Meet Chloe Lankshear

Artist profile

Portrait of Chloe Lankshear
Chloe Lankshear, Soprano (Image: 2-1 Studio)
Chloe is an upcoming soprano in Australia and has featured as a soloist with some of Australia’s finest organisations including South Australia State Opera, Pinchgut Opera and Australia Chamber Orchestra.

Early in her career she featured in Pinchgut Opera’s recordings and films as well as their touring concert series and opera productions. She has been a featured artist Bendigo Chamber Festival as well as recording with classical guitarist Heathcliffe Auchinachie at Phoenix Central Park Studio. Chloe has premiered new works including Paul Stanhope’s Requiem at City Recital Hall which she recorded in 2022. 

In July 2021 Chloe was named Pinchgut Opera’s inaugural ‘Taryn Fiebig Scholar’ for 2021–23 and appeared in their production of Platée as Clarine. In 2022 Chloe was a featured artist at Bermagui’s Four Winds Festival in the lead role of Galatea for their production of Acis and Galatea. She also made her solo debut with Maestro Anthony Hunt with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra (CSO), and Maestro Brett Weymark with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs for Mozart’s Requiem, as well as collaborations with other Sydney-based groups including Muffat Collective and Castalia Vocal Consort.  In November Chloe was a finalist at the Bel Canto awards and was awarded the Decca prize by Richard Bonynge. At the conclusion of 2022 Chloe performed as Nerine in Pinchgut Opera’s production of Medea.

2023 brings a variety of programs including a return to the CSO for their chamber series in which she premieres a new work by Connor D’Netto alongside Debussy’s cycle Ariettes oubliées. Chloe will make her Sydney Symphony Orchestra debut performing as a soprano soloist for Bach’s Magnificat in D, and conclude her position as Pinchgut Opera’s Taryn Fiebig Scholar in their May production of Giustino.

Both the Ariettes oubliées and the lover’s dialogue from Fêtes galantes are based on the poetry of Paul Verlaine. How do you approach texts like these? Do you have a favourite moment or excerpt?

Art-song is truly a wonderful thing; a mini drama that one can immerse themselves in for a short time, and I find them highly emotionally engaging.

When I’m exploring new art-song I work from the text first away from the composer’s interpretation, so as to try to understand the poet’s intent and mood first, then I pair the two together. The process seems obvious, but sometimes I find that I’ll miss important nuances if I jump straight to the music first and let my emotional response to the melody dictate fully how I perform the piece.

I think the change of mood in Ariettes oubliees from movement 3 to 4 in the cycle is a wonderful moment, and helps alleviate some of the heavier moods we’ve had in the first three songs – a moment of emotional relief for performer and listener. Debussy’s setting of Verlaine is very considered and paints the symbolic text perfectly. He just whisks you away on a wonderful daydream of obscurities both joyful and tragic.

Portrait of Chloe Lankshear
Chloe Lankshear, Soprano (Image: 2-1 Studio)

How does your approach differ when approaching a new commission? What significance does Australian chamber music hold for you?

Bringing to life someone’s internal musical creation for the first time is a very unique experience and one that I’ve been fortunate to have a few times already.

I love Australian chamber music. We have a very particular sound world that I feel is shaped by the landscape we live in, and even though all our composers have such unique styles, I feel like I can spot an Australian work within the first minute of hearing it, particularly choral music. This country leaves an imprint on the musicians and composers it produces, and you can hear glimpses of it the world over.

I was fortunate from an early age to sing a lot of Australian compositions and premiere new works and I think that privilege has made me more adventurous as a performer. I love a challenge.


Canberra is a really nurturing city and Canberrans are loyal to the artists they produce. 


You grew up in Canberra and have a strong connection to this city. What are your favourite places and Canberra experiences?

Yes, I do love Canberra! Growing up here you’re pretty spoiled by the constancy of nature, blue sky, clean air, and really excellent coffee.

Canberra is a really nurturing city and Canberrans are loyal to the artists they produce. I think it’s hard for outsiders to see that with Canberra having such a small population compared to Sydney or Melbourne, but that’s because it isn’t the type of place that punches you in the face with tourism. It’s a slower paced city that values face to face time – sort of burgundian. I adore it.

What else does 2023 have in store?

2023 is a big year of change with some exciting projects already penciled in.

I love performing with the Australian Chamber Orchestra because their programming is so eclectic, and the program at Tarrawarra festival is no exception. I’m debuting with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in April for their Bach Magnificat program which is a huge personal milestone. I finish my time as the inaugural Taryn Fiebig Scholar in Pinchgut Opera’s May opera, Giustino. And of course, returning to Canberra to work with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, which is just a total joy.

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