Angela Meade's Summer 2014 Includes Festivals Across the U.S., 'WILLIAM TELL' in Edinburgh
Angela Meade - fresh from Metropolitan Opera triumphs as Bellini's Norma and as Alice Ford in Falstaff (the latter seen worldwide in the Met's Live in HD series) - has a busy summer ahead. The soprano, whose honors include the Richard Tucker and Beverly Sills Artist Awards, will perform at festivals across the U.S. from June through August. She launches her summer season as soprano soloist in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Baltimore Symphony under Marin Alsop (June 5-8) before taking on the title role of Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia in her return to the Caramoor International Music Festival (July 12, 18). The Washington State native also headlines two festivals in Oregon: she sings Violetta in Verdi's La traviata for the gala opening concert of the Astoria Music Festival (June 14), and the title role of Bellini's Norma for Portland's SummerFest (Aug 8).
Last month Meade appeared for the first time in Italy, with her role debut as Mathilde in a new production of Rossini's Guglielmo Tell by esteemed director Graham Vick at the Teatro Regio di Torino. Hailed by the Financial Times as "a major achievement" and "musically ... a treat", Torino's Guglielmo Tell travels with Meade and the rest of the cast for concert performances under conductor Gianandrea Noseda at Italy's Stresa Music Festival (Aug 22) and the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland (Aug 25). A U.S. tour will follow in December with stops in Chicago, Toronto, Ann Arbor and New York's Carnegie Hall.
Meade has already proven herself in Rossini, wielding "her voluminous soprano and fine coloratura technique to elegant effect" in the composer's music, according to the New York Times. Despite the popularity of the William Tell overture's famous galloping finale, the epic scale and extravagant vocal demands of Rossini's final opera have rendered revivals few and far between. About singing the role of the princess Mathilde, Meade says:
Mathilde is an interesting part for me because it is one of the bridges between Rossini and early Verdi, like Mercadante's Virginia, which I performed a few years ago at the Wexford Opera Festival. In William Tell Rossini was moving away from the ultra-florid style of The Barber of Seville and Semiramide and towards something approaching the early Verdi of Ernani or I Lombardi. Mathilde's music, in keeping with her station as a Hapsburg princess, is stately, grand and beautiful.
Meade's first Lucrezia Borgia on July 12 and 18 will be on relative "home turf" at the Caramoor International Music Festival in Katonah, New York, where the young soprano was catapulted to prominence in a 2010 concert performance of Norma. She has since been heard at Caramoor in the title role of Rossini's challenging Semiramide, and as Hélène in Les vêpres siciliennes, the French version of Verdi's I vespri siciliani. The praise for Meade's first Norma at the Met this past season included the New York Times verdict that "she sang with new focus and fire, ... acting with moving subtlety, singing generously and feeling deeply." New York Classical Review added: "Meade's bel canto credentials are impeccable, where her creamy legato enlivens a rich, even and flexible voice."
A preview of Meade in action is available on YouTube, singing Verdi's aria "Tu al cui sguardo onnipossente" from I due Foscari - a "magisterial rendition," according to the New York Times. This 2013 Richard Tucker Gala performance was broadcast as part of PBS's Live From Lincoln Center, which is available in its entirety for on-demand online streaming here.