Angela Meade, Soprano
Soprano Angela Meade is the winner of the 2012 Beverly Sills Artist Award from the Metropolitan Opera and the 2011 Richard Tucker Award. Less than five years after her professional debut, she has quickly become recognized as one of the outstanding vocalists of her generation. The New Yorker has stated, “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.” Angela Meade excels in the most demanding heroines of the nineteenth-century bel canto repertoire as well as in the operas of Verdi and Mozart.
Angela Meade joined an elite group of history’s singers when she made her professional operatic debut on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera as Verdi’s Elvira in Ernani substituting for an ill colleague in March 2008. Ronald Blum of the Associated Press wrote of the debut, “she showed a vibrant voice with nice color and an assured technique and sang like an old pro from start to finish.” She had previously sung on the Met stage as one of the winners of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a process that is documented in the film The Audition, released on DVD by Decca. The New York Times singled out Angela Meade as “an impressive soprano who powered out a ‘Casta diva’ from Bellini’s Norma that left everyone breathless.”
In August 2012 Angela Meade makes a trio of debuts at major U.S. festivals, performing with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Music Festival, Philadelphia Orchestra and its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Robert Spano at the Aspen Music Festival. She also headlines gala concerts for Oper Kiel in Germany, sings the title role of Norma in concert as Oregon’s Astoria Music Festival, and Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore at Festival Castillo de Peralada in Spain.
Highlights of Angela Meade’s 2012/13 season include debuts with the Vienna State Opera as Elena in Verdi’s I vespri siciliani, led by Gianandrea Noseda, Los Angeles Opera as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni opposite Ildebrando D’Arcangelo and conducted by Plácido Domingo, and Washington National Opera in her first fully staged Norma, singing the title role that catapulted her to prominence at the Caramoor Festival in 2010. Daniele Rustoni is the conductor and Anne Bogart is the stage director for the new production. Ms. Meade also makes her Kennedy Center debut with pianist Bradley Moore in a recital presented by Washington National Opera, and portrays Giselda in Verdi’s I Lombardi with Opera Orchestra of New York at Avery Fisher Hall as well as Donna Anna in Cincinnati Opera’s Don Giovanni. She returns to the Metropolitan Opera for her first staged Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, and to the Pittsburgh Symphony for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 under Manfred Honeck.
During the 2011/12 season, Angela Meade starred in two productions at the Metropolitan Opera: the title role of David McVicar’s new production of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, conducted by Marco Armiliato, and she returned to the role of her professional debut in a reprise of Verdi’s Ernani as Elvira, opposite Marcello Giordani, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Ferruccio Furlanetto, also conducted by Marco Armiliato. This production was seen Live in HD around the world and as a Great Performances at the Met presentation on PBS-TV. Ms. Meade made her debut with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, singing Lucrezia in a concert version of Verdi’s I Due Foscari opposite Ramón Vargas and Leo Nucci, her Canadian debut with the Orchestre Metropolitain, singing the Zemlinsky Lyric Symphony, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and appeared in Rossini’s Moise et Pharaon with the Collegiate Chorale and American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
In a busy 2010/11 season Angela Meade made her European operatic debut at the Wexford Festival in the title role of Mercadante’s rarely seen Virginia. In concert, she made her debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony in Verdi’s Requiem conducted by Manfred Honeck; she also sang the same work for debuts with the Houston Symphony under Thomas Dausgaard and at the Palm Beach Opera and the Baltimore Symphony under Marin Alsop. Ms. Meade performed Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang at the San Antonio Symphony under Sebastian Lang-Lessing and her first performances of Donna Anna in a concert version of Don Giovanni with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra under Roberto Abbado. Other highlights included the Dvořák Stabat Mater with the New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall, the Brahms Requiem with the Choralis Foundation at Strathmore Hall and recitals with the Sarasota Artists Series.
In the spring and summer of 2011, Angela Meade opened the Tanglewood Festival, performing the title role in the first act of Bellini’s Norma, conducted by Charles Dutoit. She was featured in the
Metropolitan Opera Parks concerts in New York. She performed Mahler’s Second Symphony under Gerard Schwarz at the Seattle Symphony, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Minnesota Orchestra under Osmo Vänskä.
Angela Meade’s 2009/10 season included a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Mozart’s Countess in Jonathan Miller’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro under the baton of Fabio Luisi. Her summer was highlighted by a return to The Caramoor Festival to perform the iconic title role in Bellini’s Norma conducted by Will Crutchfield. Ms. Meade added to her repertoire three of Donizetti’s greatest roles, Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux at the Dallas Opera and the title roles of Anna Bolena and Lucia di Lammermoor at Academy of Vocal Arts. She also triumphed in the title role of Rossini’s challenging Semiramide at the Caramoor Festival.
Angela Meade has triumphed in an astounding number of vocal competitions, fifty-seven 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, she was the first singer ever to take first prize in both the opera and operetta categories of Vienna’s prestigious Belvedere Competition as well as the International Press Prize and the
La Scala Prize chosen by its artistic administrator. Ms. Meade also garnered the largest cash prizes in the world of opera, the $50,000 first prize of the Jose Iturbi Competition and $50,000 Beverly Sills Artist Award from the Metropolitan Opera. She triumphed at the Concours Musical International de Montreal in 2008 winning the grand prize, audience choice and a recording contract from Analekta. She is also a first prize winner of The Richard Tucker Foundation Competition, The Gerda Lissner Competition, The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition, The George London Competition, The Liederkranz Foundation Competition, the National Opera Association Competition, the Opera Index Competition, the Marguerite McCammon Competition, the Giargiari Bel Canto Competition and the Eleanor Lieber Awards. Also a winner of the Astral Artists’ 2007 National Auditions, Astral presented her at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center in Strauss’ Four Last Songs, with Symphony in C, conducted by Philadelphia Orchestra Associate Conductor Rossen Milanov. She is a native of Washington State and currently resides in New York.