Born in Puerto Rico, mezzo-soprano Laura Virella was praised as “instantly believable Frida, a capable singer and actor, compelling on stage” (LA Times). She received this credit when she sang the title role of Robert Xavier Rodríguez’s masterpiece at Long Beach Opera. Since her LA success, she debuted as Mercedes at the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, with opera rising star Ginger Costa-Jackson in the title role of Carmen.
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.”
She has also received praise for her Rossini leading ladies, Angelina and Rosina: “Ms. Virella’s creation of her character [was] a real, live flesh-and-blood heroine who can toss off scale passages and interesting embellishments with equal aplomb in ‘Una voce poco fa.’”
Her concert work includes Vivaldi’s Gloria, Messiah, El amor brujo, Mozart’s Vespers, and Ravel’s Chansons madécasses. Her solo work affiliations include Washington National Opera, Ópera de Puerto Rico, Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico, Wolf Trap Opera, Dicapo Opera.
Recently, she has been cast as Carmen for the Mercury Opera production in Canada. Her performances are scheduled for Summer 2019.