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Soprano Angela Meade headlines “I Lombardi” at Avery Fisher Hall on April 8

Speculation that Angela Meade might be “the next great Verdian soprano” (Baltimore Sun) is already rife. In honor of this year’s Verdi bicentennial, there will be a number of upcoming opportunities to hear her perform the great Italian composer’s music. The first of these takes place this Monday, April 8, when Meade – winner of the 2011 Richard Tucker and 2012 Beverly Sills Awards – stars as Giselda in a concert performance of I Lombardi at New York’s Lincoln Center. Eve Queler, winner of the NEA’s 2010 Lifetime Achievement in Opera award, will lead the Opera Orchestra of New York at Avery Fisher Hall, with Meade singing opposite tenor Michael Fabiano, her fellow Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions grand prizewinner and Academy of Vocal Arts alum. This comes on the heels of the soprano’s runaway success in the title role of Bellini’s Norma for her Washington National Opera debut in March, when she “thrilled WNO devotees with her nearly mind-blowing mastery of Bellini’s most challenging music” (Washington Times).
Meade’s Verdi track record is a stellar one. After her first staged Il trovatore at the Metropolitan Opera in January, the Associated Press’s Mike Silverman declared:
The young American demonstrated once again that she has all the gifts to be an outstanding spinto soprano – a category between the lighter lyric and the heavier dramatic voice. She filled the house with ample, gleaming tone, and rose to all the technical challenges of the role: runs, trills, and high pianissimos were executed with agility and confidence.
The soprano looks forward next season to portraying Alice Ford in the Metropolitan Opera’s first new production since 1964 of Verdi’s final masterpiece, Falstaff (Dec 6–Jan 11). Robert Carsen’s staging – pronounced a “production of eye-catching ingenuity” by the International Herald Tribune – will also feature Ambrogio Maestri in the title role and Stephanie Blythe as Mistress Quickly under the baton of James Levine. The opening night will be celebrated with a special gala, and the December 14 performance will be broadcast live to cinemas worldwide in the Met’s Live in HD series.
Verdi was the composer for two of Meade’s significant European debuts in the past year.  The young soprano sang the role of Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari at Deutsche Oper Berlin, opposite Ramón Vargas and Leo Nucci, as well as the Duchess Elena in I Vespri Siciliani at the Vienna State Opera. Of the latter, Die Presse wrote, “She encompassed with astonishing mastery the extreme vocal range of the role, with the required breadth of both lyrical and dramatic coloratura,” and the Kurier declared it “a memorable house debut.”
Meade returns to the Caramoor International Music Festival this summer in two works by Verdi. Besides performing his Ave Maria, volgarizzata da Dante with string quartet on June 27, she looks forward to heading a semi-staged performance of his opera Les vêpres siciliennes in the original French version, with Will Crutchfield and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s on July 6. 
It was in a 2010 concert performance at Caramoor that, in the title role of Bellini’s Norma, Meade was first hailed as “a brilliant new interpreter of Norma (New York Post) and “the big news” (New York Times) of the festival. Now the young soprano has just headlined her first full staging of the opera at Washington National Opera, where she inspired rave reviews once again. “Of the four Normas I’ve heard live in the last ten years, Angela Meade is by far the best,” declared Anne Midgette in the Washington Post. The Washington Times admired the singer’s “lustrous, wide ranging, and generous soprano instrument that reached deeply into heart and soul,” finding this expressive capacity matched by her “exceptional command of technique.” The Associated Press agreed, finding that even in “perhaps the most daunting role in the bel canto repertoire,” Meade’s “vocal range and technique are awesome, especially when she’s spinning out a ravishing high note.” DC Theatre Scene noted, “People in the opera world travel miles to hear a voice like Angela Meade’s. … Spectacular,” while the Baltimore Sun stated, “Meade was clearly born to sing the role of the Druid priestess.” As the Huffington Post concluded, “Angela Meade ruled the stage as Norma. … It’s no wonder she’s often compared to those iconic divas, Sutherland and Caballé, who excelled at bel canto.”
Next season Meade will reprise her portrayal of Bellini’s heroine for her house role debut at the Metropolitan Opera in John Copley’s production (Oct 24 & 28). Meanwhile, appearances as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at Cincinnati Opera (June 13 & 15) and as soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Pittsburgh Symphony under Manfred Honeck (April 26–28) round out the soprano’s spring and early summer line-up.
Angela Meade’s upcoming performances are provided below, and additional information is available at
Angela Meade: upcoming engagements
April 8
New York, NY
Verdi: I Lombardi (Giselda)
Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center
Opera Orchestra of New York / Eve Queler
April 26, 27 & 28
Pittsburgh, PA
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
Pittsburgh Symphony, Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh / Manfred Honeck
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 (French version) (La Duchesse Hélène)
Orchestra of St. Luke’s / Will Crutchfield
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© 21C Media Group, April 2013


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