Oksana Lyniv becomes first female conductor in Bayreuth Festival’s 145-year history

Posted on: July 26, 2021

“The Bayreuth Festival in Germany is one of the most venerable events in classical music. Richard Wagner founded it to present his own operas, and it’s been open most summers since 1876,” writes J.S. Marcus in Wednesday’s (7/21) New York Times. “But 2021 brings something new in the festival’s 145-year history: On Sunday, Oksana Lyniv will become the first woman to conduct a production there. A native of Brody, in western Ukraine, where she grew up in a family of musicians, Lyniv, 43, … was an assistant to the influential conductor Kirill Petrenko at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, and from 2017 to 2020 was chief conductor of the Graz Opera and Graz Philharmonic Orchestra in Austria…. She spoke on a video call late last month from Bayreuth, where she was rehearsing for her debut leading [Bayreuth’s] new production of ‘Der Fliegende Holländer.’ ” Lyniv: “When he created ‘Der Fliegende Holländer’… Wagner was creating a prototype of the modern woman in Senta. She doesn’t belong to her family, or to tradition. She doesn’t want to get married, or sit with the other village women and spin…. She has her own ideas.”