Christine Goerke, PMHS Class of 1986, is perhaps the most highly acclaimed
international musical artist ever to have graced the halls of Patchogue-Medford High
School. Today she is one of the most outstanding and beloved opera performers in
Ms. Goerke began demonstrating her extraordinary musical gifts as a clarinetist at
Tremont Elementary, and developed into a star player in the Patchogue-Medford
concert band, jazz band and theatrical pit orchestras, as well as in the all-Suffolk
County band, under the guidance of former PMHS Band Director Peter Randazzo.
Seeking a career as a teacher and woodwind multi-instrumentalist, she was
surprised when, as a freshman at SUNY Fredonia, she was invited to sing in the
college’s senior choir.
She quickly realized that her musical instrument of choice would be her own voice.
She returned to Long Island to study at SUNY Stony Brook and took lessons from
the eminent soprano and voice teacher Elaine Bonazzi. A summer as an understudy
at the famed Glimerglass Opera in upstate New York sent her on her way.
In 2001, Christine was chosen to receive the highly coveted Richard Tucker Award,
given each year to a single performer who has “reached a high level of artistic
accomplishment and who, in the opinion of a conferral panel, is on the threshold of a
major international career.”
Ms. Goerke certainly fulfilled that promise, and then some. Today she is a two-time
Grammy winner who has thrilled audiences in all of the major opera houses of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Teatro alla Scala, and many more. She has received great acclaim for her portrayals of the title characters in Elektra, Ariadne auf Naxos, Norma, and Iphigénie en Tauride, and also for her performances as Kundry in Parsifal, Ortrud in Lohengrin, Leonore in Fidelio, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes, Alice Ford in Falstaff, and Madame Lidoine in Dialogues des Carmelites.
Ms. Goerke has also sung with many of the leading orchestras including the New
York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra,
and Los Angeles Philharmonic, and has worked with many of the world’s foremost
Currently, Ms. Goerke is singing the role of Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung at the
Houston Grand Opera and soon will head back to Covent Garden in London to
perform the title role in Turandot. Later in the 2017-18 season she will sing the title
role in Elektra in San Francisco, Houston, and at the Metropolitan Opera in New
Christine lives in New Jersey with her husband James and their two daughters, 10-
year old Margaret and eight-year old Charlotte.