Lara Diloy returns to the Asturian capital to conduct the Gala Lírica that the Ópera de Oviedo is organising as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations, as the culmination of a cycle in which the institution has received the city’s Gold Medal and the Best Institution Award in the Ópera XXI, awards that distinguish the most outstanding of the Spanish stages.
Arias and duets from various operatic works by Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini will be performed in the Auditorio Príncipe Felipe, in the voices of soprano María Zapata, mezzo-soprano Carmen Artaza, tenor Antoni Lliteres and baritone Carles Pachón. The recital will also feature the Principality of Asturias Symphony Orchestra (OSPA) and the Princess of Asturias Foundation Choir.
An interview by Carla Sampedro.
How did you discover that conducting was your vocation?
I have always enjoyed making music in a group and I have felt the orchestra as a space of my own. When I finished my french horn studies I felt the need to continue completing my musical training and I saw conducting as the best way to broaden my knowledge and continue developing in the place that made me happiest.
For several years I combined working in different orchestras with teaching, while I finished my conducting degree at the conservatory. A few years later, I realised that this way of continuing to learn was, in fact, my true passion and I decided that it was the right time to go for it, dedicating myself fully to conducting.
Some time has passed since then, but I still feel that in music there is always something new to discover, and I love that.
How did your working relationship with the Ópera de Oviedo begin?
My professional relationship with the Ópera de Oviedo began in August 2021, when I started working as assistant director of its opera season. Since then we have already performed ten operatic titles in which we have been fortunate to enjoy great national and international artists.
During this time Oviedo has become a second home for me. The work in the Foundation is very close, familiar, and with a high artistic level, and that is something that makes me feel very happy here.
As a conductor, you work daily in a sector in which women are a minority. Have you suffered any kind of discrimination from your colleagues?
The truth is that in the environments in which I have worked I have never felt any discrimination because I am a conductor, but it is true that the presence of women in the conducting environment is scarce. In spite of this, we are gradually being incorporated in greater numbers into the professional world and there are more and more cases of female conductors (Marin Alsop, Sussana Mälkki, Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla or Elim Chan, among others). All of them are magnificent professionals who are doing a great job in internationally renowned orchestras. In Oviedo, for example, the presence of women in both orchestras this season is very significant. We must celebrate the achievements in this sense and give them visibility so that we can see the fruits of this progression as soon as possible.
As a conductor you alternate symphonic commitments with conducting lyric repertoire. In reality, what do you prefer to conduct: opera or symphonic repertoire?
I have always lived in the orchestra doing symphonic repertoire, but it is true that the last few years of my career have allowed me to enter fully into the exciting world of opera, where I have learned how all the elements of a production fit together.
The truth is that I feel comfortable with both options and I would like to continue growing and combining in a balanced way both the symphonic and lyrical repertoire.