Lidiya Yankovskaya Delivers 'Strong WNO Debut'

January 16, 2019

Photo by Scott Suchman

Photo by Scott Suchman

Conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya has just made her house debut at Washington National Opera, leading the world premiere of Kamala Sankaram’s Taking Up Serpents, an opera set in the American South that explores religious traditions and family.

Read reviews:

“Russian conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya made a strong WNO debut at the podium, skillfully bringing together the disparate sounds in the pit.”
Washington Classical Review

“The most interesting parts were Sankaram’s atmospheric orchestrations, brought out by Lidiya Yankovskaya in the pit.”
The Washington Post

“Her orchestrations, performed by a fully game Washington National Orchestra under the direction of Lidiya Yankovskaya in her WNO debut, emphasize the unease of Kayla's reluctant return home to her estranged family. The orchestra not only creates unusual noises with bassoons minus the mouthpieces, but there is also what may be the first use in opera of the children's toy called the whirly tube, those ribbed plastic hoses that emit an otherworldly sound when swung around.”
Broadway World

“Sankaram also has integrated some curious contemporary instrumentation for a small orchestra, including electric and acoustic guitar, a drum set, water phone, and, most delicious of all, “whirly tubes” with their mysterious sound and snakelike waving. Lidiya Yankovskaya does a terrific job as a conductor of this score bringing out the many colors and styles of music with her thirteen musicians who prove game to the challenge.”
DC Theatre Scene

“Conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya ably shaped the score: Its spare orchestration is built on string drones and slithering glissandos and colored with punchy special effects, such as the whirly tubes that make a soft, creepy hooting sound, associated with Kayla’s memories, and the glockenspiel that plays as her father brands her as a sinful daughter of Eve and that later accompanies her triumphant assertion, ‘I am the light.’”
Wall Street Journal