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.
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.
In-depth workshops form a key part of the Equilibrium experience, with the purpose of fostering a culture of awareness of the complete musical picture. Workshops address preparation, stamina, focus, mistake recovery and peak performance. This is done through yoga exercises with Phyllis Ferwerda, and meditation and breath techniques developed by author, entrepreneur and maverick life coach, Jackie Reardon of Friendly Eyes.
Phyllis Ferwerda, yoga coach
Phyllis Ferwerda received her four-year yoga education at the “Saswitha institute for Yoga and Philosophy” in Bilthoven, and specialized in “Chakra philosophy”. She completed courses in breath- and breathing therapy, ayurvedic massage, ayurveda and anatomy/fysiology. Also a pianist and vocal coach, Phyllis has taught singers at the Bachelor and Master’s level of the Royal Conservatory of The Hague for over 25 years, and continues this path alongside her yoga teaching. Since 2016 she created the Yoga Elective for Musicians at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Her yoga lessons are Saswitha-based, with focus on the breath: the bridge between consciousness and the body. Her interests also move towards Critical Alignment Yoga, and she has created a series of lessons specific to Equilibrium Young Artists.
Jackie Reardon, author and maverick life coach
Former professional tennis player Jackie Reardon trains performance artists, captains of industry and elite athletes. Drawing upon her expertise and experience in both professional sports and mindfulness she developed the Friendly Eyes Mindset. This hands-on philosophy teaches how to stay focused on the task at hand without being distracted, learning how to reach your peak performance under pressure and receive tools to achieve harmonious and effective co-operation when the stakes are high.
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.