Yet, as American soprano Laura Wilde proves, there is a terrible, psychological complexity to the piece. Singing Katya with a remarkable emotional depth and dexterity, she gives sharp expression to the interplay between social forces and a self-generated religious and moral guilt in her character’s heartbreaking descent.
--Mark Brown, Scottish Stage, Scottish Opera, Katya Kabanova, 2019
At the heart of this production, strongly sung in original the Czech, Laura Wilde’s Katya gave a sympathetic portrait of a woman disintegrating from her nature-loving carefree early days to a domestic regime bullied by Kabanicha and let down by her men. In a punishing role, Wilde’s bright attractive soprano convincingly conveyed innocence, unhappiness, joy, desperation and deep anguish.
--David Smythe, Bachtrack, Scottish Opera, Katya Kabanova, 2019
Laura Wilde sang so impressively as the Foreign Princess that I wished the composer had given her more stage time. Her poised, gleaming soprano seems to have taken on a bit more weight since last I heard her, and the spinto-leaning approach to this role yielded beautiful musical dividends. Her mean-girl theatrical commitment and hauteur were a perfect foil to the mute (at this point) beauty, Rusalka.
--James Sohre, Opera Today, Des Moines Metro Opera, Rusalka, 2018
Soprano Laura Wilde in the role of Laura, the wife, provided the strongest vocal and dramatic performance of the evening. Experienced in Wagnerian roles, she provided a sturdy but beautiful tone to match the sometimes thick orchestration. She likewise owned the dramatic aspects of the part magnificently, knowingly patient of her husband’s initial verbal insinuations before turning into a calmly angry goddess.
--Wayne Lee Gay, Texas Classical Review, Dallas Opera, Der Ring des Polykrates, 2018
The director has been gifted with a cast that is nigh unto perfection. As Vitellia, Laura Wilde seems well on her way to becoming the Mozart soprano of choice. Her creamy, evenly produced tone had outstanding presence in every register and she colored it beautifully to reflect her changing moods, starting out teasing and urging, and ending up repentant and confessorial. Ms. Wilde is also highly adept at executing the florid writing and ornamentations, suggesting a woodwind-like quality that illuminated every extended melisma. Her dramatic gifts equal her splendid instrument, most especially her deft, subtle comic timing.
—James Sohre, Opera Today, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Titus, 2017
"In the title role [of Jenufa], American soprano Laura Wilde was a revelation. Making her European debut, Wilde sang with a radiant, richly textured soprano and displayed considerable acting skills. She demonstrated a full tone and unwavering steadiness at the top -- important given that the score lingers in the higher registers.
This was a breathtakingly honest performance; Jenufa's openness was utterly credible and her growing maturity compelling. When she insisted that Laca forgive Steva, and when she herself absolved her own step-mother, she was neither superficial nor saintly -- just a real woman who has learned that it is suffering that brings moral understanding and certainty. In the closing scenes we may have sensed Jenufa's exhaustion -- as she tries to persuade Laca to leave her the fragile vocal line fragments -- but at the close she was calm and strong, her voice flushed with optimism. "
--Claire Seymour, Opera Today, English National Opera, Jenufa, 2016
2016 marked the last year of soprano Laura Wilde as a Ryan Opera Center “young artist” and her debut as a full-fledged principle at the Lyric. I remember reaching for my program at the start of February’s Rosenkavalier to see who was this ravishing singer unintentionally stealing the spotlight in the role of the governess Marianne. Then just a month later in March, Lyric’s Rising Stars concert confirmed for its audiences that here was a major talent ready for an international career with a tour de force performance of Jenufa’s monologue – a display of intelligence, passion, and strength. The 16-17 season opener Das Rheingold gave Lyric one more chance to show off Wilde’s impressive range of skills, an innocent and youthful Freia who made a crudely constructed giant puppet feel like flesh and blood. She was the highlight of one of the best productions of Lyric has offered this or any year.
--Oliver Camacho, Vocal Arts Chicago, 2016
"Young Laura Wilde makes a heartrending transition from a spirited, pretty girl in Marian blue to drugged, pale and facially disfigured young mother and on, in Act Three, to a wise woman who's learnt too much too soon about the disappointments and horrors of life. Throughout, her delivery and body language are truthful, her upper register flawlessly radiant."
--David Nice, The Arts Desk, English National Opera, Jenufa, 2016
Laura Wilde, another American import, has, so far as I can discover, not sung Jenufa in full before, and she had a triumphant debut. She carried of the factors that make the role special -- warmth, imagination, depth of character, and reserve. She is just as adept in dealing with the drunken Steva as she is in her prayer to the Virgin Mary, and her presence and radiant singing come together in an intimate, searing, vulnerable-but-strong portrait.
--Peter Reed, Classical Source, English National Opera,
"In the role of Anna, Laura Wilde pops off one effortless high note after another."
--Newcity Stage, Lyric Opera of Chicago's Nabucco, 2016
Soprano Laura Wilde entered the stage clad in a dark blue gown, and exhibiting the serene elegance required by her first selection, "Das war sehr gut, Mandryka" from Arabella by R. Strauss. Wilde gave the aria a touching performance with gorgeous pianissimo notes that she easily floated. Her intonation was noticeably excellent, especially when harmonies under a held note changed and she had to slightly adjust the pitch to keep it in tune. This is rarely done with such style. That, plus her rapid vibrato, reminded me of the great Strauss singer, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf. Her second selection, "Einsam in trüben Tagen" (“Elsa’s dream”) from Wagner’s Lohengrin was equally fine. Like her character should be, she started out tentatively and unsure of herself. After all, she is telling about her vision of a magical knight that will come to defend her and the charge of being mentally dazed. When appropriate, she added some girlish excitement and, finally, a mature woman in love with a phantom. Wilde was most impressive and is ready for a major career as a dramatic soprano (a rarity these days).
-Theater Jones, Dallas Opera Guild Competition, 2017
Laura Wilde's bright soprano communicated Freia's innocence and her interpolated affection for Fasolt, which looked very King Kong/Fay Wray.
--Heidi Walseson, Wall Street Journal, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Das Rheingold, 2016
Laura Wilde embodied the character of Jenufa in the soliloquy “Mamicko, mam tezkou hlavu,” a tour de force for any soprano, and particularly memorable here. Wilde captured the emotional pitch and musical nuances of the character, adding her personal stamp; she subtly colored the phrases in the first part, while singing the prayer to the Blessed Virgin in the second with powerful intensity.
--Seen and Heard International, Lyric Opera of Chicago's Rising Stars Concert, 2016
In everything they sang, soprano Laura Wilde, bass-baritone Richard Ollarsaba and baritone Anthony Clark Evans — all third-year Ryan members — proved to be fully finished young vocal artists who are ready for their close-ups in the outside opera world. Wilde was mesmerizing in an intense monologue from Janacek's "Jenufa"
--The Chicago Tribune, Lyric Opera of Chicago's Rising Stars Concert, 2016
The American soprano Laura Wilde’s Kátya, making a striking house debut, is outwardly meek, bewildered, the girl in the mumsy frock. Inwardly she’s an eruption of desire and guilt. It’s a telling, sympathetic reading.
--Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, Scottish Opera, Katya Kabanova, 2019
Laura Wilde began her musical studies on trumpet before moving to voice, as Katya, she showcases the type of control and elegance over her voice that would have any one believe she had devoted every day of her life to championing it.
--William J A Parker, Opera Guide Scotland, Scottish Opera, Katya Kabanova, 2019
Laura Wilde’s portrayal of a ruined woman is beyond breathtaking.
--Max Scratchmann, The Wee Review, Scottish Opera, Katya Kabanova, 2019
Wilde’s glorious soprano and dignified bearing steals the show. She is a model of patience while her ham-handed husband tries to take Vogel’s advice and run her off. When she finally has had enough, she tells him what’s what while maintaining the dignity that he obviously had lost.
--Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones, Dallas Opera, Der Ring des Polykrates, 2018
Laura Wilde proved herself an exceptional actress as Vitellia, funny and furious, expertly manipulative, especially in recitative, where she had a little more interpretive wiggle room. In director Stephen Lawless’s semitraditional production, Vitellia was almost a comic character; Wilde was vivacious without demeaning the material, making Mozart as sexy and witty, as colloquial, idiomatic and modern as early Sondheim.
--Henry Stewart, Opera News, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Titus, 2017
Vitellia, the daughter of the emperor Titus’ father deposed, is a tragi-looney in the grand Donna Elvira mold. As portrayed by soprano Laura Wilde, she’s a force of nature, with a big rich voice that’s perfectly produced from high notes to chest voice, particularly in her final aria, “Non più di fiori.”
--Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Titus, 2017
"The cast is never less than superb. Laura Wilde excelled as Jenůfa, capturing all the wistful beauty of the young, naïve country girl in the first act in a way that was deeply poignant. Her tone is bright and warm, lit by an upper register that is clear and glorious; her second act prayer succeeded in being both incredibly beautiful and intensely sad. She sang with nuance, and transitioned credibly from youthful optimism into the more knowing woman in the second act who is physically scarred and loses both her lover and her child. The change was heartrending to watch, as it ought to be."
--John E.de Wald, Opera Brittania, English National Opera, Jenufa, 2016
"Above all, Laura Wilde, making her London debut as Jenufa, was stunning. A young, emerging American singer, this was a perfect showcase for her beautiful, flexible voice and also her strong acting abilities. She drew us into Jenufa’s world; convinced us of her obsessive love for Steva and her forgiveness of the Kostelnicka; and finally she and Peter Hoare convincingly portrayed the redemptive and musically powerful ending."
--Mel Cooper, Plays to See, English National Opera, Jenufa, 2016
American soprano Laura Wilde captivates as Freia, goddess of youth, beauty and love. With a clear, shimmering voice and acting chops to carry off the unlikely predicament of having to appear to be in love with an enormous prop band. Wilde makes it easy for the audience to believe the giant Fasolt has fallen in love with her.
--Judith Singer, LA Splash, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Das Rheingold, 2016
"Soprano Laura Wilde and baritone Anthony Clark Evans, third-year members of Lyric Opera’s Ryan Center, performed the two roles exquisitely. Wilde’s rendition of Lucy’s protracted conversations was sung with lambent tone and aplomb. Particularly impressive was the effortlessness she brought to her character’s pyrotechnical laughter."
--Chicago Classical Review, Grant Park Orchestra's performance of Menotti's The Telephone, 2015
"Also by Bellini, the duet “Mira, o Norma” was performed by Laura Wilde and J’nai Bridges. Both women added sparks of color to the decorative continuity of this assured performance. Their voices remained distinctive yet contributed to a synthesis especially at those moments when they were interwoven by the vocal line."
--Opera Today, Lyric Opera of Chicago's Rising Star's Concert, 2015
Laura Wilde‘s Marianne Leitmetzerin was both fun and fun-loving, her attractive soprano free of the clucking and wobble that so often passes for a “seasoned” rendering of this difficult role.
--GBOpera Magazine, Lyric Opera of Chicago's Der Rosenkavalier, 2016
"It was a particularly grand night for bel canto singing. An ideal matching of beautiful voices and polished artistry made the "Mira, o Norma" duet, from Bellini's "Norma," the evening's showstopper: Second-year soprano Laura Wilde and third-year mezzo-soprano J'nai Bridges matched harmonic thirds and sixths ravishingly."
--The Chicago Tribune, Lyric Opera of Chicago's Rising Star's Concert, 2015
"Of the first-year apprentices, I was most taken with Laura Wilde, an Indiana University alumna who has sung supporting roles in Santa Fe, N.M., and St. Louis. She brought unforced charm and a peaches-and-creamy lyric soprano to the Jewel Song from Gounod's "Faust." The sound opened out to a full, steady top, and she has fine stage presence too. Wilde is definitely one to watch."
--Chicago Tribune, Lyric Opera of Chicago's Rising Star's Concert 2014
"Among the first selections of the evening the aria “Ain’t it a pretty night” from Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah was sung by soprano Laura Wilde. Ms. Wilde’s interpretation showed excellent technique at appropriate emphatic moments. In describing the stars as they look “right down,” she placed pure high pitches on the text as a means of communion with celestial bodies. Her character’s wistful yearning “to be one of them folks myself,” who are beyond the mountains, was equally touching and led into softer passages at the close."
--Opera Today, Lyric Opera of Chicago's Rising Star's Concert, 2015