MADAMA BUTTERFLY- SARASOTA OPERA- 2017

From: Your Observer Sarasota- June LeBell- 2/12/2017

Her handmaiden, Suzuki, was sung by Laurel Semerdjian, whose gorgeous voice, almost a contralto rather than mezzo, was clear, clean and well produced. It was her offstage sobbing when she realized Butterly was about to kill herself that resonated most with me in that climactic scene. It was heartbreaking.

From: Brooklyn Discovery- Nino Pantano- 3/30/2017

Suzuki, Cio-Cio-San’s servant was tenderly portrayed by Laurel Semerdjian whose warm ingratiating mezzo made the flower duet something special and for giving new life to her phrase “Povera Butterfly”. One could really sympathize with her conflict in trying to protect Butterfly from her misconceptions. In the end, the sand castle came down with a tsunami Suzuki could not prevent.

THE RAKE'S PROGRESS- PITTSBURGH OPERA- 2016

From: Pittsburgh Tribune- Mark Kanny- 5/1/2016

Laurel Semerdjian and her velvety mezzo-soprano voice were superb as Mother Goose, the madam at the brothel Rakewell enjoys in the first scene of Act 2. The production does not shy away from sexuality when Mother Goose decides to have Rakewell for herself.

From: Pittsburgh Post Gazette- Robert Croan- 5/1/2016

In the briefer but still juicy role of Mother Goose, younger mezzo Laurel Semerdjian, a resident artist, sang strongly and played the madam of the brothel with a spirit of fun.

From: Pittsburgh in the Round- George Parous- 5/1/2016

Laurel Semerdjian, who has contributed such a wealth of excellent singing and acting to the company's 2015-'16 season, is making her final appearances here (for the time being, hopefully) in this production, and lent her immense talent to the small role of Mother Goose, the colorfully named brothel proprietress.  She sang the few measures allotted to the part with her customary velvety tones, and acted the role with an eye-popping bawdiness that would have been unthinkable at the opera's 1951 premiere.

27- PITTSBURGH OPERA- 2016

From: Pittsburgh Tribune- Mark Kanny- 2/21/2016

Laurel Semerdjian scored a triumph as Gertrude Stein. Mezzo-sopranos rarely get to dominate an opera, but she made the most of Gordon's nuanced portrait of the central character. Semerdjian's velvety lower register was matched in tonal appeal and strength throughout her role's wide range.

From: Pittsburgh Post Gazette- Elizabeth Bloom- 2/25/2016

Ms. Semerdjian’s voice had a natural, smooth quality that was full-bodied in long phrases.  

From: Pittsburgh City Paper- Bill O'Driscoll- 2/23/2016 

Still, as Gertrude, Laurel Semerdjian nearly steals the show with her rich, warm mezzo-soprano voice.  

From: Pittsburgh in the Round- George Parous- 2/21/2016

Laurel Semerdjian, of course, dominated as Gertrude Stein.  Her rich mezzo-soprano filled the hall with tones that were dark colored velvet in quality.  The role is taxing - vocally and dramatically, and her skills in both departments carried her through the evening almost flawlessly.  She was a charming picture as well, and will no doubt bring even more to the role with each repetition.  It was a treat to see and hear this gifted young woman in a starring part.  She wore it very well, indeed.

Little women- Pittsburgh opera- 2016

From:  Pittsburgh in the Round- George Parous- 1/22/2016

Laurel Semerdjian, as Meg March, offered what local operagoers in recent years have come to take for granted from her – a lovely voice and appearance, and acting skills that keep her in whatever character she happens to be performing. Her rendition of “Things change, Jo,” provided some of the finest singing of the evening.

From: Pittsburgh Tribune- Mark Kanny- 1/24/2016

Mezzo Laurel Semerdjian gave a beautifully grounded account of Meg, and employed her richly hued voice most effectively in her aria, “Things Change, Jo.”

From: Pittsburgh Post Gazette- Elizabeth Bloom- 1/24/2016

As Meg, mezzo-soprano Laurel Semerdjian had a fine, coppery voice.

nabucco- pittsburgh opera- 2015

From: Pittsburgh Tribune- Mark Kanny- 10/11/2015

Laurel Semerdjian was excellent as Fenena, Nabucco's other daughter, who, like Abigaille, is in love with the Hebrew prince Ismaele. As a result, the first-act trio between the two women and Ismaele was uncommonly well balanced.

From: Pittsburgh Post Gazette- Robert Croan- 10/12/2015 

The Babylonian Fenena, was returning resident artist Laurel Semerdjian, who used her mezzo-soprano appealingly in her last act solo.

From: Pittsburgh Stage Magazine- George B. Parous- 10/10/2015

Laurel Semerdjian once again displayed her mellow, rich mezzo-soprano to fine effect...she presented a charming stage picture and lent winning sympathy to her role.

LE NOZZE DI FIGARO- BELLEVUE CITY OPERA- 2015

From: Michael Kysar- 8/26/2015

Mezzo soprano Laurel Semerdjian in the "pants role" of page boy, Cherubino,  appropriately did her best to steal every scene she was in. "Cherubino has to maintain a careful balance between being charming and being a foolish romantic with a stupid adolescent look on his face." She nailed it, and the audience often laughed out loud.

SUMEIDA'S SONG- PITTSBURGH OPERA- 2015

From: Pittsburgh Post Gazette- Elizabeth Bloom- 02/25/2015

Laurel Semerdjian embodied the role of Asakir. With a flexible vocal texture, ability to match bent pitches with the orchestra and unity of music and drama, the mezzo-soprano delivered a revealing, complex depiction of the character. She dispatched guttural low notes like the babblings of a disturbed woman haunted by 17-year-old nightmares. A gentle vibrato accompanied the stirring final regret, intoned merely as “My son.”

From: Pittsburgh Tribune- Mark Kanny- 02/22/2015

Mezzo-soprano Laurel Semerdjian's portrayal of Asakir was a dramatic and musical tour de force. For nearly all of the opera's one-hour duration, she was potently malevolent. Semerdjian was particularly impressive when Asakir becomes unhinged, a moment when the libretto has her repeat key lines. Her dramatic gestures, including seemingly involuntary twitching, were all the more affecting for being finely graded. By the end of the opera, when she softly sings “My son,” we feel surprising sympathy for Asakir...Semerdjian was also impressive in handling the musical challenges posed by the musical language Fairouz employs.

RODELINDA- Pittsburgh Opera- 2015

From: Pittsburgh Tribune- Mark Kanny- 01/25/2015

Bertarido's sister, Eduige, who rejects Grimoaldo's offer of marriage before he turns to her sister-in-law, was ably performed by mezzo-soprano Laurel Semerdjian. Her voice has appealing weight, intensity and flexibility.

From: The Pittsburgh Stage Online Magazine- George B. Parous- 01/25/2015

Mezzo-soprano Laurel Semerdjian, as Eduige, Bertarido's sister, betrothed to Grimoaldo, more than surpassed the expectations her previous appearances in the small role of Emilia in Otello aroused in November. She, like Muhammad, possesses a fine voice and stage appearance, and it is quite easy to imagine that a distinguished career for her is unfolding before our eyes. 

From: Pittsburgh Owl Scribe- David Zuchowski 

As Eduige, the sister of the usurped king, mezzo Laurel Semerdjian is formidable as both an actor and singer and radiant in a lavish green dress created by costumer Karen Anselm. 

OTELLO- Pittsburgh Opera- 2014

From: The Pittsburgh Stage Online Magazine- George B. Parous- 11/9/14

      The smaller parts were in quite capable hands. As Emilia, wife of Iago and Desdemona’s “duenna,”Laurel Semerdjian made the most of the little she had to sing by displaying a mezzo-soprano of lovely, firm quality. She has the fine sense of “repose” so necessary in a role that requires the subtle art of listening and reacting to what is taking place around her. Her appearances in other productions later in the season will be looked forward to, and it is easy to imagine this talented young woman rising to greater heights.

From: Pittsburgh Tribune-Mark Kanny- 11/9/14

     Secondary roles were effectively handled...Mezzo-soprano Laurel Semerdjian was excellent as Emilia, Desdemona's maid and Iago's wife. 

CARMEN- Music Academy of the West- 2014

From: Opera News, 8/1/14, Sasha Metcalf

Emma McNairy (Frasquita) and Laurel Semerdjian (Mercédès), cast as Carmen’s Gypsy companions, were particularly charismatic in the card scene; their voices also blended beautifully with those of Hunter, Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek (Le Dancaïre) and Mason Neipp (Le Remendado) in the smugglers’ quintet.