Founded by soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan, Equilibrium focuses on young musicians who are finished with their training and in the first substantial phase of their professional career, with special attention to singers. Equilibrium is suited for musicians who already have professional solo experience.
My aim is to lead through example.
For over a decade I have given masterclasses internationally for singers, composers and instrumentalists for organisations including the Lucerne Festival, Juilliard School, University of Toronto, Melbourne Conservatory, Institute for the Living Voice, Gulbenkian Foundation Portugal, and IRCAM. I greatly value teaching, but due to a busy and demanding performance schedule I have very little time to devote to this particular way of giving back to the younger generation.
What I can do, is bring young artists into my performance realm, to invite them to share the stage with me, and to learn alongside me.
We will be working as colleagues. I will lead, as music director of the projects, and will mentor the younger artists by providing professional guidance and advice. I will advise, consult and guide in pre- and post-rehearsal situations, but the stimulus for the discipline I am trying to instil should come from within the working environment.
There is a distance between singers and instrumentalists in their professional approaches to music making. This partly has to do with the training of singers, as singers often bequeath responsibility for their own music learning to pianists/repetiteurs, and do not always take it upon themselves to study the nuances of the full score they are singing. This is a generalisation, but, in my experience, an all too familiar situation. Fully-prepared singers, to the level that instrumentalists are prepared, are an exception to the rule. I am interested in the singer as complete musician.
Equilibrium has high expectations: it fosters a culture in which awareness of the total musical picture is an absolute necessity, and not a rare exception. Equilibrium facilitates a channel of communication between singers and instrumentalists in both opera and concert repertoire.
Equilibrium is for musicians who already have professional solo experience. It is not a young artist training program or a first step to gaining experience on stage. Singers chosen for Equilibrium will be of the level that professional orchestras and organisations require of soloists for their concerts and productions.
Barbara Hannigan is known worldwide as a soprano of vital expressive force directed by exceptional technique.
She divides her time between singing on the world’s major stages and conducting leading orchestras.
Equilibrium’s first project will be semi-staged performances of The Rake’s Progress with Gothenburg Symphony in December 2018, conducted by Barbara Hannigan.
Last spring Equilibrium held general auditions for projects in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. The casting for the The Rake’s Progress is complete.
A new round of auditions will eventually take place for upcoming Equilibrium projects.