American soprano Angela Meade is the winner of both the Metropolitan Opera’s 2012 Beverly Sills Artist Award and the 2011 Richard Tucker Award. In 2008 she joined an elite group of history’s singers when, as Elvira in Verdi’s Ernani, she made her professional operatic debut on the Met stage. Since then she has fast become recognized as one of today’s outstanding vocalists, excelling in the most demanding heroines of the 19th-century bel canto repertoire as well as in the operas of Verdi and Mozart.
The 2018-19 season begins with Ms. Meade joining forces with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestre Métropolitain for a special performance of Verdi’s Requiem in memory of Jacqueline Desmarais. Domestic opera engagements will include a role debut as Margherita in the Robert Carsen production of Boito’s Mefistofele at the Metropolitan Opera, a company debut with Seattle Opera as Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, and a return to the Dallas Opera as Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff. Internationally, Ms. Meade returns to Spain in the title role of Rossini’s Semiramide for Asociación Bilbaina de Amigos de la Ópera and revives her portrayal of Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore at Teatro de la Maestranza de Sevilla. Her schedule also includes a return to the Palacio de la Opera in A Coruña, Spain and the Sinfónica de Galicia for a concert of operatic highlights, a recital and masterclass with Vancouver’s The Singer Behind the Song series as well as a return to Verdi’s Requiem in Dublin, Ireland, with the RTÉ National Symphony conducted by Michele Mariotti. Ms. Meade ends the season with a gala concert in her debut at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy.
In the 2017-18 season, Meade sang the title roles in Bellini’s Norma and Rossini’s Semiramide (broadcast Live in HD in theaters worldwide) at the Metropolitan Opera, Handel’s Alcina with Washington National Opera, and Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur with Oper Frankfurt. In addition, she sang the role of Giselda in Verdi’s I Lombardi at Teatro Regio di Torino and stepped in as a last minute replacement as Leonora in performances of Il Trovatore with Deutsche Oper Berlin. Concert performances included Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézét-Séguin and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Seattle Symphony. She gave recitals in Philadelphia, Santa Fe, and Waterford (VA).
During the 2016-17 season, Meade joined the Teatro Real in Madrid as Lucrezia in concert performances of Verdi’s I due Foscari, opposite Plácido Domingo and Michael Fabiano, conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado. She returned to Madrid later in the season to sing the title role in Norma and also returned to the Met for Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, conducted by Plácido Domingo. Ms. Meade gave concert performances of Rossini’s Ermione under the baton of the late Alberto Zedda with the Russian National Orchestra in Moscow, the Opéra de Lyon orchestra in Lyon and in Paris at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. She also returned to the Caramoor Music Festival in their opening night gala and later in the season as Imogene in Bellini’s Il Pirata. Later, she returned to Spain to sing at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville in the title role of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena and to Bilbao for Lina in Verdi’s Stiffelio, a debut role. In concert, she sang with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under Gustavo Dudamel for Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass, made her Japanese debut in Tokyo with the NHK Symphony in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 conducted by Paavo Järvi, joined the Metropolitan Opera for their 50thAnniversary at Lincoln Center celebration concert, made her Houston Grand Opera debut in Verdi’s Requiem under conductor Patrick Summers, performed Martinu’s The Epic of Gilgamesh with the Grant Park Music Festival, as well as Washington Concert Opera’s 30thAnniversary gala, and presented a solo recital with Performance Santa Fe.
Highlights of the 2015-16 season included performances as Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore on both sides of the Atlantic, at the Met, at Deutsche Oper Berlin and at Palacio de la Opera in A Coruña, Spain. She revisited her celebrated portrayal of Bellini’s Norma at Los Angeles Opera and performed selections from Don Giovanni with the Baltimore Symphony. Returning to Opera Orchestra of New York with Eve Queler, Ms. Meade performed the title role in Donizetti’s rarity Parisina. In concert, she returned to the Philadelphia Orchestra for a New Year’s Eve Gala and performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the symphony’s U.S. premiere, as well as to her alma mater, Pacific Lutheran University, for a Christmas concert that was broadcast on PBS. Besides making her Cincinnati Symphony debut in Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, and her St. Louis Symphony debut in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, she sang Verdi’s Requiem on three continents: with the Boston Philharmonic, Brazil’s Fundação Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, and with Spain’s Asociación Bilbaína de Amigos de la Ópera (ABAO Bilbao).
The 2014-15 season saw Meade – the face of the Opera News 2014 “Diva Issue” – reprise Elvira in Verdi’s Ernani at the Met, this time singing opposite Plácido Domingo under the leadership of James Levine. She undertook the title role of Ermione at Palacio de la Opera, and as one of the few sopranos to feature all three of Donizetti’s Tudor queens in her repertoire, headlined Maria Stuarda in concert at Oregon’s Astoria Music Festival. Again in Donizetti, she joined Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra to record the composer’s lesser-known opera Le duc d’Albe for Opera Rara label. In concert, Verdi’s Requiem was the vehicle for debuts with the New York Philharmonic, under Alan Gilbert; at London’s BBC Proms, with Donald Runnicles leading the BBC Scottish Symphony; and with Spain’s Oviedo Filarmonía. She also joined the Philadelphia Orchestra for Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in Philadelphia and at Carnegie Hall; sang Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the BBC Scottish Symphony; and headlined concert performances of Rossini’s Guglielmo Tell with the orchestra of the Teatro Regio di Torino and Gianandrea Noseda in Edinburgh, Scotland, Stresa, Italy, and on a high-profile North American tour which included as sold out performance at Carnegie Hall.
Since her momentous Met debut, Meade’s numerous returns to the storied New York house include starring in the title roles of Norma and Sir David McVicar’s new Anna Bolena; as Leonora in Il trovatore; as Alice Ford in a new Falstaff under James Levine, as seen around the world in the Met’s Live in HD series and released on DVD by Decca Classics; and as Mozart’s Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. She also reprised Verdi’s Elvira in a production seen both in the Met’s Live in HD series and as a Great Performances at the Met presentation on PBS-TV. At Carnegie Hall, she headlined Bellini’s rare gem Beatrice di Tenda and appeared in Rossini’s Moïse et Pharaon, while at Lincoln Center she sang Giselda in I Lombardi with the Opera Orchestra of New York.
Other highlights of recent seasons include debuts at the Vienna State Opera as Elena in Verdi’s I vespri siciliani; Deutsche Oper Berlin and Oper Frankfurt, in concert performances of Verdi’s I due Foscari and Puccini’s Edgar, respectively; Italy’s Teatro Regio di Torino as Mathilde in a new production of Guglielmo Tell; Los Angeles Opera and Cincinnati Opera as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni; and, in her first fully-staged title portrayal of Norma, at Washington National Opera, where she was subsequently honored as “2013 Artist of the Year.” She was catapulted to prominence in a 2010 concert performance of Norma at the Caramoor International Music Festival, where she has also triumphed as Hélène in Verdi’s Les vêpres siciliennes, and in the title roles of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia and Rossini’s Semiramide. In 2010, Meade made her European operatic debut at The Wexford Festival in the title role of Mercadante’s rarely heard Virginia.
On the concert stage, Meade has appeared in recital at the Kennedy Center, and as soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, and Seattle Symphony, among others. Conductors with whom she has collaborated include Roberto Abbado, Marin Alsop, Marco Armiliato, Maurizio Benini, Will Crutchfield, Thomas Dausgaard, Plácido Domingo, Charles Dutoit, Riccardo Frizza, Manfred Honeck, Sebastian Lang-Lessing, James Levine, Fabio Luisi, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Gianandrea Noseda, Donald Runnicles, Gerard Schwarz, and Osmo Vänskä.
A native of Washington State and an alumna of the Academy of Vocal Arts, Ms. Meade has triumphed in an astounding number of vocal competitions: 57 in all, including many of the opera world’s most important prizes. In addition to being a winner at the 2007 Met National Council Auditions, as documented in The Audition, a film that was subsequently released on DVD by Decca, she was also the first singer to take first prize in both the opera and operetta categories of the prestigious Belvedere Competition.