The soprano and conductor, canadian Barbara Hannigan believes that artists should have a directory “more flexible” and the opera houses should promote the creations of contemporary composers.
July 18, 2020 17h49
Barbara Hannigan: the artists need to be more “flexible”
PARIS — The epidemic of the coronavirus should encourage artists to have a directory be “more flexible” and opera houses to promote the creations of contemporary composers, said to theAFP the soprano and conductor, canadian Barbara Hannigan.
Hannigan, who lives in France, occurred on Thursday evening in Paris, at the Maison de la Radio, where she led the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra.
Q The crisis of the coronavirus encourages you to review the pace of the tours?
R In normal times, I’m on tour 11 months out of 12! It is very rare that I stay at home more than three or four days. [For containment], I had all my time to work on my voice without the deadline of a concert, I didn’t have to prove anything to the world, except to myself and to… [the actor] Mathieu [Amalric, his companion].
It has certainly opened my eyes to the pace I was leading, I knew that I had to slow down because I have a schedule up to 2023! Our travels will certainly be more limited. I don’t think we will cross the Atlantic soon; the travel will be much more content in our geographic area.
It was already thinking like artists on how to rethink our tours for ecological reasons, in trying to plan our seasons to fly less. The COVID-19 allowed us to reflect further on it.
Q opera-t he need to renew?
R Call the artists to be flexible, to be creative can be a double-edged sword because it is constantly renewing itself, even in singing or playing the same repertoire.
At the same time, we need composers, and not only of those who died there 200 or 300 years, but those of today. We need to encourage them because without them, we would have the music [classical] until 1950, and then nothing after. We bother. Even if some creations don’t win a huge success, even if some artists do not like these new sounds, one must say that these sounds will not have the same effect within 50 years. There should be an opening, out of curiosity to see how will evolve the music.
It is my passion, my vocation, my duty as an artist to give a large portion of my time to such creations.
Q How fits there as an artist in these tough times?
R It is important for artists to stay true to themselves but at the same time, it is very important to be flexible, especially in these times. If The Messie Handel is the main part of your directory, it will be a difficult year for you, because it requires an orchestra and a choir; therefore, it is necessary to learn a different directory. Similarly, if a conductor wants only to lead a symphony by Mahler or Bruckner, it’s going to be hard.
In the supporting program of the Institute that I lead, I encourage young artists to be open and curious about things that may take them in different directions.