Barbara Hannigan and LUDWIG gave two performances of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at the Klarafestival on 25 and 26 March, featuring singers from Equilibrium Young Artists.
Inspired by Faust’s story of temptation, lust and decline, Barbara conducted this semi-staged contemporary production in collaboration with stage director and lighting designer Linus Fellbom.
This opera has an important place in Barbara’s career, as she first performed the role of Anne Trulove at aged 23. It became one of her first major roles, which she was subsequently able to repeat in several different productions.
27 March 2019
De nouveaux débuts pour Barbara Hannigan : jeune et libre Rake’s Progress à La Monnaie
“La distribution brille par sa jeunesse. Elle présente également les fruits du travail mené par Barbara Hannigan, puisque les chanteurs sont issus de son programme de mentoring-résidence nommé Equilibrium. La jeunesse se mue en motivation énergique mais aussi d’une humilité disciplinée au service de la pièce.”
The cast shines through its youth. It also presents the fruits of the work led by Barbara Hannigan, since the singers are from her mentoring programme named Equilibrium. Youth transcends into motivational energy but also a disciplined humility that serves the piece.
La Libre Belgique
27 March 2019
“Unanimous hats off to everyone from Aphrodite Patoulidou’s dazzling Anne Trulove, Yannis François’ disturbing Nick Shadow (remarkable notwithstanding his cold), the formidable Baba the Turk by Fleur Barron, James Way’s excellent Sellem, to the impeccable Father Trulove by Antoin Herrera Lopez Kessel, who also embodies Mother Goose. All would have had their place in a “normal” stage production of a large opera. All that and more, as the Welsh tenor Elgan Llŷr Thomas performed a classic Tom Rakewell and seemed to have everything one needs – voice, charm, stage presence – to make a great career.”
“The Canadian soprano conducts with an effective mix of diligence and craft”
27 March 2019
Semi-staged, Completely Successful
“In all its simplicity and originality, it was overwhelming and compelling.”
“The direction is full of surprising finds that never seem too far-fetched. An undeniably fantastic performance by the Swedish director and light designer Linus Fellbom.”
“The engagement of the singers is almost tangible. Barbara Hannigan can rightly be proud of her initiative of this “mentoring program” called Equilibrium, where young singers who are on the verge of being a professional singer get a chance.”
“I dare say that this performance will certainly be one of the highlights of the Klarafestival. Since Klara is broadcasting the second performance (of March 26) live, is it possible that a broadcast on a later date is possible? It would certainly be worth it.”
26 March 2019
“Very wisely Barbara Hannigan, who directed The Rake’s Progress of La Monnaie last night (also on stage tonight), organized a minimal staging that was curated by Linus Fellbom, with everyone always present on stage and with a simple cubic structure put forward where the story took place. The young singers were very good and effective (Aphrodite Patoulidou, Elgan Llyr Thomas, Yannis Fracois, Fleur Barron, Antoin Herrera-Lopez Kessel, James Way). The plus perhaps was herself, Barbara Hannigan, a woman of extraordinary talents: she knows Stravinsky profoundly, by virtue of that repeated study that over the years ends up becoming part of genetics, physiology and even physiognomy! She used her knowledge of music through the body to reinvent herself as a respected singer in a conductor. With appreciable results.
We observed it last night, thanks to the raised position of its podium, immersed in directing the LUDWIG orchestra in a music that was perceived as felt. Something sexy, wanting to highlight how the artist’s true talent attracts the testosterone of the viewer’s intelligence. Yesterday we witnessed a simple and effective staging that served the music beautifully. Simple and effective, like all intelligent things driven by talent.”
Giornale della Musica
01 April 2019
“The young age of most of the artists on stage – from the singers of the Equilibrium team created by Hannigan herself, to the musicians of the Ludwig collective, based in Amsterdam and with whom Hannigan recently won a Grammy Award – contributes to the freshness of the production in a semi-staged performance of overall excellence and in which the spirit of a collective work clearly emerges in which even the protagonists, when necessary, play a role of simple service to others or mere decorative filling of the scene.”
The Rake’s Progress
25 & 26 March 2019
La Monnaie/De Munt
performances as part of the Klarafestival
Elgan Llŷr Thomas Tom Rakewell
Aphrodite Patoulidou Anne Trulove
Yannis François Nick Shadow
Fleur Barron Baba the Turk
Antoin Herrera-Lopez Kessel Father Truelove
James Way Sellem
Barbara Hannigan conductor
Linus Fellbom staging and lighting
Anna Ardelius costume designer
Theresia Frisk make-up
Vlaams Radio Koor conducted by Bart Van Reyn