Lorina's story

Alumna Lorina Gore returns to campus to teach students some tricks of the trade

Twelve years after graduating Lorina Gore sits in the School of Music’s Larry Stisky Recital Room to take us on a tour of her career, to share some of her memories of ANU, and to talk about sharing some professional insights with current students.

After five years of study Lorina emerged from ANU in 2000 with an Advanced Diploma of Music, Postgraduate Certificate of Music and Postgraduate Diploma of Music. "Studying at ANU was an incredible experience. I had all the enthusiasm but none of the technical knowledge that I needed to work professionally. I learnt so much here as a young singer." Looking back Lorina is grateful for all the experiences she had at ANU and counts herself lucky that Canberra had so many wonderful performance opportunities. Lorina says "Canberra has a wonderful culture of music and art so I felt very lucky to be here studying music."

Straight out of the classroom to the stage Lorina surprised all, including herself, when she got the rare opportunity to start her career with Opera Australia in their Schools Company. Lorina explains "it was quite unusual to be able to work with Opera Australia straight out of university, I felt very privileged".

Since then Lorina's career has gone from strength to strength winning several prestigious opera awards, including the Opera Foundation Australi's Covent Garden Opera Studio Scholarship which allowed her to attend the National Opera Studio in London in 2003 and 2004. To win the scholarship Lorina had to slug it out, metaphorically, with a fellow Australian soprano - the winning decision only being made after each soprano was asked to sing an additional aria. Lorina remembers it as a "sing off".

Lorina's international performances have included Giulia (La Scala di Seta) for Independent Opera, Fiakermilli (Arabella) for Garsington Opera, the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor for Iford Arts and an extensive national tour of New Zealand singing Norina (Don Pasquale) for New Zealand Opera. In 2008, she joined Opera Australia as a principal artist singing Oscar in Un ballo in maschera and Fiakermilli in Arabella. Subsequent roles for the national company have included Queen of Night in Die Zauberflöte, Marzelline in Fidelio, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Honey B in Bliss, Amina in La Sonnambula, Tytania in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Leila in The Pearl Fishers.

Now, Lorina describes herself as "a bit of a gypsy…we travel to where the work is. I'm never in one place for too long" - which is why students of the School of Music count themselves lucky to have her return to the School. Back to visit her Alma Mater and speak at a vocal performance class Lorina wants to chat to students about working in the industry and answer some of the questions they may have. Hopefully I will be able to provide some insights and offer a few tips that I wish I'd known about once I’d finished my studies. Things that really help you in the industry – like how to relate to colleagues, about tax, agents…things you need to learn about being a musician." The most important piece of advice she wants to share with her students is to talk to people in the industry, ask questions and build your networks. It is a difficult industry and is very competitive. It is important to make friends and foster good feelings between musicians. There is a lot of performance pressure and everything you can do to help each other is beneficial".

So what does the future hold for this promising Soprano music as a career is so variable, there are a number of paths you can take at any one time. You never quite know which one you'll end up on. In terms of ambition, I only ever just wanted to sing. I love doing opera and I'm enjoying the rollercoaster while it lasts! But I know that if there ever comes a time when I'm not doing opera, there will be lots of other musical things I’ll be able to dip my fingers into.” With the world as her oyster Lorina feels that for the time being she is happy to work in Australia and focus on quality not quantity. "At this stage in my career I feel it's not about trying to do as much as I can but trying to do quality work and to always be performing at my very best. I'm being very careful about the roles I choose and how many things I do in a row so that I can keep my voice healthy. It's a really interesting time in my career, and I'm enjoying every minute" says Lorina.

Finishing up Lorina reflects on Opera as a career "It seems very glamorous on the surface but there's a lot of hard work behind the scenes: a lot of paperwork, learning music, rehearsing, learning language, sending emails" She hopes she can prepare her young students for the excitement as well as the reality of a career in music.

Do you have fond memories of your time at ANU? Get in contact with ANU to tell your journey alumni@anu.edu.au

Rachel Thoms, a current student at the School of Music explains how valuable Lorina’s visit was:

"There was an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation in the Larry Sitsky Recital Room the day Lorina Gore came to town! Vocal performance class is always an enjoyable and encouraging learning experience for all participants and observers, but never more so than when we have a visiting pro bestowed upon us. Lorina Gore was gracious, generous, enthusiastic, and humble. She took great care to interact with all the students and in the few short demonstrations accompanying her advice to the singers she managed to woo us all with her silvery sweet coloratura voice. I sincerely hope other successful School of Music alumni are invited to visit us in the future. A truly inspirational experience."
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Updated:  May 27, 2019 /Responsible Officer:  Alumni Relations Senior Officer /Page Contact:  Alumni Relations