Hailed as “the most talked about soprano of her generation” (Opera News), American soprano Angela Meade is the winner of both the Metropolitan Opera’s 2012 Beverly Sills Artist Award and the 2011 Richard Tucker Award. In 2008 she joined an elite group of history’s singers when, as Elvira in Verdi’s Ernani, she made her professional operatic debut on the Met stage. Since then she has fast become recognized as one of today’s outstanding vocalists, excelling in the most demanding heroines of the 19th-century bel canto repertoire as well as in the operas of Verdi and Mozart. As the New Yorker put it, “Meade is astounding. … She has exceptional dynamic control, able to move from floating pianissimos to sudden dramatic swells. The coloratura effects – rapid runs, trills, delicate turns, and so on – are handled with uncommon ease. She is a very musical singer, naturally and intelligently riding the phrase.”
In the 2016-17 season, Angela Meade will join the Teatro Real in Madrid as Lucrezia in concert performances of Verdi’s I due Foscari, opposite Plácido Domingo and Michael Fabiano, conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado. She will return to Madrid later in the season to sing her signature role of Norma and also to the Met for Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, conducted by Plácido Domingo. Ms. Meade will perform concert performances of Rossini’s Ermione with the Russian National Orchestra, as well as with the Opéra de Lyon orchestra in Lyon and Paris at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. Later, she returns to Spain to sing at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville in the title role of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena,. She will later return to Bilbao for Lina in Verdi’s Stiffelio with the Asociación Bilbaína de Amigos de la Ópera (ABAO Bilbao), a debut role. In concert, she will return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra with Gustavo Dudamel for Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass, make her Japanese debut in Tokyo with the NHK Symphony in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, conducted by Paavo Järvi, join the Met for their 50th Anniversary celebration concert, Verdi’s Requiem for a debut with Houston Grand Opera, perform Martinu’s The Epic of Gilgamesh with the Grant Park Music Festival, as well as Washington Concert Opera’s 30th Anniversary gala, and present a solo recital with Performance Santa Fe.
In the 2015-16 season, Meade performed Leonora in Verdi’s Il trovatore on both sides of the Atlantic, at the Met, and Deutsche Oper Berlin. She revisited her celebrated portrayal of Bellini’s Norma at Los Angeles Opera and performed selections from Don Giovanni with the Baltimore Symphony. Returning to Opera Orchestra of New York with Eve Queler, Ms. Meade performed the title role in Donizett’s rarity Parisina. In concert, she returned to the Philadelphia Orchestra for a New Year’s Eve Gala and performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the symphony’s U.S. premiere, as well as to her alma mater, Pacific Lutheran University, for a Christmas concert that was broadcast on PBS. Besides making her Cincinnati Symphony debut of Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, and her St. Louis Symphony debut in Beethoven’s Ninth, she sings Verdi’s Requiem on three continents: with the Boston Philharmonic, Brazil’s Fundação Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, and with Spain’s Asociación Bilbaína de Amigos de la Ópera (ABAO Bilbao).
Last season saw Meade – the face of the Opera News 2014 “Diva Issue” – reprise Verdi’s Elvira at the Met, this time singing opposite Plácido Domingo under the leadership of James Levine. She undertook the title role of Ermione at Palacio de la Opera, and, as one of the few sopranos to feature all three of Donizetti’s Tudor queens in her repertoire, headlined Maria Stuarda in concert at Oregon’s Astoria Music Festival. Again in Donizetti, she joined Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra to record the composer’s lesser-known opera Le duc d’Albe for future release by Opera Rara. In concert, Verdi’s Requiem was the vehicle for debuts with the New York Philharmonic, under Alan Gilbert; at London’s BBC Proms, with Donald Runnicles leading the BBC Scottish Symphony; and with Spain’s Oviedo Filarmonía. She also joined the Philadelphia Orchestra for Mahler’s Second in Philadelphia and at Carnegie Hall; sang Beethoven’s Ninth with the BBC Scottish Symphony; and headlined concert performances of Rossini’s Guglielmo Tell with the orchestra of the Teatro Regio di Torino and Gianandrea Noseda in Edinburgh, Italy, and on a high-profile North American tour.
Since her momentous Met debut, Meade’s numerous returns to the storied New York house include starring in the title roles of Norma and Sir David McVicar’s new Anna Bolena; as Leonora in Il trovatore; as Alice Ford in a new Falstaff under James Levine, as seen around the world in the Met’s Live in HD series and just released on DVD by Decca Classics; and as Mozart’s Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. She also reprised Verdi’s Elvira in a production seen both in the Met’s Live in HD series and as a Great Performances at the Met presentation on PBS-TV. At Carnegie Hall, she headlined Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda and appeared in Rossini’s Moïse et Pharaon, while at Lincoln Center she sang Giselda in Verdi’s I Lombardi with the Opera Orchestra of New York.
Other highlights of recent seasons include debuts at the Vienna State Opera as Elena in Verdi’s I vespri siciliani; Deutsche Oper Berlin and Oper Frankfurt, in concert performances of Verdi’s I due Foscari and Puccini’s Edgar, respectively; Italy’s Teatro Regio di Torino as Mathilde in a new production of Guglielmo Tell; Los Angeles Opera and Cincinnati Opera as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni; and, in her first fully-staged title portrayal of Norma, at Washington National Opera, where she was subsequently honored as “2013 Artist of the Year.” She was catapulted to prominence in a 2010 concert performance of Norma at the Caramoor International Music Festival, where she has also triumphed as Hélène in Verdi’s Les vêpres siciliennes, and in the title roles of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia and Rossini’s Semiramide. In 2010, Meade made her European operatic debut at The Wexford Festival in the title role of Mercadante’s rarely staged Virginia.
On the concert stage, Meade has appeared in recital at the Kennedy Center, and as soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, and Seattle Symphony, among others. Conductors with whom she has collaborated include Roberto Abbado, Marin Alsop, Marco Armiliato, Thomas Dausgaard, Charles Dutoit, Riccardo Frizza, Manfred Honeck, Sebastian Lang-Lessing, James Levine, Fabio Luisi, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Donald Runnicles, Gerard Schwarz, and Osmo Vänskä.
A native of Washington State and an alumna of the Academy of Vocal Arts, Angela Meade has triumphed in an astounding number of vocal competitions: 57 in all, including many of the opera world’s most important prizes. In addition to being a winner at the 2007 Met National Council Auditions, as documented in The Audition, a film that was subsequently released on DVD by Decca, she was the first singer to take first prize in both the opera and operetta categories of Vienna’s prestigious Belvedere Competition.