Rossini’s Ermione at Teatro San Carlo

April 17th, 2021

“The role of Ermione is very demanding, requiring a soprano with excellent technique, versatility and the ability to infuse her singing with dramatic meaning. Angela Meade is such a soprano, and she put on a commanding display. It was the dramatic intensity with which she was able to infuse her singing which made her performance so powerful. Agility and intelligence alongside the raw power she can employ created a formidable, but not necessarily an always delicate performance. Every phrase was enriched with a variety of dynamic and a colorful accents, in which dark and light contrasts were used to promote expressiveness, and promote a psychological interpretation…Her coloratura and trilling were finely rendered. Her voice resounded with quality…she was able weave a delicate filigree of sound at the upper end…in what was an excellent performance.” Operawire – Alan Neilson

“With Angela Meade, it is a higher degree that we reach: the American singer gives a lesson in singing and in particular in the second act, which is the one where the airs and the imprecations follow one another. First of all, the voice is homogeneous from low to high, always correct, always technically mastered. Then, as an exemplary product of the American school, it has a diction of rare clarity, and real Italian phrasing. Finally, it is an inhabited, colorful, interpreted song, with the desired pianissimi with the treble held, with an impressive breath.
She is undoubtedly one of the indisputable figures in this repertoire, and Naples was happy to have her celebrate the bicentenary of the work…she knows how to show the psychological folds of the character, sometimes lyrical, sometimes terrible, sometimes torn. She knows how to convey the complexity of a role that is not all of a block, only that of the villain as we see too often Hermione in the original Racinian. Rossini and his librettist have succeeded in delving into the character, revealing its contradictions and cracks: the music that accompanies his arias is astounding in finesse, variety, color, energy, it manages to convey both the tension and despair. And Meade manages to translate it all, with an unusual vocal presence and energy (ah his great final aria – che feci? Dove son? – which opens the final scene (and doesn’t conclude it) is a magnificent example of singing embodied. It is a great opera moment that we witnessed there.” Wanderer – Guy Cherqui

“This kaleidoscope where anger turns into pain, where tenderness competes with resentment, where the call without an echo turns into an insult, it is up to the performer to deploy it and train us in it. A challenge brilliantly held by Angela Meade, whose voice complies with all the requirements of the role, thanks to its very homogeneous range where the highs are brilliant and the lows are sound, and to its jumps, bounces and sustained sounds. In the second act, where the character’s mental and emotional disorder precedes a hallucinatory introspection followed by a cruel return to lucidity, the expressive palette leaves nothing to be desired.” Forum Opera – Maurice Salles

“the American super soprano Angela Meade triumphs….And here the San Carlo has dropped the ace of Angela Meade, American soprano with an equally impressive voice and physique. However, Meade is not just a joint: she can sing, her plans are very beautiful and her agility works too. Although little aided by direction, Meade is an interpreter, perhaps a little one-dimensional in her perpetual fury but often enthralling when she articulates incendiary and furious phrases such as: “And so dare a leftover of Troy? ” … the sumptuous, dark, full voice fills the great hall of the San Carlo with torrential authority.” La Stampa – Alberto Mattioli