To celebrate the release of Songs Of Freedom, Measha met with Maclean’s Magazine to discuss the new album:
Opera singers rarely get political. And the spiritual—the politically charged songs that brought solace and empowerment to enslaved African-Americans, a musical tradition carried on by the likes of legendary sopranos Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle—rarely earns the spotlight, much less radio play or stage time.
But that hasn’t stopped Canadian opera singer Measha Brueggergosman from seeking to further the art and history of spirituals in her latest album, Songs of Freedom. Her interest is hard-earned: She started to explore her own roots with a documentary in 2015, also called Songs of Freedom, which traced the 39-year-old’s journey from her hometown of New Brunswick to her past familial roots in Cameroon. It was there, in Central Africa, where Brueggergosman discovered her family’s link to the Bassa tribe and learned about the struggles of her paternal grandparents, who managed to escape slavery in the late 1700s. Brueggergosman captures these moments of self-discovery on the album and in a detailed essay that outlines her ambitions for the project.
Read the full interview here……