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WCLV 104.9
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Guest DJ Angela Meade: Hitting The Big Time With Help From Verdi

Monday, October 7, 2013

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Act 4: Final Scene

I due Foscari, opera [Act 2. Scena. Ah, sposo mio!]

I Vespri siciliani, opera (Les vêpres siciliennes) [Act 5. M'ingannasti, o traditrice]

Di te, di te scordarmi

Otello, opera [Act 4.: "Ave Maria, piena di grazia"]

Requiem Mass, for soloists, chorus & orchestra (Manzoni Requiem) [No. 7. Libera me]

Hear The Discussion

To mark the bicentennial of Giuseppe Verdi's birth, one of today's preeminent sopranos spins her favorite music by the master opera composer — from the emotionally electrifying fourth act of Il trovatore to the tender purity of the "Ave Maria" in Otello.

Verdi's Ernani.
Verdi's I due Foscari.
Verdi's I vespri Siciliani.
Verdi's Il trovatore.
Verdi's Otello.
Verdi's Requiem.
Soprano Angela Meade made her professional debut in the role of Elvira in Verdi's Ernani at the Metropolitan Opera.

Soprano Angela Meade made her professional debut in the role of Elvira in Verdi's Ernani at the Metropolitan Opera. Marty Sohl

Soprano Angela Meade's career rocketed after she made her professional debut as Elvira in Verdi's Ernani at New York's Metropolitan Opera.

Soprano Angela Meade's career rocketed after she made her professional debut as Elvira in Verdi's Ernani at New York's Metropolitan Opera. Marty Sohl

Most opera singers work their way to the big league by singing bit parts in regional opera houses. Not soprano Angela Meade. She landed on top instantly with her professional debut in the lead soprano role of Giuseppe Verdi's Ernani at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 2008.

It was a dream come true. The star soprano took ill and the understudy, Meade, was suddenly shoved into the spotlight. The press said she sang "like an old pro from start to finish."

As Meade's career catapulted, she proceeded to add Verdi roles to her repertoire. Last season she sang in Il trovatore, I lombardi, I vespri siciliani and the Requiem. In December she'll be back at the Met in Falstaff.

If you think of it in terms of clothing, Verdi's music seems tailor-made for Meade's large, beautiful and extraordinarily agile voice. These days, she is considered one of the preeminent Verdi singers. So to help mark the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth, we invited Meade into our studio to spin a few of her favorite Verdi recordings and comment on them. She chose classic divas, like Maria Callas and Montserrat Caballé, plus some deep tracks from underappreciated early Verdi operas.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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