Critical Acclaim | Features

Where Awards Still Mean Something

The Wall Street Journal | The annual Tucker award is given by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation to an artist on the threshold of a major career. If you’re unfamiliar with the work of this year’s winner, soprano Ailyn Pérez, don’t sweat it. That’s partly why Graham Parker, the vice president of WQXR, created the concert format well in advance of the November ceremony. “We wanted to secure the New York premiere of her singing since winning the award,” he said. “We wanted the WQXR listener to be able to get to know her.”

Joining Ms. Pérez, who is 32, on the program will be two recent Tucker winners: 34-year-old soprano Angela Meade (2011) and 30-year-old tenor Stephen Costello (2009), whose names are probably already circulating at the aforementioned pool parties.

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Twenty Questions with Angela Meade

The Uptempo Magazine | We at Uptempo Magazine have our eye on up and coming classical music superstars, and Angela Meade is undoubtedly a diva on the rise!  We checked in with Ms. Meade, the recipient of the prestigious 2012 Beverly Sills Artist Award before preparations for her upcoming debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Lucrezia Contarini in Verdi’s I due Foscari.  Don’t worry, she will be back to perform for American audiences this summer, you can catch her performance at one of these three major US music festivals – The Blossom Music Festival in Cleveland, Ohio;  the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in New York, and the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. Are you ready to play twenty questions with this up and coming diva?  Here we go!

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Angela Meade: Transitioning to the Big Time

Classical Singer | Soprano Angela Meade has been taking the operatic world by storm since winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2007, not to mention a host of other competitions that same year. In this Classical Singer exclusive, Meade reveals the strategies that helped her win, her strategies for using her winnings wisely, and how she is using that same good sense to forge a successful and enduring career.

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Transitioning to the Big Time

Classical Singer | As my love for young singers knows no bound, I have often been a sounding board to their frustrated warblings, which seem to increase exponentially about the time singing competition season rolls around. It was during some such exchanges that I first heard the name of Angela Meade, a young soprano who seemingly swept most of the first place prizes in 2007. Her winning streak proved steady, and in April of that year NPR affiliates across the country broadcast Meade winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a feat later shown to audiences worldwide in the film The Audition.

Ever since, Meade’s ascent has been steady and, in many ways, rapid. Less than a year after learning the ways of New York’s big repertory house through cover assignments, she scored a huge triumph when she came to the aid of an ailing colleague and took over the demanding role of Elvira in Verdi’s Ernani. I was in the audience that night and finally put a voice to the name of the much discussed newcomer. Subsequent additions to her repertoire, particularly Rossini’s Semiramide and Bellini’s Norma (both showcased at the Caramoor International Music Festival), proved that the success of her Elvira had been no accident.

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Rising star Angela Meade in Met HD telecast

AP | The story of soprano Angela Meade’s “overnight success” at the Metropolitan Opera is well known: She wins the National Council Auditions, is hired as an understudy for Verdi’s Ernani, makes her debut when the leading lady falls ill — and a new star is born.

What’s less well known, but just as important to that story, she says, is what happened two years earlier in that same competition: She lost.

It was 2005, and Meade, then a 27-year-old music graduate student at USC, had advanced to the semifinals in New York. Out of a group of about 20, half would be chosen for the final round with big cash prizes and publicity. Meade did not make the cut.

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Off the Bench, Onto the Stage

The Wall Street Journal | For a moment there, before he torched the Mavericks over the weekend, it looked like Jeremy Lin’s ride from benchwarmer to redeemer had lost speed. And maybe it was time for a reality check on the importance of sports: You know, really, these things happen all the time in the arts.

Well, not exactly. But it is true that stage careers can blast off in equally exhilarating fashion. Talent can snowball into must-see performances and era-defining personalities. And there are real breakthroughs to mainstream popular culture—usually after an artist has been at the top of his or her field for a while.

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Soprano Angela Meade basks in role of Elvira in Met production of ‘Ernani,’ this time with plenty of preparation

Cleveland Plain Dealer | Angela Meade experienced a dizzying series of firsts when she appeared as Elvira in Verdi’s Ernani at the Metropolitan Opera in March 2008.

It was the first time she sang the role, her first complete performance at the Met and – get this – her debut with a professional opera company.

The soprano from Centralia, Washington, had only previously performed on the Met stage as a finalist in the company’s 2007 National Council Auditions, of which she was named a winner. (The drama can be seen in the DVD documentary The Audition.)

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Beverly Sills award winner Angela Meade returns to sing ‘Ernani’ at the Metropolitan Opera

NY Daily News | Soprano has come a long way from Centralia, Washington, and singing in community college. Opera soprano Angela Meade, like everyone who lives in New York, has her favorite neighborhood haunts.

One of them is Alice’s Tea Cup, on W. 73rd St., where her drink of choice is the chocolate chai brew. “It’s rich and creamy,” she says, “a delicious little treat.”

Monday, the 34-year-old rising-star got a tasty, supersized treat: She won the Beverly Sills Artist Award, which comes with a $50,000 prize.

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The Future Arrives for a Soprano, as She Steps Into a Demanding Role

The New York Times | In the finals of the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the young American soprano Angela Meade knocked out an audience at the Met with a magisterial and vocally sumptuous performance of Casta Diva, Norma’s famous aria from the great Bellini opera that bears her name. Her performance can be seen on The Audition, the revealing recent documentary by Susan Froemke about the finals for the competition that year.

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Angela Meade’s Guide to ‘Norma’

Capital | This Saturday, at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, N.Y., Angela Meade will sing the title role of Bellini’s 1831 opera Norma for the first time.

Norma is one of the roles by which a soprano is judged. It starts off with the famous, flowing aria Casta diva and goes on for three difficult, intense hours.

Meade has already had quite a few big nights in her blossoming career—Elvira in Verdi’s Ernani and Mozart’s Countess at the Met; the title role in Rossini’s Semiramide at Caramoor last year—but Norma is a milestone.

Meade, 32, is one of the most talented singers of her generation. Will Crutchfield, the conductor of Norma and Caramoor’s Director of Opera, wrote in an email, “She has something that is always rare: a truly big voice that has all the purity, finesse and delicacy that are more easily found in smaller voices.”

In a phone interview, she took Capital on a tour through the opera, from the diva’s perspective.

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