and for good reason.
In October she caused a sensation in the title role of the Metropolitan Opera’s premiere production of Anna Bolena, delivering what the New Yorker’s Alex Ross called “as pure a display of vocal power as I’ve heard at the Met in the past few years.” A month later she was honored with the prestigious 2011 Richard Tucker Award, and now – still less than four years since her professional debut – the soprano has been named recipient of the seventh annual Beverly Sills Artist Award for young singers at the Metropolitan Opera. Muffy Greenough, Beverly Sills’s daughter, presented the award to Meade at a ceremony at the Met yesterday afternoon.
The award, for young singers who have appeared in featured solo roles at the Met, has been given annually since 2006, and with prize money of $50,000 it is the largest of its kind in the United States. Previous winners include baritone Nathan Gunn and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.
“I am so deeply honored to be the recipient of the Beverly Sills Award,” Meade said. “I would have loved to have met Ms. Sills. We share much of the same repertoire and her interpretations of Norma, Anna Bolena, Elisabetta in Roberto Devereux, Cleopatra, and Violetta have been an inspiration to me. I am greatly humbled and realize what an immense responsibility it will be to carry on the legacy Ms. Sills achieved. Her artistry has been something that young singers aspire to attain. I offer heartfelt thanks to the Metropolitan Opera and the Agnes Varis Trust, in memory of Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman.”
The prima donna on-the-rise returns to the Met on February 2 as Elvira in Verdi’s Ernani. You'll remember that it was as Elvira that she made her unscheduled Met debut in 2008, when she substituted for an ailing Sondra Radvanovsky.
You'll be able to catch Angela Meade as Elvira February 25 when Ernani is broadcast as part of the Met's Live in HD series. Her co-stars include Marcello Giordani, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Ferruccio Furlanetto with Maestro Marco Armiliato conducting.