Arts Feature

Measha Brueggergosman returns to London on August 15 (photo credit: Mat Dunlap)

The Grand Theatre (471 Richmond Street) presents Measha Brueggergosman, August 15 at 8pm. For tickets call 519-672-8800 / 1-800-265-1593. 

The Divine Ms. M: Measha Brueggergosman at the Grand

Amie Ronald-Morgan

London, ON - It’s been Christmas in July for Measha Brueggergosman, and soon, a London audience will receive the gift of hearing the powerhouse soprano live in concert.

The Juno Award-winning artist has been busy finishing up her new, yet-to-be-named Christmas album at Chalet Studio in Claremont, Ontario, and preparing to embark on a tour across Canada to perform selections from her last album, her first-ever contemporary recording entitled I’ve Got a Crush on You.

She takes to the stage at the Grand Theatre on August 15 to treat fans to her renditions of the music of some of her inspirations, including Ella Fitzgerald, Feist, Joni Mitchell, Cole Porter, the Gershwins, and more.

I’ve Got a Crush on You takes its title from the Ella Fitzgerald cover included on the track list, which is accompanied by ‘Secret Heart’ (Ron Sexsmith), ‘Cicadas and Gulls’ (Feist), ‘Tonight I Drive You Home’ (Lennie Gallant), ‘Miss Otis Regrets’ (Porter), and ‘Both Sides, Now’ (Mitchell). The well-received recording spans pop to jazz to gospel and even a touch of reggae – quite a departure for Canada’s biggest opera star.

The chanteuse has enjoyed household name status – a relatively rare feat for an opera singer – for well over a decade now, but was regularly in the public eye in 2012 as a judge on the short-lived (but always entertaining) Citytv program Canada’s Got Talent alongside comedy icon Martin Short and songwriter/producer Stephan Moccio.

Short accompanied her fabulousness for an entertaining rendition of the jazz standard ‘Misty’, which can be heard on I’ve Got a Crush on You. 

Brueggergosman’s time on Canada’s Got Talent introduced many to the vibrant, often sassy personality behind the voice, officially instating her as a fresh-faced ambassador for classical and opera music, spurring younger audiences to listen to genres they might not otherwise be interested in, by virtue of her considerable charms and outrageous style.

For existing fans of the genres, the 37-year-old has consistently received excellent reviews for her rich and radiant lyric soprano (“when her throat opens up, her soul pours out,” raved one), her musicianship, and her convincing, commanding stage presence. 

Clearly, however, with I’ve Got a Crush on You and her upcoming Christmas album, Brueggergosman seamlessly makes the transition into more contemporary styles. 

On July 23, Warner Music Canada announced that they partnered with Brueggergosman to release her holiday album. Recording began in Madrid this past spring and continued at Chalet Studio, where the likes of Rush and Barenaked Ladies have also chosen to recorded. 

Brueggergosman had been in Madrid where she was appearing in as Antonia and Giulietta in a production of Les contes d’Hoffman at Teatro Real.

 The album features the Joni Mitchell classic ‘River’ along with a selection of seasonal favourites including ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ and ‘The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)’. 

 “I am enjoying the freedom to breathe life in to things that people know extremely well,” Brueggergosman said. There’s the promise of a lot of “surprising musical twists and turns” along the way.

She is collaborating again with her “core team” comprised of producer Michael Phillip Wojewoda (Barenaked Ladies, Rheostatics), music director Aaron Davis, and her long-time vocal teacher Mary Morrison.

“I did think it would be the gift that kept on giving,” Brueggergosman added with a laugh.

Brueggergosman takes to the MainStage August 15 at 8pm. Her London engagement is the second of a cross-country tour. Following her concert, she heads to Sherwood Park, Alberta; Saint John and her native Fredericton, New Brunswick; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Truro, Annapolis Royal, and Wolfville, Nova Scotia. 

Don’t wait for tickets for this one, music lovers – they’re selling fast!



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