Christine Goerke has her own opera company

Christine Goerke has her own opera company


norman lebrecht

March 23, 2021

Michigan Opera Theatre has named the US soprano Christine Goerke, 51, as its associate artistic director.

She has been recruited at the summit of her singing career by Yuval Sharon with a view to making Detroit look big on the opera map.

More here.



  • Anthony Sayer says:

    Good decision. Christine is highly intelligent and could make a big impact, here.

    • Edward Teach says:

      A second rate singer that sings consistently flat and no experience running an opera company. The Emperor has no clothes.

      • #IMPEACHGELB says:

        Based on your assessment Eddie, Christine is infinitely more qualified and capable than Peter.

        The Met Opera would have a fighting chance with her.

        As already coyly mentioned, the Met (along with the walled-in Lincoln Center) sits hopelessly IMPOTENT under Cuomo and Di Blasio. No surprise there…..

        Don’t like it?
        Then FULLY open the arts in NY and stop stroking your fragile egos!!!!!

  • Günther Kraus says:

    Big win for Detroit and a smart move for Goerke.

    Their next season looks smart, safe, exciting, and relevant. Detroit is quickly becoming a model of what a regional opera company in American can and should be.

  • RW2013 says:

    “BLISS replays three sublime minutes of The Marriage of Figaro with the same cast and same orchestra without pause for twelve hours.”
    Might give this one a miss.

  • Zandonai says:

    Can’t wait for a Detroit “Ring” with an automotive theme and Valkyrie sisters flying the drones.

  • They have announced an immediate collaboration between her and incoming music director Jader Bengamini to take place in May. This is a long-overdue partnership between the MOT and DSO, and signals a very positive outlook for the future of both organizations.

  • J. Overton says:

    GREAT news!!!!!

    Between her firm artistic impact at the Met and personal flair, this both a sensible move at this tenuous time in the opera world and eventually a bountiful one for the MOT. She will do a great job in this position and be extremely helpful considering all of her professional experience.

    With the Met still sitting impotent, opera singers are having to make heartbreaking decisions. However this should be a good fit on several levels for both parties. I enjoyed watching her on the stage of the Met several times along with her Richard Tucker appearances and hope to see her live again in the future.

    Good for you Christine!

  • Alexander Platt says:

    Great news!! Onward and upward, Detroit!

  • Opera Archivist says:

    I think Dr. D would approve. He left a prolific legacy of ingenuity and passion that will continue through the creative powers of Goerke and Sharon. MOT is a regional company and one that is changing the map as it leads the rest of the pack.

  • Tired Of It All says:

    Clearly, she begged Yuval Sharon for this. She has been crying poor all over social media since the start of the pandemic—while her “friends” are mostly people who couldn’t dream of making what she does. So she clearly has no business being trusted with budgets if she can’t handle her own.

    And MOT would be better off mending things with the singers whose contracts they ignored while still performing other work with “stars” this season.

    But hey, another mediocre talent in a role for which they aren’t suited at an opera company. Big trend these days.

  • Sad but True says:

    A 3 year contract with a very vague job description and no remuneration details(unlike Ms Fleming in Chicago, for example). Unfortunately Ms Goerke’s career has stalled with all the pandemic cancellations and the emergence of younger, better singers, and she is trying to bolster her income by attempting something in which she has no experience and little ability. At least she is willing to move from NJ to Detroit, but being strident and opinionated are not qualities that will make this a successful transition.

  • BruceB says:

    I don’t know much about Goerke, aside from what I’ve read about her, but I can imagine a few possible benefits of having a successful professional singer running a company:

    • Ability to steer the company away from ridiculous productions/ ridiculous directors. Ability to say no to “Bohème on a spaceship” or whatever.
    • Ability to steer the company away from unwise repertoire choices, or at least explain the need for balance.
    • Understanding of who the actually good singers & conductors are/ ability to see past the publicity. (Hopefully this would not turn into cronyism, but that is always a risk no matter who the new person is.)
    • A possible awareness of who is an unsavory character behind the scenes — abusers, toxic egos, etc. No need to make public announcements about it, but just have the company go about its business without these people.
    • If she has the personality for it, FUNDRAISING. Someone with a marquee name could be an incredible asset if they are outgoing, gregarious, and utterly shameless about charming people out of their money. The press release [link above] compares her personality to that of Beverly Sills: a wonderful opportunity, if it’s accurate. I wonder how many dollars Sills raised for City Opera and Lincoln Center. Quite a few, I’m sure.

    None of these are sure bets, of course, but these seem like qualities that a singer might be able to bring to the job.

  • Zandonai says:

    LA Opera should hire another opera singer to replace wronfully terminated Domingo.

  • John Pascoe says:

    Brilliant choice! Ms Goerke is one of the greatest dramatic sopranos on the planet & when directing her in Fidelio (She was stunning) both as a person & artist I found her to be flexible, intelligent & infinitely creative. In my view she’s going to make her mark at the same time as working comfortably with those people around her. In my view that’s a unique & highly valuable combination. Bravo MOT!

  • DEXTER says:

    She sang a Valkyrie Brunhilde in Auckland (NZ) a few years ago and was superb, so it has been surprising and sad to see the adverse comments around her subsequent singing.

    • BruceB says:

      Surprising? Really?

      Maybe opera queens in New Zealand are nice; if so, that’s lovely. The ones in the US are not.

  • BandcampAaron says:

    Good that she has been named ASSOCIATE but it’s NOT her company. There are many more player’s above her and several of us have witnessed her strategic PR over the years.

    She’s also not engaged much stardom like her colleagues. Suffice to say over the last few years her singing was frankly, pitiful. I attended her Turandot with Yusif, cringeworthy and many more before. To date, this is the best role for her.

    She has followed Sills’ career path. Stellar, no. The only one they had? More accurate. Being a star soprano, taking compliments contrasts taking insults because of the programming. As an associate, she may be safer that the gentleman above her, but let’s not forget, she’s a covergirl. Dandy until that board start pulling out based on money vs. artistic merit. We are yet to see what will come of the abandoned city with no money, little culture, and in a pandemic. Perhaps a paycheck and smooth segue into this role will give her security as she knew she was not heading back to the stage. Besides, she loves the adulation, so no matter how she got there, she got what she was aiming for.