Barbara Hannigan Soprano and Conductor!

Published on 30/09/2016

Barbara Hannigan records her first album as singer and conductor, to be released on Alpha in 2017 with a documentary film directed by Mathieu Amalric.


Whether singing, conducting, dancing or acting, the Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan is an endless source of fascination. Alpha Classics is proud to enter her world today and to present in 2017 her very first album as singer and conductor. With the Amsterdam-based orchestra LUDWIG, of which she is associate artist, Barbara Hannigan has devised a programme including Berg’s Lulu Suite and Gershwin’s Girl Crazy in a Suite newly arranged by the multi-award-winning American composer Bill Elliott. To complement these two pieces, she has recorded Berio’s spectacular Sequenza III for solo voice.

An outstanding soprano, a distinguished interpreter of the music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, an all-round artist who creates a sensation on concert platforms and in opera houses throughout the world, Barbara Hannigan has enriched her palette over the past few years by also devoting herself to conducting.

This album, entitled Crazy Girl Crazy, brings together the character of Lulu, a key role in Barbara Hannigan’s career, the heroines of Gershwin’s musical comedies and their famous songs like ‘But not for me’ and ‘I got rhythm’, and Sequenza III, that incredible musical sculpture built from words and the human voice: the result is an album that forms an evocative musical portrait of the artist.

For this recording, Barbara Hannigan called on an orchestra with which she has had a very special rapport ever since it was founded in 2013: LUDWIG, a collective composed of the finest instrumentalists from the leading Dutch and international orchestras, which dares to stage quirky, innovative programmes.

The very first moments of the rehearsals for this programme, and more particularly for Berg’s Lulu Suite, were filmed by Mathieu Amalric, the celebrated French actor and director who won the Best Director Award at the Cannes Festival in 2010 for his film On Tour (Tournée). Mathieu Amalric first met the soprano when they worked together on a renowned film for the 3ème Scène programme of the Opéra de Paris. For their reunion in front of the camera, Amalric plunges into the heart of the orchestra with a very personal look at the exchanges between conductor and musicians. This forty-minute documentary, produced by Camera Lucida, will be broadcast on Arte Concerts and will be included on DVD with the CD Crazy Girl Crazy.


  • BERG Lulu Suite (1934)
  • GERSHWIN Girl Crazy Suite, arranged by Bill ELLIOTT (1943/ 2016)
  • BERIO Sequenza III for voice (1965)
  • Barbara Hannigan, soprano & conductor
  • LUDWIG Orchestra