Rosina DiLullo Gore, opera soloist, choir director, teacher

Rosina DiLullo Gore
Rosina DiLullo Gore
Posted: September 12, 2012

Rosina DiLullo Gore, 90, a soloist with the Lyric Opera of Philadelphia in the 1950s and 1960s who became a choir director at churches in Montgomery County, died Friday, Aug. 31, at her home in Ambler.

"She sang the role of Frasquita in the opera Carmen with the Philadelphia Lyric," in a 1962 production starring Franco Corelli and Marilyn Horne at the Academy of Music, daughter Elissa said in a phone interview.

"She had a nice career," her daughter said. "We should all be so lucky."

Mrs. Gore began her career with the Miami Opera Guild in the 1950s and appeared with the Little Lyric Opera of Philadelphia while with the Lyric itself.

Joseph McHugh, music director at Immaculate Conception Church in Jenkintown, said in a phone interview that he met her in 1974 when he was a tenor in the choir she was directing at St. Luke the Evangelist Church in Glenside.

McHugh said that she was choir director at St. Luke's from the 1970s to 1985 and at St. Anthony of Padua in Ambler from the 1970s to 1995.

Besides her opera work in Miami, McHugh said, in 1957 she sang at several outdoor band concerts, featuring light operetta music by composers such as Sigmund Romberg.

"She was a great singing teacher, first of all," McHugh said, as well as "very good at guiding people in life situations."

Born in Philadelphia, Mrs. Gore earned a bachelor's in French and education in 1941 at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a member of Chi Omega sorority. She earned a master's in Spanish literature at Villanova University in 1966.

"She was president of the Glee Club at the University of Pennsylvania," her daughter said, "and May Queen in the Class of 1941."

Her daughter recalled that while she was performing, "she would take the train to New York City once a week and return home the same day," after taking lessons at the Ansonia Hotel on Broadway near 74th Street.

In her second career, Mrs. Gore taught Spanish from 1963 to 1973 at Gwynedd Mercy Academy, the private Catholic girls' high school in Gwynedd Valley.

In her third career, she taught English as a second language to Spanish speakers in the Philadelphia public school system from 1974 to her retirement in 1986.

She was a member of the board of directors of the Ambler Symphony and of the American Federation of Teachers.

Besides daughter Elissa, Mrs. Gore is survived by sons David and Gregory and two grandchildren. Her husband, Eugene, died in 1985.

A visitation was set from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 259 Forest Ave., Ambler, before a 10:30 Funeral Mass there, with burial in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Cheltenham.

Donations may be sent to the St. Anthony of Padua Music Ministry, 259 Forest Ave., Ambler 19002.


Contact Walter F. Naedele

at 215-854-5607 or wnaedele@phillynews.com.

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