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