Measha Brueggergosman, the Diva Next Door

By Tim Page
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 23, 2004; Page C05

Measha Brueggergosman's Sunday afternoon recital at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater was not only a delight in and of itself but also gave promise of much more to come.

The soprano, still in her mid-twenties, sings with an all-encompassing warmth and joy, melding honed artistry with youthful enthusiasm. She seemed genuinely surprised to find a capacity house awaiting her. "This is my first time at the Kennedy Center," she announced with an explosive laugh toward the end of her program. "I'm freaking out!" No doubt many an anxious debutante has felt the same way, but Brueggergosman's happy, candid admission served only to endear her further….

She has a capacious voice -- dark, rich and lustrous -- and is capable of a sound that that would have filled the Kennedy Center Concert Hall almost as easily as it did the much-smaller Terrace. And yet she is equally capable of singing softly, with a delicate intimacy ….

Xavier Montsalvatge's set of "Cinco Canciones Negras" was perhaps the highlight of the afternoon. ….[singing]"Cancion de Cuna par Dormir a un Negrito" ("Lullaby for a Black Baby") with enough strength and pathos to comfort the world. ….

Brueggergosman was accompanied by the vigorous and musical pianist J. J. Penna; the concert was presented by the Vocal Arts Society.

Maurice Ravel
Cinq mélodies populaires grecques

Chanson de la mariée
Là-bas, vers l'église
Quel Galant m'est comparable
Chanson des cueilleuses de lentisques
Tout gai!

Joseph Marx

Selige Nacht
Und gestern hat er mir Rosen gebracht
Hat dich die Liebe berührt

Xavier Montsalvatge
Cinco Canciones Negras

Cuba dentro de un piano
Punto de Habanera
Canción de cuna para dormir a un negrito
Canto negro

Benjamin Britten
On this island, Op. 11

Let the florid music praise!
Now the leaves are falling fast
As it is plenty

Aaron Copland
from Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson

Nature, the gentlest mother
Heart, we will forget him
Sleep is supposed to be
Dear March, come in!

William Bolcom
selected Cabaret Songs

Over the piano
Toothbrush Time
Song of Black Max