LORRAINE ELY trained at Trinity College of Music, London (DipTCL), with Wendy Eathorne and Geoffrey Pratley. After leaving college she continued her vocal studies with mezzo Elizabeth Stokes and currently has lessons with John Upperton. Her career has covered repertoire from Bellini to Gilbert & Sullivan, music theatre and straight plays.
Lorraine has sung Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro) for Midsummer Opera, Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) for Opera Integra, Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), Miss Silvertone (The Impresario), Clorinda (La Cenerentola) and Konstanze (Seraglio) for New Decade Opera and Micaela (Carmen) for the Southwold Summer Theatre season. Other appearances include Lisa (La Sonnambula), Frasquita (Carmen) and Papagena (Flute) all with Windsor & Eton Opera at the Farrer Theatre, Eton College, First Lady (Flute) for Braintree Opera, Musetta (La Bohème) for Suffolk Opera, Pamina (Flute), Susanna (Figaro) and Julietta in Verdi’s Un Giorno di Regno for Aquarian Opera, the title role in Carmen at the Civic Theatre, Chelmsford, understudying all three soprano roles in Figaro for Palace Opera, and touring Wales and the Midlands as Despina (Così fan tutte) for Opera Box (now Swansea City Opera).
Oratorio engagements have included Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem and Haydn’s Creation, as well as singing the Vivaldi Gloria for the Mark Morris Dance Group at Sadler’s Wells. Professional Christmas seasons have included the flamboyantly eccentric Gypsy Brazil in David Wood’s Nutcracker Sweet for Brentwood Theatre Company, Queen Rat (Dick Whittington) at Bishop’s Stortford, and the Thursford Christmas Spectacular in Norfolk. Lorraine has also appeared in ‘A Song for Life’, a concert produced by Mario Frangoulis, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, as Rafaela in Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens (Brentwood and West End), and sang in the UK première, and on the subsequent recording, of Maury Yeston’s Nine at the Royal Festival Hall, alongside Jonathan Pryce.
Roles in plays, musicals and operetta have included Mavis, the long-suffering dance teacher in Stepping Out, ‘wannabe’ opera singer and highly reluctant witch Agnes (aka Perdita X) Nitt in Terry Pratchett’s Maskerade, the villainous Marquise de Merteuil in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, crazy Julia Price in The Ghost Train, Mrs Betterton (Playhouse Creatures), Titania/Hippolyta, Helena and Hermia (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Mistress Page (The Merry Wives of Windsor), Queens Elizabeth and Margaret (Richard III), Lilli Vanessi/Kate (Kiss Me, Kate), Witch (Into the Woods), Lucy Willow (Bless the Bride), Mrs Nordstrom (A Little Night Music), and various Gilbert and Sullivan heroines.
Lorraine’s directing projects have included a stage adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Mort, Susan Sandler’s ‘rom-com’ Crossing Delancey, Louis Nowra’s Così, and Jonathan ‘Rent’ Larson’s tick, tick…BOOM!, as well as various themed concerts, the most notable being Viennese and French opera evenings for Aquarian Opera and a three-handed programme entitled ‘Susanna’s Secrets’ – An Entertainment of Musical Items Performed by Nancy Storace (Mozart’s first Susanna) researched and compiled at the request of Sir John Soane’s Museum, London.
From 2005 to 2009, Lorraine was the regular soprano with Essex-based quartet Country House Opera, performing concerts of operatic highlights in a variety of venues across the county, and since leaving college has also been a member of London-based company Sounds Lyrical. Recent appearances have included Mistress Quickly (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 2009) and Paulina (The Winter’s Tale, 2010) with Mac Theatre, several roles in Puccini’s Il Tabarro and Suor Angelica (October 2009), and a Bridesmaid and Ännchen cover (Der Freischütz, April 2010) for Midsummer Opera.
Other engagements in 2010 included ‘3 Sopranos in A Night at the Opera’ and the soprano solo in Beethoven 9, both in July, Marcellina (Figaro) for Opera Nova (September), Tebaldo cover for Midsummer Opera’s Don Carlo (November), and soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony no.2 with Philharmonia Britannica (December).
In September 2011 Lorraine returned to the Kenneth More Theatre revisiting the musical Nine, this time playing the role of Guido’s Mother, and followed this, in February 2012, with playing Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music. Also in 2012, she ‘had another go’ at Paulina (The Winter’s Tale) for Romford Summer Theatre and, in November, sang Marzelline in Midsummer Opera’s semi-staged production of Fidelio.
Further opera roles have included Verdi’s Desdemona (Otello) and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) for Midsummer Opera and the dual roles of Micaëla/Frasquita in a 5-hander version of Carmen for New London Opera Players. Returning to the outdoors, Lorraine won ‘Best Performance in a Minor Role’ for Holofernes (Love’s Labours Lost) and had an ‘interesting’ time playing Leonata in Much Ado About Nothing – on crutches and with a surgical boot (….long story!) both for Romford Summer Theatre.
Meanwhile Lorraine continues with her solo entertaining and classical recitals, with more Shakespeare in 2018.