Amanda Austin is an award-winning operatic soprano and visual artist melding both disciplines into work that champions the human body as a medium and instrument. Described as a “supple soprano” (San Diego Story) with “creamy and consistent tonal range” (San Diego Union Tribune) and “luminous presence”(Operawire), Amanda performs opera, concert, musical theatre, and unconventional multidisciplinary applications of concert and classical music.
This past March, Amanda performed the role of Carolyn Bryant in Mary D. Watkins and Clare Coss's Emmett Till: A New American Opera at the Gerald Lynch Theater in New York City, conducted by Tania León in partnership with the Harlem Chamber Players.
Amanda has performed the roles of Calisto in Franscesco Cavalli’s La Calisto, Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Isabelle/Madeline (The Face on the Barroom Floor), Cendrillon (Cendrillon), Norina (Don Pasquale), and studied Gilda (Rigoletto), Poppea (L’incoronzaione di Poppea), and Madame de la Grand Bouche (Beauty and the Beast) for 2020/2021 season performances that were cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amanda’s lifelong training as both a visual artist and vocalist culminated in a show of her design in 2019, RECORDS. RECORDS is a series of 30 to 90 minute performances of classical and concert music that generate paintings and sculptures representative of art song. Inspired by the way in which sound can be interpreted into tangible mediums through color and texture, Amanda creates base artworks that operate as the “set” for the performance and transform into their final composition through live performance. Two iterations of RECORDS have occurred since its inception; RECORDS//Britten - Rorem and RECORDS//Dissonance, collectively yielding 3 paintings and 1 sculpture. The most recent performance of RECORDS premiered in April 2021 at The Morris Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate in Morristown, NJ, in a performance that was described as “a transformative experience for all.” (Mira Prives - Development Director, The Morris Museum)
Amanda continues to explore the ways in which music and visual artwork can intersect through performances of RECORDS in development and her latest collection of drawings, “Vocal Wisdom.”
With The Manhattan School of Music Opera Theatre, Amanda performed the title role in Cendrillon by Nicolò Isouard, a production that was nominated for the 2019 International Opera Awards “Best Rediscovered Work” and was commercially recorded by Albany Records under the baton of Metropolitan Opera Conductor, Pierre Vallet. As a concert soloist and recitalist, Amanda has performed JS Bach's Cantata 140, C.P.E Bach's Magnificat, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel's Messiah, and Wynton Marsalis's Abyssinian Mass in venues across North America and Europe.
Creating opportunity and resources for multidisciplinary artists, Amanda founded the OmniARTS Foundation Inc., 503(c)3 organization dedicated to the creation of multi- and cross-disciplinary work. In response to the Coronavirus pandemic and community need, OmniARTS produced the Lean On Me concert series, three virtual events that partnered with the New Music Solidarity Fund, Artist Relief Tree, and First Responders Children’s Foundation to raise $30,000 in support of artists and essential workers. Hosted by multiple Grammy Award winning artists Isabel Leonard and Fred Hersch, and American Opera Composers Lori Laitman and Tom Cipullo, Lean On Me featured an elaborate array of talented musical, visual, literary, and movement artists in collaborative performances.
Amanda holds a Bachelor and Master of Music Degree from The Manhattan School of Music where she studied under the tutelage of Catherine Malfitano and Marlena Malas, receiving both the Stan Sesser Career Grant and Provost Awards for Academic Excellence. Amanda continued her training through Central City Opera’s Bonafils-Stanton Apprentice Artist Program, Songfest at Colburn’s Professional Development Program, The Daniel Ferro Vocal Program, The Magic Circle Opera Repertoire Ensemble with mentor Ray Evans-Harrell, and The Sorel Foundation for Women in Music.