“McGegan is a jolly man who clearly loves his work and engages with the performers and audience with utmost geniality. It is impossible not be drawn into the general air of ‘isn’t this all fun?’ that radiates from face, his demeanour, and his conducting. This very ‘up’ view of life spilled over into the music chosen for the festival, which included several well-known instrumental pieces and some less-known choral works. In all, the festival could easily have been entitled The Joy of Bach.
“The vocal soloists were all first rate, not only in the beauty and finesse of their singing, but in their understanding of Bach’s vocal style.
“Meg Bragle and Sherezade Panthaki provided the woman’s solos. Both have been heard here before, and as in the past sang with style and finesse. Soprano Panthaki’s voice is a force of nature and quite exceptional, as indeed is her remarkably accurate tuning and the evident ease with which she tossed off even the most difficult passages.
“Bragle…gave the audience the opportunity to savour just why she has been chosen by conductor John Elliot Gardiner to be part of his monumental Bach project. Her German enunciation was perhaps the best I have heard live, and her warm, rich sound always fell gratefully on the ear. An expressive, intelligent singer, she is naturally well suited to this repertoire — a true professional in the best sense.”
—Read more at Calgary Herald