A native of Crestwood, Kentucky, soprano Amanda Woodbury has been praised by the San Francisco Chronicle as having a voice that is “bright, beautifully colored, and full of strength and passion.” The 2018 – 2019 season sees Ms. Woodbury return to the Metropolitan Opera for a 5th season, with roles including Leila in Les Pêcheurs de Perles, conducted by Emanuel Villaume, and Woglinde in Robert Lepage’s productions of Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung, conducted by Philippe Jordan. Ms. Woodbury will also make her role debut as Violetta in La Traviata with San Antonio Opera, and her house debut as Juliette in Roméo et Juliette with Hawaii Opera Theater.
The 2017 – 2018 season saw Ms. Woodbury return to LA Opera to sing Micaëla in Carmen, conducted by James Conlon, and her role debut as Marguerite in Faust with Tulsa Opera. Additional operatic appearances included the role of Pia in Donizetti’s Pia de’ Tolomei with the Spoleto festival, and a reprise of Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Madison Opera. Concert work included the title role in Bellini’s La Straniera with Washington Concert Opera, conducted by Antony Walker, soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, conducted by music director Mack Wilberg, and Fauré’s Requiem with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra.Read more
Career highlights include multiple appearances at the Metropolitan Opera including a role debut as Juliette in the new Bartlett Sher production of Roméo et Juliette, Leïla in Les pêcheurs des perles, Tebaldo in Don Carlo, appearances on the Rising Stars concert series, and covers of Norina in Don Pasquale and Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann. Ms. Woodbury has also been regularly seen on the stage of LA Opera with roles including Micaëla in Carmen, Musetta in La bohème, and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte. Additional operatic highlights include Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with both Des Moines Metro Opera, and Dayton Opera, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Madison Opera, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with the Merola Opera Program, and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi at the Aspen Music Festival.
Concert work includes her LA Phil debut as the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, Mahler’s Symphony Number 8 and Haydn’s Creation with the Cincinnati May Festival conducted by James Conlon, soprano soloist in Carmina Burana with the Aspen Music Festival, and her international debut singing Ophelia’s mad scene from Hamlet by Thomas with Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.
In 2014 Ms. Woodbury was honored as a Grand Final Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and second place and audience choice award in Placido Domingo’s Operalia competition. Ms. Woodbury was also awarded both a Sarah Tucker Study Grant and Richard Tucker Career Grant, as well as Second Place and audience choice award in both the Eleanor McCollum Houston Grand Opera competition and the Dallas Opera competitions.
Ms. Woodbury received a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, a Bachelor of Music degree at Indiana University, and currently resides in New York.
“Listening to Amanda Woodbury sing it is like watching a skater land a triple axel in slow motion. It seems astonishing that the human body can execute such a thing.”
“Amanda Woodbury, at the age of 26, took us through the emotional roller-coaster of Ophelia’s mad scene from Hamlet with the composure and bravura of a seasoned star.”
“In the run’s final show on February 4, young Kentucky soprano Amanda Woodbury assumed her first Met leading role with considerable grace — not to mention lovely, pellucid tone far purer than Damrau’s sometimes hectoring timbre. Woodbury’s poised tone and relative calm gave the opera the still center it needed, without Damrau’s well-intended but manic physicality. The audience loved Woodbury, and I would love to hear her as Mozart’s [Konstanze].”—David Shengold, Gay City News
“To begin the performance, Ms Woodbury gave a lively rendition of “Je veux vivre” from Gounod’s “Romeo et Juliette,” currently running at the Met and which Woodbury performed in January. Woodbury’s crystal clear tone and immaculate coloratura matched her youthful vibrancy of the young lover. Woodbury next matched the stillness with “The Magic Flute’s” “Ach, ich fuhl’s”. In contrast to her first aria, she continued to show her emotional versatility and innate musicality through her perfect ebb and flow phrasing with crisp German diction.”
“Woodbury sang an exuberant “Je veux vivre” from Romeo et Juliette and Brugger luxuriated in the roulades of the Jewel Song from Faust. Both are the more recent type of coloratura: more like a lyric soprano with flexibility than the chirpy ones of the past.”
“Amanda Woodbury, a rising young soprano, made a powerful case for the title role, from the moment of the character’s gorgeous off-stage first appearance. Her silken legato and laser-precise intonation made this slow, lamenting aria ravishing, and she deployed exquisite soft high notes and some agile runs later, especially in the showpieces that bring the opera to its tragic conclusion.”
“Soprano Amanda Woodbury was an ideal Micaëla, both physically and dramatically. A former member of the company’s Domingo-Thornton (now Domingo-Colburn-Stein) Young Artist Program, Woodbury sang the role as a young artist in 2013. Four years later, she has enhanced the role with her own development and maturity. A more girlish Micaëla back then, the role has matured with her, as she added depth to the overall static character, particularly in Act III. Her aria, “Je dis que rien ne m’épouvante” was the most beautiful moment of the three hour and 25 minute production.”
“Operalia winner Amanda Woodbury arrived in a horseless carriage from which she alighted in the utmost of 1880s finery to sing her Waltz Song with great tonal beauty and graceful phrasing.”
“Amanda Woodbury provided a purely voiced Musetta, lively and naughty in manner.”
“Amanda Woodbury is just about perfect as Marguerite, the innocent young girl who is the true object of Méphistofélès’ machinations. Her performance of the so-called “Jewel Song,” “Je ris de me voir,” was masterful musically and dramatically — Woodbury conveyed the surprise, the joy, the excitement and the wistfulness of this scene with a rich, almost burnished tone that flowed effortlessly through registers. She was equally good in the mournful “Il ne revient pas,” as Marguerite reflects on Faust’s abandoning her after she gave birth to their child, and in the mad scene at the finale.”
“Amanda Woodbury sang Leila in the final performance of Bizet’s delicious Pearl Fishers. James Conlon, whose taste in singers is impeccable, has promoted Woodbury at the Los Angeles Opera and also in Cincinnati. Her lovely lyric voice is clear and sweet, but also full of emotion. In her aria, which begins with a prayer and ends on a love note, she comfortably switches between extreme moods.”
“Whatever Woodbury ends up singing […] what should make her a star is the timbre of her upper-middle notes. […] an unusually vivid and transparently emotion-bearing sound that stands out in the most pleasant way. The very top notes are big and by now nicely integrated, but aren’t the main course…
At least as importantly for this event (and, I suppose, her future prospects), Woodbury seems much more naturally attuned to the ebb and flow of rapt feeling demanded here (and in most romantic opera leads) than her more famous predecessor. The emotional shapes sat as well in her phrases as in her voice, finally allowing the first-act tension with the crowd and the tenor to cohere into an eloquent story. The latter acts were, in this new whole, more poignant as well, not merely exciting (though they were that).”
“If the two leads, company newcomers Benjamin Bliss and Amanda Woodbury, sang as well for the Metropolitan Opera talent scout at Sunday’s matinee, they may land soon on a much bigger stage in New York. Her soprano is strong and elastic, precisely suited for the back-to-back arias that have as many punishing runs as anything Mozart wrote for his better known leading ladies in “Cosi fan tutte” or even “The Magic Flute.” (It was “Abduction,” after all, that Austria’s Emperor Joseph II famously dissed for having “too many notes.”)”
“If there was one actor onstage consistently connected to her role and her surroundings it was Amanda Woodbury, whose debut brought a silvery sparkle to the trouser role of Tebaldo. She was entirely alive to her fellow actors, overflowing with charm, and it was a joy to watch her strut confidently about the stage. One hopes that the rest of the cast can take a cue from her as this run continues. There’s too much talent collected here to deliver anything less than a memorable Don Carlo.”
“The guest soloists were also excellent. Soprano Amanda Woodbury displayed her luscious middle voice and gleaming high voice in a charming performance…”
“Likewise, Amanda Woodbury, the female second-place winner, came out on the stage and knocked everyone alive with her bravura and polished performance of “A vos jeux, mes amis” from Ambroise Thomas’s “Hamlet.””
“Amanda Woodbury performed the role of Donna Anna in a grand manner, directing her facial expressions and gesticulations toward the last rows of the audience more than her colleagues. She had an impressive command of Anna’s music and sang “Non mi dir” with luxuriant tone and spot on coloratura that left many of us wanting to hear more from her.”
“Soprano Amanda Woodbury gave a powerful, transfixing performance as Donna Anna, the noblewoman whose traumatic encounter with Don Giovanni sets the opera in motion. Her singing was bright, beautifully colored, and full of strength and passion, with a fluidity to the phrasing that did nothing to lessen the overall potency of her delivery. “Or sai chi l’onore,” the Act 1 aria in which she first realizes the Don’s culpability and dedicates herself to vengeance, was a crowd-pleasing thrill.”
“Soprano Amanda Woodbury, riding a wave of strength, immediately impressed the audience with her large, edgy voice & sustained focus. Even though she was completely potent, it felt like she was using only half her reserves. She received extended ovations for both of her arias.”
“Amanda Woodbury sang and acted Donna Anna fearlessly, giving the best vocal performance in the role I’ve heard since Elza van den Heever made her debut at the San Francisco Opera.”
“Some of the voices could not be thwarted anyway: Amanda Woodbury’s Donna Anna reigned over the hall, a soprano assured of an important career.”
“Amanda Woodbury (Donna Anna) has a bright, lovely voice. Her arias were some of the best moments of the evening.”
“The true standout among the evening’s cast was Amanda Woodbury as Donna Anna. A recent winner at the Met’s National Council Auditions and a participant in the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, Woodbury’s voice is unique, clear, and penetrating– the kind you actually remember hearing because it’s so distinct. She made an immediate impression and garnered a well-deserved sustained ovation during the first act with “Or sai chi l’onore,” and from there continued to deliver all evening long. She’s obviously going to have options, and I can only presume an Adler Fellowship will be one of them.”
“In the role of Donna Anna, Amanda Woodbury is excellent.”