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Q&A | A Few Minutes With Soprano Leslie Ann Bradley

By Ludwig Van on April 25, 2016

Soprano Leslie Ann Bradley shares whose musical style she secretly covets, and that time she got a pair of shoes from Oprah.

Leslie Ann Bradley (Photo: Lisa Marie Mazzucco)
Leslie Ann Bradley (Photo: Lisa Marie Mazzucco)

A few times a month, MT poses 60 questions to various artists who have made a mark on Toronto’s music scene. Each artist picks and chooses, with the minimum response being 20.

Canadian soprano Leslie Ann Bradley is a singer in full command of her vocal prowess. Her 2015/16 season opened with an acclaimed role debut as Desdemona in Pacific Opera Victoria’s Otello. Her season continues with various concert projects including Bruckner’s Te Deum with the Niagara Symphony), Messiah with the Grand Philharmonic Choir, Beethoven Ninth Symphony with the Calgary Philharmonic and the Victoria Symphony) and Haydn Creation with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir on April 27. She’s also singing at Mazzoleni Masters Songmasters Series on May 1.

What are three things about Toronto that make you want to live here? First, Toronto has an amazing musical community and I miss my friends when I’m away. Second, I always miss Toronto in the fall when the leaves turn colour. It’s a green city and it’s particularly beautiful in the fall season. Lastly, I love walking in Toronto, whether it be through the Annex, High Park, the waterfront.

Name the musical equivalent to junk food. Right now, I’d have to say it’s the Brahms Gypsy Songs. Totally addictive, gives you a bit of a sugar high and even though they are not as sophisticated as some songs, they are worth it because they are so delicious.

Default drink/cocktail of choice? Coffee. Preferably an Americano.

Your favourite sound? My nephew’s laugh.

Your least favourite sound? Someone in pain.

First thing that comes to your mind when you think about Toronto. HOME

The dumbest thing that you’ve ever done to your hair? I went blond for about 2 minutes. NOT good.

What are the three things you’d like to change about Toronto? The DVP, The Gardiner and the length of the winter season.

If you could board a plane this afternoon, where would it be taking you? To see my 8-month-old nephew in Alberta.

Whose musical style do you covet? Ella FItzgerald’s.

Where was the last place you travelled to for work or pleasure? I got off a plane last night from Calgary after singing a Beethoven 9 with the Calgary Philharmonic.

Shoe of choice? My gold Lanvin heels…they go with any concert dress and they are comfy. (and they used to be Oprah’s… I won them in an auction for charity that sends girls to school)

Your ancestry? English and Spanish.

What are you listening to as you answer these questions? Silence. Background music is not my thing.

What is the one animal that scares you the most? I just saw my first Alligator a few weeks ago; he was in the fountain of the hotel near where I was staying. Fascinating and TERRIFYING.

Have you ever fired a gun? If so, what were the circumstances? I grew up on a farm, so we all learned how to use a rifle. But in general, I hate guns and I don’t like being around them.

Scariest situation you’ve ever been in? Car accident. When I was 16, I was hit by a drunk driver. When the fire and ambulance people arrived, they thought no one in our car survived. The man who hit us had a suspended licence and it was his 3rd offence. Luckily, we all lived and he went to jail.

Your favourite curse word? Anything with four letters usually does the trick.

The thing that makes you the happiest? Personally, it would be family. Professionally, it’s setting goals and working towards them. Both of these things give me purpose and that makes me happy.

The thing that makes you the angriest? Mean people. Someone who goes out of their way to make another suffer makes me FURIOUS.

The strangest road you’ve ever travelled? My husband and I did a road trip to Northern England last summer. We were in the Lake District near Windermere and we turned down a road that was so narrow we had only a few inches on either side of the car. I was convinced we were in someone’s laneway, but then we came across another car using the same road in the opposite direction. It got very interesting at that point…..The first album that made you love music?

The first album that made you love music? Solti Marriage of Figaro with Te Kanawa and Thomas Allen.

The best way to die? Painlessly.

The piece of music you want played at your funeral? Brahms Requiem. ALL of it.

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