A female conductor will take the helm at an Italian opera house for the first time in January.
The Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv said she was surprised to learn she was making history after receiving the offer from the Teatro Comunale opera house in Bologna. The 43-year-old begins the three-year posting as musical director on 22 January.
“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,” she said. “I am very honoured and happy to be part of this historical turning point.”
It is not the first time Lyniv, who was previously principal conductor of Austria’s Graz Opera, has broken new ground. 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 to a rapturous audience that included the former German chancellor Angela Merkel.