Amanda Somerville was born March 7, 1979 in Flushing, Michigan, U.S.A., but she lives in the Netherlands. She is an 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.
Amanda 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. Amanda moved to Wolfsburg, Germany in 1999 where she was resided, working mainly in Germany, and the Netherlands.
On August 19, 2013, she announced that she was engaged to be married to After Forever's former guitarist Sander Gommans, and the pair were married on July 28, 2014. On January 8, 2015, she announced that they are expecting their first child. On July 17, 2015, their daughter, Lana Elise Gommans, was born.
Amanda has written and recorded with bands such as After Forever, Edguy, Kamelot, Epica, Avantasia, Docker's Guild and has produced two solo albums. 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 (Heavens Gate, Aina, Avantasia, Luca Turilli, and Michael Rodenberg, (Avantasia, Aina, Angra, Shaaman, Luca Turilli, Rhapsody of Fire, Kamelot, and Heavens Gate) which took her to collaborate with multi-instrumentalist Robert Hunecke-Rizzo (Aina, Heavens Gate, Luca Turilli, and Kamelot), and 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.
In 2010, she collaborated with Michael Kiske (ex Helloween, Unisonic 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, 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." Amanda 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.
Go to Kiske/Somerville for the compleet story.
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."
In 2011, Amanda 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 with Amanda.
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: Sounds of future past.
New HDK, Kiske/Somerville albums
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. 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".
Amanda cooperated as well on the Rock meets Classic in Germany.
In 2017, another new project was announced. Called Exit Eden, it features Amanda and three other female singers from the rock/metal scene: Clémentine Delauney (Visions of Atlantis, Serenity, Melted Space, Kai Hansen & Friends), Marina La Torraca (who replaced her in a few festival shows of the Avantasia 2016 world tour) and newcomer Anna Brunner. The band was conceived with the plan "to show the world that almost every classic song can be transformed into a solid Metal-Rock song", a concept similar to Finland's Northern Kings. The tracklist of their debut album, Rhapsodies In Black, features some pop hits such as Madonna's "Frozen", Adele's "Skyfall" and Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi". The album was released on August 4, 2017 via Napalm Records worldwide and via Starwatch in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Simone Simons (Epica) appears on two tracks of the album.
In the Beginning there was... (2000)
Blue Nothing (EP, 2000)
Never Alone (EP, 2003)
Conformity Challenged (TBA)
Days of Rising Doom (2003)
Rhapsodies in Black (2017)
System Overload (2008)
Serenades of the Netherworld (2014)
City of Heroes (2015)
Trillium live band members
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)