Amanda Somerville

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Amanda Somerville
Avantasia Kaufbeuren 2010 3.jpg
Amanda Sommerville and Tobias Sammet at the Avantasia's concert in Kaufbeuren. December 10, 2010.
Background information
Born (1979-03-07) March 7, 1979 (age 36)
Flushing, Michigan
Genres Pop rock, hard rock, heavy metal, symphonic metal, progressive metal
Occupation(s) Singer–songwriter
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 1997–present
Associated acts Trillium
HDK
Kiske/Somerville
Aina
Avantasia
Epica
Website www.amandasomerville.com

Amanda Somerville (born March 7, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter and vocal coach, known primarily for her work with many European symphonic metal bands. Her voice has a wide range, however she has said herself that her tessitura is in the alto range.

Biography[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Somerville was born in Flushing, Michigan,[1] attended Flushing Senior High School, graduating a full year early and won a scholarship for graduating with high honors to the University of Michigan in Flint, Michigan, where she majored in psychology.[2] Somerville moved to Wolfsburg, Germany in 1999 where she's resided, working mainly in Germany and the Netherlands.[3]

On August 19, 2013, she announced that she was engaged to be married to After Forever's former guitarist Sander Gommans,[4] and the pair were married in July 2014.[5] On January 8, 2015, she announced that she and Sander Gommans are expecting their first child.[6]

Music career[edit]

Somerville has written and recorded with bands such as After Forever, Edguy, Kamelot, Epica, Avantasia, and has produced two solo albums.[7] Her solo releases to date are primarily soft and elegant pop rock with some hard rock, folk and soul music influences. Amanda herself wrote and contributed instrumentally to all of the songs on her solo albums with only one exception being "Out" from the album Windows (written by Sascha Paeth).

She collaborated with several of these metal bands alongside producers Sascha Paeth and Michael Rodenberg, which took her to collaborate with multi-instrumentalist Robert Hunecke-Rizzo co-writing the rock opera Aina. Later she made a similar collaboration with guitarist Sander Gommans (After Forever), providing vocals and lyrical concept for the project HDK.[3] In 2008, she toured America with Dutch heavy metal band Epica, while regular vocalist Simone Simons recovered from a staph infection.[1]

Kiske/Somerville[edit]

In 2010, she collaborated with Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween singer) on a musical project entitled Kiske/Somerville. The band is a melodic metal act put together by Frontiers Records, as similar project as Allen/Lande. Songwriting and producing was made by Primal Fear bassist Mat Sinner with collaboration by guitarist Magnus Karlsson (Allen/Lande, also from Primal Fear), Sander Gommans, Jimmy Kresic and Amanda herself. Their first single, Silence was released on August 20. Their self-titled album was released on 24 September 2010 by Frontiers Records, after the single accompanied by a music video for Silence. A music video was also made for the song "If I Had One Wish." Somerville contributed creatively to the album by writing 3 songs featured on the album: "A Thousand Suns," "Arise" and "Set Afire," all co-written with Sander Gommans.

Avantasia[edit]

Amanda was also one of the live guest vocalists for Tobias Sammet's metal opera Avantasia three world tours in 2008, 2010 and 2013. Her role onstage was singing backing vocals during the whole setlist and performaing lead vocals for the songs "Farewell," "Sleepwalking," "The Wicked Symphony," "Lost In Space" and "Sign Of The Cross."[8]

Trillium[edit]

In 2011, Amanda finally released her first heavy metal-oriented project called Trillium with the record company Frontiers Records. The project has contributions by Sascha Paeth, Michael Rodenberg, Sander Gommans and a guest appearance of Jørn Lande on a duet vocal track with Amanda.[9]

Live band members[edit]

  • Amanda Somerville (Vocals 2011–present)
  • Paul Owsinski (Guitar, 2011–present)
  • Marc Burnash (Bass/Vocals, 2011–present)
  • Simon Oberender (Keyboard, 2011 - 2012)
  • Philip Krause (Drums, 2011 - 2012)
  • Tom Pluijmaekers (Drums, 2013)

New HDK, Kiske/Somerville albums and beyond[edit]

In 2014, a new HDK album called Serenades of the Netherworld was released, featuring Amanda and Geert Kroes on vocals and once again produced and composed by Sander Gommans. It was also the year Amanda and Sander got married. Amanda was also part of a metal opera project from middle east, produced by Lebanese guitarist Amadeus Awad, with an album called The Book of Gates. She plays the part of the Queen of the Nile.[10] In 2015, the second Kiske/Somerville album entitled City of Heroes was announced and released, once again featuring bassist Mat Sinner as producer and in a songwriting partnership with guitarist Magnus Karlsson, who was also in charge of the keyboards, while Veronika Lukesova is the drummer on the album. One song called "Breaking Neptune" was written by Amanda Somerville and Sander Gommans and two music videos were filmed for the songs "City Of Heroes" and "Walk On Water".[11]

Discography[edit]

Solo[edit]

Aina[edit]

HDK[edit]

Kiske/Somerville[edit]

Trillium[edit]

Collaborations[edit]

Somerville's contributions include vocals, coaching, production, engineering and choir conductor:

Featured vocals[edit]

Year Song(s) Artist Album
2007 "Lost in Space" & "The Story Ain't Over" Avantasia Lost in Space (Part I)
"Lost in Space" & "Lost in Space (Alive at Gatestudio)" Lost in Space (Part II)
"Ghost Opera", "Love You to Death", "Mourning Star" & "Season's End" Kamelot Ghost Opera
2008 "What Kind of Love" & "Lost in Space" Avantasia The Scarecrow
2010 "Femme Fatale" & "Black Rose, Pt.II" Sebastien Tears of White Roses
"The Zodiac" & "Poetry for the Poisoned, Pt. III: All Is Over" Kamelot Poetry for the Poisoned
2011 "Changing Fate" Serenity Death & Legacy
"Farewell" & "Sign of the Cross/The Seven Angels (Medley)" Avantasia The Flying Opera
"Into Shadow" DesDemon Through the Gates
"Symphony of Aggression" MaYaN Quarterpast
"The Hunger", "Secrets", "Smoke and Mirrors" & "The Infinite Overture Pt. I" Infinity Overture The Infinite Overture Pt. I
"Blood Red Rose" The Boyscout Blood Red Rose – A Rock Fantasy
2012 "To Crawl or to Fly" & "Whispers Inside You" Soulspell Metal Opera Hollow's Gathering
"Send My Message Home" PelleK Bag of Tricks
"Black Swans" Docker's Guild The Mystic Technocracy - Season 1: The Age of Ignorance
2013 "Time Bomb" Siber Sky Time Bomb
"Cold Winter" Wolfpakk Cry Wolf
2013 All songs (as The Queen of the Nile) Amadeus Awad's EON The Book of Gates

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]