American soprano Laura Wilde’s first love was the trumpet. Growing up in South Dakota, opera was in scarce supply and her heart was set on becoming a professional trumpet player. It wasn’t until she attended Michigan’s Interlochen Arts Camp in her teens that she began to develop an interest in singing thanks to voice lessons she’d decided to take up on a whim. Wilde eventually ended up at college in Minnesota, where she had been accepted for a degree in both trumpet and voice. But it wasn’t long until she recognised that opera might just be the thing.
Laura Wilde. Photo © Gillian Riesen
“In the practice room I would be there for hours switching between trumpet and singing, and I eventually realised that I was wanting to sing a lot more than I was playing. But I still wasn’t sure – it’s a bizarre career and you don’t really know what it involves as a student. But I got to do some performances and really enjoyed it, whereas with trumpet I used to shake with nerves. Singing, I didn’t get nervous.”
Wilde ended up switching her major to vocal performance halfway through...