Chorus Member Profile


Elaine Lustig

 May Festival draws Elaine Lustig back home to Cincinnati


Twenty-five years after her first season with the May Festival, Elaine Lustig is finally celebrating her 10th full season with the Chorus.

A lifelong choral singer, Elaine first joined the May Festival Chorus upon moving to Cincinnati in 1994 with her number one fan and husband Lowell. She performed with us through 2001 when life took the Lustigs to Syracuse University in New York for Lowell’s work. While there, Elaine was able to complete her music degree at the Setnor School of Music, but her love for Cincinnati’s robust choral tradition remained with her.

Elaine returned for the May Festival that spring of 2002 to reconnect with her Chorus family. While attending one of the rehearsals with James Conlon, Robert Porco suggested that she come back to sing. And so she did for 15 subsequent Festivals.

When Elaine walked onto the Music Hall stage for the 2003 May Festival performance of Stabat Mater and Te Deum from Verdi’s Four Sacred Pieces, her overwhelming exhilaration made it perfectly clear; she needed to move back to the Queen City. That finally happened in 2016 when Elaine became a full-time member again.

“Robert Porco is my vocal rock. I always sing better with him. He demands excellence and is so knowledgeable about each piece’s context, history, emotion, and structure. He is just the best.”

Now that Elaine has retired from her work as a Registered Neurodiagnostic Technologist, she enjoys more time with her church family at Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Church in Finneytown. Otherwise, Elaine is likely to be found remodeling her home, refinishing furniture, or preparing for a visit from her adult daughters, Melanie and Eliana. 

To learn more about the May Festival’s historic role in building Cincinnati’s unique choral community, visit our website.

Listen to some of Elaine’s favorite choral works on the May Festival’s Spotify channel.