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Barbara Hannigan

Barbara Hannigan

Soprano

Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan (born 1971) is as renowned for the raw physicality of her performances as for her extended high register and affinity with contemporary music; roles written for her unique instrument and dramatic temperament include Ophelia in Brett Dean’s Hamlet and Hans Abrahamsen’s let me tell you, Agnès in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin, Isabelle in his Lessons in Love and Violence, and Gabi in Gerald Barry’s The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant. Concentrating almost exclusively on twentieth-century and contemporary repertoire, her more mainstream roles include Debussy’s Mélisande and Berg’s Lulu as well as Elle in Poulenc’s La Voix humaine.

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Further Reading: Barbara Hannigan

 Recording of the Week, George Benjamin's Lessons in Love and Violence

The British composer's third opera, based on the downfall of Edward II and starring French baritone Stéphane Degout as the conflicted monarch, has a compact, claustrophobic beauty.

 Recording of the Week, Barbara Hannigan sings and conducts music by Berg, Berio, and Gershwin

Katherine listens to the Canadian soprano's bold new disc Crazy Girl Crazy, centring on Berg's Lulu.

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