the soloist Summer 2021 crossover opera and musical theatre concerts as part of the Pitlochry Summer Festival whilst being part of the Wind in the Willows. I have just finished playing the role of Myrtle Bagot in Emma Rice Adaptation of the Brief Encounter at the renouned Watermill Theatre.
Musical theatre credits; Myrtel Bagot in Emma Rice adaptation of Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter at the Watermill, Newbury 2021; Chief Wiesel/Elsbeth in Wind in the Willows and soloist at the Night at the Musicals and Opera at Pitlochry Summer Festival 2021; Wizard in the Wizard of Oz (Selladoor worldwide), Lottie Child - Crazy for you (No.1 National Tour Jamie Wilson Productions), Mrs Zero - Adding Machine ((Finborough), Mrs O'Brien & Parthy/ensemble- Showboat (Crucible Sheffield/New London Theatre), Madame Barbier - Braille Legacy (Charing Cross Theatre), Frau Schmidt - Sound of Music - Bill Kenwright National Tour, Carlotta - Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty's), Gemma - Jackie the Musical (Gardyne Theatre, Dundee), Rita Marbury – in Noel Coward’s Ace of Clubs (Union Theatre).
Operetta credits: Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and Lisa in Land des Lächeln, (Osnabrück Opernhaus), Sylva Varescu in Kalmanns Czardas Fürstin (St Gallen Opernhaus).
Opera credits; Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte (Eutin Festival/ St Gallen Theatre, Obberamagau Festival), Minette in The English Cat (Deutsche Radio/, Osnabrück State Opera), Lady Billows in Albert Herring (Dortmund Opera) Mimi and Musetta - La Boheme, Norina in Don Pasquale, Susannah in Die Nozze di Figaro, Hans Sachs, Kleider machen Leute, Tatijana in Eugene Onegin, Vitellia in Mozart’s Titus, Agathe in Der Freischütz , Donna Elvira - Don Giovanni, Violetta in La Traviata, Madame Butterfly (Osnabrück and Heidelberg Opernhaus), Frau Fluth - Merry wives of Windsor (Weimer Opernhaus,Osnabrück).