Mila Henry is a conductor, pianist and music director who maintains a versatile career, leading works spanning folk operas to rock musicals to reimagined classics. Hailed “a stalwart contributor to the contemporary opera scene” (Opera Ithaca), her 2023-24 season includes conducting The Old Man and the Sea (Beth Morrison Projects, VisionIntoArt) and The Merry Widow (College Light Opera Company); providing music direction for The Hunt (Miller Theatre); playing with the Brooklyn Art Song Society and counter codex; and continuing as Head of Music for The American Opera Project’s (AOP) Composers & the Voice training program.
As a conductor, her credits include Letters That You Will Not Get (AOP), Magdalene (PROTOTYPE), La Cenerentola and Hansel und Gretel (Opera on Tap: Playground Opera) and the NY premiere of Julius Eastman’s The Moon’s Silent Modulation (OOT, Ensemble Connect, Lincoln Center). She assisted on The Night Falls (BalletCollective, PEAK Performances), Iceland (Overtone Industries), and As One, The Blind and Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom (AOP).
Equally comfortable helming from the piano, Mila provided music direction for Words on the Street (Baruch PAC), La liberazione di Ruggiero / The Infinite Energy of Ada Lovelace (Opera Ithaca) and Early Decision (Princeton University, McCarter Theatre). She was the bandleader for Adrienne Danrich’s Love and Trouble (Fargo-Moorhead Symphony), and has guided developmental performances with Circle in the Square (Circle Series), BerkleeNYC, Columbia University, Mercury Store, NYU Tisch, Page 73 and Pittsburgh CLO.
Her supportive approach has allowed her to help shape countless new works, spanning vocal director for the Obie-winning The World is Round (Ripe Time), to répétiteur for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Angel’s Bone and p r i s m (PROTOTYPE), and Wayne Shorter and esperanza spalding’s Iphigenia (Real Magic, Octopus Theatricals). She continued into the pit as principal pianist for We Shall Not Be Moved (Opera Philadelphia, The Apollo, Dutch National Opera), Persona (Beth Morrison Projects), Looking at You (HERE, rec. Bright Shiny Things), Mata Hari (PROTOTYPE) and Thumbprint (PROTO, LA Opera, rec. National Sawdust Tracks).
As a recital pianist, she premiered the OPERA America-commissioned cycle Fierce Grace: Jeannette Rankin (Library of Congress, New York Festival of Song, NOVA), and played for their Creators in Concert programs for Anthony Davis, Laura Kaminsky, Missy Mazzoli and Kamala Sankaram. Additionally, she has performed at Kaufman Music Center’s Merkin Concert Hall and Musical Storefronts, Feinstein’s/54 Below, Café Sabarsky, The Stone and Joe’s Pub.
She has collaborated extensively with The American Opera Project (serving as Artistic Director from 2019-2023), American Lyric Theater, Beth Morrison Projects, Experiments in Opera, HERE, Opera on Tap, PROTOTYPE and VisionIntoArt. She is a member of Brooklyn Art Song Society’s New Music Advisory Board, and has participated on grant panels for New Music USA and OPERA America.
Mila holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music (Master of Music, Collaborative Piano) and Elizabethtown College (Bachelor of Arts in Music, Piano). She is based in New York, and was nicknamed a “Jill of all trades” (Sullivan County Democrat) for her multi-instrumentalist work with the band Opera Cowgirls, whose recordings are searchable online.