Charming beginnings:Lorrie Garcia

Born in Marseille, France, in 1993, the mezzo-soprano Lorrie Garcia began her studies of voice and opera at the Marseille Conservatory where she graduated in 2018. She took part in various masterclasses, including those of Italian soprano Desiree Rancatore, French baritone Ludovic Tézier and French soprano Cassandre Berthon, with whom she still studies with. Additionally, she continues to expand her lyrical repertoire with the french pianist and coach, Marion Liotard. During her studies, she performed her first soloist roles in the operetta repertoire, with the Odeon Theatre in Marseille, including titles such as La Belle-Hélène, La Vie Parisienne and La Périchole. In 2017, she made her debut as Mercedes in Carmen with Avignon Fabrica Opera and as the mezzosoprano soloist with Opera of Marseille in Palmeri’s Misa Tango. Lorrie made her debut in Italy with the Verona Philharmonic Theatre, in 2019, in the role of Miss Dangeville in Adriana Lecouvreur. From this, she was given the opportunity to sing at the unique Arena di Verona, as part of the «Plácido Domingo Gala», where she performed the Dama of Lady Macbeth.
Other performances include Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor and the Alto soloist in the Missa Prodefunctis of Cimarosa. In May 2021, she made her debut with the Teatro Regio of Turin in the role of Flora in La Traviata.

Hello, Lorrie! I’m so happy to have the opportunity to chat with you! How are you doing? You have just returned to the stage at Teatro Regio Torino as Flora in La Traviata. This was both a role and a house debut, right? What was it like to sing in front of an audience again in such an important moment of your life? 

I’m feeling so well! The production of La Traviata just ended and I have to say that I am really melancolic about leaving Torino and this amazing production… I think that it has been for each one of us very particular and unforgettable. It has been an indescribable emotion to be back on stage after this particular year… For this Traviata in the Teatro Regio of Torino, we were lucky enough that the health situation allowed us to do the performances with an audience and during all the rehearsals and shows, the theatre did everything to ensure everybody’s security. It has been a big emotion to feel and hear the public during the general rehearsal, to finally be able to feel this energy again  that we missed so much. This fundamental exchange between them and us, this sharing, is the essence of our profession and I really had the feeling that the audience was as moved as we were. In fact, all the shows have been unique. I’m really happy and honoured to have made my debut at the Teatro Regio of Torino; to sing the role of Flora has been an immense enjoyment. She is a bright character, full of malice, sure of herself and faithful to the friendship she has with Violetta. I hope that I’ve been able to bring as much energy as this character gave me! 

To go a bit back in time… When did you first feel that your path was opera? Who are the people who guided your first steps towards the stage? 

Everything started in 2014. I was 20 years old when my father told me that the Opera of Marseille – the city I come from – was looking for a girl to be an extra in the Lucia di Lammermoor’s production. At the time, I had been singing since I was a little girl… but absolutely not opera! I was singing jazz music, pop music, I was composing my songs and doing concerts, recording pop repertoire in studios that I thought I’d be singing my whole life!  However, being a curious person – especially for music – I decided to be an extra, thinking about the fact that it could be a beautiful experience. The first rehearsal on stage happened and… that was it! The magic happened! I had fallen suddenly into the opera’s pot! I immediately knew that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It’s really an emotion that I will remember all my life: finding out what we’re made for… thank you, dad!!! From this moment, one thing led to another and I’ve had the chance to meet incredible people that guided me gently and slowly. 

I applied to the Marseille Conservatory; I also met my pianist and musical coach, Marion Liotard, at this time, a pianist with whom I still work on the repertoire and who knows my voice like no one else. I owe a lot to the Opera of Marseille and to the Odeon Theatre where I began to sing operetta repertoire, first in the choir where I learned to follow a director, to read a score quickly and also to have endurance. Thanks to the trust of the director of the opera house, Maurice Xiberras, I began to sing small operetta roles and shortly after, through different masterclasses and competitions, I had the opportunity to make my opera debut in the role of Mercedes in Carmen, in Avignon. Lastly, in 2019, after an audition at the the Verona Philharmonic Theatre, I had the chance to debut in various small roles like Mlle Dangeville in Adriana Lecouvreur, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly; and I’ve had the big privilege to sing at the Gala Plácido Domingo, at the Arena of Verona, the Dama of Lady Macbeth… An unforgettable memory. During those two years I learned a lot alongside those incredible singers, directors, stage directors…

Read the entire interview here, in the 4th/2021 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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