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In the Spotlight with Opera Singer Measha Brueggergosman

At 29 years of age, Measha Brueggergosman is a critically acclaimed Canadian soprano. She performs worldwide in concerts and operas.

Measha Brueggergosman is a critically acclaimed Canadian soprano. Heralded as one of the great voices of modern classical music, the 29-year-old performs worldwide in concerts and operas. Her second recording for CBC Records, was released in the autumn of 2005.

Measha Brueggergosman

Amy Hammond Hagberg (AHH): How did you become interested in this type of music—most kids prefer pop music.

Measha Brueggergosman (MB): I grew up in a Christian home and we didn't listen to any secular music. My father works for the Canadian Broadcasting Company, and there's a lot of classical programming. So I grew up listening to that … So in essence, those people on the radio were my pop stars.

AHH: How did you get started on the road to singing professionally?

MB: Growing up in a small town has its advantages, because there's usually only one or two of everything. And I was the town singer, and I sang a lot of the weddings and funerals and bar and bat mitzvahs and high school productions.

AHH: Most musicians are inspired by other people's music too. Who are your favourite artists?

MB: Well, Ella Fitzgerald I think is a brilliant artist technically, musically; her integrity in her music making, you know, provides an example for whatever genre you sing. And there's a Canadian singer/songwriter by the name of Jann Arden and she is brilliant, she is just brilliant—she's funny, she's macabre, she's honest and it's all about, you know, finding comfort in your own skin and the long journey to that destination. I love her. And obviously classically, I own every single Kathleen Battle album, every single Jess Norman album, every single Leontyne Price album, the usual suspects, Maria Callas … We look to them because they make us want to be better.

AHH: How do you see your singing as your mission from God?

MB: I always pray, that despite my human frailty and weakness that He can work beyond anything I can accomplish in my temporary human form … I know that every single person that comes to my concerts would like to leave something at the door, and I just pray that they can do that and that I can in some way help them to come to terms with the fact that their marriage isn't great, or they're too fat or they should have spent their money on rent instead of tickets to this concert, and I just pray that I can make it worth it to them.

AHH: It sounds like your music is as much a ministry as entertainment . …

Yeah, yeah, I honestly, in singing and praying, I can't help but think, I just want Christ for you; I just want Christ for you. You know? And whether they are there for that or whether they are touched by the Holy Spirit in some inexplicable way that they can't quite understand, that it's not my concern. Because I think God can work beyond me and despite me and through me … Sometimes I'm tired, sometimes my voice isn't cooperating, sometimes I've been stupid and stayed out too late the night before, sometimes there is nothing perfect about what I do or who I am, but God wants me anyway. And that's a constant source of encouragement and edification and joy for me.

AHH: You travel extensively all over the world. How are you able to stay close to God and maintain your relationship with Christ in spite of that busy schedule?

MB: I think throughout your career, no matter what stage you're at, it's a constant struggle to get to that church in Copenhagen or go to that church in Tokyo or Berlin—okay, where two or more are gathered, you just have to keep that belief that God is truly everywhere. But you know what, the communion of believers, I tell you, has lifted me up more times than I can count.

AHH: Given the high stress job you have, you need to have some time to relax. Do you have any hobbies?

MB: I am a huge tennis fan … it is like such a mind game and it is so much about an internal process before the external process can even happen, which is very much like singing. So I quite love it and that's kind of like my greatest passion. So that for me is—if there is a beach and lying around and like swimming involved, and tennis, that would be like the ideal vacation for me. And I have a book club, and am an advocate for literacy.

AHH: What are some of your future plans and dreams?

MB: I'll be recording a lot more, ultimately finding projects that I'm passionate enough about to want to commit to permanent public record … So I guess for me I just want to be a very good story teller and I look for music that helps me flex that muscle. And to educate people and to make them see that classical music is approachable—come as you are. You can draw the parallel, it's a ministry. And I believe in this cause; I believe in doing for classical music, for the Lord, for this music that frankly will die if we don't get the next generation interested.

Amy Hammond Hagberg is a frequent contributor to Christian publications around the world. Her first book, How Do You Know He's Real: Celebrity Reflections on Christ, was released by Destiny Image Publishers in April 2006. The second in a three-part series titled, How Do You Know He's Real: For Teens, was released November 2006. Her website is: http://www.hesreal.com/.

How Do You Know He's Real: Celebrity Reflections on Christ
Between the covers of this book are testimonies from Christian role models from the worlds of film, sports, and music. The stories are real and powerful, and are presented in a way that believers and seekers alike will find compelling.


How Do You Know He's Real: For Teens
The second book in the He's Real series, will be released by Destiny Image Publishers on November 1st. Author Amy Hammond Hagberg shares the profound real-life journeys and dramatic encounters with the living God by young athletes and musicians.


Originally published on the website, www.christianeducation.ca, 2006.

 

 
 
 
 

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