Learn about the #PuertoRicanArtSongProject.
The LA Times calls Puerto Rican mezzo-soprano Laura Virella an "instantly believable Frida, a capable singer and actor, compelling on stage" after her debut in the title role of Robert Xavier Rodríguez's work at Long Beach Opera this past June.|
2015 marked debuts in Europe: first as Frau Reich with Theater Rudolstadt, in her first German operetta, Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor, where she was summoned up with three weeks' notice to replace 3 casts in 7 performances; then came Carmen under the baton of Diego Martín Etxebarría, in a raw stage interpretation by Susana Gómez, as part of the Festival de Santa Florentina in Catalunya. An unexpected second performance on the following day awarded her rave reviews of the press, who described her as
"fabulous," "powerful" and "excellent." Two weeks later, she debuted as Dorabella at the Teatro Comunale di Narni, Italy.
In 2012, she was hailed as an "impressive, fervent Octavian" by the Austrian press, after a concert rendition together with
Kammersängerin Linda Watson under the baton of Gerrit Prießnitz in Graz's prestigious Stefaniensaal. That same year, she was awarded second place to Patricia Racette as Best Actress in Opera by the DC Theatre Scene awards after her "silky-toned" portrayal of Moreno
Torroba's Luisa Fernanda, where she "demonstrated an impressive emotional range in her acting as she effortlessly projects nuance from ebullience to melancholia in her phrasing." Other roles have included, Rosina, Cherubino, Enfant, Prince Charmant, Serse,
Bianca (The Rape of Lucretia), Hansel, Cenerentola, Desideria (The Saint of Bleecker Street) and Maddalena, which also got
attention from the press for being "just as vulnerable to the charms of the Duke as Gilda was--and convincingly persuasive with her
brother as she begged him to spare the Duke's life, even as he sings the famous 'La donna è mobile', driving the audience wild."
Her concert work includes Vivaldi's Gloria, Messiah, El amor brujo, Mozart's Vespers, and more. Her solo work affiliations include Washington National Opera, Ópera de Puerto Rico, Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico, Theater Rudolstadt, Wolf Trap Opera, Dicapo Opera, Festival de Santa Florentina and Lüneburg Opera.
Virella is a strong proponent of song literature and intimate, themed recital settings. She has collaborated in cinema, composing and performing the theme song "Época de grito" for the award-winning short film Dream of Vermilion, and is currently leading a project
launched in NYC's The Cell to put 20th- and 21st-century Puerto Rican art song on the map.
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