“In the world of talented young singers, there may be none with greater promise.”— Mike Silverman, Associated PressAmerican soprano Angela Meade is having a momentous season. 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 this 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 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, continuing:
“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 rising young soprano returns to the Met as Elvira in Verdi’s Ernani on February 2, in the role with which she made her unscheduled “star is born” professional debut – at the Met – in 2008, when she substituted for an ailing colleague. Opera lovers worldwide can hear Meade in the role when Ernani is beamed to cinemas around the world on February 25 as part of the Met’s ever-popular Live in HD series. Her co-stars include Marcello Giordani, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Ferruccio Furlanetto, with Marco Armiliato leading the Met Opera Orchestra. It was Armiliato who conducted Meade at the Grand Finals Concert of the 2007 Met Opera National Council Auditions, as chronicled in the documentary film The Audition.