In Wednesday’s (8/20) New York Times, James R. Oestreich writes about soprano Barbara Hannigan and her new conducting career. Reporting from the Lucerne Festival, he states that this “superb and versatile Canadian soprano” is, at age 43, “developing a second career, as a conductor, and she seems to be stealing shows around Europe with some regularity, as she did here on Saturday in a late-night concert with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra at the KKL Concert Hall as part of the Lucerne Festival … ‘You sing like a conductor,’ colleagues used to tell Ms. Hannigan of her musical personality and stage manner, she said … And you can see some of that when she conducts while singing. In three splendidly delivered Mozart arias here, her beating of time and cues to players often seemed mere amplifications of expressive gestures she might have made anyway … Colleagues have also told Ms. Hannigan that her arm movements are particularly expressive, she said, and this, too, was borne out in her conducting of purely instrumental works” by Rossini, Ligeti, and Fauré. Hannigan, who says conducting is now 20 percent of her career, “looks to tackle bigger orchestral works, with Mahler’s Fourth Symphony in the offing.” She also intends to conduct opera.
Posted August 21, 2014