How Michaela Burger (’99) followed her dreams to become a professional performer, singer and dancer in the Performing Arts

For our February Old Scholar Story, we have asked Michaela Burger (’99) to share her incredible professional journey within the arts, as a performer, singer and dancer. She further shares with us how her schooling at Loreto gave her the opportunity to experience the performing arts and encouraged her to follow her dreams.

Michaela in her own words:

I started Loreto in reception, in 1986 with Mrs. Shelley. My family had just moved from Coober Pedy, and I remember feeling scared of what was ahead and overwhelmed by the size of the school – given I’d only attended Coober Pedy Area school kindy prior to this.

Immediately we were welcomed into the Loreto community and we swiftly formed bonds and friendships with other Loreto families and teachers that have lasted until the present day.

When I was in reception, I was asked to sing with the year 7 choir. I already loved singing and performing from a very young age and Mrs. Shelley recognised this and gave me the confidence to believe that I could follow my dreams.

From that moment, I knew that I wanted to be a performer. I then had the chance to perform in my first professional show, The King and I at the Festival Theatre, when I was in year 4. A very unusual case, the school embraced the opportunity for me and allowed me days off [for the Wednesday matinees] and encouraged the rest of the school to attend the shows in order to support me. This was a very exciting time for me, as a 9 year old, and thanks to Loreto I got to fully experience the performing arts world at such a young age.

The most inspiring and fulfilling years at Loreto for me were, of course, once I could partake in the Performing Arts Festival. Watching my two sisters, Marika Lucas [class of 1994] and Nikki Lucas [class of 1995], take part in the festival, I insisted that they teach me all of the songs and was dreaming of the day that I would get to be part of the festival myself.

At other times of the years my music friends and I would spend hours in the then ‘music cells’ singing and making music. These were very valuable times for me, as I also got to learn the piano and cello at school – which have both benefitted me enormously in my career.

After graduating from Loreto in 1999, I studied a Bachelor of Music, majoring in classical voice then went on to obtain a Masters in Musical Theatre at Mountview Academy, London.

During these years of further study it occurred to me that Loreto not only offered me a very stable education, but it held me within it’s incredible support system. Loreto taught me to be kind, generous and always giving to anyone that I came across. I learnt humility and the instant connection that is felt when you come across another Loreto girl, wherever you are in the world!

I now work as a full time performer, actress and singer and have had the chance to work with many incredible artists around the world. I am also a show creator, and have recently created a show about my family migrating from Greece, which I will be performing at the Migration Museum on the 14th, 15th and 16th of February for the Adelaide Fringe 2020.

Tickets are available here: https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/a-migrant-s-son-af2020?venue=166%3A1021