The American mezzo-soprano, Laura Beckel Tohreson, obtained her Bachelor of Music degree in Voice from Central Washington University, as a student of Diane Thueson Reichl and her Master of Music degree in Voice from Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in Bloomington, studying under Distinguished Professor Timothy Noble. She is a current Performer Diploma candidate at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University,
Praised for her warm, rich tone quality, sensitive musicality, and compelling stage presence, Laura Beckel Thoreson is a rising presence in the opera and concert world. Equally at home in the opera house, on the concert stage, and in the recital hall, She has appeared as a guest artist with such groups as Portland Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Augusta Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Indiana University Opera Theatre, the Oregon Symphony, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, San Juan Symphony, the Bach Cantata Choir and Orchestra, Portland, Oregon, and more, and has been a four-time guest artist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. She has performed as a soloist in many concert works, including J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor (BWV 232), Magnificat (BWV 243), and Johannes-Passion (BWV 245),George Frideric Handel's Judas Maccabeus and Messiah, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah, W.A. Mozart's Coronation Mass and Solemn Vespers, Purcell's Thy Word is a Lantern, Ottorino Respighi's Laud to the Nativity, Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria and many more.
Opera roles include Nefertiti in Philip Glass' Akhnaten, the Old Lady in Leonard Bernstein's Candide, La Zia Principessa in Puccini's Suor Angelica, Jo March in Adamo's Little Women, Orfeo in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, Suzy in Puccini's La Rondine and Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. Opera scenes--prepared under the tutelage of world-renowned soprano Carol Vaness--include Dame Quickly in Verdi's Falstaff, Adalgisa in Bellini's Norma, Hansel in Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel, Nerone in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, Rosina in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia and Suzuki in Puccini's Madama Butterfly.
In 2012, Laura Thoreson was invited to give a recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as part of the Conservatory Project, where she performed the Seguidilla from Georges Bizet's Carmen, Manuel de Falla's Siete canciones populares espanolas, and Rossini's Canzonetta Spagnuola. Fortunate to be married to skilled collaborative pianist Joel Thoreson, she enjoys performing recitals in a wide variety of musical genres, including classical art song, early and new music, musical theater, and jazz. Also in 2012, she was thrilled to record Don Freund's Medicine Wheel, a duet cycle for soprano and mezzo-soprano written for Laura Thoreson, soprano Arwen Myers, and Native American flautist and former principal flautist of the Philadelphia Orchestra James Pellerite. An advocate for new music, she has enjoyed appearing as a soloist with the Indiana University New Music Ensemble (Eric Lindsay's award-winning Piano) and Contemporary Vocal Ensemble (Arvo Pärt's Missa Syllabica), in addition to other contemporary music groups.
A great choral music enthusiast, Laura Thoreson has been a member of several professional ensembles, including The Kammerbach Ensemble, Aguava New Music Studio, Apollo's Voice, Vox Reflexa, Prometheus, and Portland-based Cappella Romana, Resonance Ensemble, Trinity Chamber Singers, and The Ensemble of Oregon. She has had the pleasure of performing with several high-level choirs throughout her career, including Indiana University's Contemporary Vocal Ensemble and Indiana University Singers and early music ensemble Indiana University Pro Arte Singers. She has sung with the cathedral choir at St. Mary's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, and with Collegium Musicum at St. James Proto-Cathedral in Vancouver, Washington, and Northminster Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In addition, Laura Thoreson has worked as a recording artist with AireBorn Studios in Indianapolis, recording demos for Boosey and Hawkes, Hal Leonard, and other major music publishers, and with Oregon Catholic Press in Portland.
Laura Thoreson has been fortunate to work with such illustrious conductors, coaches, directors, and teachers as Arthur Fagen, William Jon Gray, Craig Jessop, Raymond Leppard, Kevin Noe, Robert Porco, Michael Ehrman, Candace Evans, Carol Vaness, Gary Arvin, Kevin Murphy, Kathryn Weld, Timothy Noble, Patricia Wise, and Paul Kiesgen.
Recent engagements include: performances as Nefertiti in Philip Glass' Akhnaten with Indianapolis Opera and Indiana University Opera Theatre, J.S. Bach's Magnificat (BWV 243) and W.A. Mozart's Solemn Vespers with Incendio Music Ensemble and the Gonzaga University Choir in Spokane, Washington, G.F. Handel's Messiah with the San Juan Symphony, Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria with the Bach Cantata Choir and Chamber Orchestra, Portland, Oregon, and several recitals, master-classes and vocal clinics in the Pacific Northwest.
Upcoming engagements include the title role in Purcell's Dido & Aeneas with The Ensemble of Oregon, a duets recital and launch of the new Northwest ArtSong Collective with soprano Arwen Myers, a faculty recital at the University of Portland with mezzo-soprano Valery Saul featuring the music of Gabriel Fauré, Ravel, Francis Poulenc, and Debussy, and performances with Portland Opera, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Cappella Romana, The Bach Cantata Choir and Orchestra, Trinity Chamber Singers, and further performances with The Ensemble of Oregon, among others.
Laura Thoreson was recently appointed to the voice faculty at the University of Portland, and maintains a private voice studio in the area, in addition to her active performing schedule. Ms. Thoreson is an enthusiastic member of NATS (the National Association of Teachers of Singing), and is a frequent clinician and adjudicator for choral programs, festivals, and vocal competitions throughout the Northwest.