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 37)
Flushing, Michigan, United States
Genres Pop rock, heavy metal, hard rock, symphonic rock, progressive rock
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 on July 28, 2014.[5] On January 8, 2015, she announced that she and Gommans are expecting their first child.[6] On July 17, 2015, their daughter, Lana Elise Gommans, was born.

Music career[edit]

Somerville has written and recorded with bands such as After Forever, Edguy, Kamelot, Epica, Avantasia, Docker's Guild 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 world tours in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2016. Her role onstage was singing backing vocals during the whole setlist and performing 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]

Trillium 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)

Docker's Guild[edit]

Amanda was featured on Douglas R. Docker's space metal opera Docker's Guild. In 2012, she appeared in the song "Black Swan", a duet with Goran Edman on the debut album The Mystic Technocracy - Season 1: The Age of Ignorance. In 2016, she was featured again in the "Flash Gordon Suite", from Queen's soundtrack of the same name, on the album The Heisenberg Diaries - Book A: Soundsof Future past.[10]

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.[11] 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".[12]

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" 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
2014 All songs (as The Queen of the Nile) Amadeus Awad's EON The Book of Gates
2016 All songs Magni Animi Viri Heroes Temporis (World Edition)
"Codex Atlanticus" & "The Perfect Woman" Serenity Codex Atlanticus
"Flash Gordon Suite" Docker's Guild The Heisenberg Diaries - Book A: Sounds of Future Past

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Flynn, Timothy Flynn (April 10, 2008). "Flushing native Amanda Somerville fronts Dutch heavy metal band Epica while lead singer recuperates". The Flint Journal. Archived from the original on 11 January 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Brian Rademacher (November 2011). "Interview with Amanda Somerville". Rockeyez.com. Archived from the original on 2012-06-05. Retrieved 5 June 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "AMANDA SOMERVILLE Talks About After Forever Guitarist's HDK Project". Blabbermouth.Net. May 17, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Freak Show :: AMANDA SOMERVILLE - To Marry Sander Gommans Next Summer". Freakshowlb.com. 2013-08-19. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  5. ^ "Best. Weekend. Ever. ♥ - Amanda Somerville". Facebook. 2014-07-28. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  6. ^ "Christmas never ends! Blitz just found... - Amanda Somerville". Facebook. 2015-01-08. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  7. ^ Begai, Carl (April 23, 2009). "AMANDA SOMERVILLE - Windows (Hya - 2009)". 
  8. ^ Metal Traveller (December 4, 2010). "Avantasia live in Kaufbeuren, Germany". Metal Traveller website. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  9. ^ Bravewords (July 1, 2011). "Frontiers Records To Release Debut Album From Vocalist AMANDA SOMERVILLE's New Metal Project TRILLIUM In Fall 2011". Bravewords website. 
  10. ^ "Docker's Guild - The Heisenberg Diaries - Book A". Docker's Guild Official Website. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  11. ^ "Amanda Somerville Facebook Page". November 9, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Frontiers Music Srl | Record Label". Frontiers.it. 2016-01-07. Retrieved 2016-05-07. 
  13. ^ "Newsletter from Amanda Somerville". Amanda Somerville website. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]