Measha Brueggergosman (born Measha Gosman; June 28, 1977) is a Canadian soprano who performs both as an opera singer and concert artist. She has performed internationally and won numerous awards. Her recordings of both classical and popular music have a...
Measha Brueggergosman (born Measha Gosman; June 28, 1977) is a Canadian soprano who performs both as an opera singer and concert artist. She has performed internationally and won numerous awards. Her recordings of both classical and popular music have also received awards.
Life and career:
She was born Measha Gosman in Fredericton, New Brunswick, to Anne Eatmon and Sterling Gosman of Fredericton, New Brunswick. As a child, Gosman began singing in the choir of her local Baptist church, where father served as a deacon. She studied voice and piano from the age of seven. As a teen, she took voice lessons in her home town, and spent summers on scholarships at the Boston Conservatory and at a choral camp in Rothesay, New Brunswick. She studied for one year with New Brunswick soprano Wendy Nielsen, before moving on to studies at the University of Toronto, where she obtained a B.Mus. She went to Germany for five years, where she pursued a Master's degree at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf, Germany.
She married Marcus Bruegger, born in Germany. They first met in high school, when he was an exchange student in New Brunswick. When they married, they combined their last names to Brüggergosman (also spelled Brueggergosman).
In 2007, Brueggergosman discovered her family's deep history in Canada and the United States. Her paternal 4xgreat-grandparents were John Gosman and his wife Rose, African Americans who each escaped from slavery in New England colonies during the American Revolution by going to British lines. John was from Connecticut and Rose from Rhode Island. They probably met in New York City, then occupied by the British. The British gave freedom to American slaves who left rebel slaveholders and sought refuge with them. Tens of thousands of slaves, mostly in the South, took advantage of the war's chaos to escape, so many that the plantations were disrupted in South Carolina and Virginia, especially.
After the war, the British arranged transport to Nova Scotia for nearly 3500 Black Loyalists from the former Thirteen Colonies. John and Rose Gosman and their five-month-old daughter Fanny, born free in British lines, were recorded in the British embarkation record known as the Book of Negroes. They had passage in 1783 on one of the last ships to leave New York for Nova Scotia. Measha's 4xgreat-grandparents first lived in Shelburne, but later settled in Fredericton. Brueggergosman learned of her African-American roots on Who Do You Think You Are, a British-based program bought by the CBC. According to Y-DNA genetic testing of her brother, it is likely their direct-line paternal African ancestors came from the Bassa people of Cameroon.
Suffering a heart condition in June 2009, Brueggergosman took some time off to recover from open heart surgery. She returned to the stage in September 2009 for a performance at the Toronto International Film Festival.
In 2007, Brueggergosman became the Goodwill Ambassador for the African Medical & Research Foundation (AMREF), a charity working for Better Health in Africa. In June of that year she travelled to the war-affected village of Patongo in East Africa to share her voice as a form of musical therapy for children. Brueggergosman described herself after the trip as "never the same" and continues her work with AMREF today.
In 2012 Brueggergosman was a judge on the short-lived Canadian reality show Canada's Got Talent. The show was subsequently cancelled after one season.
At age 20, Brueggergosman played the lead in the premiere of the opera Beatrice Chancy by James Rolfe and George Elliott Clarke. Produced in Toronto in 1998, and in Nova Scotia the following year, the opera tells the story of a slave girl in 19th-century rural Nova Scotia who murders her abusive father, the man who is also her master. The opera and Brueggergosman were well received by critics and audiences. In 2000 it was filmed for the CBC.
Brueggergosman has appeared throughout Canada, where she has performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Geoffrey Moull, National Arts Centre Orchestra under the direction of Pinchas Zukerman, and at Roy Thomson Hall.
She has performed internationally, as well, in the United States, Germany and other nations. She was in Elektra, Dead Man Walking, and Turandot with the Cincinnati Opera. She has also performed the Verdi Requiem with Sir Andrew Davis and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, as well as with Helmuth Rilling at the International Beethoven Festival in Bonn.
In 2005, Brueggergosman was a soloist in recording William Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and Experience, which won three Grammy awards, including Best Classical Album.
In July 2007 she was a new performer at the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, singing in the 'Phantom of the Opera' medley and closing the show with "Ave Maria".
She has also performed in the United States, for instance in the fall of 2009 with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, in their performance of Michael Tippett's oratorio A Child of Our Time.
She performed the Olympic Hymn at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Games. During NBC's broadcast of the opening ceremony, Bob Costas remarked to Matt Lauer, co-host of Today, as the two hosted it about Brueggergosman's performance of the Olympic Hymn: "That's a hymn for you, right there," and laughed. She performed an arrangement of the English sung version of the hymn in English and French to reflect Canada's official languages.
Awards and recognition:
She was awarded the Grand Prize at the 2009 Jeunesses Musicales Montreal International Musical Competition and won First Prize at the International Vocal Competition ´s-Hertogenbosch in 2002. Brueggergosman has been a prizewinner at other competitions, including the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition in Alabama, the George London Foundation in New Deli, the Queen Sonja International Music Competition in Oslo, and the ARD International Music Competition in Munich.
The recipient of the prestigious Canada Council and Chalmers Performing Arts grants, Brueggergosman has been twice nominated for Juno Awards. She won the 2010 Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance for Surprise, recorded with Deutsche Grammophon, with whom she has an exclusive contract.
A documentary feature was made about her. Brueggergosman has also appeared as a "judge" on MuchMusic's Video on Trial and on Slice TV's Project Runway Canada.