Oksana Lyniv, first woman head of Italian Opera House. Editorial credit: Oleh Dubyna / Shutterstock.com

Bologna is first to have woman head up Italian opera house

By Region Culture News North-east Italy

Teatro Communale di Bologna (Bologna Communal Theatre) is the first Italian Opera House to employ a woman as its Music Director. Oksana Lyniv said she was surprised to learn she was making history after receiving the offer.

Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv accepted a three-year posting as Music Director at Teatro Communale di Bologna. She will conduct at least two operas and two concerts a year during this time.

Her first opera on 14th and 15th January is Richard Wagner’s Valkyrie.

Breaking new ground again

It is not the first time Lyniv has achieved a ‘first’. She was previously principal conductor of Austria’s Graz Opera and in July, she became the first female conductor to open Germany’s Bayreuth opera festival in its 145-year-history.

She conducted Richard Wagner’s Flying Dutchman, receiving rapturous applause from the audience.

The Guardian reported Lyniv as saying, “I didn’t realise, when I received the letter from the Teatro Comunale, that I would be the first female conductor of an Italian opera house. I am very honoured and happy to be part of this historical turning point.”

Lyniv also said one of her goals is to get more young people interested in the opera.

Read: 5 of Italy’s Best Opera Houses

Bologna’s Teatro Comunale opened its doors in 1763 with a performance of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Il trionfo di Clelia. It went on to host Wagner as well as some of Italy’s greatest composers, including Verdi, Rossini and Bellini.

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