America’s Got Talent’s Forte Has An Exciting New Look And Sound

20130716-130753.jpgThis week, America’s Got Talent heads to Las Vegas where the judges will whittle down the hundreds of performers they advanced in the preliminary rounds.

The final selection of acts will be featured on live shows over the coming weeks, where the viewers will have a say in the elimination process via voting.

One of the strongest acts to be featured during the Los Angeles auditions was the exciting vocal trio, Forte, featuring Josh Page, Hana Ryu and Fernando Varela.

They astounded the audience and viewers with their stellar performing ability and exquisite harmonies. Each is a strong soloist in his own right, but together, their sound is magical.

However, if you watched Part One of the Las Vegas Rounds on Tuesday evening, you now know that there has been a change in the composition of this group. Unfortunately, Hana Ryu had to withdraw from the competition for undisclosed reasons and has been replaced by Sean Panikkar.

This change has obviously disappointed some fans and/or spurred the adoption of new ones. Totally understandable. Hana is an excellent, gifted artist and everyone here wishes him the very best in his evolving singing career.

However, after hearing their edited version of “The Prayer”, I feel that Sean is a stellar choice for this trio of sublime vocalists. I think that all three singers are evenly matched and will continue to surprise us with their crossover versatility.

Although they have been classically trained at the highest level, all three have the capability and the experience to present music from different genres.

And, we cannot underestimate the power of their combined charisma. It is “through the roof”, worthy of their determined climb to superstar status.

However, what will the judges decide? Will they move Forte forward to the live shows or will this be the last chance we get to see them on the America’s Got Talent stage?

Tune in to NBC at 9:00 8:00 PM Eastern on Wednesday, June 17th and watch how their tale and many of your personal favourites unfold.

Below you will find an edited video of Forte’sLas Vegas audition on Tuesday evening. What do you think?

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

20 Responses to “America’s Got Talent’s Forte Has An Exciting New Look And Sound”

  1. Sean Panikkar has clearly much stronger voice, I was amazed when I heard it and was wondering as to his name and background, looked for your blog post specifically to see if you mention it then looked it up. His credentials in opera are also considerably more impressive credentials than any classical singer that has ever appeared on this show (except for maybe Donald Braswell was in the past, while Panikkar’s appears on the rise). He’s even sung small roles at the Met – clearly a young artist on the rise.

    Am I the only one surprised that Forte was asked to perform in Vegas and not put through right away, while a mediocre tenor who sang Nessun Dorma got put through right away?


  2. Hana explained the situation on his FB page: Hana Ryu
    12 hours ago near Johnson City, NY via mobile
    Hi, my dear friends. I just want to tell you about America’s got talent that I could not be on the show anymore because of my Visa status. Nothing bad happened just complications. I’m sorry about those who supported me and I really appreciate a lot of compliments and support. I hope that you see me again soon, many thanks!! : )


  3. Thanks Allison but I felt that it was safer for me not to mention this in my article. If it was not publicized on AGT, then better to be safe than sorry and avoid anything in writing. 🙂


  4. I think that everyone had to re-audition Kitty. The manner in which they edited the show last evening looks like they were immediately advanced but I am sure they had to perform for the judges once again in Las Vegas.

    If not, then that means that those artists that we did see perform have been singled out by AGT as the top runners. It’s just a presumption on my part. Tonight will tell the story.


  5. You are probably right. Showing them in Vegas clearly gives them more exposure and leaves them more prominent in the audience’ minds. They did edit it to show as if they are sending some people straight to NYC without auditions, but in reality we don’t really know.


  6. mcl – do you agree with Howard that Sean is stronger than Fernando and Josh?


  7. sorry about the above question – I just re-read your article and you said they were evenly matched.


  8. Allison Hawkes July 18, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    I totally agree with you about their equal abilities and major star potential, Rosanne. I think Howard was off base with his comment about Sean being stronger. I’ve listened over and over to the little snippet we got of The Prayer and now I wonder if it had to do with where Howard was sitting or some other technical issue. I was raised in a musical family where the question was never ‘will you sing?’, but rather ‘what part do you sing?’. We all have a family standard for judging vocal performances — the ‘goosebump test’. Forte in both forms certainly has the goosebump magic. I’m still hoping at some point Hana can join them again – I just love to hear 4 tenors – it’s like heaven.


  9. Yes Alison / I totally agree. In fact, the whole clip was edited to make it seem that Sean was a stronger singer where, in fact, Fernando was the one singing the highest part of song.

    It would be great to see a quartet of tenors. Perhaps, because they initially auditioned as a trio, they wanted to keep the composition the same in numbers.

    So, perhaps Hana will join them somewhere down the road.


  10. I do think Sean is stronger at least from classical music perspective, though it’s not really clear if it’s that important in crossover.In this repertory they are fine together, but listening to other selections on you tube, Sean has more artistry. Not that it matters as much in crossover where people look mostly for sound and less for expressiveness and where the microphone hides the difference in voice sizes and the music isn’t as demanding.

    Consider also that judges sitting very close to the stage could very well hear the sound coming from singers’ mouths even in presence of the mics – given that they all are trained to sing without a mic – and thus could hear their real unamplified voices and were able to hear the difference between them much better than we are.

    This is Sean Panikkar:

    I am not sure Josh could sing this for example, his voice sounds much lighter to me, though he has a very beautiful tone. I couldn’t find any recordings of Varela or Page of similar difficulty.

    Panikkar is also much more successful in classical career, actually, with his schedule for the next year one wonders how he’d manage with AGT contract.


  11. thank you kitty for that info!


  12. MCL – I would love to see Hana join them!


  13. This group is my definite top choice for the prize this season. There’s a “magical” quality to their combined voices that is rarely heard, especially in this Classical Crossover genre. From the first moment I heard the original threesome, I was hooked! I want to see them go all the way. Can’t wait to see and hear a complete performance on the show.


  14. Love Forte!!!! They will win it all!!! From the first note they sang the “goosebumps started and are still there. Can’t wait to see them again in the finals with a full orchestra behind them. Also would be awesome to have Andrea Bocelli appear as a quest on the finals–or have Forte and Andrea sing together—that would be Magic for sure


  15. Ah Richard – a the saying goes, “from your lips to God’s ears”. I think this is where we are headed here but we have to keep voting and supporting for three more rounds, I believe, for the magic to continue.

    Thank you for your kind words.


  16. I will keep voting and see if my winner picking streak continues. 2 Years ago from his first audition I said Scotty Mccreery would win and he did. Last year X Factor from Tate Stevens first song he sang I said he will win. On The Voice 2 times ago I picked Terry MCdermont to win, he came in second to Cassidee Pope (she is awesome) to last Voice Danielle Bradberry who has a God give talent for sure. Have to vote vote vote–even if Forte does not win—they will be recording and touring the world I am sure.


  17. Panikkar clearly has more experience, more training, and a sublime voice. Varela has a beautiful voice, but not quite as much experience/training, and Josh Page is the one with the least experience and the least great training. I’m hoping that the exposure to Sean will encourage him to resume his education.

    In the last performance, I have to agree with MelB that their performance was (a bit) overblown. The inexperience led to nerves and adrenaline putting their performance a bit over the top. (It was Radio City Music Hall for goodness’ sake!) The one least phased by the setting and most in control was, not surprisingly, Panikkar.

    I hope they do well–couldn’t happen to a nicer group of guys. And I hope we see a lot more from Hana Ryu.

    As for me, I’m making arrangements to take my students to Student Night at the Opera, when Panikkar will be in town next year! I haven’t been this excited about a performance in years.


  18. Finally,Americas own tenor trio instead of import,love it..


  19. Rosa- my thoughts exactly!! It is exciting, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by and supporting my blog.


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