I had the pleasure to work with Thomas Allen, Roger Vignoles, Malcolm Martineau, Christopher Glynn and Pat MacMahon (who is now my singing teacher). The importance of being coached and performing with such esteemed performers and professionals is invaluable. Not only to learn from their wealth of experience, but to understand the profession. As a young artist at the beginning of my career, this knowledge was immensely important. Immersing yourself in this world at Samling gave us the opportunity to completely focus on our art, and share our passions together. Culminating in a performance at the Sage was a highlight.
Described as “a spirited young mezzo with a full, fearless voice. A name to watch” by Gramophone magazine, Scottish Mezzo-Soprano, Laura Margaret Smith is an award winning performer who enjoys an exciting and versatile international career. Laura’s recent performances include Eudamia, Dorilla in Tempe, Vivaldi (Wexford Festival Opera/Teatro La Fenice) where she was hailed as “singing with agility, intelligence, always attentive to detail, and possessing a pleasing coloratura” (Operawire) and “..has great radiance in the heights. She also plays the craftiness of this figure wonderfully.” (Online Musik Magazine).
Laura’s operatic roles include Olga, Eugene Onegin (Edinburgh International Festival Opera Project), Tina, Dinner at Eight – Bolcom (Wexford Festival Opera/Minnesota Opera, European première), La Gobba, Risurrezione – Alfano (Wexford Festival Opera), Angiolina, La Cenerentola (Scottish Opera Unwrapped), Ordinary Person, Inés de Castro (Scottish Opera), Witch, Macbeth (Scottish Opera Tour), the title role in Carmen (Edinburgh Grand Opera), Hermia, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Scottish Opera/RCS), Amahl, Amahl and the Night Visitors (Opera Bohemia), Ottavia, L’Incoronazione di Poppea (RCS), Lucretia, The rape of Lucretia (RCS) and Florence Pike, Albert Herring (RCS). Laura has sung in the chorus of the Bayreuth Festival since 2015 performing all the major Wagner repertoire. She has covered the role of Edelknaben in Lohengrin and Tannhäuser, sang Lehrbuben in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Blumenmädchen in Parsifal.
Equally at home on the concert platform, Laura has performed in many prestigious venues such as the Melbourne Recital Centre with the Edinburgh International Festival, Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Kings Place for the Yehudi Menuhin Centenary Concert, St. Martin-in-the-fields, The Usher Hall, The Queen’s Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, The Caird Hall and Aberdeen’s The Citadel in a live broadcast for BBC Radio 3.
Noted for her interpretations of contemporary repertoire, Laura created the role of Vaila to critical acclaim in Gareth Williams’ & Chris Stout’s Shetland opera, Hirda (NOISE) at Celtic Connections and in a tour of mainland Scotland and Shetland. In Julian Wagstaff’s operas, she created the roles of Clarissa in The Turing Test and Chrissie Miller in Breathe Freely (Scottish Opera/The University of Edinburgh); the latter was recorded for Linn Records.
In a collaboration with Hamburg Staatsoper and the Hamburg Bundesjugendballett, Laura performed as soloist in David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion at PODIUM Festival. A regular performer with women’s vocal contemporary ensemble, Scottish Voices, Laura recently toured the USA performing and recording music by Scottish, Australian & American composers, Graham Hair, Bruce Mahin, Kendall Kennison and John Gormley. Laura has also recorded John Maxwell Geddes’ A Castle Mills Suite for Delphian Records, and premiered Lliam Paterson’s song cycle, Spirit of the Place at the Aye Write Festival and Maciej Granat’s Requiem at the West End Festival.
Highlights of the 2019/20 season include Handel’s Messiah with Ristretto Choir & Orchestra, Monte Carlo, in recital with pianist, Liivi Arder in Tallinn, a concert of contemporary music at Glasgow University with Scottish Voices, and premiering and workshopping new operas with Opera Mahogany. Winner of a Young Concert Artists Award from Making Music and The Florence Veitch Ibler Prize for Oratorio, Laura has sung in masterclass for Dennis O’Neill, Richard Bonynge, Luciana Serra, Daniela Dessi, Sir Thomas Allen, Ann Murray DBE, Ian Partridge, Roderick Williams, Elly Ameling, Felicity Palmer, Jane Eaglen, Lisa Milne, Florian Boesch and Malcolm Martineau. Laura is a former Scottish Opera Robertson Scholarship Trust Emerging Artist, graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Alexander Gibson Opera School, alumna of the Georg Solti Accademia di Bel Canto, a Samling Artist, a Britten-Pears Young Artist and an alumna of Live
Music Now Scotland.
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Samling Institute for Young Artists—through performance and learning opportunities—nurtures young classical singers and piano accompanists. From students to emerging professionals, hundreds of young artists have benefited since the charity was founded in 1996. They see their time with Samling Institute as a springboard and inspiration.