Ukrainian Conductor Oksana Lyniv Makes an Impact at the Met Opera

Published March 21, 2024

Amid the backdrop of conflict in her homeland, Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv has captivated audiences at the Metropolitan Opera with her leadership in Puccini's opera 'Turandot'. Having recently seen the devastation of a drone strike in Odesa near her family's residence, Lyniv channels the intensity of her emotions into her music. The attack, which struck close to her parents-in-law's home and claimed the lives of civilians, including a young mother and children, weighed heavily on her mind as she led the evening's performance.

Lyniv's Platform as a Conductor

At 46 years old, Lyniv is the first Ukrainian to take the conductor's podium at the Met. In the face of the war, she has strongly criticized the Russian government while passionately promoting Ukrainian cultural heritage. She has showcased Ukrainian composers and actively toured with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, which she founded.

The Cultural Dilemma of War

The ongoing conflict raises complex issues for artists and cultural organizations around the world. Russian artists are often expected to condemn the actions of President Vladimir V. Putin, while Ukrainian counterparts grapple with questions regarding the performance of Russian pieces and collaborations with Russian artists. Lyniv herself has faced these challenges, and she notably took a stand when a festival in Vienna planned to feature her performance alongside another conductor with Russian ties. The festival ultimately rescinded the Russian conductor's invitation.

Ukrainian, conductor, MetOpera