“There is one soprano, however, who can do it all. This summer’s music director of the Ojai Music Festival, Barbara Hannigan, conducted and trained the singers in a production of Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress,” which opened a festival in which she wore her many hats. She sang and conducted a range of music from John Zorn to Gershwin with plucky ease.”
“In two programs over three days, in elegantly intimate rooms at the Park Avenue Armory, this soprano, one of the most restlessly adventurous artists of our time, gave a pair of extraordinary performances. The first, devoted to works by John Zorn, featured the composer’s wild 25-minute song cycle “Jumalattaret.” Ms. Hannigan conquered its fierce challenges in a mesmerizing performance with the stalwart pianist Stephen Gosling. On the second program, joined by members of the Emerson String Quartet, she took an enraptured audience on a journey through landmark 20th-century vocal works by Cage, Berio, Nono and Schoenberg.”
“Barbara Hannigan and the Ojai Music Festival make the cut with an exemplary job setting a new bar for what one may expect from a contemporary musician; the power to lead and to heal.”
Abrahamsen: let me tell you
Barbara Hannigan & Bayerische Rundfunk/Nelsons (2016)
“Sensuous, delusional retelling of Hamlet through the eyes of Ophelia, by the soprano of this century.”
No “best of 2019” would be complete without Barbara Hannigan’s master class with Maeve Palmer and the UoT Contemporary Music Ensemble. The subject was Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre and it was insightful and sometimes very, very funny. The concert performance of it a few weeks later was rather good too.
George Benjamin, “Lessons in Love and Violence”; Stéphane Degout, Barbara Hannigan, Gyula Orendt, Peter Hoare, Samuel Boden, Benjamin conducting the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House (Nimbus)