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”.
During the 2018–2019 season, Ms. Semerdjian returned to Pittsburgh Opera as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, sings the title role of Benazir Bhutto in a workshop of Mohammed Fairouz’s Bhutto with Pittsburgh Opera / Beth Morrison Projects, joins Symphony Tacoma as the alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah, rejoins Tacoma Opera for her debut in the title role of The Rape of Lucretia, and performs 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 will make her company debut as Flora in La traviata with Summer Garden Opera and in the fall of 2019, Ms. Semerdjian will make her Opera Southwest debut in Bottesini’s rarely performed Ali Baba. In January 2020, she will return to Pittsburgh Opera, singing the role of Bradamante in Handel’s Alcina and March of 2020, Ms. Semerdjian will make a company debut with Florentine Opera, singing the title role in Le Tragédie de Carmen.
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 performd 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 has recently 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 winter 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. As a Tacoma Opera Young Artist in 2010, she performed in the Young Artist Showcase and covered the role of Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro.
Ms. Semerdjian was born in San Diego, CA and raised in Tacoma, WA. She holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas and a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Arts with a Minor in Music Industry from the University of Southern California.