Barbara Hannigan to sing—and conduct—the Toronto Symphony

Posted on: October 5, 2015

“There is nothing that Barbara Hannigan likes better than taking risks,” writes Trish Crawford in Monday’s (10/5) Star (Toronto). When the soprano “was prodded by a producer in 2011 to try conducting, she jumped in with both hands. ‘It felt right. It felt risky, curious and strangely like being at home,’ says Hannigan. … she was offered [guest] conducting jobs with the many international orchestra with which she had sung. She soon developed a hybrid performance—singing while conducting at the same time. Her North American premiere as conductor/soloist is at Roy Thomson Hall Oct. 7 when she leads the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. … When she is singing, she faces the audience and conducts…. During rehearsals she has acquainted the orchestra with her vision for the pieces and the cues she will give during a performance…. ‘Growing up, I had the perception that women only conducted choirs or school ensembles.’ … The program begins with a four-minute piece, ‘Djamila Boupacha,’ composed by [Luigi] Nono, which she has performed to acclaim around the world.” On the same program she will sing Ligeti’s Concert Românesc and Mozart’s “Bella mia fiamma…Resta, o cara,” and conduct Haydn’s Symphony No. 49 (“La Passione”) and Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements.

Posted October 5, 2015

Photo of Barbara Hannigan by Musacchio & Ianniello