One of the first things you notice about the extremely talented. composer and conductor Philip Hagermann is the passion that comes from within him when he is talking about his work in the Opera.
His new Opera Shaw Goes Wild is being performed by the Pegasus Operatic Society at the Royal Academy of Music in the Susie Sainsbury room from the 12th-14th April 2019.
The following interview took place at Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery on 1st April after the first introduction performance of two of the songs from Shaw Goes Wild were performed. Nicholas Morton sang …. this was followed by the award-winning Soprano Alison Buchanan singing
How did you first meet Alison and become involved with Pegasus Operatic Society? Philip told me with affection that he first met Alison in Wexford, Ireland after seeing her performing in an Opera. It was soon after then she moved back to New York where he lives and they have been friends now for over 15 years.
What inspires your work? My Operas are all based on pre-existing literary works. With this Opera, it has been based upon George Bernard Shaw.
How many Opera’s have you composed? In my career, I have composed two full-length Operas and a dozen one-act Operas Philip explained. With Opera being a “difficult one to get done” he said, “I am extremely appreciative to have this event”.
Do you have a vision of your work before it is performed? I always see the Opera production in my mind he told me and when he is involved with a production he likes to be involved with it entirely. However, as he rarely involved with productions he has to ensure his work is perfect for someone else to be able to use it as he has composed it.
Do you always write all your Opera’s in English? Yes, I do. Which from the audience’s perspective is nice for them to understand the storyline. However, as he explains making sure it is written in a way to enable the singers to be able to pronounce clearly some of the words they singing can be quite tricky. As at times it has sounds jumbled and hasn’t translated properly.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
No, I like to make sure I am well prepared. But I have never had any rituals though.
How large is the Orchestra you are performing with for this Opera?
There is going to be an Orchestra of 13 that I am conducting for on this occasion. Although some of my pieces require larger ones.