Scottish mezzo-soprano Laura Margaret Smith will become a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist 2014/15. She recently received a Making Music Award for Young Concert Artists, and will be making her début at St. Martin-in-the-fields in May 2014. An experienced recitalist, Laura has performed to critical acclaim with the Royal Conservatoire’s Song Studio, and has given recitals at the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe and performs regularly as part of the Live Music Now! scheme.
Winner of the Florence Veitch Ibler prize for oratorio, Laura performs regularly around the country as a concert soloist, and most notably premièred a work by Ronald Corp at the Royal Festival Hall with the New London Orchestra. Laura also had the privilege of singing as soloist under Eric Whitacre with the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Choir in Germany earlier this year.
Laura is a keen interpreter of contemporary music, and recently created the role of Chrissie in Julian Wagstaff’s new opera, Breathe Freely in co-production with Scottish Opera and the University of Edinburgh. She also created the role of Clarissa, in Wagstaff’s earlier opera, The Turing Test at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Laura was awarded an MBF Postgraduate Performance Award which enabled her to study on the Masters course of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under Clare Shearer, and was subsequently accepted on to the opera course with generous support from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, EMI Music Sound Foundation and the Caird, Cross and South Square trusts. During her studies Laura sang the roles of Hermia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in co-production with Scottish Opera, Ottavia, L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Lucretia, The Rape of Lucretia, Duenna, Betrothal in a Monastery (cover) and Florence Pike, Albert Herring, and in May 2012, she sang the title role in Carmen with Edinburgh Grand Opera.
Laura was awarded a place on the Solti Accademia di Bel Canto this summer and had the privilege of working with Dennis O’Neill, Richard Bonynge, Luciana Serra and Daniela Dessi. A Samling Artist and Britten-Pears Young Artist, Laura has worked with Sir Thomas Allen, Roger Vignoles, Ann Murray DBE and Ian Partridge. In masterclasses, she has sung for Dame Felicity Palmer, Elly Ameling, Jane Eaglen, Lisa Milne, James Gilchrist and Malcolm Martineau. Following her success in the Frank Spedding Lieder Prize, Laura had the opportunity to sing for Florian Boesch at the City Halls, Glasgow.