Brueg­ger­gos­man will share Christ­mas spirit dur­ing Stars for Saskatchew­an con­cert Dec. 1

The Southwest Booster - - NEWS - BY SCOTT AN­DER­SON SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

Measha Brueg­ger­gos­man has been in the Christ­mas spirit since the sum­mer months, so it is no sur­prise she has been anx­iously look­ing for­ward to her 19-city Christ­mas Tour.

Brueg­ger­gos­man will be on the Sky Cen­tre stage on Dec. 1 dur­ing the third per­for­mance of the Swift Cur­rent Al­lied Arts Coun­cil’s 2014-2015 Stars for Saskatchew­an con­cert se­ries. Her Swift Cur­rent stop is just one of two Saskatchew­an ap­pear­ances and one of just six Western Cana­dian stops on this tour in support of her newly re­leased sea­sonal 12-song record­ing en­ti­tled Christ­mas.

The clas­si­cally trained so­prano has lit­er­ally per­formed around the world shar­ing both clas­si­cal mu­sic and tra­di­tional mu­sic dur­ing crit­i­cally ac­claimed per­for­mances. The di­verse per­former has re­leased a se­ries of record­ings over the past few years, high­lighted by Night and Dreams which fea­tures pieces by Strauss, Mozart, Schu­bert, and her 2008 Juno award win­ning al­bum Sur­prise recorded with the BBC Sym­phony Orches­tra which boasts Cabaret songs by Bol­com, Satie and Schoen­berg. In 2012 she re­leased I’ve Got A Crush On You, a record­ing where Brueg­ger­gos­man sings the clas­sic Misty with Martin Short, along with Whole to My Half with David Myles.

She also served a judge on 2012 sea­son of Canada’s Got Tal­ent, but is now back on stage around the world per­form­ing a di­verse va­ri­ety of mu­sic. She just com­pleted a se­ries of clas­si­cal con­cert per­for­mances in Spain and the Nether­lands, but is ready for snow and win­ter dur­ing her tour which be­gan Nov. 19 in Toronto.

“I have been in the Christ­mas spirit since July when we re­ally started full throt­tle on the al­bum,” she ad­mit­ted dur­ing a phone in­ter­view ear­lier this month from Spain.

The process of re­leas­ing her Christ­mas record­ing dates back to last sum­mer, so she is more than anx­ious to per­form her ren­di­tion of Christ­mas clas­sics live.

“It’s the hol­i­day that has the most theme songs isn’t it,” she ob­served. “It has mean­ing for ev­ery­one, no mat­ter where you are on the re­li­gious spec­trum.”

Be­cause they be­gan to craft the songs with­out be­ing sur­rounded by the ex­cite­ment of Christ­mas, they were able to fo­cus sole- ly on the mu­sic dur­ing their record­ing ses­sions.

“We had a great time do­ing this al­bum. And for me, this al­bum will al­ways have ex­treme pos­i­tiv­ity as­so­ci­ated with it.”

She was philo­soph­i­cal about the mu­sic on the 12song record­ing.

“They all have a skele­ton that peo­ple can im­me­di­ately rec­og­nize, and that’s a com­fort to me as a clas­si­cal mu­si­cian who is pre­dom­i­nantly de­vel­op­ing her role as muse. But then the mus­cles and the skin and the clothes that we put on th­ese skele­tons were an ad­ven­ture in and of them­selves.”

B r u e g g e r g o s m a n’s im­mensely tal­ented voice is high­lighted on the pi­ano bal­lad col­lab­o­ra­tion Let Joy Reign, per­formed with Royal Wood, and the other songs con­tain el­e­ments of elec­tronic pop, gospel and clas­si­cal.

How­ever, Brueg­ger­gos­man does have a cou­ple of favourites among the songs. “I’d have to say, as a so­prano, the barn­burner of Mi­nuit Chre­tiens, O Holy Night, is pretty sweet. It’s like one of those tunes that I al­ways hear sung in a clas­si­cal voice, and we’ve done that on the al­bum as a clas­si­cal tune.”

“I feel a par­tic­u­lar kin­ship to that tune and the in­ter­pre­ta­tion of that tune. But I think, you know, It’s The Most Won­der­ful Time of the Year, how the al­bum kicks off. It’s sup­posed to be a party. So I’d say those two ex­tremes kind of are not only favourites of mine, but I think they also rep­re­sent the ex­trem­i­ties of the al­bum.”

Brueg­ger­gos­man ad­mits to be­ing a bit of a per­fec­tion­ist when it comes to per­form­ing live.

“I re­ally like re­hears­ing for one thing. The au­di­ence sees the re­sult of our re­hearsal time. But I think com­ing from a clas­si­cal tra­di­tion, and still hav­ing that be the foun­da­tion of my ca­reer, it’s a sort of com­mu­nity of cham­ber mu­sic that I think should per­me­ate into all the mu­sic I make, ir­re­gard­less of style.”

She wants to have a tight sound with her band mates, and takes time to fo­cus on the to­geth­er­ness and work it takes to make that hap­pen.

“When you can move in con­cert with the other mem­bers of your en­sem­ble ef­fort­lessly, and have the ship be steered in new and ex­cit­ing di­rec­tions, for me as a per­former that very ex­cit­ing. But I think it’s also some­thing that I do in ser­vice to the au­di­ence, be­cause it keeps me fresh and it keeps me en­gaged. And it is es­sen­tial to not only tour­ing, but also keep­ing the au­di­ence in­vested in the ex­pe­ri­ence.”

And she doesn’t take for granted her au­di­ences for at­tend­ing her per­for­mances.

“You have to find ways to re­main con­nected to how much in­flu­ence and im­pact you can po­ten­tially have on peo­ple’s lives. They’ve es­sen­tially given you their money and their time, which are two very valu­able com­modi­ties. And I take the gifts of peo­ple’s time and por­tions of their in­come very se­ri­ously.”

Brueg­ger­gos­man en­joys the di­ver­sity of ma­te­rial she has crafted over the years, but in the fu­ture is not shy­ing away from tack­ling larger op­er­atic pieces or more con­tem­po­rary items.

“I’ve al­ways been led by the col­lab­o­ra­tive qual­ity of mu­sic mak­ing. So I en­joy dif­fer­ent at­mos­pheres. I feel like there’ll never be a short­age of clas­si­cal mu­sic that will hum­ble and chal­lenge and en­gage me. And the same is true of non­clas­sic reper­toire. And the peo­ple that I would not get to work with if I only stuck to one mar­ket. I think I would re­gret not seek­ing those op­por­tu­ni­ties, or grab­bing them when they came to me.”

“I think a lot of my mu­si­cal choices, and a lot of the de­ci­sions I make pro­fes­sion­ally, are rooted in a fear of re­gret. I re­ally don’t want to re­gret not hav­ing said yes to some­thing.”

A limited num­ber of ad­vance tick­ets are avail­able by call­ing 306-773-1338 or 1-877-211-2787 or by em a i l in g scartscoun­[email protected] The con­cert will be­gin at 7:30 p.m. and will be the fi­nal Stars for Saskatchew­an se­ries show of 2014. The first 2015 con­cert date will be a con­cert by Robert Post on Jan­uary 10.

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