Being born to a profoundly Deaf mother and a tone-deaf father, becoming a classical musician was not the obvious career choice, however Laura has always been musical from an early age and as she grew, her love of performing, in particular singing, has flourished into a passion which she has followed to become a classical singer.
Laura was surrounded by Irish folk music at her primary school and was encouraged to take both violin and flute lessons. Discovering that both these instruments made her mother’s hearing-aids whistle, Laura quickly switched to singing as her main musical discipline, gaining several music scholarships at secondary school level and being awarded the Norah Phillips Trophy for musical excellence. She became a regular performer for the Merchant Venturers of Bristol, the Lord Mayor of Bristol, John Lewis Bristol and at St George’s Concert Hall through her involvement with the school chamber choir.
When she was 14, her grandmother took her to her first Opera, Die Zauberflöte. This was the first time Laura had heard live Opera and was struck by the power of such visceral singing. The floating and effortless sounds of the cast became fixed in her head and when she returned to school she began to explore an art form and a career which she had never before considered. but now knew would be her future.
Laura followed Die Zauberflöte with La Traviata, Katya Kabanova, Tosca, Hansel und Gretel finding new things in each Opera which added to her fascination with the harmonies, the stories, the characters and above all the sounds of the singers. Alongside this new found passion, Laura continued studying singing and found herself switching her university major from English to Music and the rest as they say is history!
Laura subsequently studied Music at the University of Bristol, graduating with a BA (Hons). Here she performed with many musical groups and developed her Opera skills through her association with the university’s active Opera society and her teacher the celebrated Mezzo-Soprano, Angela Hickey.
Her career at UoB saw her perform in an array of locations including Barcelona, Berlin, London and Edinburgh. She performed a wide array of works by composers such as Bizet, Purcell, Britten, Sullivan, Rossini and many of modern compositions. A highlight of her university was being asked to perform Tytania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Laura recently completed her Masters in Vocal Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama under the tutelage of the excellent Welsh soprano, Gail Pearson. Here she became an active student scholar for the BBC National Chorus of Wales and was given the opportunity to perform for the BBC Christmas broadcasting programmes, the BBC Proms and the BBC Ten Pieces project. She has performed with BBC Dr Who on the Symphonic Spectacular UK Tour singing alongside BBC NOW and the Dr Who Daleks! Her work with BBC NCW has allowed her to perform solos on the BBC Radio 4 and appear on BBC One and Two.
Whilst at the RWCMD, Laura developed a passion for exploring and performing modern opera. She has premiered several principle roles for newly composed operas with Little Room Productions, Asking4It Productions and Music Theatre Wales touring London, Wales and Edinburgh. Through her love of exploring unusual operatic theatre she has been a werewolf, a psychiatrist, a self-combusting angel and of course, a tree! She has recently finished performing a new libretto by Jane Fox as part of a series of performance pieces revolving around the idea of ‘shelter’. Laura performed in Natasha for Asking4It Productions and will be reviving this role in 2017. Laura is always keen to work with living composers and enjoys the challenge and collaborative process of new works.
Laura is often engaged by a number of Choral and Orchestral concerts around Wales and the South West. She loves learning new works and has performed everything from Bach to Strauss. Last year she performed with Monmouth Choral Society, Bristol Chamber Choir, BBC National Chorus of Wales, Reading Concert Orchestra and Bristol Concert Orchestra.
In 2009, Laura’s Grandmother suffered a succession of severe strokes and has since needed an immense amount of daily personal care. This has inspired Laura to work with several chairites in the last few years as this was something her Grandmother always endeavoured to do.
Laura has raised money for the charity, Streetwise Opera who specialise in providing transferable employment skills for the homeless, in particular through Opera workshops. She successfully completed in the London 10k for the charity.
She has previously worked with the charity Music in Hospitals and the company Bute Park Opera, in order to raise money and awareness for the charity through a full production of Massenet’s Cendrillon at Chalk Farm, Abergavenny.
This year, Laura has decided to raise money for the Stroke Association UK as the research and support which they provide is invaluable to the survival of relatives, such as her Grandmother, and she is eternally grateful to have the woman who inspired her to keep singing still around thanks to their hard work. Laura will be running the 5k at Bute Park, Cardiff in the Spring and will be fundraising closer to the time. She hopes to also organise a fundraiser concert for the charity in the Summer.
More information about Stroke can be found here: