Anna Bolena at the Metropolitan Opera (Anna)

November 23rd, 2011

“The promising young American soprano rose to the challenge, putting her own stamp on the role and drawing prolonged cheers from the audience at Friday night’s final curtain … She has a strong, supple voice, a knack for floating soft high notes, and an unusual agility in the rapid-fire technique of bel canto singing so crucial to this 1830 masterpiece … Anna’s first aria and cabaletta was sung with impeccable phrasing and included a couple of high pianissimos that seemed to be spun out of finest silk. There were more of those in the final scene, and at one point Meade accompanied a hushed high note by extending a hand in the air as if reaching for a thread of the delicate fabric.”

Associated Press, Mike Silverman (October 2011)

“Angela Meade made a triumphant appearance in the Met’s Anna Bolena last night, largely fulfilling the high expectations that have surrounded her. … The ‘Coppia iniqua’ that ends the opera was electrifying, as pure a display of vocal power as I’ve heard at the Met in the past few years.  In her final moments, issuing a tractor beam of Wagnerian tone with her arms flung out, she was no longer an impeccable bel canto student but a full-on diva.  I loved seeing the big, dazed smile on her face at the curtain call, before an exultant crowd; she knew she’d pulled it off.  As it turns out, you don’t need celebrity glitz to create pandemonium at the Met; pace Anna Netrebko, we Americans want music as well as show.”

The Rest Is Noise, Alex Ross (October 2011)

The voice is sizable over an exceptional range, but she wields it prettily, with genuine trills, a lovely legato and soft but clear singing in the higher ranges that falls on the ear with special grace … as Bolena, who must present her tormented emotions over nearly four hours, she displayed impressive theatrical skill … she was in her element, tremendously affecting in the sweet singing of ‘Al dolce guidami,’ and then, with a terrific drop to almost threatening depths that exploded in the anger of ‘Coppia iniqua,’ her final denunciation, a dramatic coloratura at last.”

Opera Today, John Yohalem (November 2011)