BIO & RECORDINGS
“A wonderfully trained voice, a beautiful presence, superb
musicianship, and really good diction. However, it was her
soulful interpretation that was so stunning, it made me hang on
every word, every nuance.” Dr. Susan Mardinly
Hailed by the LA Times as “a capable singer and actor, compelling on stage,” Puerto Rican mezzo-soprano Laura Virella is an avid storyteller in arenas ranging from opera houses to intimate recital spaces and grand concert halls. Described as “rich, silky-toned, luminescent and powerful” (Washington Times, La Vanguardia), she has performed as soloist internationally at Carnegie Hall, Long Beach Opera, Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, Festival de Santa Fiorentina in Catalunya, Mercury Opera in Alberta, Teatro de la Ópera in Puerto Rico, Zarzuela DiSi in Washington DC, Lüneburg Staatsoper, Rudolstadt Oper, Stefaniensaal, and Wolf Trap Opera.
On the operatic stage, she’s known for her collection of strong, fiery women and, paradoxically, young men. Man or woman, it’s the depth of her multidimensional characters which sets her apart. Signature roles include Carmen, Luisa Fernanda, Frida, Maddalena, Desideria, and Hänsel, Niklauss, Idamante and Octavian.
As a recitalist, she’s an enthusiastic programmer of obscure music, and particularly an avid proponent of Puerto Rican art song. With her Puerto Rican Art Song project, she hopes to carve a place for this genre among standard song repertoire around the world. She has performed in chamber music with the Queens New Music Festival, the Tribeca New Music Festival, for the Steinway Society of Puerto Rico with principal chairs of the Puerto Rico Symphony, and more recently with ArtsAhimsa, where she premiered a new arrangement of David Karp’s Homesick adapted for clarinet, and a song by Ukrainian-born and Puerto Rican-adopted composer Jack Délano for voice, piano and cello. Her voice is featured in the award-winning Puerto Rican short film “Dream of Vermilion,” by Heixan Robles, for which she composed the theme song “Época de grito.”
In a recent serendipitous encounter after a performance, American soprano Joanna Bruno remarked, “Laura has a gift that cannot be taught. Beyond the magnificent colors she gifts us with her voice, her mastery of language and skill of communication, painting each word, each phrase, with its unique shape and emphasis… It is a gift that must be shared with the world. I cannot wait to hear her record a classical album. She is the whole package. An exquisite artist.” Virella’s debut classical album, Al menos cantos, a collection of song repertoire by Ukrainian-born Puerto
Rican composer Jack Délano, charted number 2 on Billboard on its first week from release by the new independent label LEXICON CLASSICS.
Ms. Virella is an alumna of the Coro de Niños de San Juan, where she studied under Evy Lucío. She holds a BM in Voice from the Peabody Conservatory, where she was greatly influenced by Thomas Grubb, and an MM in Opera from Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Edith Bers. She’s a recipient of the Peabody Opera Award, was Runner-Up for Best Actress in Opera (second to Patricia Racette) in the DC Theatre Scene Awards, and is a First Place winner of the American Golden Voices Competition.
LAURA VIRELLA – Frauenliebe und leben, Op. 42 by Robert Schumann
LAURA VIRELLA as MRS. Grose, The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten
LAURA VIRELLA as Maddaena, Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi
LAURA VIRELLA – “Cuatro sones de la tierra” by Jack Delano