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Nicholas McGegan on Vivaldi's "Gloria"

J. Lee Graham

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This evening, I will have the pleasure of singing Vivaldi's "Gloria" at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with Nicholas McGegan, director of San Francisco's Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, on the podium. McGegan is a sprightly, slightly pudgy British man that reminded me of a hamster on steroids, with a grin so broad it almost spreads into sneer. And he's possibly the wittiest man I've ever worked under.

At the risk of some of these having been funnier in the moment than in print (in the "you had to be there" category), here are a few of his wittier comments about Vivaldi's "Gloria," which he clearly does regard very highly and definitely doesn't take too seriously! We laughed almost the whole time, and still we managed to get out on time. That's good direction.

I've never cared much for this piece, but McGegan made the rehearsal process a lot of fun.

Of the Gloria in excelsis:

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He is, I can tell you.

Just before we began the Vivaldi "Gloria," he grinned at us maniacally to remind us not to take the piece too seriously...and the "conductor cam" was on him at the time, so all 10,000 people at the Bowl saw him do it and had a good belly-laugh. What a fun gig!

I get to do it again tonight!

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