Though they have not shared the stage since, the two share several career commonalities. Both women are risk takers – accepting accolades for their honesty and vulnerability on stage – and are consistently praised not only for their portrayals of opera’s classical heroines, but also for their creation of characters new or not-often-performed. The New York Times said Ms. Crider sang Alma in the world premiere of Keeril Makan’s Persona “with deep expressivity and impressive stamina,” while Ms. Partridge’s portrayal of Diana at Minnesota Opera’s L’Arbore di Diana was touted by Twin Cities Arts as an “impressive” performance, “complete with vocal pyrotechnics” that provided the “unquestionable high point of the evening.”
Both women are passionate about fostering the operatic art form for future generations, presenting programs of art songs and arias in unconventional spaces in order to expose new audiences to classical music. While an Assistant Professor of Voice at Kennesaw State University, Partridge was instrumental in forming Interchange, a concert series at the Zuckerman Museum of Art. Crider is the founder and Artistic Director of IlluminArts, an organization dedicated to presenting art song and vocal chamber music in galleries and museums throughout Miami, now in its sixth season.
And both women crossed paths with Miguel Rodriguez early in their careers, while performing with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Opera Boston and Boston Baroque. The two have separately been following the evolution of Athlone Artists with interest and enthusiasm, and are excited to pursue a fresh, strategic, and invested partnership as they continue to pursue their concurrent careers.
“I have this wonderful history of singing bel canto repertoire, and I’m interested in exploring more intimate opera experiences – performing in new, relevant works of American verismo,” says Leah. “I called Miguel looking for advice since he has known me my entire career. I wasn’t looking for management but while talking, I realized he had some new ideas and a refreshing take on how to stay viable in this changing industry. So we decided to work together and that I would keep my European management with Athole Still.”
Amanda has known Miguel since performing Nellie Forbush with Opera Boston. “When I heard Miguel was starting his management company, I was intrigued and started to pay attention,” she said. “I admire the compelling and talented artists he has chosen for his roster. Miguel has known me from the very beginning of my career – he knows my strengths, and he is invested in me as an artist. I know this will be a wonderful working relationship.”
“I have enjoyed a long-time collaborative relationship with Leah and Amanda through my years with Opera Boston and Boston Baroque,” says Rodriguez. “Leah’s extraordinary soprano instrument matches the dramatic power she brings to her acting on stage. Amanda’s musicality and warm honey-toned mezzo voice is the thing symphonic and operatic conductors dream to work with. I couldn’t be more excited to continue working at Athlone with these two brilliant artists.”