Göteborgs Konserthus Animatopia

Dramatic comedy with the Gothenburg Symphony, Barbara Hannigan conductor, David Dencik actor, Katia & Marielle Labèque piano and Laurent Naouri baritone.

Concert length: 2 h incl. intermission Scene: Stora salen
380-540 SEK Student 190-270 SEK Youth up to 29 190-270 SEK

Set for drama and comedy as multitudes of animals are musically captured by first guest conductor Barbara Hannigan. Her good friends, the sisters Katia and Marielle Labèque, sit at each piano. David Dencik is responsible for reading.

Dreamteam is the word when first guest conductor Barbara Hannigan and the French piano duo Katia and Marielle Labèque occupy the Great Hall together with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. In the concert Animatopia, animals, piano and song are the common thread. And lots of humor.

The Labèque sisters are known for their synchronized and lively piano playing and famous for their collaboration with composer Philip Glass. He calls them “absolutely fantastic”. The baritone singer Laurent Naouri also takes part and the reading is provided by Swedish actor David Dencik (Bond film No time to die, The Chestnut Man, etc.).

We meet insects in Roussel’s caressing and lively Spider’s Feast and a whole menagerie in Saint-Saëns’ mysterious Carnival of the Animals. Satie’s octopus feasts on a crab and a dark shadow below the water’s surface evokes shivers in the favorite John Williams theme from Jaws.


Get to know the classical pieces.

Introduction to the concert

Take a seat in the Great Hall one hour before the concert begins and learn more about the music you will soon experience! You will get the stories behind the music, knowledge of the composers and own reflections about the classical pieces. The introduction last for about 30 minutes, it is free and free seating in the hall. Warm welcome!


Roussel Le Festin de l'araignée

Ravel from Histoires naturelles

Saint-Saëns from The Carnival of the Animals 8 min

Respighi La Gallina from Gli uccelli 2 min

Poulenc from Le Bestiarie

Williams Theme from Jaws 3 min

Satie Embryons desséchés

Satie La pieuvre

Satie Préludes flasques

Satie Véritables préludes flasques

Gershwin Walking the Dog

Rossini / Weyse Duet for two cats

Thursday 18 January 2024: The event ends at approx. 21.30
Friday 19 January 2024: The event ends at approx. 20.00


The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1905 and currently consists of 109 musicians. The orchestra is based in Gothenburg Concert Hall – a gem of functionalism on Götaplatsen square that has enchanted music lovers since 1935. Wilhelm Stenhammar was the orchestra’s Chief Conductor from 1907 until 1922. He gave the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra a strong Nordic profile and invited his colleagues Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius to collaborate with the orchestra. Under the leadership of Chief Conductor Neeme Järvi between 1982 and 2004, the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra undertook a number of international tours and made a hundred or so album recordings while establishing itself as one of Europe’s foremost orchestras. In 1997 the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra received the title of the National Orchestra of Sweden. Since season 2017-2018 Santtu-Matias Rouvali is Chief Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. Since season 2019-2020 Barbara Hannigan is Principal Guest Conductor. Christoph Eschenbach was also Principal Guest Conductor of Gothenburg Symphony in the years 2019-2022 – together they formed a strong three-leaf clover consisting of three completely different types of artists. We are also extremely proud to be an official partner of soprano Barbara Hannigan’s mentor initiative Equilibrium, with focus on young singers and musicians who are just beginning their careers. Sten Cranner is the orchestra’s CEO and Artistic Director, while Gustavo Dudamel holds the title of Honorary Conductor and Neeme Järvi that of Principal Conductor Emeritus. Region Västra Götaland is owner of the orchestra. The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra works regularly with conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Joana Carneiro, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Christian Zacharias and Anja Bihlmaier.

Soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan is first guest conductor for the Gothenburg Symphony since 2019. She is also Première Artiste Invitée of Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Associate Artist of London Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of Lausanne Chamber Orchestra (2024/25 onwards). Embodying music with an unparalleled dramatic sensibility, soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan is an artist at the forefront of creation. Her artistic colleagues include John Zorn, Krszysztof Warlikowski, Simon Rattle, Sasha Waltz, Kent Nagano, Vladimir Jurowski, Andreas Kriegenburg, Andris Nelsons, Esa Pekka Salonen, Christoph Marthaler, Antonio Pappano, Katie Mitchell, and Kirill Petrenko. The late conductor and pianist Reinbert de Leeuw has been an extraordinary influence and inspiration on her development as a musician. The Canadian musician has shown a profound commitment to the music of our time and has given the world première performances of over 90 new creations. Hannigan has collaborated extensively with composers including Boulez, Zorn, Dutilleux, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Sciarrino, Barry, Dusapin, Dean, Benjamin and Abrahamsen. The past few seasons have brought the premiere of a new production of Poulenc's opera La Voix Humaine, and recent world premieres include Golfam Khayam's I am not a tale to be told with Iceland Symphony Orchestra, John Zorn's Split the Lark and Star Catcher, Zosha di Castri's In the Half Light with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and a new project with Katia and Marielle Labeque inspired by the life and music of Hildegard von Bingen. 2023-2024 includes further world premieres by John Zorn, Salvatore Sciarrino, and Jan Sandström. Last season, Barbara made her conducting debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, with further debuts with Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, as well as ongoing musical collaborations with Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, LSO, Santa Cecilia, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Munich Philharmonic. On record, Barbara Hannigan’s fruitful relationship with Alpha Classics began in 2017 with the release of Crazy Girl Crazy, which won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal album. Five critically-acclaimed recordings followed, including Vienna: fin de siècle with pianist Reinbert de Leeuw, La Passione featuring works by Nono, Haydn and Grisey, and in 2023 Infinite Voyage, joining her colleagues of the Emerson String Quartet for their final album, in works of Schoenberg, Hindemith, Berg and Chausson. Spring 2024 brings the release of the ecstatic vocal works of Messiaen with pianist Bertrand Chamayou. Barbara’s commitment to the younger generation of musicians led her to create the mentoring initiatives Equilibrium Young Artists (2017), and Momentum: our Future Now (2020). In 2021, Barbara Hannigan was appointed an honorary scholarship holder by the Swedish Stenastiftelsen and received a scholarship amounting to SEK 300,000. In 2022, she was named Artist of the Year by Gramophone magazine. In the 2022-2023 season, Barbara Hannigan performed works by Poulenc, Ligeti, Messiaen and Stravinsky together with the Gothenburg Symphony and the Gothenburg Symphony's choirs. She also did a guest performance at the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg and participated in the Swedish national day concert in Slottsskogen, Gothenburg. Barbara resides in Finistère, on the northwest coast of France, directly across the Atlantic from where she grew up in Waverley, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Laurent Naouri baryton

David Dencik actress

Katia & Marielle Labèque piano

Questions? Contact the ticket office
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Nr 1 2022-2023 Tonsättarporträtt: Francis Poulenc, 1899-1963

Den franska förnyaren

Nr 4 2019-2020 Tonsättarporträtt: Ottorino Respighi, 1879-1936

Upptäck den italienska orkestermusikens häxmästare

Nr 2 2015-2016 Tonsättarporträtt: George Gershwin

En av debåtar som nådde New York från Europa under 1890-talet innehöll en ryskjudisk immigrant som viftade så ivrigt med hatten när han såg frihetsgudinnan att han tappade den i vattnet.

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Percussionist vid pukor med stockar i handen, omgiven av röd sammet.

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