Nominated for a 2022 GRAMMY® award for Best Classical Vocal Solo Album for Confessions – Laura Strickling’s debut recording makes, “a strong statement about the status of contemporary art songs and her commitment to them,” (Schmopera). Recognized by The New York Times for her “flexible voice, crystalline diction, and warm presence,” she is celebrated for her work performing and promoting art song, with an emphasis on new additions to the canon. She curated The New Music Shelf Anthology of contemporary art songs for soprano and recently announced The 40@40 Project – a personal initiative to commission 40 new art songs from 40 composers. Featured in the May 2021 issue of Classical Singer Magazine for her advocacy work in commissioning and recording new music, she has appeared with the Brooklyn Art Song Society, Cincinnati Song Initiative, Mexicoliederfest, Calliope’s Call, Liederfest in Suzhou (China), the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, Lyric Fest, Chiarina Chamber Players, Joy in Singing, Trinity Concerts at One, the American Liszt Society, Baltimore Lieder Weekend, Concerts on the Slope, National Sawdust, Art Song at the Old Stone House, the Brooklyn New Music Collective, SongFusion, has been a featured performer at the New Music Gathering, and presented a radio broadcast recital of American songs on “Live from WFMT” in Chicago with pianist Daniel Schlosberg. Laura and pianist Liza Stepanova were 2017 Artists in Residence at the Yellow Barn Music Festival, where they presented a program of Granados and modern songs in Spanish, including the world-premiere of Ciudades del Porvenir by Reinaldo Moya. She has presented guest artist recitals and lectures at the University of Georgia, Mercer University, College of William and Mary, Mercer University, University of Notre Dame, New World School of the Arts, Notre Dame University of Maryland, Pittsburg State University, McDaniel College, St. Mary’s College, and University of Richmond. She is on the New Music Advisory Board of the Brooklyn Art Song Society, and the Artistic Advisory Boards of Cincinnati Song Initiative and Calliope’s Call.
Equally acclaimed for her work on the concert stage, she has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, National Sawdust, Trinity Church on Wall Street, Washington National Cathedral, and the Opera America Center. Her, “powerful and expressive voice across a large range, her variety of timbre and character,” (Classical Scene), make her a welcome guest soloist for a range of oratorio and concert works, from Handel to Britten. These include Messiah (Handel)with the Indianapolis Symphony, the Pacific Symphony, and the Richmond Symphony, Gloria (Poulenc) with the Asheville Symphony, Mass in c minor (Mozart) with the Richmond Symphony, Cathedral Choral Society, and Berkshire Choral International, Stabat Mater (Dvorak) and Elijah (Mendelssohn) with Berkshire Choral International, Ein Deutsches Requiem (Brahms) with the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee and Chorosynthesis, Luonnotar (Sibelius) and Les Illuminations (Britten) with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (Barber) and Les Illuminations (Britten) with Mexicoliederfest, Ninth Symphony (Beethoven) and Carmina Burana (Orff) with Choralis, as well as Requiem (Mozart), Credo Mass (Mozart), Dixit Dominus (Handel), Gloria (Vivaldi), Lord Nelson Mass (Haydn), and Mass in C (Beethoven). Her performance of Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Exsultate jubilate with the Cathedral Choral Society was broadcast by WETA, and her performance of Poulenc’s Gloria with the Asheville Symphony was broadcast by Blue Ridge Public Radio.
On the opera stage, Ms. Strickling created the role of Fanni Radnòti in the world premiere of Tom Cipullo’s opera The Partingwith Music of Remembrance in Seattle and San Francisco in 2019 and revisited the role with Chelsea Opera in Syracuse in Spring 2022 and New York City in Fall 2022. She created the role of Dr. Slade in the nine-episode TV-opera film, Everything for Dawn with Experiments in Opera, which received its broadcast premiere in 2022. An alumna of the Berkshire Opera Company resident artist program, her performance of the Dew Fairy in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel was praised by Opera News: "Laura Strickling offered the creamy, clear, younger-sister-of-Eva-Pogner instrument ideal for singing the role over full orchestration." She appeared as Pamina in the Metropolitan Opera Guild's touring outreach production of The Magic Flute. Ms. Strickling’s operatic roles also include Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Cleopatra (Julius Caesar), Mimi (La boheme), Dinorah (Dinorah), Elvira (L’Italiana in Algeri), Josephine (H.M.S. Pinafore), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), and Micaëla (Carmen). She created the role of Muriel in the world premiere of Thomas Benjamin's The Alien Corn with the Peabody Opera Theater.
Ms. Strickling received a 2022 GRAMMY® award nomination and widespread critical acclaim for her debut solo album, Confessions: “…a compellingly honest performer, whose rich, expressive soprano conveys vulnerability with a balance of shimmering tone and unaffected diction,” (Opera News Magazine), “This extraordinarily expressive and versatile singer…performs with an intelligent combination of restraint and letting go. Her voice is full and lustrous and then bright and nimble…” (Schmopera), "Strickling fulfills and FILLS this role, her voice as a siren-chameleon, changing shape and color and nature with total control as contexts switch and emotions bend ever so slightly from word to word,” (American Record Guide). She was also praised for the Naxos Opera Classics recording of The Parting by Tom Cipullo, “…deeply expressive, secure voice. Her exposed highs are managed wonderfully, with notable beauty,” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Her discography also includes Times Alone (James Matheson), The Vineyard Songs (Glen Roven), Edna St. Vincent Millay (Jake Heggie), and Of a Certain Age (Tom Cipullo). Her upcoming releases include The 40@40 Project, with pianist Daniel Schlosberg, on the Bright Shiny Things label.
A Chicago native, Ms. Strickling is an avid traveler, having lived in Morocco, where she studied classical Arabic at the Arabic Language Institute of Fez, and Kabul (Afghanistan) where her husband was the founding chair of the Department of Law at the American University of Afghanistan. She currently makes her home in St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands) where she cultivates an extensive collection of orchids and enjoys Caribbean life with her husband Taylor, their daughter Elizabeth, and Dido the Maltese poodle.
Photography by Don Hebert
©2023 Laura Strickling