Angela Meade made a triumphant appearance in the Met's Anna Bolena last night, largely fulfilling the high expectations that have surrounded her. (I wrote about her recent Caramoor performances here and here.) She is not yet a vital actress, but the power, accuracy, and agility of her voice are so transfixing that I find myself caring less about the action onstage. When the rapid coloratura runs in a part like Anna are done just so, the character snaps into focus, and the emotion follows: precision equals rage. Meade started slow, sounding a bit faint in "Non v'ha sguardo," the big Act I cabaletta, but she steadily gained confidence as the evening went on. Everything began to click in the last scene of Act I, and she was in command from there to the end. She floated some breathtaking pianissimo phrases, and employed biting tones as well as caressing ones. There was much keenly observed nuance in "Al dolce guidami," the great mad scene, where Callas urged singers to "cambiare, cambiare" — change, change. The trills were a bit questionable, but they happened. The "Coppia iniqua" that ends the opera was electrifying, as pure a display of vocal power as I've heard at the Met in the past few years. In her final moments, issuing a tractor beam of Wagnerian tone with her arms flung out, she was no longer an impeccable bel-canto student but a youthful diva. I loved seeing her big, dazed smile at the curtain call, before an exultant crowd; she knew she'd pulled it off. As it turns out, you don't need celebrity glitz to create pandemonium at the Met; pace Anna Netrebko, we Americans want music as well as show. Meade sings the role once more on Friday night.