Kennedy Center recital debut

November 3rd, 2012

Soprano Angela Meade gives impressive recital for Washington National Opera

“One of the names that has most frequently popped up in next-big-star-in-the-making discussions over the past few years is soprano Angela Meade. No wonder. The singer has the one key element that cannot be faked by any amount of aggressive publicity — a voice. A real, honest-to-goodness, fully formed vocal instrument that has you sitting up to take notice from the first note.  As Meade demonstrated locally in 2011 in a stellar performances of the Verdi Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony, and reconfirmed Saturday night at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in an impressive recital for Washington National Opera, that voice is backed by keen musicality. … The soprano easily has what it takes to be a dramatic Verdi soprano — the Terrace Theater could barely contain the sound at full-throttle — but she can also scale back the tone beautifully, even in the upper reaches,  where many a singer comes to grief. This flexibility, along with endearing phrasing, served Meade especially well in ‘Depuis le jour’ from Charpentier’s ‘Louise.’… She is already a remarkably satisfying vocal artist who has sent a welcome jolt through the opera-sphere.”

Baltimore Sun, Tim Smith (November 2012)

There’s a lot to like about Meade, starting with a powerhouse voice that rattled the rafters of the small theater and the eardrums of her listeners. She’s an appealing presence. She’s a big woman who appears to have lost some weight and who wore a striking and flattering black gown (I have mixed feelings about discussing a singer’s appearance in a review, but if there’s a compliment to be made it seems justified). And she’s got some very good instincts. I loved the way that she changed her whole vocal timbre, in her set of Strauss songs, between ‘Befreit’ (big singing, a little overblown) and ‘Cäcilie’ (fresh, light, youthful). I loved the way that, in John Kander’s setting of a letter from a soldier killed in the Civil War (written for Renee Fleming, and a real tear-jerker), she gave the spoken introduction in such a natural tone, without the self-conscious narrative or ‘acting’ voice assumed by so many people in such situations.”

Washington Post, Anne Midgette (November 2012)

Angela Meade’s impressive Terrace Theater recital

“This was our first chance to hear Ms. Meade and, from the outset, it was easy to see why she’s attracted so much attention, even though her career in legitimate opera is scarcely five years young. In a word, Ms. Meade possesses a BIG voice. … Ms. Meade jumped right in—something of a declaration of intent to the near-capacity audience—and executed this vocal showpiece brilliantly [“Al destin che la minaccia” from Mozart’s early opera, Mitradate]. … But the real vocal highlight of this recital was the series of five songs by Richard Strauss that immediately followed that strenuous Mozart opener. So infrequently heard, these songs are brilliantly set, achingly emotional, advanced, though not too much so, in their stretching of tonality. Ms. Meade inhabited each of these musical characters and moods in a way that was deeply personal and emotional.”

Washington Times, Terry Ponick (November 2012)