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Amanda Forsythe (Soprano)

Born: 1976 - Lloyd Harbor, near New York City, New York, USA

The American light lyric soprano, Amanda Forsythe, was in New York City, with a sister and grew up on Roosevelt Island and later in Lloyd Harbor, New York where she graduated from Cold Spring Harbor High School. She entered Vassar College in 1994 where she initially studied Marine Biology. She graduated from Vassar in 1998 with a degree in music and went on to graduate studies in vocal performance at the New England Conservatory of Music (NECM). While there she was a student of Mary Ann Hart and Susan Clickner. Ironically, she was not accepted into the conservatory's opera workshop program so the soprano ended up seeking performance opportunities elsewhere while continuing to study at NECM. She ended up performing in a production of Cavalli's Giasone at Harvard University. This production impacted her life positively in both professional and personal ways. The opera introduced her to her husband, conductor Edward Elwyn Jones (they met while doing this opera and married in the summer of 2005) and Martin Pearlman, the director of Boston Baroque. Martin Pearlman came to one of the opera's performances and was so intrigued by Forsythe's performance that he asked her to come and audition. She has subsequently been cast in numerous productions with the company.

In 2003, Amanda Forsythe was the winner of the George London Foundation Awards and Awards and was sponsored by them in her New York recital debut. She was the 2nd-place winner of the Liederkranz Foundation competition, and received an honorable mention in the 2005 Walter W. Naumburg Foundation Awards. She was also a vocal fellow at Tanglewood Music Center for two summers and has apprenticed at Chicago's Ravinia Festival and the Caramoor Festival. At Tanglewood, she originated the role of young Margarita in the world premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar and replaced Dawn Upshaw in the lead role for one performance.

Amanda Forsythe made her European operatic debut in the role of Corinna Il viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro which led to an immediate invitation to make her début at the Grand Théâtre de Genève as Dalinda in Ariodante where she was proclaimed “the discovery of the evening” (Financial Times). She returned to the Rossini Opera Festival to perform the role of Rosalia in L’equivoco stravagante and Bellini duets in the ‘Malibran’ recital at the invitation of Joyce DiDonato, and, most recently, Jemmy in the new production of Guillaume Tell for which she received considerable critical acclaim.

Amanda Forsythe made her debuts at the Bavarian State Opera, Munich as Dalinda in Ariodante and as Barbarina in W.A. Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (2010) and the Theatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. She returned to Covent Garden to perform the roles of Manto in Steffani’s Niobe, regina di Tebe under Thomas Hengelbrock and Nannetta in Falstaff under Daniele Gatti, described by Gramophone Magazine as “meltingly beautiful”. She also sang Nannetta for Opéra d’Angers-Nantes.

Amanda Forsythe made her USA stage début with Boston Early Music Festival, where her roles have included Niobe and Manto (recording) in Niobe, regina di Tebe, Aglaure in Lully’s Psyché, Venus in Venus and Adonis (John Blow), Drusilla in L'incoronazione di Poppea, Pallas in Eccles’ The Judgment of Paris and Edilia in George Frideric Handel's Almira, for which she received rave reviews.

Amanda Forsythe’s operatic repertoire also includes Iris in Semele, Poppea in Agrippina, the title role in Partenope, Amenaide in Rossini’s Tancredi, Bastienne in W.A. Mozart's Bastien und Bastienne, Serpina in Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's La serva padrona, Ninfa/Proserpina in Orfeo (Monteverdi), Amore in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Oberto in G.F. Handel's Alcina, Dafne in Apollo e Dafne, Atalanta in Xerxes, and roles in Les Indes Galantes and The Fairy Queen.

Amanda Forsythe created the role of Young Margarta/Nuria in Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, a role which she later repeated with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Calgary Philharmonic. She also received high critical acclaim for her debut as The Angel in the North American premiere of Péter Eötvös’ opera, Angels in America. She has also sung world premières by John Austin and Elena Ruher, and recorded songs by the composer Ken Sullivan.

Amanda Forsythe’s concert engagements in North America have included her recent debuts at the Tanglewood Festival and Lincoln Center in the title role of Teseo with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and her debut with Seattle Symphony Orchestra in G.F. Handel's Messiah. Other highlights have included Dorinda in Orlando and G.F. Handel's Il trionfo del tempo with Early Music Vancouver, Dafne in Apollo e Dafne with Pacific Musicworks, and Haydn and W.A. Mozart's arias with Apollo's Fire, G.F. Handel's arias with Portland Baroque Orchestra, W.A. Mozart's Mass in C Minor with the Handel and Haydn Society, and Haydn’s Creation and Messiah with the Charlotte Symphony.

Overseas major concert engagements have included Alexander’s Feast with the Ulster Orchestra and L’allegro, il perseroso, ed il moderato with the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, both under Kenneth Montgomery, Rossini Arias at Gran Teatro la Fenice in Venice, Alessandro Scarlatti's Cantata Pastorale per la natività and arias from Messiah with the Brabants Philharmonic Orchestra in the Netherlands, and Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with L’Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Mexico.

Amanda Forsythe is a regular soloist with the highly acclaimed Baroque ensembles Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Apollo's Fire, Boston Baroque and Pacific Musicworks. She has also performed at the Harvard Early Music Society and with the Masterworks Chorale, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Florestan Project, Omaha Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, and the Boston Chamber Music Society among other organizations. Her concert repertoire also includes G.F. Handel's Israel in Egypt, W.A. Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate, Antonio Vivaldi’s Nulla in mundo pax sincera, G.B. Pergolesi's Stabat Mater and Orff’s Carmina Burana. She is particularly admired for her interpretations of Baroque music and the works of Rossini. She has received continued critical acclaim from many publications including Opera News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe. She has been praised by Opera News for her “light and luster", “wonderful agility and silvery top notes”.

Chronological Career

Amanda Forsythe made her professiodebut in 2001 as Proserpina/Ninfa in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo with Boston Baroque. In the 2002-2003 season, she performed the role of Cleopatra in G.F. Handel's Giulio Cesare in Egitto with Hudson Opera Theatre. She also performed the role of Amore in Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria with Boston Baroque. In the 2003-2004 season, she performed J.S. Bach's Wedding and Coffee Cantatas (BWV 209 & BWV 211) and the role of Oberto in G.F. Handel's Alcina with Boston Baroque. She also made her debut at the Caramoor Festival in two productions created by the Handel and Haydn Society. These included the role of Cendrillon in Pauline Viardot's Cendrillon, and as Un Trojano in Gluck's Paride ed Elena. In the 2004-2005 season, she performed the role of Serpina in G.B. Pergolesi's La serva padrona with Boston Baroque.

In the 2005-2006 season, Amanda Forsythe made her debut with Opera Boston and Opera Unlimited as the Angel in Péter Eötvös' Angels in America. She also sang various roles in Boston Baroque's production of Purcell's The Fairy-Queen, including the role of the Chinese woman who sings the famous aria "Hark how the echoing air". In the 2006-2007 season, she made her debut at the Boston Early Music Festival performing the role of Aglaure in the North American premiere of Lully's Psyché. She also recorded the role in the landmark first recording of this opera. In addition, she sang the role of Vagaus in Boston Baroque's production of A. Vivaldi's oratorio Juditha triumphans. She also sang G.F. Handel's Messiah with the Charlotte Symphony and Apollo's Fire. In the 2007-2008 season, she made her European debut singing Corinna in Rossini's Il viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. She also made her debuts at the Grand Théâtre de Genève and the Bayerische Staatsoper as Dalinda in G.F. Handel's Ariodante, and returned to Opera Boston to perform the role of Iris in G.F. Handel's Semele. She also reprised the role of Young Margarita in Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar with the Calgary Philharmonic. In addition, she performed Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico and also made her debut at La Fenice in a concert of Rossini arias. In the 2008-2009 season, she sang Rosalia in Rossini's L'equivoco stravagante and in a recital with Joyce DiDonato at the Rossini Opera Festival. She also performed the role of Atalanta in G.F. Handel's Xerxes with Boston Baroque, Venus in Blow's Venus and Adonis at the winter Boston Early Music Festival, Barbarina in W.A. Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and Ellenia in Christoph Graupner's Antiochus und Stratonica at the summer Boston Early Music Festival. Additionally, she appeared in concerts with the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, Apollo's Fire: the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife, and at the Festival Casals.

In 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 seasons, Amanda Forsythe sang Pamina in W.A. Mozart's Die Zauberflöte with Opera Vlaanderen, Gent (January 2013); Edilia in Almira with Boston Early Music Festival (June 2013); Jemmy in Guillaume Tell at Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro (August 2013); Teseo in Teseo conducted by Nicholas McGegan in Tanglewood, Lenox (April 2014). She recently made her debut at Seattle Opera as Iris in Semele (February-March 2015), which resulted in an immediate invitation to return to sing Pamina in W.A. Mozart's Die Zauberflöte in May 2017. In the Autumn she returns to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as Amour in Gluck’s Orfeo under Sir John Eliot Gardiner (September-October 2015), a role she then repeats in concerts with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra (October 2015), before returning to the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to sing the role of Marzelline in concert performances of L.v. Beethoven's Fidelio (October 2016). She also recently sang Poppea in Agrippina for Boston Baroque. She sang Poppea in L'incoronazione di Poppea (conducted by Paul O'Dette/Stephen Stubbs), Giunone in Il Ritorno d'Ulisse (conducted by Paul O'Dette/Stephen Stubbs), and the Monteverdi Vespers for the 2015 Boston Early Music Festival (June 2015).

On the concert platform, Amanda Forsythe recently made her debut with the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome in performances of J.S. Bach's Magnificat (BWV 243) under Sir Antonio Pappano (March 2015). In January 2016 she made her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons in Felix Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night’s Dream, following a tour of W.A. Mozart's Requiem and Mass in C minor with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra under Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Other forthcoming concert engagements include Messiah with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Kansas City Symphony, J.S. Bach's Cantata BWV 51 and A. Vivaldi's Gloria with Seattle Symphony Orchestra, G.F. Handel and A. Vivaldi's Concert arias and performances and a recording of J.S. Bach's St John Passion (BWV 245) with Apollo's Fire under Jeannette Sorrell.

Forthcoming engaments include: Les Fétes vénitiennes [new production] with Boston Early Music Festival at Cutler Majestic Theatre (June 2017); Serpina in La serva padrona with Boston Early Music Festival at New England Conservatory in Boston and Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington (June 2017); Edilia in Almira with Boston Early Music Festival at New England Conservatory (November 2017); Iole in Hercules with Handel and Haydn Society in Boston under Harry Christophers (May 2018).

Amanda Forsythe's recordings include Euridice in Charpentier’s La déscente d'Orphée aux enfers, which won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording, as well as Venus in Venus and Adonis, Aglaure in Lully’s Psyché, and La Grande Pretressein Lully’s Thésée with Boston Early Music Festival (a nominee for the 50th Grammy awards) (all for CPO), Manto Steffani’s Niobe with BEMF (Erato), the title role in G.F. Handel’s Teseo with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (PBO’s own label) , W.A. Mozart's Lucio Silla: In un istante Parto, m'affretto and Messiah with Apollo's Fire (Avie), Minerve, Dorinda in G.F. Handel’s Orlando with Early Music Vancouver (ATMA) and Haydn’s Creation with Boston Baroque (Linn). She also sings on the DVD recordings of the Pesaro productions of L'equivoco stravagante and Guillaume Tell as well as Manto in the Royal Opera production of Steffani’s Niobe (Opus Arte). In Autumn 2015 her debut solo recording of G.F. Handel's arias with Apollo's Fire was released on the Avie label.


Source: Amanda Forsythe Website; Wikipedia Website (March 2017); Bits & pieces from other sources; Photos 01-09: Arielle Doneson
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2017)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Jeannette Sorrell


V-2 (2016): BWV 245 [2nd recording]

Links to other Sites

Amanda Forsythe (Official Website)
Amanda Forsythe on Facebook
Helen Sykes Artists' Management: Amanda Forsythe

Amanda Forsythe (Wikipedia)
Amanda Forsythe (Royal Opera Gouse)
Amanda Forsythe, soprano (Opera Base)

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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Last update: Thursday, June 29, 2017 00:29