Barbara Hannigan sings John Zorn


Teatro Romano

Sunday 03 July Ore 21:30

I sector piazza € 45,00
II sector piazza € 36,00



Barbara Hannigan


Stephen Gosling

Split the Lark
seven nocturnes for voice and piano

five short pieces
for solo piano


John Zorn

Breathtaking vocalisations, sudden changes in vocal register, whispers, squeeks and high notes. Barbara Hannigan’s extraordinary vocal capacity is pushed to the limit in the complex sound world of Jumalattaret, the song cycle composed by John Zorn, a musical genius, for the Canadian singer and inspired by the epic Finnish poem, Kalevala.


Hannigan, who with this performance proves herself to be a real force of nature, employs her unique expressive range to tackle pieces regarded as at the limit of human capacity, drawing inspiration from female figures of the Kalevala who are not scared of violence and do not recognise barriers between human and natural realms.


The piano part is entrusted to Stephen Gosling, one of John Zorn’s closest collaborators and an extraordinary player, whose style is “brilliant, electric and luminous”, according to The New York Times.


In addition to Jumalattaret, the two artists perform the song cycle Split the Lark, seven nocturnes for voice and piano inspired by fragments of letters by Emily Dickinson. Gosling plays a selection from two recent recordings by Zorn, including Encomia, a tribute to some of Zorn’s musical heroes, and The Turner Etudes, an epic suite of short pieces for solo piano inspired by the last sketches of the great English painter William Turner.


John Zorn, one of America’s most prolific composers, arrangers and writers of avant garde music for ensemble, has always deftly switched between different genres, from classical to jazz to pop/rock. “Genres are just boxes in which to put things. […] Every day is a chance to reinvent oneself. […] When I sit down and make music, a lot of things come together. And sometimes it falls a little bit toward the classical side, sometimes it falls a little bit towards jazz, sometimes it falls toward rock. But no matter which way it falls, it’s always a little bit of a freak. It doesn’t really belong anywhere. It’s something unique, it’s something different, it’s something out of my heart”.

production Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi

duration 65 minutes plus break

Theater Programme