Mezzo-soprano Hanna Hipp and pianist Emma Abbate take us on a beautifully-colourful exploration of folk songs from different countries.
Hanna Hipp’s ‘rich-toned, thrillingly ardent singing’ (The Spectator) ensures she is in high demand in the world’s finest opera houses. Hanna will be joined by the ‘amazingly talented pianist’ (Musica) Emma Abbate for this exploration of folk songs from different countries.
Poulenc’s Huit chansons polonaises are a homage to one of his musical heroes, the great Polish composer Chopin. Composed to add variety to his recitals with his partner in music and life Peter Pears, many of Benjamin Britten’s English folk song arrangements have become even better known than their original versions. The lyrical inflection of the Italian language gets first class treatment in Pizzetti’s sensitive settings, while Ravel’s Chants Populaires include some of his most dreamily beautiful music.
Hanna and Emma’s performance, and indeed our May festival, concludes in style with Manuel de Falla’s Seven Spanish Folksongs. Reflecting the diversity of different parts of Spain, they are amongst the composer’s most popular and enduring works.
“rich-toned, thrillingly ardent singing”The Spectator (on Hanna Hipp)
“every shift of rhythm or colour speaks volumes.”Gramophone (on Emma Abbate)
With key role debuts in recent seasons including Dorabella (Così fan tutte) for Seattle Opera, Der Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera and wide acclaim for her first performances as Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) for Garsington Opera, Hanna Hipp’s ardent and impassioned singing make her a favourite for the leading lyric mezzo repertoire.
This season, Hanna Hipp makes a welcome return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) under Sir Antonio Pappano, and to English National Opera as Dorabella under Kerem Hasan, following her “striking characterisation” of Cherubino (The Sunday Times) for her debut there in Joe Hill-Gibbins’ new production.
In concert, Hanna is especially sought out for Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été which she has sung with BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Oulu Symphony Orchestra. And following recent debuts with both the Oslo Philharmonic and Hamburger Symphoniker in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, under Klaus Mäkelä and Eivind Gullberg Jensen respectively, she joins Jakub Hruša in the work this season marking her debut with Philharmonia Orchestra.
Elsewhere she joined Klaus Mäkelä and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in Mozart’s Requiem, David Parry and the orchestra of Scottish Opera as the title role in Mascagni’s Zanetto in concert, and Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra for Die Walküre.
In new repertoire this season, she sings Der Trommler in a concert performance of Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Josep Pons. A former member of the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artist Programme, Hanna Hipp made her first guest appearance there as Magdalene in Kasper Holten’s new production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under Sir Antonio Pappano, as well as for her debut as Hänsel in Antony McDonald’s new production of Hänsel und Gretel under Sebastian Weigle, and Zweite Dame in David McVicar’s much-loved production of Die Zauberflöte under Hartmut Haenchen.
Further international debuts include at Teatro Real Madrid as Frances, Countess of Essex (Gloriana) in David McVicar’s new production under Ivor Bolton, at Dutch National Opera as Ein Page (Salome) in Ivo van Hove’s new production under Daniele Gatti, and both Isolier (Le Comte Ory) and Beatrice (Beatrice and Benedict) for Seattle Opera.
Other highlights include her first Varvara (Katya Kabanova) for Scottish Opera, the title role in Offenbach’s Fantasio at Garsington Opera, Mercédès (Carmen) at Teatro alla Scala under Massimo Zanetti, and L’enfant et les sortilèges at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma under Charles Dutoit.
On disc, Hanna has appeared as Anna in Berlioz’s Les troyens with Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg under John Nelson on Warner Classics, Flora in Verdi’s La traviata at the Glyndebourne Festival under Sir Mark Elder on Opus Arte DVD, and released her debut recital album featuring the songs of Ildebrando Pizzetti with pianist Emma Abbate on Resonus Classics, garnering praise for her “gleaming sound and declamatory fire” (Gramophone).
The Neapolitan pianist Emma Abbate enjoys a demanding career as a piano accompanist and chamber musician and has been described as "an amazingly talented pianist" by the leading Italian magazine Musica.
She has performed in duo recitals for international festivals and concert societies in Austria, Portugal, Italy, Poland and USA, and at many prestigious UK venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre, Royal Opera House, St John’s Smith Square, St George’s, Bristol and at the Aldeburgh Festival, in addition to broadcasts on BBC Radio 3.
Emma's varied discography includes a series of acclaimed recordings devoted to Italian vocal chamber music with the mezzo-soprano Hanna Hipp (Sera d’inverno: Songs by Ildebrando Pizzetti) and baritone Ashley Riches (Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Shakespeare Sonnets). A keen advocate of contemporary music, Emma has released two discs devoted to works by Stephen Dodgson that include his piano quintets with the Tippett Quartet. Other world-première recordings include works for cello and piano by Algernon Ashton and Krzysztof Meyer with Evva Mizerska. Emma also cultivates an active interest in historical keyboards, and has performed and recorded on a range of original instruments for the Finchcocks Charity and at Hatchlands Park and the Russell Collection. She has recently released Weber's complete keyboard duets with Julian Perkins on an original Viennese fortepiano, with whom she has also recorded Mozart's complete keyboard duet sonatas.
Based in London, Emma is a professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and a staff coach at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Following her graduation from the S. Pietro a Majella Conservatoire in Naples and an Advanced Diploma from the S. Cecilia Conservatoire in Rome, Emma studied in London with Yonty Solomon. She has been elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in recognition of her ‘significant contribution’ thus far to the music profession.