American soprano Laura Wilde, winner of a 2016 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, as well as the 2016 Luminarts Women’s Voice Fellowship, has been praised by Opera News as having, “a ravishingly beautiful sound, [and] a fine sense of style and character.” For the 2016/17 season, Ms. Wilde will return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for a role debut as Freia in David Pountney’s new production of Das Rheingold, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Other operatic engagements include the world premiere of Craig Bohmler’s Riders of the Purple Sage at Arizona Opera, where Ms. Wilde will portray the role of Jane Withersteen, Michaela in Carmen with Nashville Opera and a return to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as a principal artist as Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito. Additionally, she will present a solo recital and masterclass at South Dakota State University with pianist Craig Terry.
A recent graduate of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, in the 2015/16 season, Ms. Wilde performed Marianne Leitmetzerin in Der Rosenkavalier and covered Marschallin. She also covered the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Hanna in The Merry Widow and sang the role of Anna in Nabucco. In summer, 2016 she madeher European debut as the title role in Janáček’s Jenůfa, with English National Opera.
In previous seasons at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Laura Wilde covered Renée Fleming in Capriccio and the role of Marta in The Passenger. She also appeared on the mainstage as Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and a Flower Maiden in Parsifal. Additionally, she covered the roles of Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia, the Foreign Princess in Rusalka, and Vitellia in La clemenza di Tito. In the fall, 2014, she shared the stage with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and baritone Quinn Kelsey in the inaugural season of Beyond the Aria recital series at Chicago’s Harris Theater, accompanied by Craig Terry. In the summer of 2015, Wilde sang the role of Lucy in Grant Park Music Festival’s concert performance of Menotti’s The Telephone.
Before her transition from mezzo to soprano, Ms. Wilde spent two seasons as a Marion Roose Pullin Artist in Residence with Arizona Opera. While there, she created the role of Jane in the workshop of Craig Bohmler’s new opera, The Riders of the Purple Sage. She also performed with the Phoenix Symphony in their 2011 Holiday Concert.
Other training programs include a season as a Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Artist for the 2012 season, and three seasons as a Gerdine Young Artist with The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where she is a two-time recipient of The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Elihu Hyndman Memorial Award. Ms. Wilde was a 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Semi-Finalist and was awarded Third Place in the 2011 Palm Beach Opera Competition.
Originally from Watertown, South Dakota, Wilde’s love of music began with the trumpet. While attending the prestigious Interlochen Arts Camp as a trumpet player, she discovered her classical voice and was encouraged to also pursue that musical avenue as well. She attended St. Olaf College for her undergraduate degree, focusing at first on trumpet performance. Singing, however, became her true musical passion and she graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. Ms. Wilde earned her Master of Music degree from Indiana University, where she studied with Costanza Cuccaro. She currently resides in Chicago and studies with Julia Faulkner.