About Acte II
Opera duo, ACTE II, was suddenly launched into the national spotlight after delivering a captivating performance on NBC’s #1 summer show America’s Got Talent. The duo received a standing ovation by the celebrity judges who then selected the duo as one of 10 acts to perform live at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Since their time on America’s Got Talent the ladies have performed to high acclaim in some of America’s largest cities and internationally.
Sopranos Olanna Goudeau (Port Arthur, TX) and Ashley Renée Watkins (New Orleans, LA) are southern belles who currently make their home in New York City. The pair first met while studying voice performance at Dillard University in New Orleans, LA. They later attended graduate school together at the University of Oklahoma where they first shared the spotlight together in an exhilarating production of Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. Throughout their studies both Ashley Renée and Olanna received high honors in national and international vocal competitions within the United States, Europe and South America. They have also been selected as young artist by some of the classical arena’s most prestigious programs including Music Academy of the West, Taos Opera Institute, AIMS in Graz and Opera New Jersey’s Victoria J. Mastrobuono Emerging Artist Program.
In 2012, ACTE II came about after Olanna and Ashley Renée joined forces to raise money through concert work, to travel to Europe for singing opportunities. While planning their fund raising concerts they realized how much they enjoyed working together and that they could create something special together. As a result, their mission changed from funding an audition tour to creating new and exciting programming that would allow them to connect with audiences near and far. ACTE II regularly performs throughout the United States with performances ranging from some of America’s most beloved venues to community outreach programs. ACTE II has put its mission statement “to connect with people around the globe one community at a time” into action. In the past year alone the ladies have made their Lincoln Center debut in historic Avery Fisher Hall while on tour with the American Spiritual Ensemble, performed at an NBA game as guests of the Brooklyn Nets, presented the highest grossing concert yet on the Fordham at Four Concert Series of the Bronx, NY, and made countless special guests appearances around the United States. Even with all of these wonderful opportunities the duo finds it very necessary to give back to the community. They have presented opera workshops, partnered with organizations to reach at risk teens and most recently performed a “Popera” concert for New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.
The afro donning duo has quickly become known for pushing the boundaries of classical music with exciting and “connected” concerts. ACTE II’s programming, which has been described as “something close to perfection”, covers the gamut of vocal music with genres ranging from art songs, opera, musical theater, jazz, spirituals, gospel and popular music. Their multi-genre or versatile repertoire continues to push them towards their goal of becoming the world’s leading classical singing ensemble and providers of entertainment, music education and inspiration.