Chicago Opera Theater Welcomes New Music Director

Chicago Opera Theater Welcomes New Music Director

Pictured: Lidiya Yankovskaya. Photo courtesy of Chicago Opera Theater. 

Chicago Opera Theater has announced the appointment of Lidiya Yankovskaya as the company’s new Music Director. Yankovskaya joins COT after extensive work on the East Coast, where she currently serves as Artistic Director of Juventas New Music Ensemble, the Music Director with Commonwealth Lyric Theater, Chorus Master for numerous programs with Boston Symphony Orchestra/Tanglewood Festival Chorus and as a conductor with Boston Youth Symphony. She was selected for the inaugural residency program at The Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute for Women Conductors and serves as a regular conductor for American Lyric Theater and Beth Morrison Projects, two of the leading developers of new contemporary opera in the United States. In her new role as Music Director, Yankovskaya will lead COT’s artistic vision in tandem with General Director Designate Douglas Clayton and will regularly conduct for COT beginning in the 2018-2019 season.

A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Yankovskaya came to the United States in her youth and began conducting at the age of 17. Currently based in New York City, Yankovskaya, and her husband will set up permanent residence in Chicago once her previous commitments are complete.

“I am thrilled with the appointment of Lidiya as the new music director of Chicago Opera Theater,” said COT Board President Henry Fogel. “She is a remarkable talent, with significant experience working with a variety of opera companies and with both established and rising voices in the classical music realm. Every person we spoke to who has worked with her, without exception, was enthusiastic in their praise of both her musical abilities and her qualities as a colleague.”

Yankovskaya will begin her tenure by supporting the already planned 44th season at COT, which begins with THE CONSUL by Gian Carlo Menotti—starring soprano Patricia Racette—followed by the world premiere of ELIZABETH CREE by Pulitzer Prize-winning duo Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell and concluding with a double bill of Gaetano Donizetti’s IL PIGMALIONE and RITA.

“Lidiya represents the future of opera,” noted COT Board Vice President Susan Irion. “She is as skilled with operas of the past as she is with works of living composers, and often collaborates with other arts and community groups to create productions highly relevant to her audiences. Lidiya is sure to be a charismatic ambassador of opera in today’s world, and we are so honored to have her here at COT.”

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