Acclaimed by The New York Times for her “melting voice and youthful radiance”, American soprano Lauren Yokabaskas is quickly establishing herself as an engaging and versatile artist, captivating audiences with her creamy “rich-toned” lyric soprano and statuesque stage presence to match.
In the current season, Ms. Yokabaskas joined The Chautauqua Opera Company, North America's oldest continuously operating summer opera company, as an Apprentice Artist, earning her place among just 24 young artists from a competitive pool of over 900 applicants. She sang the roles of Roxanne Conti in ¡Figaro! (90210) and Rosina in The Ghosts of Versailles.
On the concert stage, she was selected to debut a world premiere composition for soprano and orchestra by Composer-in-Residence, Gilda Lyons, “When I’m Away from You, I Feel Like the Second-Place Winner in a Bee-Wearing Contest” commissioned by American Opera Projects. Under the baton of Maestro Stuart Chafetz, Ms. Yokabaskas and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra gave a dynamic and ethereal performance met with thunderous applause, and setting her apart as a young artist to watch.
This fall, Ms. Yokabaskas will makes her company debut with Portland Opera as Mimì in La bohème for their northwest regional tour, performing across Oregon and Washington.
Most recently, Ms. Yokabaskas was named the first place winner of the New York Lyric Opera Theatre 2019 National Vocal Competition at the Weill Recital Hall at Carneige Hall. The competition featured national finalists chosen from across the United States, with auditions held in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, and Miami.
Ms. Yokabaskas made her international debut singing the leading role of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte in Berlin, Germany, under the baton of Maestro Andrew Wise and innovative direction of Gidon Saks. As a Young Artist with the premier European opera training program, Berlin Opera Academy, she sang in master classes with Phillip Moll, a longtime collaborator of Jessye Norman, and soprano Kim-Lillian Strebel.
In her final year at Mannes: The New School for Music, she sang the title role in Samuel Barber’s Vanessa in a triumphant performance described by Opera News as “acted with passion and admirable subtlety… she sang with tonal sheen, impressive accuracy and remarkable dynamic control.” As a Mannes Opera Young Artist, she was notably successful, singing under the baton of mentor Maestro Joseph Colaneri in Le nozze di Figaro, Flight, and Il Postino, in addition to Vanessa.
Ms. Yokabaskas has studied and performed numerous opera scenes, including the roles of Mimì in La bohème, The Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Nedda in Pagliacci. She also sang in selective master classes for Ken Benson, Deborah Birnbaum, Mary Birnbaum, Will Crutchfield, and Gayletha Nichols.
In prior seasons, she made her professional New York City debut as Rosario in the rarely performed Goyescas with “feisty little opera company” Bare Opera, and Rosalinde in a National Opera Association Award winning performance of Die Fledermaus with Purchase Opera. Other past favorites include Gertrud in Hänsel und Gretel, Noémie in Cendrillon, and Mother in Amahl & the Night Visitors.
Ms. Yokabaskas is a recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including The Barbara C. Littlefield Vocal Scholarship and the prestigious Gould Award from the Portland Rossini Club, the oldest musical club in the United States. She holds a Professional Studies Diploma and Master of Music in Voice from Mannes: The New School for Music, and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Opera Studies from Purchase College, State University of New York. She is a proud native of Cape Elizabeth, Maine.