Soprano Measha Brueggergosman’s voice has been described as stunning, rich, thrilling, and vivacious. The New Brunswick, Canada native has traveled the world performing opera and art song and, as CBC describes, she is “widely hailed as one of the great sopranos of the 21st century.” From Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House, the world is Measha’s stage. She has performed for a number of world leaders, always with confidence and grace. She is one of very few black women to reach this level of success in classical music.
As music took her around the world, it also ultimately took Measha on a journey into her own past, helping her explore her African heritage. In 2015, Brueggergosman performed a number of spirituals for Songs of Freedom. While learning the history of these songs that came from Africa to North America with the slave trade, she also learned of her own history. She traveled to Cameroon and learned about her ancestors who were sold into slavery. The aching depth of Brueggergosman’s voice combined with her personal connection to the music make songs like “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” and “Amazing Grace” come alive in a beautiful new way.
Brueggergosman’s work exploring spirituals exposed her versatility. There is no question that the Canadian songstress has range. To listen to her singing Mozart with its flourishes and ethereal high notes and then “Wade in the Water” with its rich low tones and laid-back groove is an almost baffling experience. Can this be the voice of just one woman? She has since veered even further from her classical roots by performing and recording jazz, blues, pop, and rock. She brings her classical training and vocal power to all that she does while relishing the uniqueness of each style and each song.
When not singing, Brueggergosman enjoys life at home in Nova Scotia with her husband and sons. She’s also an active humanitarian who continuously advocates for the power of music education and has worked as Goodwill Ambassador for the African Medical & Research Foundation. Her happy life, though, has also been marred by tragedy and heartbreak. She underwent open-heart surgery, miscarried twins, and went through a temporary marital separation. In her upcoming memoir, Something Is Always On Fire: My Life So Far, Brueggergosman talks about it all from the high notes to the low with unflinching honesty. She may have the voice of a diva, but this soprano is refreshingly down to earth and her story is one most of us can relate to in some way.