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Bayreuth Festival to have three women conductors, three years after gender barrier broken


The Bayreuth Festival will have three female conductors this summer, three years after the podium gender barrier was broken at the annual showcase of Richard Wagner's operas.

The festival said Thursday that Simone Young will conduct “Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung)” following the cancellation of Phillipe Jordan. There will be three cycles of the four-opera work, from July 28 though Aug. 25.

“Other commitments have now unfortunately made it impossible for him to conduct the `Ring,'” the festival said in a statement.

Young, a 62-year-old Australian, is in her second season as chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra following positions as principal conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic from 1998-2002, artistic director of Opera Australia from 2001-03 and artistic director of the Hamburg State Opera and chief music director of the Hamburg Philharmonic from 2005-15.

Oksana Lyniv in 2021 became the first woman conductor at the festival, which was launched by Wagner in 1876, and she returns this summer for her fourth season leading “Der Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman).”

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra music director Nathalie Stutzmann conducts "Tannhäuser" after leading the new production last summer.