Artist Of The Week: Barbara Hannigan

Canadian Soprano To World Premiere New Opera ‘Berénice’

By Francisco Salazar

Barbara Hannigan is one of today’s most diverse performers in the industry. She has become one of the most acclaimed sopranos of her generation and has become an advocate for 20th and 21st-century works. She has also showcased her talents as a conductor leading some of the world’s greatest orchestras. And she has also been the inspiration for many composers to write music for her.

This week Hannigan will bring to life the new opera “Berénice” by Michael Jarrell. The work, which was composed specifically for Hannigan is set to showcase the soprano’s lyrical voice as well as her dramatic stage presence, which has brought her acclaim throughout her career. The world premiere will also be Hannigan’s second of the year, as she starred in George Benjamin’s “Lessons in Love and Violence,” which was also dedicated to the soprano.

“Berénice” will also mark her return to the Paris stage, where last season she gained universal acclaim for her intense turn in Poulenc’s “La Voix Humaine.”

For those not present to see Hannigan create the role, the Canadian soprano will conduct Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress” and will also tour Abrahamsen’s “Let me tell you.” She is set to conduct a number of concerts where she will also perform arias.


For those who are not familiar with the soprano’s voice, Hannigan recently won a Grammy for her popular recording “Crazy Girl Crazy” featuring the works of Alban Berg, Luciano Berio, and George Gershwin. She can also be seen in DVDs of “Written on Skin” and “Lulu,” a role she has been recognized for.

Here is the soprano performing “Let me tell you,” which she will be touring this season.

And here she is in a clip from “La Voix Humaine.”


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