Behind the Curtain

Get to know our soloists for our all-Bach program, Magnificat!

Meg Bragle, Mezzo Soprano

Soloist portrait

Q: You recently performed in the BBC Proms for the first time? What was that like?

A: My debut at the Proms was absolutely thrilling. Performing with my wonderful colleagues from the English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir is always a joy, and the massive Albert Hall became an intimate and warm space for the duration of the concert. It was an experience I will never forget.

Q: Do you have a pre-concert ritual?

A: The only pre-concert ritual I have is taking 30 seconds to breathe and get centered before going on stage.

Q: What book is on your nightstand?

A: I have just started reading “The Old Ways” by Robert Macfarland.

Q: What piece of music or role (that you have not sung) would you most like to perform?

A: I have always wanted to sing Octavian in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier.

Q: Do you ever get nervous performing in front of an audience?

A: I do get nervous before I walk onstage, but it all goes away once the music starts.

Q: Describe a typical day in your life.

A: A typical day doesn’t exist anymore since the birth of my son 8 months ago!

Q: Diva—is it a compliment or an insult?

A: Diva can be either a compliment or an insult depending on the delivery of the person addressing you.

Q: What goes with you on every trip?

A: I always have my iPhone (for FaceTime with family and music for the next few concerts), music for the current show, passport, a good book, and what I am wearing for the performance. Everything else is negotiable.

Q: Where is home?

A: We have moved a lot over the past few years, so I would say home is wherever my husband, Chris, son Brendan and our cat Eli and I are all together.

Q: What have you been listening to lately on your ipod?

A: I have been listening to a lot of Andy Williams lately—my son loves his rendition of “Moon River”.

Q: What is your idea of happiness, or the perfect day?

A: My perfect day is late summer on Cape Cod at my parents' house. A walk on the beach, a good book and some time in the hammock listening to the wind in the trees and the faint sound of the waves. Heaven.

Q: What is your favorite city?

A: My favorite city is definitely a tie between NY and London.

Q: Who is your favorite composer?

A: My favorite composer is Bach. A constant source of inspiration.

Q: What is your favorite fairy tale or legend?

A: My favorite fairy tale or legend is “The Mabinogion”, a set of stories from medieval Welsh manuscripts.

Q: What is your favorite sound?

A: My son’s laugh.

Q: Who are your heroes in real life? In literature? History?

A: Real life heroes would have to be the first responders on 9/11. I cannot fathom the courage it took to run towards those buildings. Favorite historical character would be Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Q: What is your favorite beverage?

A: A very dry martini.

Q: What do you consider comfort food?

A: Congee (Asian rice pudding).

Q: What is your present state of mind?

A: My current state of mind is an attempt to “keep it all together”.

Q: What three recordings would you take with you on a desert island?

A: I really don’t think I could choose only three desert island discs. I would like to have access to my spotify account which would include Bach’s cantatas and Brandenburg’s; Brahms piano trio with Stern, Casals and Hess; Maureen Forrester singing Mahler’s “Urlicht”; Monteverdi’s Vespers and so much more…

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