One soprano calls in sick, another earns praise

Soprano Angela Meade was called in to perform Sunday afternoon's Verdi Requiem with the Philadelphia Orchestra when Marina Poplavskaya had to withdraw after suffering from severe allergies.

Our friend Peggy Cooke was there, and reports:


Here's...another plus for the new maestro. He knelt to her after the performance (seen that? I haven't) and then, on the second curtain call arranged for her to go on stage by herself. She was stunned, the audience was knocked out. This guy is rare and wonderful and deserves all the praise and press he can get.

"This guy" of course is Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who is making his debut concerts this week as the Philadelphia Orchestra's eighth music director.

Here's a review of the Verdi from Friday night. And for a profile of the new maestro, look here.

No word yet on which soprano will be singing with the orchestra Tuesday night in Carnegie Hall.

Meade, who attended the Academy of Vocal Arts and was an Astral Artist, now has an international career. The Verdi Requiem is one of her signature works. She was called to step in for this performance at 11 p.m. Saturday - in other words, on less than 24 hours' notice.