American mezzo-soprano Laura C. Atkinson is an active performer in both the United States and in Germany. She has debuted with various orchestras in both countries, including the Nashville Symphony, New Haven Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, the Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra, the American Baroque Orchestra , the Gewandhaus Orchestra, and the Braunschweig Staatsorchester.
Highlights of her 2015/16 season include Handel’s Messiah with the Louisville Orchestra, Bach’s St. John Passion with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri with the Concerto Brandenburg in Berlin, Mendelssohn’s Elijah in Louisville and Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen. She was also one of nine singers invited to an Artist Residency at Crear, Scotland, where she worked with Malcolm Martineau.
Following the completion of her degrees, she was a recipient of a prestigious Fulbright Grant, which allowed her to study for a year at the Mendelssohn Conservatory of Music in Leipzig, Germany. The subsequent year she was a winner of an Ad Infinitum stipend and a DAAD scholarship, which supported a year of continued studies in Leipzig. Since arriving in Germany, Ms. Atkinson made her European opera debut at Oper Leipzig, where she appeared as Franzl/Heuschreck in Das schlaue Fuchslein; she has performed additional roles at Staatstheater Braunschweig and Rheinsberg Kammeroper. Throughout Europe she has sung various concerts and recitals; highlights include Bach’s St. John Passion at the Bachakademie in Stuttgart, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde in Leipzig, Schoenberg’s Book of Hanging Gardens at the Schumann Haus in Leipzig and Jenkins’ The Armed Man in Hamburg.
She is the recipient of various prizes and awards, including 1st place at the American Bach Society/Bethlehem Bach competition, a prize winner of the International Chamber Opera competition in Rheinsberg, a finialist in the Greifswald Bach competition, a Fulbright Grant, an Ad Inifinitum/DAAD steipend, and the inaugural Margot Fassler Award for Excellence in Performance of Sacred Music at Yale.
She has worked with such esteemed conductors as Helmuth Rilling, Nicholas McGegan, Simon Carrington, Christopher Seamen, Paul Hillier, Stephen Layton, Mattias Foremny, and Ulrich Windfuhr.
She received her masters degree from the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University, where she studied with the American tenor, James R. Taylor. At Yale, Ms. Atkinson was a member of Schola Cantorum, a vocal ensemble led by Simon Carrington. As a soloist in this ensemble, she recorded Mendelssohn’s Magnificat with Naxos Records and toured Bach’s B-Minor Mass throughout China and Korea. With the Yale Baroque Opera Project, she sang the lead role of Medea in Cavalli’s Il Giasone, for which she received a favourable review by Alex Ross in The New Yorker.
She currently resides in Berlin, Germany.