Press Room

Angela Meade stars from Cincinnati to Vail and beyond this summer

Angela Meade – who earlier this month added Washington National Opera’s Artist of the Year honor to her 2012 Beverly Sills Artist Award and her 2011 Richard Tucker Award – is looking forward to a starry summer. The soprano portrays Donna Anna in the Cincinnati Opera production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni (June 13, 15), with Verdi performances to follow at the Caramoor International Music Festival in Katonah, NY (June 27, July 6), Bravo! Vail with the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin (July 13), and the Grand Tetons Music Festival under Donald Runnicles (July 26-27). Meade, whom the Baltimore Sun has called “the next great Verdian soprano,” also returns to the Festival Castell de Peralada in Spain this summer, where she will perform a recital centering on Verdi and Bellini with pianist Danielle Orlando (July 19) and to Portland’s SummerFest for a concert performance of Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello (August 2, 4).
With the composer’s bicentennial this year, there is Verdi and more Verdi ahead for Meade. At Caramoor she sings Verdi’s Ave Maria, volgarizzata da Dante for soprano and strings (June 27), followed by the role of the Duchess Hélène in the French version of the composer’s opera Les vêpres siciliennes (July 6). She is a soloist in Verdi’s Requiem twice this summer: at Bravo! Vail in Colorado with the Philadelphia Orchestra under its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin (July 13); then at the Grand Tetons Music Festival in Wyoming with the festival orchestra under Donald Runnicles (July 26-27). Meade made her Philadelphia Orchestra debut with Nézet-Séguin last summer at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in New York, singing Verdi arias to glowing reviews. The Philadelphia Inquirer said: “In Verdi’s ‘Pace, pace, mio Dio!’ soprano Meade fulfilled her considerable potential with voice, words and meaning coming together in a fully realized operatic statement. During ‘Ecco: respire appena’ from Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, she floated pianissimos worthy of Montserrat Caballé.” The young American soprano filled in at short notice for a Verdi Requiem with the orchestra last fall in Philadelphia, earning more praise. A critic from the American Record Guide was there and said: “This concert had a last-minute change that will go down as a ‘were you there the day’ occasion… Meade, who filled in famously at the Met two years ago, stepped in with a flawless and electrifying performance. She made the ending of the ‘Libera me’ passionate, sonic and supple; and she was utterly one with the chorus. It was a moment of vocal gold.”
Of course, the music of Bellini remains special for Meade, who will star in the title role of Norma this coming season at the Metropolitan Opera (Oct. 24, 28). According to the Washington Times, the soprano’s March performances at Washington National Opera – her first in a fully staged Norma – “thrilled WNO devotees with her nearly mind-blowing mastery of Bellini’s most challenging music.” Francesca Zambello, artistic director of WNO, said: “Our audiences were riveted by her fearless delivery… As Angela garners worldwide acclaim for this role in the coming seasons, we will remain proud that she debuted it here in Washington.”
Meade’s recital at Spain’s Festival Castell de Peralada will include music not only by Bellini and Verdi but also by Liszt and Richard Strauss, two of the soprano’s other favorites. Asked by festival organizers why she feels drawn to Verdi and Bellini in particular, Meade said: “I love both, but for different reasons. Bellini is a master of melody while Verdi is a master of emotion in music.” At the festival last summer, Meade sang Leonora in a concert presentation of Verdi’s Il trovatore. She recalls: “The whole experience was very emotional for me. My mother had just passed away the week before, and I wasn’t certain I was going to come to Peralada. I’m glad I didn’t cancel because I think it helped me deal with the grief. Leonora in Trovatore experiences a lot of the same issues I was dealing with last summer, so it was cathartic for me. Singing on the stage of the castle and having the storks flying in and out and being surrounded by the night sky and the gentle summer breeze made the whole event magical. I am very much looking forward to my return.”
Along with Meade’s star turn in Norma at the Metropolitan Opera in October, her highlights for next season include the role of Alice Ford in the Met’s new production of Verdi’s Falstaff, under the baton of James Levine (Dec. 6 to Jan. 11, 2014). The performance on Dec. 14 will be beamed to cinemas around the world in the ever popular “The Met: Live in HD” series.
Angela Meade: upcoming engagements
June 13 & 15
Cincinnati, OH
Mozart: Don Giovanni (Donna Anna)
Cincinnati Opera / Roberto Minczuk
June 27
Katonah, NY
Caramoor International Music Festival
Verdi: Ave Maria, volgarizzata da Dante (1880) for soprano and strings
With Jesse Mills, violin; Arnaud Sussmann, violin; Nicholas Cords, viola; Edward Arron, cello
July 6
Katonah, NY
Caramoor International Music Festival
Verdi: Les vêpres siciliennes (La Duchesse Hélène)
Orchestra of St. Luke’s / Will Crutchfield
July 13
Vail, CO
Bravo! Vail
Verdi: Requiem
Philadelphia Orchestra / Yannick Nézet-Séguin
July 19
Peralada, Spain
Festival Castell de Peralada
Recital: Verdi, Bellini, Liszt, Richard Strauss
Danielle Orlando, piano
July 26-27
Jackson Hole, WY
Grand Tetons Music Festival
Verdi: Requiem
Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra; San Francisco Festival Chorale / Donald Runnicles
August 2, 4
Portland, OR
Verdi: Otello (Desdemona)
Fall Highlights:
Oct 24 & 28
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Bellini: Norma (title role)
Dec 6*, 9, 14†, 18, 21, 27, 30; Jan 3, 6, 11
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Verdi: Falstaff (Alice Ford)
* new production gala
“The Met: Live in HD” transmission
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© 21C Media Group, June 2013


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