During our annual retreat, we work closely with a select group of artists to sing, brainstorm and clarify career goals, unwind, and have fun. We're excited to have Soprano Laura Snyderman as one of our retreat artists this year. She'll be singing an eclectic mix of music at the SVAN concert, including scenes as Adele in Die Fledermaus and songs by Berg. Read on for our interview with her!
Moments Like This
August 13th @ 7:30pm
Mayfield Presbyterian Church
22 North Main St
Mayfield, NY 12117
Presented by the Sacandaga Valley Arts Network. Admission: $12 General Admission; $10 SVAN Members; Free for those under 18 years.
Laura, we’re excited to have you be part of this year’s summer retreat! Tell us a bit about yourself: who are you, where you’re from, and what you do.
I recently graduated from Peabody where I had the privilege to study with Elizabeth Futral. I am originally from Atlanta and am now currently Baltimore/DC-based. Along with freelancing, I will start my new section leader position at Lewinsville Presbyterian Church, along with teaching voice and piano privately.
What was your favorite non-singing-related thing about going to Peabody?
I enjoyed working as a graduate assistant for Richard Giarusso's nineteenth century survey course. I learned something new attending the same course four times in a row!
Did you always know you wanted to sing? How did you get into singing?
I used to figure skate until I was injured in middle school. During my time off from skating, I went to see my first opera with my mom and have loved opera since!
What was the opera you saw?
How would you say figure skating helped prepare you to pursue singing?
I think having to learn competition programs helped me with stamina and energy conservation today (at least to some degree).
And what was your favorite aspect of skating?
I actually liked competing. It was one of the few times I could skate a full program and not worry about running into other people on the ice! Plus I enjoyed performing :)
What else have you been up to this summer?
I had the opportunity to sing a selection of Rimsky-Korsakov and Debussy art songs with the Sowebo Arts Music Festival in Maryland. I also participated in the Queens Baroque Opera Workshop with Julianne Baird where I sang some Poppea, and IMAO NYC where I performed Suor Genevieffa in Suor Angelica and La Chauve-Souris in L'enfant et les Sortileges under the direction of Richard Barrett. I recently sang at the UN for the Education for Global Citizenship International Day and for other house concerts in NYC. Otherwise, I was so fortunate to visit the Christopher Cairn's private art collection in Philadelphia, and the Storm King Art Center in upstate New York with my companion Christopher Ciampoli.
What was the most pivotal experience you’ve had so far in your development as an artist?
Working with Ms. Futral this year has improved my singing in more ways than I could have imagined, especially for only having a year to complete an entire performance diploma! I am so thankful to have her as my teacher.
Most memorable advice Ms. Futral gave you during your time studying with her?
Ms. Futral always talks about utilizing the most of your energy-- focusing your attention and releasing any unnecessary tension even in something so small as a forehead raise. While I haven't mastered the skill of full release and focus, I have grown more aware of my tendencies just in these last few months of work.
Any projects coming up, whether music-related or not, that you’re especially excited about?
I will be singing an orchestra gala with the New Asia Orchestra this September in NYC, following a solo recital with the Union Square Chamber Art Society in Baltimore. I will sing the Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors this December in DC. I am really looking forward to working with harpsichordist Paula Maust on a program of rival eighteenth-century composers (eg Domenico and Alessandro Scarlatti), and guitarist Fang Yuan on a selection of Spanish and Italian art songs.
You’ll be singing some great pieces for the concert! Which is your favorite and why?
I love Alban Berg’s “Die Nachtigall,” from his Sieben frühe Lieder. The entire song cycle is beautiful and shows how he developed as a composer remarkably all before the age of 23. A close second would have to be Rachmaninoff’s “A-u!” Along with its robust romanticism, it’s just so much fun to sing!