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Barbara Hannigan

Soprano

Biography

Barbara Hannigan in action.
Christopher Purves as the Protector and Barbara Hannigan as Agnès in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera © ROH/Stephen Cummiskey, 2012

Barbara Hannigan made her Royal Opera debut in 2013 as Agnès (Written on Skin), a role she created.

Hannigan divides her time between singing on the world’s major stages and conducting leading orchestras. She enjoys close relationships with the Berlin and Munich philharmonic orchestras, Gothenburg and Toronto symphony orchestras, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Dutch collective Ludwig, with whom she recorded her first CD as conductor. She has worked with conductors including Vladimir Jurowski, Kent Nagano, Andris Nelsons, Antonio Pappano, Kirill Petrenko, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen and David Zinman. She has given more than eighty world premieres. Operatic highlights include Mélisande (Pelléas et Mélisande) for Aix-en-Provence Festival, Lulu for La Monnaie, Brussels, and Hamburg State Opera, Marie (Die Soldaten) for Bavarian State Opera, for which she won the Faust Award, and Elle (La Voix humaine) for Paris Opéra. Further roles include Alice (Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, world premiere).

Her vocal recordings have garnered awards from Gramophone, Edison, Grammy, Victoires de la Musique and the Royal Philharmonic Society. Further awards include Singer of the Year (Opernwelt, 2013) and Musical Personality of the Year (Syndicat de la Presse Française, 2012). In 2016 she was appointed to the Order of Canada. She has been the subject of numerous documentaries and starred in Mathieu Amalric’s short film C’est presque au bout du monde.

Videos

News and features

New opera by George Benjamin and Martin Crimp announced

New opera by George Benjamin and Martin Crimp announced

31 January 2017

Following the success of Written on Skin, Lessons in Love and Violence will have its world premiere on 10 May 2018.

Opera Essentials: <em>The Importance of Being Earnest</em>

Opera Essentials: The Importance of Being Earnest

4 March 2016

Our quick introduction to Gerald Barry’s bonkers and brilliant adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s much-loved comedy.

The Importance of Being Barry

The Importance of Being Barry

7 June 2013

A look at the Importance of Being Earnest composer's brilliant and bizarre back-catalogue.

Photos

Barbara Hannigan

Barbara Hannigan in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Barbara Hannigan in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Barbara Hannigan and Christopher Purves in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Barbara Hannigan in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Barbara Hannigan and Christopher Purves in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Allan Clayton as Angel 3, Barbara Hannigan as Agnès, Peter Hobday as Angel Archivist and Victoria Simmonds as Angel 2 in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Barbara Hannigan and Christopher Purves in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Barbara Hannigan and Christopher Purves in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Iestyn Davies as the Boy and Barbara Hannigan as Agnès in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Laura Harling as Angel Archivist, Barbara Hannigan as Agnès, Allan Clayton as John, Victoria Simmonds as Marie and Bejun Mehta as the Boy in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Christopher Purves as the Protector and Barbara Hannigan as Agnès in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Barbara Hannigan as Agnès in Written on Skin

Barbara Hannigan as Agnès and Bejun Mehta as Boy in Written on Skin

Barbara Hannigan in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Barbara Hannigan and Christopher Purves in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Christopher Purves as Protector, Bejun Mehta as Boy and Barbara Hannigan as Agnès in Written on Skin

Barbara Hannigan as Agnès and Christopher Purves as the Protector in Written on Skin

Barbara Hannigan in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Barbara Hannigan in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Iestyn Davies and Barbara Hannigan in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Christopher Purves as Protector and Barbara Hannigan as Agnès in Written on Skin