Elvira Tortora

February 19, 2024

Musical Memoir (The Bookmaker’s Daughter)

Elvira Tortora began singing in her room at age 10, while listening to cast albums of Broadway musicals. Her first time singing onstage was in her all-girls high-school production of South Pacific (in which played Lieutenant Joseph Cable.) Next came Baruch College productions of Kiss Me Kate, Where’s Charley, and Once Upon a Mattress. Her college study was interrupted by a year-long tour of England and Scotland in a production of Once Upon a Mattress. After graduating, she began a career in the fashion industry that lasted three decades. Except for an occasional “Ave Maria” in church, Tortora would not perform in public for years. After “being retired” in 2015, however, she enrolled in acting and improv classes, was cast in various roles in independent films, and eventually found voice teacher Celeste Simone. Simone encouraged her to enroll in Lina Koutrakos’s cabaret workshops. For the last five years, she has worked on her “second act” as a cabaret singer. With Koutrakos’s guidance and encouragement, she found her calling: telling stories in songs. The Bookmaker’s Daughter is the first of these stories. 


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