[VIDEO]Opera Trio Forte Shines Ever So Bright On America’s Got Talent


Look at those smiling faces. They belong to Fernando Varela, Josh Page and Hana Ryu, members of the astounding vocal trio, Forte.

And they have plenty to smile about. They just gave a spectacular performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Pie Jesu on Tuesday night’s America’s Got Talent show.


Look at those relaxed jaws and round mouths. That’s the way it’s done everyone.

Expect these guys to go far – on America’s Got Talent and in the future. They have the goods and the work ethic.

Have a listen below and add your comments.

About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

37 Responses to “[VIDEO]Opera Trio Forte Shines Ever So Bright On America’s Got Talent”

  1. Fantastic!! I was watching and talk about a PLEASANT surprise. Was wondering what you would have to say Masterclasslady 🙂


  2. Masterclass Lady June 26, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Well, they were beyond exceptional. Goosebumps time! My cousin manages Fernando and I knew of Josh from a former student of mine. These guys are extremely skilled!

    Thanks for your kind comments Heidijoy! 🙂


  3. Amazing. Il Divo and the Three Tenors had better watch out.


  4. Masterclass Lady June 26, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Jacky – totally agree!! They are brilliant.


  5. They are very talented, but what exactly does Pie Jesu have to do with opera?

    They are very talented and have fantastic voices, but let’s not confuse terms, but an opera singer is someone who sings roles in operas, not someone who sings with classical technique. In the past most musical theater singers and some pop singers also used classical technique and nobody called them “opera”.

    BTW- unless I am mistaken, Josh Page did study voice, but then switched to crossover and has performed in classical crossover circuits for a while. Not sure if he completely switched to classical crossover or is still pursuing opera.

    BTW, this is what Josh Groban said regarding today’s misuse of the word opera:
    “… If there must be a label for it, Groban prefers “traditional pop.”

    “The pop music of yesteryear was more open-throated and was more full-voiced and did include vibrato,” he says. “I think we’re so used to voices so compressed within an inch of their lives now that when anything feels like a full-throated, open-sung song, people say, ‘Omigod, that must be opera.’”

    The notion, he adds, is “ludicrous.””


  6. Oops, it seems Fernando Varela did work as an opera singer and performed roles in regional theaters in the past too while Hana Ryu studied voice as well. So I suppose, they do have operatic background.


  7. Masterclass Lady June 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Kitty. Yes they are all experienced opera singers. And, because the Pie Jesu is an excerpt from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Oratorio, “Requiem”, they are all most definitely classical singers.

    Classical voice is their primary genre. If you dig into their backgrounds, that is where their focus lies and will continue to remain.

    However, what makes these three singers unique – similar, in fact to The Tenors (formerly known as The Canadian Tenors) – is their ability to seamlessly crossover to the pop and folk genres. Even Broadway.

    We shall all discover this over time. Their journey has just begun.

    Thank you for you comments.


  8. Forte was incredible…looking up their bios reveals that all are professional singers with
    Fernando being the most accomplished; he even trained with Pavorotti’s coach. Josh has done many concerts with stars including Jackie Evancho. Hana seems to be just starting being a university teaching assistant. With their background it is not surprising that their audition was incredible. They may have the talent to be the next ‘Three Tenors’.

    How does everyone feel with accomplished pros competing?


  9. Masterclass Lady June 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Tim – thank you for your comments.

    Yes, although they are all accomplished singers, they are still flying under the radar. I believe they thought that Forte was a way to become known at another level and so they came together specifically for AGT – just to see where it would take them.

    Truth be told, many of the acts you see on this show have been honing their craft for years and years. They have performed all over the place, recorded, toured etc.

    However, they just need a break in order to escalate their careers and AGT provides this.


  10. Love them and they have my votes!


  11. They were wonderful! I was wondering how you knew about them from your comments the week before this aired! Now I know!!!


  12. I’ve been following Josh for several year through his youtubes! I just love the richness of his voice. I’m so happy that this show has certainly launched his career in a trajectory that not even touring with Jackie Evancho could do. Even if FORTE doesn’t win the title, they are on their way!


  13. Masterclass Lady June 27, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Oh absolutely Bonnie! These guys have enjoyed enormous success and yet their careers have remained quite linear, albeit a highly successful linear status.

    They needed to come up with a plan and, after much work, Forte was born and the rest is and will be history. All of these guys are going to skyrocket, both as an ensemble and as soloists. I am so happy for them. Thrilled beyond belief.


  14. Masterclass Lady June 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Thanks Louise and Rhonda. Cannot wait for the Las Vegas rounds! What will they sing??? Whatever it is, it will be incredibly beautiful and memorable.


  15. Fantastic!! They remind me of Il Volo! Similar story!


  16. Masterclass Lady,

    I thought Forte was Beyond Beyond and happy to see them be successful…

    What was the song Americas Got Talent was playing right after they found out they were going to Las Vegas?

    Sounded beautiful as the group Forte was exiting the stage and I would like to know the song that was playing.

    Thank you,



  17. Masterclass Lady June 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    David – thank you for your kind comments.

    The song that you heard was Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah performed by Il Divo, a group managed by Simon Cowell. 🙂


  18. Masterclass Lady June 29, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Joy – absolutely. Except that they are a little older and the level of their talent is much higher because of the maturity of their voices.

    But isn’t it great that these kinds of groups are garnering so much attention? Everyone is craving really good singers – something that the music industry has sorely neglected, for the most part, over the last decade or so.


  19. Thank you so much for that… I never would have known that was the singers. I loved their rendition of “Somewhere” but I could not have figured it out.

    Thanks again,


    PS: GO Forte!!!


  20. Josh Page has performed in concerts by crossover soprano Jackie Evancho, both soloing and duetting with her. It’s interested to compare this trio’s impassioned rendition of Pie Jesu with Jackie Evancho’s more, well, celestial rendition, which can be found on YouTube easily.


  21. Thanks for this post, MCL. I’ve been away for a bit and knew I could count on you for an update on good singing and good singers!


  22. Wow, I have been listening to this many, many times over the last few days. It amazes me that they could come together in a few days and sound so good together. Mel B got it right – their voices sounded great on this song. I especially like the way they acknowledge each other as they sing, I guess when you’ve got innate skill and talent this is what can happen. They also seem to be genuinely guys too.


  23. Masterclass Lady July 1, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Awestruck and Janey – aren’t they incredible? I know both Josh and Fernando, so I knew what was going to come out of their mouths the moment they walked on stage.

    All three singers have worked tremendously hard and, yet, were flying under the radar. So, I am glad that they had the wisdom and foresight to create Forte to propel them to fame on the AGT stage.

    Expect more surprises from this group in the future. They are multi-dimensional in their musical approach and the epitome of crossover artists.

    Thanks everyone for your supportive comments. Brings a smile to my face.


  24. Absolutely fantastic! Brought me to the edge of my seat. Will be watching for first CD as you know it’s coming!!


  25. Masterclass Lady July 2, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Yes Brat0318 – that CD should be epic. Thanks for adding your comments.


  26. Incredible! Simply speechless. Loved them, all three.


  27. Masterclass Lady July 5, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Thanks Kitty. Glad you are supporting Forte! That anthem was pretty awesome, wasn’t it?


  28. I am not a musician…I am the audience. While not understanding the mechanics of music as a professional, I was moved to tears! The solo starters had me holding me breath, but when the harmonies broke out, I gasped, got chills, lump in my throat and tears in my eyes! Is this what angels in heaven will sound like? Awe-inspiring!


  29. Masterclass Lady July 12, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Layman – they were truly angelic and heavenly. All three singers are incredibly gifted and have worked extremely hard up to this point. Music is their passion and they have a gift that has been sent from God.

    As much as I respect and applaud many of the gifted singers in this competition, I hope and pray that the vocal and performing skills that Forte brings to this competition inspires the viewing audience to the same level as it inspired you. I have no doubt that they will.

    They are a multi-faceted act – classical and pop at its very, very best. Stay tuned and thanks for your lovely words of support.


  30. I have listened to the AGT Forte post many times. You just don’t get tired of hearing it. I’ve played a 12-string guitar for many years. Tuning is important for the instrument to sound good. These guys have such good ears they just can push up the beauty of a song. It is not just their power, and quality of the pipes – they can blend by hearing each other. It is easy to see each of them have soooo much backing them (like a sport car with 3000 hp) so that when you push down the petal it explodes.

    Throw in some – these guys are so down to earth and likeable. Someone mentioned they acknowledge each other while they sing. That is something I noticed as well even from the clipping of the camera scenes. And they are having fun with it. They know they are good but it is most important to present an enjoyable event by the song being sung to the level where they can take it.

    So for all the efforts and guidance of the people who have helped prepare these guys for the bright future unfolding before us – thanks as the world is about to have something to sign about.


  31. Mary beth scott July 24, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Won’t be the same without Hana, new member very good just not the same—!!!!


  32. I agree with Mary Beth. As a Nonprofessional, again, I don’t know why but it’s just not the same. I hope Forte did not just give up $1 million.


  33. Masterclass Lady July 25, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Layman and Mary Beth: Forte’s decision to seek out a third member to replace Hana did not rest with them. Hana withdrew – presumably because of problems with his VISA.

    What else could Fernando and Josh do? They would either have to withdraw from the competition as well or take a chance on a new member.

    They chose the latter – it was a gutsy move, if you ask me. The judges could have eliminated them in Las Vegas but, obviously, felt strongly that the new composition of the trio worked.

    I wish them well and want to see them move to the top. They deserve to be there. They have worked tremendously hard in achieving this level of success in their singing careers. No sob stories, no, but plain old hard work and discipline. That has to count for something, no?


  34. Dear Masterclass Lady: Thanks for you comments about Forte. I think they sound great and are one of the contenders to win it all. You mention that they are accomplished singers but are still flying below the radar. I sometimes watch opera, classical crossover and musical theater performers on TV and live in concert and I am constantly amazed by the amount of talent shown by Forte and many other less well known performers. Forte is hugely talented but, as far as I can tell, there seem to be many other equally talented classically trained singers laboring in relative obscurity under the radar. Are Forte, Il Divo, and the Canadian Tenors uniquely talented or did they get a break that set them apart from their equally talented and hardworking peers? What do you think?


  35. Masterclass Lady July 31, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Socalfan: I think that Forte, The (Canadian) Tenors and Il Divo have one thing in common – besides their sublime talent and impeccable work ethic: phenomenal personal managers and a burgeoning group of fans who are committed to their success.

    They have personally sacrificed a great deal and have been relentless in their pursuit for international musical success.

    Because I am related to Fernando’s manger (Paul Mascioli), I am fully aware of the blood, sweat, tears and years that have been part of building Fernando’s career. It has not been easy and it never is.

    There are many excellent singers in this world but if they don’t take risks they will live in obscurity. And that is a shame. But it is the truth.

    Fernando, Josh and Sean saw an opportunity to create a trio via the Internet and turn it into a great story. Smart!


  36. They have talent, but their story is total BS as are a lot of the stories on AGT. Take singer Branden James. AGT wants us to believe he’s some undiscovered talent that only wants to prove himself to his parents who kicked him out when they discovered he was gay. A quick Google search shows he’s toured world-wide as a member of the 12 Irish Tenors and performs with various operas including the MET and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Hardly an amateur. I’m sure he’s proved himself to his parents long ago. Nice fake tears, though, Branden. At least Forte isn’t claiming to be something they’re not, but AGT sure colors the truth.


  37. Masterclass Lady August 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Forte has always been upfront with their experience.

    But, truthfully, those three guys were literally thrown together and, with Sean’s last-minute contribution, you cannot deny that these guys have the chops and the confidence to propel Forte to the top.

    Forte did not exist before AGT, but Branden James did. That’s a huge difference.

    Fernando, Josh and Hana, then Sean, saw an opportunity for combined success at an International level and ran with it. Good for them.


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