Former NFL football player now catches applause as opera singer |

Former NFL football player now catches applause as opera singer

Amanda Holt MillerPost Independent Staff
Keith Miller

Keith Miller played professional football for the Denver Broncos until he decided to become an opera singer.Now he’s traveling all over the world catching applause from the crowds instead of the pigskin from his teammates.Miller will perform at the Colorado Mountain College’s New Space Theater at the Spring Valley campus at 7 p.m. today. He’ll be accompanied by nationally renowned pianist Debra Ayers.Miller grew up in Ovid in the northeast part of Colorado. His high school football team won the state championship his sophomore, junior and senior years. Soon enough, he found himself playing for the University of Colorado in Boulder.

After a football game his freshman year, he went to see “Phantom of the Opera” with a girl he was dating.”I had never seen an opera before,” Miller said. “I had the same emotions at the opera I had at the game from the theatrics, the fireworks and the music. I was blown away.”He was intrigued by the language and went to the music school at CU to look up the words and learn their meanings. He’s been interested in opera ever since.But his singing was limited to booming solos in the shower. He never knew how to read music.

Miller played on the Bronco’s reserve roster for five years and hoped to make the team’s training camp when he walked past a sign advertising a casting audition for “Don Giovanni.””I didn’t know how to read music or speak Italian, but I did really well so I got the part,” Miller said.After that, he was invited to sing in the Pine Mountain Music Festival in Michigan. From there, his opera career took off – and he left the Broncos in his dust.Miller is attending the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. He has made appearances in Italy, London, Canada, and all over the country.

He met Ayers a couple years ago and agreed to perform with her if she could put a tour together.Recitals such as the CMC concert this weekend are new territory for Miller.”If I could do whatever I wanted, it would probably all be opera,” Miller said. “I’ve never done a recital before and I think it’s important to put myself in different waters and expand myself in as many different ways as I can.”Miller said traveling for performances keeps him alert.

“It keeps you out of the mundane and gives you something to look forward to,” Miller said. “It also lets you look forward to coming home. It gives you a chance to really enjoy your job. You have to work hard. I work very, very hard and I love it.”For tickets, call the CMC box office at 947-8367. Contact Amanda Holt Miller at 945-8515 ext.

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