Pia — Pia de Tolomei


2018 performance

Spoleto Festival USA  |  Charleston, SC

Conductor:  Lidiya Yankovskaya
Director: Andre Cigni


“Amanda Woodbury, a soprano headed for greatness, sings the role of Pia with conviction and extraordinary technical virtuosity. Her scales and arpeggios were crisp and swift; her ornaments were tasteful and appropriate. She has a tremendous range — from rich lows to dizzying highs.” — David Friddle, The Post and Courier

“Amanda Woodbury brought a bright, flexible soprano to the role of Pia, communicating the character’s perpetual state of anguish, and she valiantly restarted her aria in the opera’s final scene after a brief power outage stopped the show.” — Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal

“But the virtues of this production are more musical than dramatic. Amanda Woodbury – a fine Juliette at the Met last year – makes an excellent lead, her essentially lyric soprano possessing just enough spinto to pay dividends when under duress – which for poor old Pia is rather often. Cavatinas like her opening prayer (O tu che desti il fulmine) or her lovely Act II duet with Ghino (Per sempre dai viventi) show off a flexible instrument with a natural instinct for the phrasing the long line. Cabalettas, too, are neatly dispatched, and she rises to the final drawn-out death scene with nobility and some ravishing top notes.” — Clive Paget, Limelight Magazine

“Vocally, everything depends on the role of Pia, and Amanda Woodbury, a fast-rising young soprano, displayed dazzling bel canto technique, excellent intonation and perfectly rounded top notes. It helps that she is a charismatic actress with movie star looks.” — James L. Paulk, ArtsAtl

“For opera lovers, the moment of truth came when soprano Amanda Woodbury first opened her mouth, singing “My soul is carried away.” Most in the audience ceased to care about anything else.  Woodbury is the real deal, and her vocal purity fulfilled the character of the faithful wife, who even faces death with love and compassion for the man who has accused her and is ultimately the instrument of her demise. The coloratura brings radiant glory to the inspiration of Pia as if she were born to the role.” — Susan Galbraith, DC Theatre Scene

Soprano Amanda Woodbury as Pia in Spoleto Festival's production of Pia de Tolomei. — Photography by  William Struhs

Soprano Amanda Woodbury as Pia in Spoleto Festival's production of Pia de Tolomei.

Photography by William Struhs