Founded by soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan, Equilibrium focuses on singers who are finished with their training and in the first substantial phase of their professional career.
My aim is to lead through example.
For over a decade I 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 gap between singers and instrumentalists in their professional approaches to music making. This partly has to do with the training of singers, as singers are regularly allowed to 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 will elevate the expectations of singers in their preparation and foster a culture in which awareness of the total musical picture is an absolute necessity, and not a rare exception. It will facilitate a channel of communication between singers and instrumentalists in both opera and concert repertoire, and, as an expected after-effect, help to bridge the gap between singers and instrumentalists.
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.
Equilibrium will be holding general auditions in 2017 for concert and opera performances in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. Barbara will be hearing artists for The Rake’s Progress but also for future engagements as well.