World-Renowned Vocalist Visits Providence College
Students of Providence College experienced the rare opportunity to rehearse with Angela Meade, a world-renowned, award-winning principal artist with the New York Metropolitan Opera.
Hosted by the Department of Music, Meade recently taught a performance master class. She also gave a guest lecture to a voice class and performed in a recital.
Eliza Mandzik ’13 (Burlington, Conn.) and Chelsea Kane ’13 (Simsbury, Conn.), both sopranos at PC, as well as Kathryn Cohen, a Brown University student, rehearsed for Meade before an audience of students and received suggestions to improve their technique.
“Angela gave insightful feedback and guidance regarding musical performance and technique as well as providing practical advice regarding life as a professional opera singer,” said Mandzik.
This rare learning experience provided them with an opportunity to have a lesson with a professional opera singer.
“This was a time for us to engage with beautiful music and experience the art of vocal performance,” said Dr. Todd J. Harper, assistant professor of music. “This exercise illustrated the power of a suggestion from professionals and the importance of preparation.”
Although the student rehearsals may have sounded flawless to the untrained ear, Meade encouraged the vocalists to hone in on different techniques such as letting go of their vocal mechanisms, engaging their diaphragms, and rounding out the sounds of certain notes.
“Meade helped these students enrich themselves as performers and students,” Harper said.
Meade was just as critical as she was impressed and complimented the students on their level of preparation and composure during their rehearsals.
“It was incredibly inspiring, rewarding, and edifying to receive guidance and feedback from a singer whom I admire so greatly and who has achieved to such an outstanding level in our shared field of interest. It was extremely validating to receive positive feedback from a singer of her caliber,” said Mandzik.
Mandzik trained in Vienna while studying abroad and will return to Vienna to continue her vocal studies after graduation. She said that PC’s musical program allows students to grow and mature as musicians, while noting that PC provided her the foundation needed to pursue a career in music.
She said, “PC provides a wonderful atmosphere for facilitating individual attention to students. Ms. Meade’s presence was a testament to PC’s dedication to providing students with performing experience.”
From the Metropolitan Opera to PC
Meade arranged to come to PC after reaching out to Harper over Facebook. They met nine years ago as classmates at the University of Southern California.
A native of Washington state, Meade originally went to community college for pre-medical studies and then transferred to USC to finish her undergraduate degree before completing her education at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.
“While at community college, one of my professors introduced me to arias, and I transferred to USC to pursue music as an undergraduate,” Meade said, “I, along with the others in my profession, am naturally born to sing and to express language in this way.”
An award-winning vocalist, she was the recipient of the 2012 Beverly Sills Artist Award from the Metropolitan Opera and the 2011 Richard Tucker Award – two of the most prestigious awards for opera singers.
Meade made her operatic debut with the Met in 2008 when she performed as Elvira in Verdi’s Ernani while substituting for an ill colleague.
Less than five years into her professional debut, Meade critics recognized her ability to perform some of the most demanding works of the 19th century bel canto repertoire, as well as Verdi’s and Mozart’s operas. She regularly travels to Europe to perform as well.
Critics for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Baltimore Sun, and other media outlets have praised Meade’s performances and consider her an exceptionally gifted soprano and one of the outstanding vocalists of her generation.
Highlights of her 2012-2013 season include debuts with the Vienna State Opera in Verdi’s I vespri siciliani, the Los Angeles Opera in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and the Washington National Opera in Bellini’s Norma.
— Genevieve Marie Ilg ’14
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