Measha Brueggergosman, CBC’s classical music artist of the month for May, is currently touring Ontario and the Maritimes in support of her latest album, I’ve Got a Crush on You. The soprano has sidestepped her usual classical repertoire to reimagine some of her favourite jazz, pop, gospel and singer-songwriter material: tunes by George Gershwin, Joni Mitchell, Cole Porter, Ron Sexsmith and Leslie Feist.
Despite the fact that her motto is “why not?,” Brueggergosman didn't decide to do a crossover album on a whim. Rather, she has given careful consideration to her approach to non-classical music, as she explained on a recent visit to the studio of CBC Radio 2’s Tempo:
Brueggergosman doesn’t choose repertoire based on genre, but rather her love of the material. In a recent telephone interview with CBC Music she said, “There’s no faking the love of a good tune. Either you love it and you sing it that way, or you don’t and you sing it that way.”
This explains why Brueggergosman can be convincing not only singing Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, but also taking on a Canadian classic like Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.” She loves the music. And she credits the openness of Canada’s music industry with her ability to branch out:
In her interview with CBC Music, Brueggergosman described the array of tunes on her new album as an amalgamation of the things that have inspired her over the past few decades: “There’s a spiritual on there, ‘Ride on King Jesus,’ so that’s an expression of my faith and a symbol of my history. The Gershwins, whom I recorded on my very first album on CBC Records, are reimagined here. And then there’s the Canadian songbook stuff. I inducted “Both Sides Now” into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame at Joni Mitchell’s behest, and I’m good friends with Leslie Feist and with Ron Sexsmith, so these are tunes by friends that I just wanted to reimagine as an homage to them.”
As a reminder of her work on the classical side of the music industry fence, listen to Brueggergosman’s performance of the aria Ebben? Ne andrò lontana from act one of Alfredo Catalani’s La Wally.
Measha Brueggergosman sings Ebben? Ne andrò lontana
Measha Brueggergosman marches to the beat of her own drum
Angela Hewitt Week declared by Ottawa mayor Jim Watson
Measha Brueggergosman's crossover from classical to jazz
on May 14, 2012