Oksana Lyniv to make Bayreuth Festival first

The Bayreuth Festival has announced that Oksana Lyniv will be the first woman to conduct on its opening night. Lyniv will take charge in a new production of The Flying Dutchman.

It’s the first part of the 2021 programme to be announced by Katharina Wagner, who recently returned to lead the festival after a long illness. Bayreuth Festival did not take place in 2020 due to COVID-19, although it did offer an online programme.

Other members of the team for The Flying Dutchman include director Dmitri Tcherniakov and soprano Asmik Grigorian in the role of Senta.

“Richard Wagner has written women into his operas with leading, action-packed roles, and has portrayed them as very emancipated,” said Lyniv in an interview with Deutsche Welle. “That’s why I believe he would be proud that almost 140 years after his death a woman will bring his wonderful music to life for the first time on the podium.”

Other 2021 productions announced so far are Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Tannhäuser. Its next Ring Cycle, which was originally planned for 2021, is now likely to take place in 2022.