The young singer soloists were picked in 2017 at international auditions in Stockholm, Zürich, Paris and London, as part of Barbara Hannigan’s mentoring programme Equilibrium. The whole project and the concerts will be filmed for a TV documentary, and further international concerts are planned.
The Rake’s Progress is a labour of love for Barbara Hannigan, who has sung the role of Anne Truelove many times at the big opera houses. Stravinsky’s opera premiered in Venice in 1951, and has since become a firm favourite in the opera repertoire of the 20th century.
No wonder – the story of the rake looking for beauty, pleasure and wealth, forsaking his love for Anne to reach his goals, is as current now as it ever was. The story takes place in 18th century London among tricksters and ladies of the night. Bearded lady Baba the Turk plays a dangerous game that ends dramatically at an asylum.
The Rake’s Progress had its Swedish premiere at the Royal Swedish Opera in 1961, directed by Ingmar Bergman. The moral of the piece is: “For idle hearts and hands and minds, the Devil finds work to do.”