Long ago in the palace of Ferrara, three renowned ladies entertained princes with their astonishing musicianship. The “Tre Donne di Ferrara” (Three Ladies of Ferrara) were probably the first female professional musicians. Apollo’s Fire collaborates with three stunning Amandas in virtuoso trios written for the Ferrara ladies, alongside soulful songs by Barbara Strozzi and Francesca Caccini and lively duets from Monteverdi’s playful Scherzi Musicali. Eight instrumentalists join in the fun with dances from the palace and the countryside.
Pre-Concert ZOOM Talks
Don’t miss the lively discussion with 2 AF musicians. Choose Thursday 11/5 or Saturday 11/7 at 1:00pm. A ZOOM link will be sent to all ticket holders for these concerts.
Post-Concert VIRTUAL LOBBY
Meet 2-3 of the featured the artists in our new Q&A ZOOM discussions – Sunday 11/8 (for patrons who attend the live concert) and Tuesday 11/17 at 7:30pm (for patrons who watch the video at home). Sit down with a glass of wine for 30 minutes and toast the musicians on their performance!
The American soprano Amanda Forsythe, highly praised for her performances on both sides of the Atlantic, sang Euridice on the recording of Charpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux enfers with the Boston Early Music Festival which won the 2015 GRAMMY® AWARD for Best Opera Recording. Her highly acclaimed CDs have included her début solo album of Handel arias “The Power of Love” with Apollo’s Fire on the AVIE label. She recently toured with the outstanding French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, performing works based on the Orfeo myth, and subsequently recorded the role of Euridice in a new edition of Gluck’s Orfeo for the ERATO label.
Equally at home on the concert platform and on the opera stage, in recent seasons Amanda Forsythe’s major engagements have included Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Boston Symphony under Andris Nelsons and the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Susanna Mälkki, Handel’s Sileti venti and Laudate pueri with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Nicholas Kraemer, Messiah with Seattle Symphony, Bach’s Magnificat and concert performances as Marzelline Fidelio with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Sir Antonio Pappano. Following performances as Amour in Gluck’s Orphée at London’s Royal Opera House, she participated in tours of this work, and of Mozart’s C Minor Mass and Requiem with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra under Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
She is a regular soloist with the highly acclaimed baroque ensembles Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (PBO), Apollo’s Fire, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Pacific Musicworks, the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra. She sang the title role of Teseo with PBO at the Tanglewood and Mostly Mozart Festivals under Nicholas McGegan, and made her début at the Oregon Bach Festival in Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Magnificat under Matthew Halls.
Amanda Forsythe made her USA stage début with the Boston Early Music Festival, where her many roles have included Poppea and Drusilla L’incoronazione di Poppea, Niobe and Manto (recording) in Steffani’s Niobe, regina di Tebe, Aglaure in Psyché (Lully), Venus in Venus and Adonis (John Blow), Pallas in The Judgment of Paris (Eccles), Isabelle in Le Carnaval de Venise (Campra), Serpina in La serva padrona and Edilia in Almira, Königin von Castilien, for which she received rave reviews. Having made her début at Seattle Opera as Iris in Semele, Amanda Forsythe recently returned there to sing Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. Her operatic repertoire also includes Poppea in Agrippina, the title role in Partenope, Dorinda in Orlando, Amenaide in Tancredi, Bastienne in Bastien und Bastienne, Ninfa/Proserpina in Orfeo, Amore in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Oberto in Alcina, Dafne in Apollo e Dafne, Atalanta in Xerxes, Vagaus in Juditha Triumphans and roles in Les Indes Galantes and The Fairy Queen.
She made her European operatic début in the role of Corinna in Il viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, subsequently returning to perform Rosalia in L’equivoco stravagante, and Jemmy in Guillaume Tell, described by one critic as “…the best singing of this crucial part I’ve ever encountered…”. At her invitation, Amanda Forsythe joined the distinguished American mezzo-soprano Joyce di Donato in a performance of Bellini duets in the festival’s ‘Malibran’ recital.
Major European opera house engagements have included Dalinda in Ariodante in Geneva and Munich and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro, Manto in Steffani’s Niobe, regina di Tebe, Amour in Gluck’s Orphée and Nannetta in Falstaff at London’s Royal Opera House. Her performance as Nannetta was described by Gramophone Magazine as “meltingly beautiful”.
Amanda Forsythe’s recordings include Venus in Venus and Adonis, Aglaure in Lully’s Psyché, and La Grande Pretresse in Lully’s Thésée with the Boston Early Music Festival (all for CPO), Manto in Steffani’s Niobe with BEMF (Erato), the title role in Handel’s Teseo with Philharmonia Baroque (PBO’s own label), Bach’s St. John Passion and Messiah with Apollo’s Fire (AVIE), Dorinda 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). Her latest CD of Steffani duets with the Boston Early Music Festival was awarded the Diapason d’Or in January 2018.
has been praised as “the star of the evening” (Seen and Heard International, UK) and “charismatic and theatrically arresting” (San Francisco Chronicle). A highly versatile musician, she is at home in repertoire from Monteverdi to Mozart to Ravel, and has toured internationally as soloist in baroque opera, oratorio, and crossover folk programs. Her tour performances with GRAMMY-winning baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire (Jeannette Sorrell) include such venues as the National Concert Hall of Ireland in Dublin, the Irish National Opera House, the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the National Gallery in Washington, and Zellerbach Hall in San Francisco, among others. Her 2019 debut as Messiah soloist with the Calgary Symphony won kudos as “the soloist of the night… singing to perfection.”
As a recording artist, Ms Powell has been featured on several Apollo’s Fire albums including Sugarloaf Mountain, Sephardic Journey, and Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain, all of which received rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic and debuted in the top ten on the BILLBOARD Classical Chart. Her 2015 solo debut album, Beyond Boundaries, is an intimate program of folk, jazz, and global music. She is a fluent improvisor and has collaborated with such artists as Bobby McFerrin and Sheila Jordan.
Mezzo-soprano Amanda Crider has been recognized for her “gleaming vocalism” (Boston Globe), “star acting” (Urban Milwaukee), and “superbly clear diction and warmly burnished timbre” (South Florida Classical Review). In demand for performances of classical and contemporary opera alike, Ms. Crider created the role of Alma in Keeril Makan and Jay Scheib’s Persona in its world premiere with the Beth Morrison Projects and later at LA Opera, about which the New York Times raved, “The Mezzo-Soprano, Amanda Crider, made a winsome, vulnerable, and when the story turns dark, wildly volatile Alma, who for long stretches carries the entire opera,” and San Francisco Classical Voice declared, “Crider’s performance was a tour-de-force for its sustained vocal luster, dramatic variation, and sheer amount of singing.”
Most recently, Ms. Crider was seen as the title character in L’incoronazione di Poppea at Florentine Opera, a role that she “wielded with beauty and charisma” (Voix des arts). Boston University News Service declared her “the true star” for her leading role in Boston Lyric Opera’s production of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek, and Opera News lauded her “beautiful work” and “agility” playing the English Teacher in Gregory Spears and Kathryn Walat’s 2019 recording of Paul’s Case, a role which Crider premiered with the Prototype Festival and Urban Arias in 2013.
Ms. Crider’s 2019-20 season includes a debut with the Calgary Symphony, performances with the GRAMMY®-nominated ensemble Seraphic Fire, soloist in Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Penelope with Nu Deco Ensemble, a duo recital with countertenor Reggie Mobley, and two separate appearances with Jacksonville Symphony in Beethoven’s Mass in C and Manuel de Falla’s Three Cornered Hat.
A sought-after soloist and recitalist on the concert stage, Ms. Crider has appeared regularly with Seraphic Fire and Apollo’s Fire, as well as performed with the Bach Festival Society of Florida, the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Cooperstown Chamber Music Festival, the Symphony Orchestras of Eugene, Savannah, Charlotte, Syracuse, Charleston, Amarillo, Southwest Michigan and Jacksonville, and Philharmonic Orchestras of Louisiana, Carnegie Mellon and Greeley. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in the fall of 2007 singing as mezzo soloist in Messiah with the New England Symphonic Ensemble, and returned the following season as soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. She has performed as a soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Bach’s B minor Mass, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C minor, Britten’s Phaedra, Bach’s St. John Passion, Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony and Ravel’s Chansons Madécasses, and has been a featured recitalist on the Trinity Church Concerts at One Series and with Five Boroughs Music Festival. Of her New World Symphony performance of de Falla’s El Amor Brujo in 2014, South Florida Classical Review boasted, “Amanda Crider’s smoky mezzo-soprano assayed the flamenco vocal solos with gutsy abandon,” as well as celebrating “Her rhythmic acuity and incisive declamation.”
Ms. Crider’s first foray into the operatic world as L’Enfant in L’Enfant et les Sortilèges at the Tanglewood Music Center in 2001 was hailed by Opera News as “delightful,” the Boston Globe stating she sang with “ineffable tenderness.” Since then, she has delighted audiences in the roles of Angelina (La Cenerentola), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Sesto (Handel Giulio Cesare), the title role in Carmen, Nellie Forbush (South Pacific), Diana (Orpheus in the Underworld), Speranza/Pastore #3 (Monteverdi L’Orfeo), Siébel (Faust), Olga (Eugene Onegin), Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Laurey (Oklahoma) and Mallika (Lakmé) at companies including the Dallas Opera, Orlando Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Knoxville Opera, Opera Omaha, Nevada Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera and Eugene Opera, Anchorage Opera and Opera Boston, New York City Opera, Castleton Festival and Glimmerglass Opera.
Ms. Crider was a 2012 grant recipient from the Pittsburgh Concert Society, and a 2011 finalist in both the Joy in Singing Debut Artist Competition and the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition. In addition she was a 2009 finalist in the José Iturbi International Voice Competition, the 2nd Place Winner in the 2008 Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year Competition, 2007 Recipient of the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition David and Ingrid Kosowsky Award, Finalist in the 2006 Oratorio Society of New York Vocal Competition and 2005 Center for Contemporary Opera Competition, and a 2003 Recipient of a Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation. Ms. Crider is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Miami’s Art Song concert series, IlluminArts.