September 29, 2017 - 7:30pm
Songs of Freedom
with special guest Wycliffe Gordon
Partridge Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
250 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines
Songs of Freedom is an intensely powerful and spiritual collection of ‘Freedom Songs’ that emerged from Africa via the slave trade to America, then to Canada via the United Empire Loyalist migration and the Underground Railroad.
Measha's latest album Songs of Freedom is a companion piece to the film of the same name, winner of three Canadian Screen Awards, which documented Measha's own journey of discovering her family's storied lineage from Cameroon, West Africa to Canada's Maritimes.
Jazz great Wycliffe Gordon will be making a special guest appearance at Measha's Songs of Freedom concert.
Noted by the San Francisco Chronicle as "a singer of rare gifts and artistic intensity" and by the Miami Herald for possessing "a superb voice capable of just about everything," Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman has emerged as one of the most magnificent performers and vibrant personalities of the day. She is critically acclaimed by the international press as much for her innate musicianship and voluptuous voice as for a sovereign stage presence far beyond her years.
3.2 billion television viewers from across the globe came together to witness the Opening Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and all heard the lauded soprano's epic performance of the Olympic Hymn. The presentation of the Olympic Flag was accompanied with flair and artistry, brought by the native Canadian's one-of-a-kind masterful instrument, personality, and passion to share classical music with a mainstream audience. The honor of being selected by Canada for this performance cements Measha's international standing as a fresh and youthful ambassador for classical music that breaks the stereotype of an opera diva in every way imaginable.
Deeply committed to the art of song, Measha Brueggergosman has given solo recitals at London's Wigmore Hall, Roy Thomson Hall, Carnegie Hall, Spivey Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels with Roger Vignoles in Gstaad, New York, and Verbier with Jean-Yves Thibaudet and at Weill Hall in New York, Hertz Hall in Berkeley, and at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor with J.J. Penna. She currently tours with collaborative pianist Justus Zeyen. Past recital appearances also have brought her to the Edinburgh, Bergen, Tuscan Sun, and Verbier festivals, and to concert series in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Augsburg, Berlin, Bamberg, and Barcelona amongst many others. Additionally, she participated in the Verbier Festival's one-off presentation, Rufus Wainwright Goes Classical, sharing performances of works from the classical repertoire, with Rufus Wainwright and Angelika Kirchschlager, rearranged especially for the occasion.
Ms. Brueggergosman has been honoured to participate in a number of very special events including the gala re-openings of Roy Thomson Hall and of the University of Michigan's Hill Auditorium, Canada Day celebrations from Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and the opening ceremonies of the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto – her performance presented under the auspices of MAC Cosmetics - sharing the stage with Bill Gates and President Bill Clinton. She has performed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland during two consecutive years, and has given a Royal Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth II. She also has sung for the Prince of Wales, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Queen Sonja of Norway, President Tarja Halonen of Finland, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, and numerous other leaders of Canada, as well as for Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan.
Beyond the great concert halls of the world, Ms. Brueggergosman lends her voice, passion, and energy to social and environmental causes as a Canadian good-will ambassador for three international organizations: African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) Learning Through the Arts and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Her commitments to these organizations have taken her on a broad spectrum of missions - from primary schools in New Brunswick, Canada to internally displaced persons camps of northern Uganda.
Her extraordinary versatility, intuitive musicality, and radiant star quality are reflected in the array of recordings she has made in artistic relationships with Deutsche Grammophon and CBC Records. Her first recording for DG, Surprise, was released in 2007 and garnered a Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year.
Measha Brueggergosman has been the host of the European television cultural variety show, Arte Lounge, (www.arte.tv/lounge) and was the subject of a full-length feature documentary, Spirit in her Voice, aired by the CBC network. She has starred in numerous independent short music-films including Heart, we will forget him, Amor, Go Diva!, and Infinite Dream. She has served as television hostess of the Toronto Variety Show and has taken centre stage in Bravo! Canada's Gemini Award-winning concert series Live at the Rehearsal Hall, performing a mixed selection of classical repertoire, gospel hymns, and jazz standards. Ms. Brueggergosman also has appeared as a special celebrity guest on television episodes of MTV Canada Cribs, Project Runway Canada, The Surreal Gourmet, and Bravo Arts & Minds.
Measha Brueggergosman has received honorary doctorates from St. Thomas University of New Brunswick and Acadia University in Nova Scotia and was awarded the Grand Prize at the 2002 Jeunesses Musicales Montreal International Competition. She also has been a prizewinner at The Dutch International Vocal Competition 's-Hertogenbosch, the Wigmore Hall in London, George London Foundation in New York, The Queen Sonja International Music Competition in Oslo, and the ARD Music Competition in Munich. Ms. Brueggergosman is a resident member of the Konzerthaus Dortmund's "Junge Wilde" series and is a recipient of the prestigious Canada Council and Chalmers Performing Arts Grants. She studied at the University of Toronto with Mary Morrison and pursued postgraduate studies in Germany with Edith Wiens. She also has worked with such distinguished musicians as Christoph Eschenbach, Ruth Falcon, Brigitte Fassbaender, Margo Garrett, Håkan Hagegård, Jessye Norman, Rudolf Piernay, and Thomas Quasthoff.
Through an exclusive relationship, Ms. Brueggergosman's jewellery generously is provided by Myles Mindham Jewellery Limited. www.mindham.com Comprehensive performance and career information may be found at www.measha.com