Measha brings new tour to Moncton tonight

Soprano Measha Brueggergosman is considered one of the most vibrant, modern voices in the world of classical music.

A Juno Award-winner as well as a Grammy Award nominee, the Fredericton native has won the praise of music fans worldwide for her musicianship as well as her dynamic stage presence.

Brueggergosman’s latest musical venture is a live album entitled I’ve Got A Crush On You. Recorded this past February at sold-out shows in Fredericton and Halifax, the record is a collection of 13 songs that partially explore her love of the Great American Songbook, including songs by Gershwin and Cole Porter. Brueggergosman adds much Canadian content to the record, debuting a duet co-written with fellow NBer David Myles while also doing a delightful job covering Ron Sexsmith’s Secret Heart and Feist’s Cicadas and Gulls. Not content to restrict herself to strictly pop songs, the musician also includes a fine selection of spiritual and traditional songs including one of her favourites, the Acadian traditional song Partons La Mer Est Belle.

Measha will perform at Moncton’s Capitol Theatre on tonight. The show starts at 8 p.m.

Though Brueggergosman now calls Ottawa home, she has many fond memories of New Brunswick as both a performer and a spectator at the very venue in which she performs on Tuesday evening.

Measha’s resume is an impressive one: In addition to performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she has also done a solo recital tour that took her to Toronto, New York, San Francisco and Vienna.

It is clear her spirit is a restless one. Although she has built a name for herself from being a classical vocalist, I’ve Got A Crush On You shows a side of the artist that few may have expected.

“What has been great about this life and my career so far is that I feel that I was born in a country whose music industry allows a certain degree of flexibility with respect to what I do,” Measha says. “I have known and worked with the guys who played on my album for a long time before we ever got around to recording anything. Prior to this, my work with them has been limited to one-off situations and I had wanted to do a project with them that would make things official between us.”

While the idea of making a more contemporary record might have been a pipe dream for Measha at one point, she says that once the ball got rolling on the project, it was tough to stop the momentum.

“The entire project came about in a rather organic kind of way. Really, I set on the path to this project because I had the time but it was also born out of a desire to do intimate shows in Fredericton and Halifax, where the album was recorded. In the time leading up to those two concerts, I had arrived at a point where I wanted to create something new and fresh.”

Asked if she holds any concerns with respect to potentially alienating her core fans with I’ve Got A Crush On You, Measha says she hopes that the record serves to break a generalization that people might have about her and her music.

“Life is about achieving flexibility,” she says. “It comes from a deeply rooted desire to make music. The songs on I’ve Got A Crush On You have all been reimagined in different ways. I could have done straight-ahead versions of the songs but I ultimately wanted to bring the songs into new territories. With this record, I wanted to feel free but by the same token, I wanted to feel well supported. I think that each of the songs on the record touch upon the core of who I am creatively and ultimately helps me to stretch my boundaries.”

As if her life isn’t quite hectic enough, Measha recently added the title of Canada’s Got Talent judge to her resume, sitting on a panel for the TV talent show with Stephan Moccio and Martin Short. The show is hosted by Dina Pugliese.

Measha is a self-confessed reality television show junkie and she leapt at the chance to take part in breaking this new ground in her home country.

“The fantastic thing about the franchise is the fact that it is unique to the country that the show is hosted in,” she says. “Canada is perhaps a little different than other countries who have hosted their own version of the show because Canadians tend to build their celebrity culture slowly. To be able to contribute to the show and be a part of the celebrity landscape in a country where I plan to spend the rest of my days is a real blessing.”

Article published in May 7, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript