B i o g r a p h y
The LA Times called 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 masterpiece at Long Beach Opera. Opera Canada praised her Carmen as a " strong and very sexy, defiant femme fatale," in her Canadian debut in Alberta, of which Daze Magazine said, "Puerto Rican mezzo-soprano Laura Virella hits all the right notes—she’s flirtatious, sensual, sympathetic, full of fire and delivers a stellar vocal performance."
The spring of 2019 saw her debut as Alicia in the New York premiere of Some Light Emerges, the latest collaboration of creative team Laura Kaminsky, Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed. In 2018, she joined the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice in the supporting role of Mercedes alongside opera rising star Ginger Costa-Jackson as the title role in Carmen.
She has collaborated in cinema, composing and performing the theme song "Época de grito" for the award-winning short film Dream of Vermilion, and adds to her wide repertoire a mastery of and passion for Puerto Rican art song, of which she is one of the world’s principal proponents.
In Europe she’s appeared as Frau Reich (Theater Rudolstadt); as Carmen under the baton of Diego Martín Etxebarría, in a raw stage interpretation by Susana Gómez (Festival de Santa Florentina), where she was hailed as “fabulous,” “powerful” and “excellent”; and as Dorabella at the Teatro Comunale di Narni, Italy.
As a Young Artist in concert in 2012, she was an “impressive, fervent Octavian,” said the Austrian press, alongside Kammersängerin Linda Watson under the baton of Gerrit Prießnitz in Graz’s prestigious Stefaniensaal. She was awarded 2nd 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 include Cherubino, Enfant, Prince Charmant, Serse, Bianca (The Rape of Lucretia), Hänsel, Desideria (The Saint of Bleecker Street) and her noteworthy Maddalena, “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 Ravel's Chansons madécasses, as well as several new chamber pieces by contemporary composers. Her solo work affiliations include Washington National Opera, Ópera de Puerto Rico, Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico, Wolf Trap Opera, Dicapo Opera and the Queens New Music Festival.
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