Retrospect: Klarafestival

EQInterviews & Feature articles, Projects

A personal account from EQ Soprano Emma Posman:

It’s a great feeling when you check your mailbox and you have an email from Barbara Hannigan!
She Invited me to sing the Stravinsky songs, which we performed last year together in Maison de
la Radio France in Paris. 3 Japanese lyrics and 2 poems by Konstantin Balmont by Stravinsky.
They aren’t that often performed, but they are such sweet little pearls of songs, so I felt very
I was already hoping to get the chance to work together again after Paris!

This time the concert was for the Klarafestival in Flagey in Brussels, which was amazing because
that’s only about an hour from where I live. It is always fun to do a homematch, and there were
many people that I knew who saw the concert.
I also got so many great reactions from people who listened live on Klararadio.

The day before the concert Barbara organized a workshop, together with Jackie Reardon, who is
a sport mental coach and author of friendly eyes.
The workshop was for mezzo-soprano Ema Nikolovska, who sang the gorgeous 3 poèmes de
Stéphane Mallarmé and myself. So the 2 Em(m)a’s, Barbara and Jackie.

We started with a talk about where we are now in our careers and we could choose the subjects
where we would like to work on.
We shared where we were at and what we were hoping to achieve and the individual points where
we would like to work on.
This was so important because I felt it was a safe environment to share my experiences.
We continued with some mental meditation exercises, given by Jackie.

In the afternoon we started our rehearsals with Ludwig orchestra and Barbara conducting.
They were such a lovely group of musicians who were very pleasant and easy to work with.
These Stravinsky songs are really a breath of fresh air. They are so poetic and intimate.
It was a smooth rehearsal and I also listened to some of the gorgeous Delage songs, 4 poèmes
hindous that Barbara sang.
After that I had to go because I had another performance in La Monnaie of Solar.

The next day we also decided to meet again to continue our workshop at Barbara’s bnb.
This time we split in half so we had each a private talk with Barbara and a meditation session
with Jackie.
This was incredibly useful, because I received some great advice about possible steps I could
take which could potentially help my career.
It is sometimes really necessary to hear this from someone who really knows what it is to be a
singer in the business.
It’s a very challenging thing to do and sometimes there are options that you just don’t think of by
After that I continued with a meditation initiation with Jackie.
I must say, it made me so calm and relaxed!

In the evening in Flagey, I thought of certain mind techniques.
The moment I was performing I was so concentrated, calm and just myself.
One of the things we talked about is that there can be such a gap between the ‘normal’ self and
the ‘artist’ self. This evening I felt it was the same thing.
My voice responded to what I wanted and I felt happy afterwards.
During my singing I felt that I could do something extra and I really engaged with the audience.
The working sessions and concert made me feel in an enlightened mood and I’m exited for what
comes next!