Oksana Lyniv becomes first woman to direct an Italian opera house
By Cristina Cabrejas
Bologna, Italy, Feb 12 (EFE).- Oksana Lyniv, who has become the first woman to direct an opera foundation in Italy, told Efe that she was keen to break stereotypes and change the mindset of the classical music world.
The Ukrainian-born conductor met with Efe at Bologna’s Manzoni auditorium after a two-and-a-half-hour rehearsal with what will now be her orchestra for the next three years.
The 44-year-old said it was a “surprise” for her to be named director of Bologna’s Comunale Theatre and become the first woman in Italy to hold this position.
“I am really happy because we have a fantastic connection with the orchestra and with musicians and this is the most important (thing) for me,” she told Efe.
This bond was crucial for her when accepting the position, she added.
The conductor launched her debut in January with Richard Strauss’s Death and Transfiguration and the first act of Richard Wagner’s Valkyrie to much praise.
“I cannot change this (being a woman) also I cannot change this,” she laughed referring to the global commotion her appointment caused.
“I am always working on developing myself with new repertoire to improve myself to make music research and collaborate with different orchestras in different countries to bring fresh ideas of the music, fresh energy
“I am not thinking I am a woman and I am happy that also here in Bologna I cannot mark, I do not know, special feeling from the musicians. I am just hard-working,” she added.
Since conducting her first orchestra at the age of 16, Lyniv has been breaking the glass ceiling in a sector where only 3 out of 100 conductors are women.
In July, she became the first to lead the Bayreuth Festival, following in the footsteps of 176 men across 145 years.
“I would like to break with stereotypes, to break this old form of thinking, you know that there is difference between woman and man,” she said.EFE