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Not all audiences are the same: Melissa and Cecelia

Wed May 23 2012

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Now time for some music by Felix Mendelssohn's good friend, Prince Albert (i.e. Queen Victoria's husband).… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

Cecelia Bruggemeyer and Melissa

The second of our blog posts featuring an interview with audience and orchestra members featured in our new pictures. This time it’s the turn of audience member Melissa and Double Bass Cecelia Bruggemeyer.




Tell us a bit about you, your work and hobbies.

I am a lecturer in Dance Studies at theUniversity ofSurrey. I teach how to critically analyse, watch, and write about dance. Other than dancing, I like to travel, cook, write, perform, and make music playlists. I have an alter ego named Havana Barbie who likes to dress up as a cabaret dancer, shake her hips and wear bright red lipstick.

How did you hear about the Not all audiences are the same campaign?

Through my friend Will who works at the OAE.

How was the experience of doing the photoshoot?

It was super fun and very professional.

Tell us about what you were wearing for the shoot.

My costume is inspired on the Latin American cabaret costumes made famous in the 1940s and 1950s.Mexico’s Golden Age of Cinema featured Cuban vedettes who danced particularly in the cabaretera genre. These films usually had tragic endings for the dancer, but not without some show stopping dance numbers first.

How would you describe the OAE to a friend?

Classical music Iconoclasts.

How would you say the OAE is different to other Orchestras?

Other than playing on period instruments, OAE tries to make classical music relevant, cool, and contemporary.  Their musicians are impeccable and the marketing is clever, tongue in cheek which shows that they take themselves seriously but not too seriously. It’s the perfect mix.

If you came to an OAE concert recently tell us a little about it.

I went in late February when OAE premiered the piece by the poet who had the accident and became quadriplegic. I really enjoyed the variety in the programme between the contemporary piece and the other vocal pieces.

If you could pick one concert to see in our 2012-2013 season which one would it be and why?

The one when Roger Norrington is conducting and the one where Andras Schiff is both playing and conducting. I am a fan of both and I like the programme (Mozart particularly).

What’s the most listened-to track at the moment on your ipod (classical or non classical)?

The new Miike Snow album, the track Black Tin Box. It’s quite orchestral, especially the ending


Cecelia Bruggemeyer, OAE Double Bass

Cecelia Bruggemeyer

Cecelia Bruggemeyer

Tell us a bit about you, your work with the OAE and your hobbies outside of it.

I’m a Londoner born and bred, who grew up during, and benefitted from, the old ILEA days when instrumental lessons were free. I’m so grateful to have had that. I’ve been playing forOAEsince 2 days before I got married in 1990. Luckily there were no delays on the return home fromVienna- I didn’t have to run up the aisle! Over the years as well as the playing I’ve become more involved with the orchestra in other ways. I’m currently one of the player representatives on the board, and I love all the education projects I take part in. With various bits of ‘homework’, such as thinking up games for under-5s to play to Telemann, my hobbies at the moment seem to revolve around eating and watching who-dunnits with the family.

How was the experience of doing the photoshoot?

Fascinating. It was lovely to meet the gorgeous Melissa. I have to say she is much more of a natural in front of the camera than I am, but Eric (our photographer) , in his imaginative and re-assuring way, always manages to get us musicians looking good too.

Tell us about what you were wearing for the shoot.

I was wearing a concert dress I happened across earlier this year, which has the magic combination of fitting me, hanging well, being roomy enough to get my legs around the bass, and doesn’t crease. A very rare find! It also has a strong neck line, which at the end-of the day is about all you can usually see of a bass player’s outfit once they pick up the instrument.

How would you describe the OAE to a friend? How is it different to other orchestras you might play in or listen to?

Lively and buzzy. It’s a subtle thing to try to put into words, but being a player-run orchestra causes us to engage with each other in a different way on stage, and that infects our playing. So many of our audience comment on how we all seem to be enjoying ourselves when we play.

What’s been your favourite moment to date playing with the OAE?

What an impossible question! Far too many to list but here’s a sample.

Recording Mendlessohn’s Elijah with Bryn Terfell. It was SO amazing and SO powerful emotionally, that I literally couldn’t move at the tea break, and we bassists are usually front of the tea queue.

Being part of the revival of Peter Sellars production of Handel’s Theodora at Glyndebourne with Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson, Susan Gritton, and Robin Blaze. The way that production and cast made that opera live was extraordinary and devastating.

Seeing a 2 year old tranfixed, not taking his eyes off the violin, as we played live in his nursery.

Hearing 300 children raise the roof, singing ‘My Cry’ on our recent Anthem for A Child tour

The first rehearsal of Tristan and Isolde with Rattle. Nothing can prepare you for being in the middle of that soundworld.

Being in the audience for Beethoven 5 with Ivan Fischer. I have never heard the 3rd movement so quiet, and the release and feeling of take-off in last movement so phenomenal.

I could go on…. and on…….. and on……….

If you could pick one concert to see in our 2012-2013 season which one would it be and why?

Hmm! So much fantastic music, so many stunning artists. If I have to choose I  find myself being drawn to the French repertoire at the moment, so either the opening concert with Norrington, or the November concert with Cohen.

What’s the most listened-to track at the moment on your ipod (classical or non classical)?

The French theme continues. At the moment my ipod is full of Debussy and Ravel as I get into the mood for our next concerts with Rattle in June. For down-time it’s podcasts of The News Quiz.


Here are a selection of pictures of Melissa and Cecelia, including the final picture used and some outtakes. As the outtakes haven’t ended up being used they haven’t been cropped to size, hence you seeing some of the surrounds! All pictures are by Eric Richmond.

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