Nel silenzio di quei raccoglimenti: Suor Angelica (Giacomo Puccini)
Laurel Semerdjian, mezzo-soprano
Benjamin Read, piano
Filmed and edited by Conduit Studios
Laurel Semerdjian, an American mezzo-soprano of Armenian descent, has recently been hailed as "a dramatic and musical tour de force" (Pittsburgh Tribune) for her portrayal of Asakir in Pittsburgh Opera's production of Mohammed Fairouz's Sumeida's Song. Her voice has been praised for its "guttural low notes" (Pittsburgh Post Gazette) and "appealing weight, intensity and flexibility". In 2023-2024, Ms. Semerdjian returns to Tacoma Opera to make her role debut as the title role in Carmen, and appears in Verdi's Requiem with Symphony Tacoma and for the Masterworks Concert Series with Symphoria, and will soon announce a performance of Beethoven 9. In 2022-2023, Ms. Semerdjian sang Ambassador to Space in Derrick Skye’s Song of the Ambassadors at Alice Tully Hall and performed an excerpt of the work to open the TED conference in Vancouver, returned to Opera Southwest as Ragonde in Le comte Ory, joined Symphoria for Mahler’s 2nd Symphony and their Masterworks Concert Series, and sang Zulma in L’Italiana in Algeri at the St. Petersburg Opera Company.
In the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Semerdjian was featured in a filmed project entitled Heroes which was co-produced by Resonance Works and Decameron Opera Coalition. She also joined Symphony Tacoma as the mezzo soloist in Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem, Cape Symphony as the mezzo soloist for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Opera Southwest for their NYE gala and as Geneviève in Pelléas et Mélisande, and Madison Opera as Public Opinion in Orpheus in the Underworld. In 2022-2023, Ms. Semerdjian sings Ambassador to Space in Derrick Skye’s Song of the Ambassadors at Alice Tully Hall, returns to Opera Southwest as Ragonde in Le comte Ory and make her debut with Choral Artists of Sarasota as the mezzo soloist in Mozart’s Requiem.
In January 2020, Ms. Semerdjian returned to Pittsburgh Opera, singing the role of Bradamante in Handel’s Alcina and in the spring of 2020, Ms. Semerdjian made a company debut with Florentine Opera singing the title role in La Tragédie de Carmen, and was slated to return to Resonance Works to debut the role of Maddalena in Rigoletto. During the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Semerdjian was slated to make a role debut with Young Victorian Theater Company as Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance, (COVID19), a return to Opera Southwest as Geneviève in Pelléas et Mélisande (COVID19) and join the Cape Symphony as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (COVID19). In the spring/summer of 2021, Ms. Semerdjian returned to Sarasota Opera in the role of Marianna in their production of Il Signor Bruschino and made her Missouri Symphony debut in their Opera Gala.
During the 2018–2019 season, Ms. Semerdjian returned to Pittsburgh Opera as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, sang the title role of Benazir Bhutto in a workshop of Mohammed Fairouz’s Bhutto with Pittsburgh Opera / Beth Morrison Projects, joined Symphony Tacoma as the alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah, rejoined Tacoma Opera for her debut in the title role of The Rape of Lucretia, and performed with Syracuse's Symphoria as mezzo soloist in Haydn's Mass in Time of War and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. In the summer of 2019, Ms. Semerdjian made company debuts as Flora in La traviata with Summer Garden Opera and Dorabella in Così fan tutte with Inland Northwest Opera. In the fall of 2019, Ms. Semerdjian returned to Pittsburgh Symphony in the Bruckner Te Deum and made her Opera Southwest debut in Bottesini’s rarely performed Alì Babà.
During the 2017–2018 season, Ms. Semerdjian returned to both Sarasota Opera, as Flora in La traviata, and Syracuse Opera, as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. She made company debuts with St. Petersburg Opera (Florida) as Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte, with Pittsburgh's Resonance Works as Ježibaba in Rusalka, and with Washington Concert Opera debut as guest soloist in their Opera's Greatest Heroines gala concert. She also performed both Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Haydn's Mass in Time of War with Washington DC's Cathedral Choral Society at the Washington National Cathedral.
Ms. Semerdjian made several significant role debuts throughout the 2016–2017 season. In her return to Bellevue City Opera she performed her first Dorabella in Così fan tutte, and in October 2016 she made her Syracuse Opera debut as Tisbe in La Cenerentola. In early 2017, Ms. Semerdjian returned to Sarasota Opera for her initial performances of the role of Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. She also made her Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra debut with her first performances of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.
Ms. Semerdjian also fulfilled two seasons as a Resident Artist with Pittsburgh Opera (2014–2016). Her responsibilities included performances of the roles of Mother Goose in The Rake’s Progress, Meg in Little Women, Gertrude Stein in Ricky Ian Gordon's opera 27, Fenena in Nabucco, Emilia in Otello, Eduige in Rodelinda, Asakir in Sumeida's Song, and covering the title role of Carmen. In the summer of 2015 she performed the role of Cherubino in Bellevue City Opera's inaugural production of Le nozze di Figaro, and in the summer of 2014 she performed the role of Mercédès in Carmen as a Vocal Fellow at Music Academy of the West, under the guidance of legendary mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne. As an Apprentice Artist with Sarasota Opera, she covered the role of Inez in the company's 2014 production of Il trovatore.
During the 2012–2013 season Ms. Semerdjian was an Emerging Artist with the Dallas Opera. She performed the role of Veronica in Bizet's Dr. Miracle in outreach performances in local schools as well as at the Winspear Opera House with the Dallas Opera Orchestra. She also covered the role of Sonia in the Dallas Opera's production of Argento's The Aspern Papers.
Ms. Semerdjian holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Arts with a minor in Music Industry from the University of Southern California.