Laura McHugh was named 1st Place Winner in the 2018 Classical Singer National Competition, Emerging Professional Division
Laura McHugh, soprano, lauded for her “superb, floating” voice, is on the rise in the Boston area and beyond. This season she is a Tulsa Opera Resident Artist, and will appear as Harriet Mosher in Tulsa’s upcoming production of Tobias Picker’s Emmeline. She was recently named 1st Place winner in the 2018 National Classical Singer Competition by an esteemed panel of judges including Deborah Voight. She was a Grand Finalist at the 2018 International Talents of the World Competition in New York City, in which she presented a diverse program of opera, art song, and musical theatre. In August 2018 she made her European debut singing the role of the Valkyrie Gerhilde in Wagner’s Die Walküre in Sweden. In early 2019 she performed the title role in Kalman’s Gräfin Maritza. Other recent credits include Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte) (cvr) with Lowell House Opera, Mimì (La bohème) (cvr) with Boston Opera Collaborative, Vitellia (La clemenza di Tito) with Promenade Opera Project, Volivia (Vesta's Feuer, Beethoven), Mrs. Gobineau (The Medium), and Giulietta (The Tales of Hoffmann). She has also appeared with Odyssey Opera, Commonwealth Lyric Theatre, and Vox Futura professional recording ensemble.
Laura is also a dedicated recitalist and vocal chamber musician, with upcoming recitals planned in Boston, MA and Dallas, TX. She recently appeared in a staged production of Schubert’s Die Winterreise, hailed as “vocal recital of the year” by Boston’s WBUR. She presented a recent recital titled “Bitches Sing Shit” at the historic Stillman Willis House in Cambridge, MA. This program took a lighthearted look at the themes that often arise in opera, including ‘Happy Bitches’, ‘Sad Bitches’, and ‘Bitches in Love’, and provided an entry point to the genre for those who were not already opera fans. She has appeared at the famed Regattabar in Cambridge, MA. She has twice won competitions solely with her lieder performances, first with a set she cultivated of four settings of Goethe’s ‘Meine Ruh Ist Hin’, and secondly with her unique take on a Schubert song cycle. Her upcoming “24 Songs” Recital will examine some of the songs from the famed 24 Italian Songs and Arias Book. As a chamber musician, she enjoys everything from the standard repertoire to the obscure. This season has seen her perform chamber standards such as Schubert’s Der Hirt auf Dem Felsen (Shepherd on the Rock), to hidden gems like Mignone’s Cinco Pecas Per Canto e Fagote for bassoon and soprano, to lesser-known pieces by famous composers including Along the Field for soprano and violin by Vaughn Williams.
As a concert artist, she has performed the soprano solos in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Handel Messiah, Vivaldi Gloria, Schubert Mass in G, Bach Magnificat, Mozart Coronation Mass, and Faure Requiem in the United States and Italy. Laura has premiered several new works by modern composers, and recently sang the World Premiere of the role of Hannah in Marc Hoffeditz’s new opera Non Motus.
Laura obtained her Master of Music Degree and Graduate Performance Diploma, both in Opera Performance, from the Longy School of Music of Bard College, where she won both the Concerto Competition (2019), and the Honors Competition (2018 & 2019). She has appeared as an Apprentice Artist with Vermont Music and Arts Center, and as a Young Artist with the Daniel Ferro Vocal Program (Greve, Italy- endowed scholar), the Bassi Brugnatelli International Conducting & Singing Symposium (Robbiate, Italy- Charles H. Jones Vocal Fellow), Assisi Performing Arts (Assisi, Italy), and KISS Opera (Sweden). She has completed Master Classes with Ben Zander, Sandra Piques Eddy, Irene Kudela, Ira Siff, and Danilo Formaggia, amongst others.
As an educator, Laura runs a voice studio for students of all ages and levels, at Ivy Music Academy in Norfolk, MA, the South Shore School of Theatre in Quincy, MA, and privately in the Boston area. Laura works with her students on strong musical and dramatic interpretation across multiple styles, and believes that each student should have freedom of expression to sing with the voice that is uniquely theirs. She is a committed liturgical musician who currently serves as soprano section leader and soloist at The Presbyterian Church in Needham, MA and Our Lady of Good Voyage in Boston’s Seaport. She has become one of Boston’s most in-demand wedding singers.
Upcoming endeavors include her recital “24 Songs”, a collection of 24 songs serving as a time capsule of Laura’s current musical journey (Boston, September 2019), a soloist performance of Fiordiligi’s arias from Così fan tutte with the Longy Conservatory Orchestra (Cambridge, January 2020), a recital with mezzo-soprano Rachel Davies (Dallas, Spring 2020). She will also be a Resident Artist with Tulsa Opera this season, singing the role of Harriet Mosher and covering the title role in Tobias Picker’s Emmeline (Tulsa, May 2020).