Press Room

Angela Meade takes Manhattan in 2014-15

Angela Meade – the face of Opera News’s forthcoming annual “Diva” issue – dominates the New York cultural scene this season. In concert, the American soprano makes her New York Philharmonic debut under Alan Gilbert’s direction in Verdi’s Requiem (Jan 15-17), and gives two performances at Carnegie Hall, first joining the Philadelphia Orchestra for Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony (Oct 31), and then starring in Rossini’s William Tell with Italy’s Teatro Regio di Torino led by Gianandrea Noseda (Dec 7), in the penultimate stop on their North American tour. With James Levine on the podium, she sings opposite Plácido Domingo in Verdi’s Ernani at the Metropolitan Opera, reprising Elvira, the role in which she made her career-launching professional debut on the same stage (March 20-April 11). The laureate of no fewer than 57 vocal competitions, she also revisits three of her most prestigious wins this season, partnering fellow George London Award-winner Nicholas Pallesen for a George London Recital at the Morgan Library (Jan 11); joining fellow Tucker Award-winners as well as Anna Netrebko, Joseph Calleja, and other operatic luminaries for the annual Richard Tucker Gala at Avery Fisher Hall (Oct 12); and hosting the Met’s National Council Auditions Grand Finals Concert (Mar 22), in which her own triumph was chronicled in the PBS-TV documentary The Audition. Beyond Manhattan, Meade is scheduled to sing in Beethoven’s “Choral” Symphony under the leadership of Donald Runnicles with the Atlanta Symphony (Oct 2-5), and, celebrating the eminent Scottish conductor’s 60th birthday, on a tour of his homeland with the BBC Scottish Symphony (Nov 13-16). Finally, following her summer success in the title role of Lucrezia Borgia at the Caramoor Festival, she looks forward to singing another Donizetti opera: the role of Hélène d’Egmont in a recording of Le duc d’Albe for the Opera Rara label (June).

In concert at Avery Fisher and Carnegie Halls

For her first appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Meade joins mezzo-soprano Lilli Paasikivi, tenor Brandon Jovanovich, and bass-baritone Eric Owens under the baton of music director Alan Gilbert for Verdi’s Requiem at Avery Fisher Hall (Jan 15–17). When she performed the same work with the Philadelphia Orchestra last season, the American Record Guide pronounced hers “a flawless and electrifying performance,” and continued: “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.”

This season the soprano – an alumna of Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts – rejoins the Philadelphia Orchestra for Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony, in concerts led by music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, both at the orchestra’s Kimmel Center home (Oct 30; Nov 1 & 2), and at Carnegie Hall (Oct 31).

Meade has appeared twice at the storied New York venue in previous seasons, headlining Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda and taking part in Rossini’s Moïse et Pharaon. Her second engagement in the Stern Auditorium this year is for another Rossini opera, this time crowning a North American tour in the role of Mathilde in concert performances of William Tell with Italy’s Teatro Regio di Torino under Gianandrea Noseda (Chicago: Dec 3; Toronto: Dec 5; Carnegie Hall: Dec 7; Ann Arbor: Dec 9). It was in the same production, also with Dalibor Jenis in the title role and John Osborn as Arnoldo, that the soprano recently made her Italian debut and sang at the Edinburgh Festival; according to London’s Telegraph, “Mathilde was also impressively incarnated by the American soprano Angela Meade, who has recently become a big favourite at the Metropolitan Opera. One could hear why: the voice is sumptuous and it paints the music with a confidently broad brush and a richly coloured palette.

Ernani at the Met with Domingo and Levine

The winner of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2012 Beverly Sills Award, Meade returns to the house this season as Elvira, the heroine of Verdi’s Ernani, with Francesco Meli in the title role and Plácido Domingo in his first performances as Don Carlo. The late Pier Luigi Samaritani’s production – called simply “a pleasure” by Opera News – will be led by music director James Levine (March 20–April 11). It was as Elvira that the soprano made her professional debut at the Met in 2008, stepping in for an ailing colleague, and she has since resumed the role in a production that was shown in the Met’s Live in HD series and as a Great Performances at the Met presentation on PBS. Anthony Tommasini observed in the New York Times,

Ms. Meade’s Elvira showed what this uncommonly gifted rising artist is capable of. Her voice is plush and penetrating, though the power comes effortlessly from the body and richness of her sound. Her top notes soared over the orchestra. Yet just as impressive were her finespun pianissimo phrases.”

George London Recital, Richard Tucker Gala, and more

In 2008, Meade took the operatic community by storm, winning an unprecedented nine national and international vocal competitions in just four months. These included her George London Award, which she revisits this season in partnership with baritone Nicholas Pallesen, winner of the 2013 award, at a George London Recital with pianist Danielle Orlando at the Morgan Library in New York (Jan 11). The soprano is an acclaimed recitalist; her Kennedy Center recital debut prompted the Baltimore Sun to declare:

“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… that voice is backed by keen musicality.”

Also the winner of the prestigious 2011 Richard Tucker Award, the soprano looks forward to celebrating the legendary tenor’s legacy at the 2014 Richard Tucker Gala at Avery Fisher Hall, where she will be joined by this year’s winner, tenor Michael Fabiano, and opera stars including Anna Netrebko, Joseph Calleja, Marcello Giordani, Ildar Abdrazakov, and her fellow Tucker Award laureates Stephen Costello and Isabel Leonard. Led by Emmanuel Villaume, Music Director of the Dallas Opera, they will present a program of favorite arias and ensembles that will be recorded for future broadcast on PBS-TV’s Live From Lincoln Center (Oct 12). A video of Meade’s “magisterial rendition” (New York Times) of a Verdi aria in the PBS broadcast of last year’s Richard Tucker Gala may be seen here. The gala is one of two that Meade graces this October, which also finds her singing Bellini’s “Casta diva” and other signature selections at the Pittsburgh Opera’s season-opening gala (Oct 18).

It was with the same famous aria from Norma that she “knocked out an audience at the Met with a … vocally sumptuous performance” (New York Times), securing her 2007 Grand Prize win at the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions, and she returns to this year’s Grand Finals Concert as emcee and guest artist (March 22).

Beethoven’s Ninth with Runnicles in Atlanta and Scotland

Meade looks forward to reuniting with Donald Runnicles, OBE, with whom she collaborated at the Grand Tetons Festival last year, for multiple accounts of Beethoven’s incomparable “Choral” Symphony. She and the venerable Scottish conductor are scheduled to launch the new season in performances of the master composer’s Ninth at the Atlanta Symphony (Oct 2–5), before reprising it in Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh in a series of special 60th Birthday Concerts for Runnicles with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, where he serves as Chief Conductor (Nov 13–16). The “Choral” Symphony is another work in which Meade has consistently excelled in concert; with the Baltimore Symphony last June, even among the generally “stellar” soloists, it was she “whose radiant voice lit up the stage” (Baltimore Sun).

Opera News cover story

It is a sign of how far she has come in such a short time that Meade has been chosen to grace the cover of the 13th annual “Diva” issue of Opera News – and she is also the youngest singer ever selected for a “Diva” issue cover. Each year, this special edition of the magazine documents the most noteworthy prima donnas; great singers who have topped the list in previous seasons include Maria Callas, Kiri Te Kanawa, and Anna Netrebko. In the November issue (on sale Oct 9), the honors are Meade’s, and a feature-length cover story by Fred Cohn profiles her burgeoning career. As she explains: “I am so honored to be featured on the cover of Opera News’s iconic ‘Diva’ issue. I’ve been an avid reader of the magazine since I started singing in college and it’s a huge honor to be on the same cover as the legendary singers I look up to!”

Triumph in title role of Lucrezia Borgia at Caramoor

These upcoming engagements follow Meade’s most recent resounding triumph, headlining Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia at the Caramoor International Music Festival this past summer. Opera News noted, “Angela Meade took the title role, giving as accomplished a performance as I’ve ever seen from her – which is saying quite a lot. … This was the work of a true prima donna.” The Wall Street Journal remarked on her “big, beautiful sound, coloratura suppleness for the roulades in her final showpiece aria and astonishing technical control for the effortless leaps between registers and the floating pianissimos that can be heard above the full orchestra and chorus … It was a superb display.” Meade’s performance in the title role of Lucrezia Borgia at Caramoor was taped by WQXR for broadcast as part of the WFMT Radio Network’s syndicated opera series (Nov 8).

A complete list of Angela Meade’s 2014-15 engagements follows, and additional information may be found at her web site:

Angela Meade: 2014-15 engagements


 Oct 2, 4 & 5

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra / Donald Runnicles

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9


Oct 12

New York, NY

Lincoln Center (Avery Fisher Hall)

2014 Richard Tucker Gala


Oct 18

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh Opera Opening Night Gala: “Grand and Glorious Concert”

Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra / Antony Walker


Oct 30–Nov 2

Concerts with Philadelphia Orchestra / Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Mahler: Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection”

Oct 30; Nov 1 & 2: Philadelphia, PA (Kimmel Center)

Oct 31: New York, NY (Carnegie Hall)


Nov 8                            

WFMT Radio Network syndicated broadcast

Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia

From July 2014, Caramoor International Music Festival

Angela Meade (Lucrezia Borgia)

Orchestra of St. Luke’s; Will Crutchfield, conductor


Nov 13-16

Donald Runnicles’s 60th Birthday Concerts

Tour with BBC Scottish Symphony / Donald Runnicles

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

Nov 13: Glasgow

Nov 14: Aberdeen

Nov 16: Edinburgh


Dec 3-9

U.S. tour with Teatro Regio di Torino / Gianandrea Noseda

Rossini: Guglielmo Tell in concert (Mathilde)

Dec 3: Chicago, IL (Harris Theater)

Dec 5: Toronto, ON

Dec 7: New York, NY (Carnegie Hall)

Dec 9: Ann Arbor, MI


Jan 11

New York, NY

George London Recital

Morgan Library and Museum

With Nicholas Pallesen, baritone; Danielle Orlando, piano


Jan 15–17

New York, NY

New York Philharmonic / Alan Gilbert (NYPO debut)

Verdi: Requiem


March 20, 23, 26, 31; April 4, 8, 11

New York, NY

Metropolitan Opera / James Levine

Verdi: Ernani (Elvira)


March 22

New York, NY

Metropolitan Opera

National Council Auditions Grand Finals Concert (as emcee and guest artist)



Manchester, UK

St. Peter’s Church, Blossom St., Ancoats

Opera Rara recording sessions

Donizetti’s Le Duc d’Albe (Hélène d’Egmont)


#          #          #

© 21C Media Group, September 2014

Return to Press Room