Amanda Forsythe's debut album, with Apollo's Fire

Photo by Mark Satola
Photo by Mark Satola
Featured Audio

AVIE Records (UK) and Apollo’s Fire, The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, proudly announce the release of their 11th recording project together:  the debut solo album of acclaimed soprano, Amanda Forsythe.  Under the direction of Apollo’s Fire Music Director Jeannette Sorrell, the disc is titled “The Power of Love:  Arias from Handel Operas.” The CD has just been released. 

In celebration of the album’s release, Forsythe joins Sorrell and the orchestra for an Eastern U.S. tour of the program in November, performing selections from the CD alongside orchestral concertos by Vivaldi and J.S. Bach. Apollos’ Fire and Amanda will present the debut performance of the program in CLEVELAND, OHIO with a send-off concert and CD RELEASE PARTY at Baldwin Wallace College.

Fresh from their sold-out debuts this summer at the BBC Proms (London) and Tanglewood festivals, and with five Billboard bestseller CDs already to their credit, “Apollo’s Fire under the direction of [Jeannette] Sorrell has put Cleveland firmly on the period-performance map” (The New Yorker). Their sold-out Tanglewood debut this summer won a rave review in the Boston Musical Intelligencer: “Baroque orchestra conquers Tanglewood…  Only a few minutes into the concert… one realized that this was going to be no typical Baroque sewing-machine outing. The dramatic cadenza of astonishing virtuosity [in Brandenburg no. 5] was indeed hair-raising and brilliantly played.  The encore truly brought the house down.”

Apollo’s Fire is delighted to collaborate with soprano Amanda Forsythe, whose dazzling coloratura and expressive lyricism have taken Covent Garden, the Rossini Festival in Pesaro and the Boston Early Music Festival by storm.  Forsythe, whose voice soars, spins and sparkles” (Wall Street Journal) is currently performing alongside Juan Diego Flórez at Covent Garden in Gluck’s Orphée.

About the collaboration:
The CD is born of a long-standing and affectionate artistic relationship between Sorrell and Forsythe.  Forsythe made her debut with Apollo’s Fire in Cleveland 2006, and since then has been a favorite with Apollo’s Fire audiences, returning regularly for performances of Handel’s Messiah, Mozart arias, and Handel opera arias.  She is featured on two other Apollo’s Fire discs for AVIE.   The first was Handel’s Messiah (2010), hailed by FANFARE Record Magazine as "youthfully vibrant… The playing suggests an almost improvisatory quality... both discipline and abandon where required... Lucid, forceful, and supportive."  The New York Times observed, “The players take their namesake ‘fire’ to heart.”  Forsythe also appears on an Apollo’s Fire Mozart disc where she sings the coloratura aria “Parto m’affretto” from Lucio Silla, for which she received widespread critical acclaim.

Cleveland Performance Details

Sunday, November 15, 4:00 PM –  Gamble Auditorium, Baldwin Wallace University

                                                                                 96 Front Street, Berea, OH 44017

 

Tickets for this performance are available now through AF:  1-800-314-2535 or apollosfire.org Tickets range from $21-$68 with discounts for students, seniors, groups and young adults. Call for discount details.

 

AFTERGLOW - CD Release Party! Cash bar serving sparkling cider and cheesecake. Meet Amanda and get your CD autographed!

 

About the CD:
In this new recording, “The Power of Love,” Amanda Forsythe and Apollo’s Fire explore the works of George Frideric Handel – the personality who dominated the London opera stage for three decades in the first half of the 18th century.  As Sorrell observes in her liner notes, Handel was the “Andrew Lloyd Webber” of 18th-century London, and his meteoric career scaled the heights of success and the depths of failure.  “The Power of Love” traverses the emotional range of Handel’s work, from tragedy to flirtation to fiery rage arias sparkling with coloratura. 

Forsythe and Sorrell collaborated on the selection of arias – a musical journey traversing nine different operas.  Interwoven between the arias are movements of the ballet suite Terpsichore, which Handel originally inserted between scenes of the opera Il Pastor Fido.  Through Forsythe’s “Handel mastery” (New York Times) and Apollo’s Fire’s “superlative music-making and European stylishness” (The Daily Telegraph, London), the program ignites the passions of the Baroque - love, angst and revenge. 

Aria selections include:  Amor è qual vento, from Orlando; Geloso tormento, from Almira; Un cenno leggiadretto, from Xerxes;  Qual farfalletta, from Partenope;  Piangerò, from Giulio Cesare; Il primo ardor, from Ariodante; Dunque I lacci/Ah crudel, from Rinaldo; Tornami a vagheggiar, from Alcina; Amarti si vorrei, from Teseo; and Da Tempeste, from Giulio Cesare

 

Amanda Forsythe is recognized internationally as one of today’s finest lyric sopranos and a leading interpreter of baroque repertoire.  Praised for her “Handel mastery” (New York Times), she is particularly admired as a coloratura singer and noted for her “light and luster, wonderful agility and silvery top notes” (Opera News).

Born in New York City, she received her university education at Vassar College before studying vocal performance at New England Conservatory.  She made her New York recital debut as the winner of the 2003 George London Foundation Awards.  She also received prizes from the Liederkranz Foundation and the Naumburg Foundation.

Ms. Forsythe made her European operatic debut in 2007 in the role of Corinna in Il viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro.  This led to an immediate invitation to debut at the Grand Théâtre de Genève as Dalinda (Ariodante), where she was proclaimed “the discovery of the evening” (Financial Times).  Her subsequent returns to the Rossini Opera Festival include Bellini duets in the ‘Malibran’ recital at the invitation of Joyce di Donato, and most recently the role of Jemmy in Guillaume Tell with Juan Diego Florez.  Other notable European debuts include Dalinda (Ariodante) at the Bavarian State Opera, Munich, and Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. Since then she has returned to Covent Garden several times, including the roles of Manto in Steffani’s Niobe, Nannetta in Falstaff (described by Gramophone as “meltingly beautiful”), and most recently, Amour in Gluck’s Orphée under Sir John Eliot Gardiner, to open the 2015-16 season.  In 2016 she tours with Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists in the Mozart Requiem and Mozart C Minor Mass.

In the U.S., she is a frequent opera soloist with the Boston Early Music Festival, including the roles of Niobe and Manto in Steffani's Niobe, Poppea in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, and Edilia in Handel's Almira, for which she received rave reviews.  Her debut performance as Iris (Semele) for Seattle Opera led to a return invitation in the role of Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) in 2017.  

As a concert artist, she appears frequently with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (San Francisco), Apollo’s Fire (Cleveland), Boston Baroque, and Pacific MusicWorks (Seattle). She recently made her debut with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under the baton of Sir Antonio Pappano, where she will return for concert performances of Fidelio (Marzelline) in 2017. Other concert and oratorio highlights include the title role in Handel’s Teseo with Philharmonia Baroque at Tanglewood and Lincoln Center; Messiah with the Seattle Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque, and Apollo’s Fire; Handel’s Orlando and Il trionfo del tempo with Early Music Vancouver; and Bach’s St John Passion as well as Handel, Haydn and Mozart arias with Apollo’s Fire. In 2016 she makes her debut with The Boston Symphony under Andris Nelsons in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Ms. Forsythe can be heard on several CD recordings with the Boston Early Music Festival, including the 2015 GRAMMY-winning recording of Charpentier’s La descente d'Orphée aux enfers.  Other CDs include Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s "Parto m’affretto" (from Lucio Silla) with Apollo’s Fire (Avie); the title role in Handel’s Teseo with Philharmonia Baroque (PBO’s own label); and Handel’s Orlando with Early Music Vancouver (ATMA).  DVD recordings include the Pesaro productions of L'equivoco stravagante and Guillaume Tell.  "The Power of Love" with Apollo’s Fire and Jeannette Sorrell is Ms. Forsythe’s debut solo recording.

 

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