The operatic performances of dramatic-lyric baritone Limuel Forgey have been described by critics as “sung richly and acted with devious candor…Forgey’s silvery tones seemed effortless in delivery of his heartless demands.” (Jane Snow, The Opera Critic: La Traviata). The Fresno Bee said of him, “Forgey’s voice filled the theatre with an edge and vigor that never seemed dour…(the other singers) couldn’t match Forgey’s vocal prowess,” (Scarlet Letter, the Opera). The Fresno Bee has characterized Forgey’s performances as “powerful” and “nuanced”.
Working extensively in oratorio with large philharmonic orchestras, Forgey has enjoyed further critical acclaim. From his 2019 performance of Bach’s Johannes Passion (semi-staged), critic Donald Munro said “Limuel Forgey, also doubling roles (as Pontius Pilate and bass soloist), was very good. His detached bureaucratic weariness mixed with an easy cruelty was devastatingly effective.”
A “standout talent” and “rousing performer,” hailed for “capturing passion” in his singing, Forgey’s artistic range is impressive. In oratorio, Forgey has performed the baritone/bass solos in such varied works as Johannes Passion (Bach), Magnificat (Buxtehude), Creation (Haydn), Cantata 82 (Bach), Magnificat (Bach), Come All Ye Sons (Purcell), Messiah (Handel), Requiem (Mozart), 9th Symphony (Beethoven), Oratorio de Noel (Saint-Saens), Requiem (Faure), Ein Deutsches Requiem (Brahms), Carmina Burana (Orff), Requiem (Verdi), Messa di Gloria (Puccini), Te Deum (Dvorak), Five Mystical Songs (Vaughan Williams).
Forgey’s stage work includes extensive opera and musical theatre roles. These include Le Nozze di Figaro/Mozart (role of Count/role of Figaro) VOCE 2016, FSO Fresno 2017, Madama Butterfly/Puccini (Sharpless) California Opera 2010, Golden Gate Opera 2010, California Opera 2012, Fresno Opera 2019, Carmen/Bizet (Escamillo) FSO Company Fresno 2016, Visalia Opera Company 2015, California Opera Association 2011, Golden Gate Opera 2010, La Traviata/Verdi (Germont) California Opera 2009, 2011, Golden Gate Opera 2009, Lucia di Lammermoor/Donizetti (Enrico) COA 2011, Dido and Aeneas/Purcell (Aeneas) Fresno City Opera 2018, Die Fledermaus/Strauss (Eisenstein) FSO 2018, Hansel und Gretel/Humperdinck (Peter/Father) Visalia Opera Company 2015, Pullman Opera 1994, Les Miserables/ Claude-Michel Schönberg (Javert. 2013 Bishop 2014) Theater Arts Alliance 2013, Fresno Grand Opera 2014, The Phantom of the Opera/Webber (Piangi) COS Sequoia Theater 2011, Lincoln and Booth-A New Opera/Cepelak (Johnson)* Golden Gate Opera 2012, Crime and Punishment-The Opera/Rainbow (Petrovitch) 2010 RB Productions Visalia,* The Scarlet Letter/Rainbow. (Chillingworth)* 2006 RB Productions Visalia, South Pacific/Hammerstein (Emile) 2015 Theater Arts Alliance, 2015 Selma Arts Center, The Mikado/Sullivan (Ko Ko) 1993 Pullman Opera.
In his large performance career, Mr. Forgey has had the pleasure of working with some of opera and musical theater’s most prominent directors and conductors, including Peter Lockyer (Director and star of Les Miserables -Broadway and London’s West End (Jean Valjean) who directed and stared with Mr. Forgey in Fresno Grand Opera’s bold 2014 production). Metropolitan Opera star Patrice Munsel, who was a personal mentor and guide for Mr. Forgey, helping him shape his early career. Mr. Forgey has had the pleasure of singing under the baton of famed Broadway conductor Brad Haak (American in Paris, Les Mis, Mary Poppins). Prominent coaches have included Howard Watkins (MET), Johnathan Kunher (MET), Edna Garabedian (Mezzo Soprano Europe/USA)
In 2018, Mr. Forgey performed throughout southern Germany in German Lieder concerts sponsored by the CSU-Summer Arts program. There, he had the privilege of collaborating and working with some of Europe’s greatest singers and coaches, including Celine Dutilly (Canada/ Europe) and Gabriele Erhard (Austria/Germany). The German paper Granzbote News wrote of his singing “Bariton Limuel Forgey hatte fur seinen beeindruchenden Vortrag di Gustav Mahler-Vertonnug von Friedrich Ruckerts Gedicht “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen” ausgewahlt. “(Baritone Limuel Forgey had chosen Friedrich Ruckert's poem "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen" for his impressive performance of Gustav Mahler's song. ”)
Mr. Forgey is privileged to have worked with wonderful symphony orchestras as a guest artist and soloist, most recently singing for the Fresno Philharmonic (Maestro Rei Hotoda) 2017, 2018, Fresno Master Chorale (Maestro Anna Hamre) 2016, 2017,2018 Sequoia Symphony Orchestra (Maestro Bruce Kiesling) 2015, 2016, 2018, The Kings Symphony Orchestra (Maestro Jeffrey Fritz) 2017, 2018.
Radio, Television and Film include
Crime and Punishment Opera Film DVD released 2010, Rainbow Productions
NPR Valley Public Radio Soloist 2017 selections from Oratorio de Noel (Saint-Saens)
“Suddenly with the Angels” Television Broadcast Fresno KNXT 2017 soloist
Aventura! Independent Feature Film (2015) role of “Bandleader”
Mr. Forgey holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Washington State University in Vocal Performance
A Masters of Arts in Music (Vocal Performance) from California State University Fresno
And post graduate work in voice and conducting at the University of Washington