"Forsythe’s voice is marvelous — clear, florid, and warm at the same time — but the context highlighted her fundamentally superb rhythm. In the faster of her six Handel arias, passagework darted with glinting precision, exhilaratingly even, with confidently audacious ornamentation. (Forsythe’s coloratura provocations in “Tornami a vagheggiar” dropped with timing so exquisite it verged on comic.) But even in slower numbers — “Geloso tormento” (with a plangent oboe obbligato by Debra Nagy), or the moody “Amarti si vorrei,” or especially “Piangerò,” Cleopatra in the depths of despair — Forsythe stretched time without sacrificing temporal structure, the sense of underlying implacability against which the music could expressively push. A two-part encore summed up the evening: Forsythe’s poignant but impeccably controlled rendition of Henry Purcell’s “If love’s a sweet passion” led directly into a thumping, bustling, rather insistent performance of an O’Carolan jig. It was competing forms of stardom: charismatic poise and assertive likability."

The Boston Globe/ Matthew Guerrieri

 

"Forsythe possesses a jaw-dropping facility with the burbling lines and clarion ranges so idiomatic to Baroque music, and she is beloved to local audiences, having performed as soloist with Boston Baroque and the Boston Early Music Festival on numerous occasions. She sang with a shimmering tone and a fine ear to the emotional content of the Handel arias that she presented, fully capturing the fleeting excitement of first love to jealousy and madness. In “Il primo ardor” from Ariodante, her voice took on a light quiver to give the music a feeling of intensity. She did the same with “Tornami a vagheggiar” from Alcina, her high notes plucked out with a flute-like tone. “Geloso tormento” from Almira was especially moving and aptly pained, with Forsythe singing her lines with dark tone and palpable weight. Oboist Debra Nagy added her own emotional touch by spinning sorrowful lines around the singer. Forsythe also found the aching beauty in the outer sections of “Piangerò” from Guilio Cesare, and she dug in for a fiery “Ma poi morta” to give the music a palpable anger. “Da Tempeste” from the same opera returned Forsythe to the dexterous vocal style that characterized her singing earlier in the evening, the singer tossing off the vocal flourishes and arpeggios with ease."

 Boston Classical Review/ Aaron Keebaugh

 

“The cheers for Forsythe were well deserved. She sounded as good as I have heard her, in selections that ranged from a wistful lament accompanied only by basso continuo to brilliant show stoppers joined by the full ensemble. Following period practice, each aria was graced by the type of unwritten embellishment that was one of the principal attractions of this music as originally performed. This led to fireworks far more spectacular than anything Handel ever wrote.“  

The Boston Musical Intelligencer/ David Schulenberg

 

"In “Tornami a vagheggiar”, Forsythe demonstrated her total mastery of baroque style. Her ornamentations were text-based, yet vocally thrilling, her pinpoint perfect high notes exhilarating. I’ve never heard the frequently excerpted aria sung with such rigorous musicianship and high style. Tighten your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen, this was going to be an exciting evening...With her rendition of “Piangerò,” Forsythe set a new standard. I’ve never heard another singer equal her."

Berkshire Fine Arts/ David Bonetti

 

"Soprano Amanda Forsythe was dynamic and self-possessed in some of the showpiece arias heard on her new solo Handel album with the group. Her staccato notes were impeccably placed and in tune, and she added head-spinning embellishments on the repeats in “Tornami a vagheggiar” from “Alcina” and “Da tempeste il legno infranto” from “Giulio Cesare”."  

The Washington Post/ Charles T. Downey

 

"The program, called "The Power of Love," traced a narrative arc that included "First Love," "Jealousy," and "Delusion and Madness," and offered Forsythe plenty of opportunity to demonstrate her dramatic skills as well as her impressive vocal ability as she navigated the perilous intricacies of Handel's writing. Her command of tone and color was especially noteworthy, reaching its zenith in her dark and brooding "Amarti si vorrei" from Handel's "Teseo" (1713), in which she beautifully conveyed Agilea's dark dilemma — "Oh gods, what cruelty demands that I be unfaithful to you.""

Cleveland Plain Dealer/ Mark Satola

"The outstanding young American soprano Amanda Forsythe is pursuing a flourishing stage, concert and recording career to great acclaim..Forsythe’s lovely soprano offers clarity of timbre, fleet coloratura, accurate intervals—and considerable creativity and range in decorations. Fans of Handel’s operas and this remarkably accomplished soprano will definitely want to hear this recording"

Opera News/ David Shengold

 

"This is Amanda Forsythe’s first and long overdue solo recording of Baroque music...Forsythe shows here why she deserves top rank. Her agility, her invention and her voice - a straight core sound wrapped in luminous timbres - are remarkable. Her programme alternates familiar with unfamiliar Handel arias, all fine showcases for her strengths. Particularly in allegro moods, Forsythe sets arias on fire; her handling of war-horses like ‘Da Tempeste’ (Guilio Cesare) will amaze even the jaded connoisseur...Forsythe’s stunning execution makes this a disc worth having."

 BBC Music Magazine/ Berta Joncus

 

“It is no mean feat to produce a Handel opera aria recital containing two of Cleopatra’s most popular showpieces (‘Piangerò la sorte mia’ and ‘Da tempeste’) and also Morgana’s flashy ‘Tornami a vagheggiar’ without things running on autopilot, but Amanda Forsythe’s intelligent and characterful singing means there’s no risk of these being merely yet another slog through audition warhorses. [In] the shepherdess Dorinda’s exasperated mockery about the folly of love (‘Amor è qual vento’)...Forsythe’s sparkling delivery shares a knowing wink. The lightweight top-heavy orchestral balance...works elegantly in Partenope’s whimsical observations on the vagaries of romantic attraction in ‘Qual farfalletta’ – and in both of these arias Forsythe’s lightly nonchalant delivery of Martin Pearlman’s embellishments is dazzling.“  

Gramophone/ David Vickers

 

"It is a joy to hear a singer rethinking much of this familiar music without ever distorting it, such that the CD’s 55 minutes of singing truly impresses like a first hearing. And you never tire of Forsythe, as you might with other light-and-high-voiced singers. A bauble such as Atalanta’s flirtatious “Un cenno leggiadretto” from Serse has such character that it enchants anew. She has no fear of leaning on her voice but she never forces or makes an ugly sound; drama comes from inflection and diction."

Classics Today/ Robert Levine

 

"…young American soprano Amanda Forsythe has proved that she's one to watch. This new album only reinforces that – a collection of Handel arias that balances glossy coloratura brilliance with real tragic dignity and poise. It's a heady combination."  

Sinfini Music/ Alexandra Coghlan

 

"There’s not much about Amanda Forsythe’s new album, The Power of Love, a collection of arias from eight Handel operas and the ballet suite from Terpsichore, that, from the first downbeat, doesn’t impress. Forsythe sings this repertoire with such sure technique, dramatic understanding, and tasteful embellishment that it’s hard to escape the feeling that she simply owns this music. And so she does, at least for this album, which, from the opening “Amor è qual vento” (from Orlando) to the concluding “De Tempeste” (from Giulio Cesare), places her spectacular coloratura front and center."

The Arts Fuse/ Jonathan Blumhofer

 

"This is a thoroughly enjoyable disc. Amanda Forsythe has a bright, agile and flexible soprano, at home equally in the passionate music for Almira or Armida (Rinaldo), the dramatic depths and heights of Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare) and the teasing cynicism of Atalanta (Serse). She displays formidable technique, for example in the precise semiquaver runs in the B section of ‘Piangero’ and also in the remarkable range of vocal colour she brings to Agilea’s deceptively simple continuo-accompanied ‘Amarti si vorrei’ which (as so often with Handel) packs an overwhelming emotional punch."

Early Music Review/ Alastair Harpe

 

"Start with the second track of this excellent survey of George Frideric Handel’s expertise in writing for the soprano voice and its realization through the supple vocal chords of Amanda Forsythe. “Geloso tormento,” from Almira, the 19-year-old composer’s first opera, shows how ravishingly Handel and Forsythe can depict both rage and lament in the course of a single aria...Amanda Forsythe is simply astonishing in her vocal acrobatics, most impressively in the aria “Tornami A Vaghegglar” from Alcina, bedecked with dazzling melismas and ornaments."

Cleveland Classical/ Daniel Hathaway

 

"Soprano venue des Etats-Unis, Amanda Forsythe se distingue de certaines de ses consœurs par une qualité de timbre qui exclut toute froideur, un chant dénué de cette impassibilité qu’on a pu reprocher à quelques-unes de ses aînées. La soprano américaine a de nombreux atouts à faire valoir : la virtuosité, bien sûr (très orné dans sa reprise, « Tornami a vagheggiar » tourne un peu à l’air d’Olympia…), mais aussi le fruité de son timbre et une réelle capacité à faire passer une émotion dans son chant."

Forum Opera/ Laurent Bury

 

"Amanda Forsythe is een geraffineerde, luisterrijke en expressieve zangeres. Haar versieringen zijn prachtig beheerst en glanzend."

Opera Nederland

"American soprano Amanda Forsythe makes a spunky Amour, all gold lamé suit and cheeky jobsworth attitude – saving the day, but only just. The ringing purity of her "Soumis au silence" played off nicely against her irreverence, the only touch of dramatic light in an otherwise sober production."

Alexandra Coghlan/The Arts Desk

 

"Flórez is joined in the trio of principals by the silken soprano of Amanda Forsythe as Amour, power-dressed in a gold business suit as the celestial fixer."

 Mark Valencia/WhatsOnStage

 

“Amanda Forsythe (also making a role debut) sang attractively as Amour — full of brightness and character. Dressed in a gold lamé trouser suit this Love is an insouciant cross between Star Wars' C-3PO and Linda Carter's problem-fixing Wonder Woman. Light of heart, irreverent and witty, this is not quite what Gluck envisaged perhaps, but it is amusingly waggish, carried off with style, and complements the wit of the choreography.“  

Claire Seymour/Opera Today

 

"Amanda Forsythe makes an admirable role debut as Amour."

Barry Millington/Evening Standard

 

"Lucy Crowe is a sweet-voiced Eurydice and Amanda Forsythe a splendid Amour"  

Sam Smith/Opera Online

"the cabaret-vamp glamour of Amanda Forsythe’s goddess Amour…there are marvelous things to enjoy"

Richard Morrison/The Times

"Florez receives strong support from the opera’s other roles, with Lucy Crowe offering a Eurydice combining character with vocal grace and her fellow soprano Amanda Forsythe making an equivalent splash as the god Amour (alias Cupid)."

George Hall/The Stage

"With Gardiner’s superb choir and period band honouring the grace of Gluck’s non-stop stream of melodies, and with soloists who both move us (Florez by his gymnastic beauty of tone, Crowe by her imperious force) and also amuse us (Forsythe with Amour’s moralising), musically we are in heaven from start to finish."

Michael Church/The Independent

"Amanda Forsythe’s Amour and Lucy Crowe’s Eurydice both move and entertain with their beautiful vocals, and this cast of three is so effortlessly on-point that the performance is a pure joy."

Camilla Gurtler/A Younger Theatre

" ... As Iris, Amanda Forsythe, possessor of a superb technique, was vocal and visual perfection..."

Mark Mandel / Opera News

 

" ... Amanda Forsythe, the vocally and physically nimble soprano who sings the role of Iris in all performances, was great to watch as well as to hear..."

 Melinda Bargreen / Seattle Times

 

“ ... Also outstanding was soprano Amanda Forsythe as the perky, Puck-like Iris...“  

Thomas May / Bachtrack

 

" ... Soprano Amanda Forsythe was equally delectable as Juno's sidekick, the sassy and funny goddess Iris, maintaining a lovely, rounded sound even at top volume..."

 Maggie Larrick / Queen Anne and Magnolia News

 

" ...Amanda Forsythe sparkled in the role of Iris, singing impeccably and with carefree abandon. She complimented it all with excellent comic timing, shoes that lit up, and gloves that threw beams of green laser light all over the place..."  

James Bash / Facts and Arts

"...Filling out this excellent All-American cast was soprano Amanda Forsythe as Iris, whose comic bits matched her flawless singing and generally gleeful appearance."

Rod Parke/Seattle Gay News

"...Soprano Amanda Forsythe was equally delectable as Juno's sidekick, the sassy and funny goddess Iris, maintaining a lovely, rounded sound even at top volume."

Maggie Larrick/Magnolia News

"...Also outstanding was soprano Amanda Forsythe as the perky, Puck-like Iris."

Thomas May/BachTrack

"...Ha divertito ed impressionato il pubblico Amanda Forsythe, giovane Iris al servizio di Juno, per la deliziosa comicità e per la precisione dell'esecuzione vocale, in cui ha mostrato la sua grande perizia nella prassi esecutiva del repertorio barocco."

Viviana Coppo/OperaClick

"...Amanda Forsythe's Manto, with sunshine in her tone, has bright and forward Italian diction, paired with the equally touching and pure Colin Balzer as Tiberino."

William R. Braun/Opera News

"...Manto is sung enchantingly by Amanda Forsythe."

David Vickers/Gramophone

"...Here singing the rôle of Manto, the radiant soprano Amanda Forsythe sang the title rôle in the 2011 BEMF staging of Niobe. She is a singer for whom Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century repertory is completely natural territory, and her polished-silver voice possesses reserves of power that enable her to sustain fastidiously-nuanced characterizations throughout the course of a performance of a score as demanding as Steffani's. Her technique enables her to toss off the Act One aria 'Se la vita à me donasti' with aplomb, followed by an account of the aria 'Vuoi ch'io parli, parlerò' that is notable for its singularity of dramatic purpose. The simplicity of her enunciation in 'Nel mio seno à poco à poco' transforms her portrayal from one of a delicate, naïve girl into a study of a sensitive but strong-willed young woman. In Act Two, she shapes her accounts of the arias 'Tu ci pensasti poco' and 'Hò troppo parlato' with unfettered ingenuity, her upper register pealing with the freshness of youth. Like several of her colleagues in this performance, Ms. Forsythe is at her best in Act Three, in which she sings 'Chiudetevi miei lumi' lusciously."

Joseph Newsome/Voix des Arts

"...The young lovers, Tiberino and Manto, actually have some fascinating, sensual music to perform. Both roles are strongly cast: tenor Colin Blazer and soprano Amanda Forsythe sing with bright, forward tone and convince us of their love, using vibrato wisely and to express their passion, which takes a couple of acts to be acknowledged."

Robert Levine/Classics Today

"...The opera is beautifully presented, with the subtle colours of the period-instrument orchestra offsetting the fine singing of a number of Baroque specialists, among whom Karina Gauvin's dramatic Niobe, Philippe Jaroussky's faultless Anfione and Amanda Forsythe's delightful Manto lead the vocal pack."

George Hall/Sinfini Music

"...Soprano Amanda Forsythe, who was a winning Niobe in 2011, here sings the young lover Manto with the same degree of textual nuance."

Steve Smith/The Boston Globe

"...The Monteverdi excerpts weren't just sung, they were acted. Poppea is no innocent; Forsythe was by turns conniving, cajoling, coy, flirtatious, and smoldering. One moment Hansen was caressing her bare shoulder; the next he was hysterically ordering Seneca to commit suicide. This was opera as theater; words and feelings took precedence over vocal fireworks. The finale from "Poppea," the duet "Pur ti miro," was tender and ennobling."

Jeffrey Gantz/The Boston Globe