Documentary “Taking Risks” on SRF (08.03.2020)

On Sunday, March 8 2020 at 11:55 am, Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF) will broadcast the documentary “Taking Risks” by director Maria Stodtmeier.

Accentus Music and the Gothenburg Symphony accompanied Barbara Hannigan during the preparations for her first opera production as a conductor and recruiting the singer cast through a very personal selection process. “I have never received a role through an audition,” admits Barbara Hannigan. The fact that she is nevertheless today one of the most famous voices of the classical world shows that getting roles can be done differently. And the Canadian does almost everything differently.

In December 2018, “the old soprano and young conductor,” as she ironically describes herself for her two talents, has conducted her first opera: Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress”. Rather than recruiting the singer cast through agencies and general auditions, she suggested to find the entire cast of soloists using an alternative three-stage selection process and to accompany the soloists throughout the entire rehearsals with significant personal commitment.

The film follows all stages of the production, starting with the entire casting process and the very first auditions in Stockholm, Paris, Zurich, and London. It has also filmed the selection made by Barbara Hannigan in Berlin and accompanied the first joint workshop of all chosen singers in Paris in November 2018. The coaching, rehearsals, and the premiere of the semi-staged production of Stravinsky’s opera in Gothenburg in December 2018 were filmed as well.

More info about the film here.
The documentary will be released on DVD together with the performance of “The Rake’s Progress” in April 2020.

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