Natalia Salinas

Having a solid career as a female director is still a big challenge. Even though there are more spaces and opportunities to make ourselves visible, there is also a lot of resistance at the same time.


by Cristina Fieraru
November 25, 2023
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As usual, we try to bring to your attention some of today's most prolific young artists. We know how much you love all our meetings with the young conductors from around the world, and we're delighted to introduce this month's protagonist, extraordinarily talented Argentinian conductor Natalia Salinas. Although she is still very young, she has already expanded her career throughout South America and Europe. In conversation with Cristina Fieraru, Natalia shares her experiences and life on stage & behind the curtain. She talks about how hard it can be to succeed as a female conductor, answers our ‘statement questions’, and offers some insight for other young musicians considering a career in conducting. Keep reading for more!


Natalia Salinas is currently positioned as a reference of the new generation of orchestra conductors in Argentina. She leads an active and constantly expanding career, forging a solid reputation across different continents. She conducted some of the main orchestras in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay and Chile. She also shows a great affinity for the lyric repertoire since the beginning of her career, which is why her professional activity also includes engagements with the main opera houses in Argentina: Teatro Colón and Teatro Argentino de La Plata - the opera house where she worked during 2015 and 2017 as assistant conductor, and where she made her opera debut in 2016 with W.A.Mozart's Così fan tutte, conducting national and international soloists. Natalia Salinas stands out for “her great vitality and personal imprint on the podium, achieving high-quality performances". (Salatino, 2019) Since 2019 she has resided in France and has begun to expand her activity in Europe, having received invitations to participate as guest conductor in festivals and theatres in France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy covering symphonic and operatic repertoire and first incursions in ballet. In 2023 Natalia Salinas received the award as Consecrated Orchestra Conductor, granted by the National Classical Awards of Argentina. In 2021 Natalia Salinas was awarded by the Music Critics Association of Argentina for their Breakthrough Artist Award as an Orchestra Conductor and nominated for the Argentinean Premiere of Works by Foreing Composers Award. In the same year, she was selected as a finalist in the Lanyi International Conducting Competition 2021. In 2022 Natalia Salinas was in charge of the musical direction of the major oratorio TURBAE ad Passionem Gregorianam op.43 by Alberto Ginastera, with more than 200 people on stage, after having been performed for the only time in Argentina in 1980 in the presence of the composer. Natalia Salinas, for this concert considered by the press as "historic", had the support of the Editorial Boosey & Hawkes, the Paul Sacher Foundation (Switzerland), and the composer's daughter Georgina Ginastera. This event had great repercussions in the national and Latin American press, for being a novelty, not only for being a work very rarely performed worldwide, but for the quality of the resulting work with a piece that shows from the first moment a high level of complexity for the orchestra, the choirs, the soloists and at the same time for the conductor. During the 2023 season, Natalia Salinas was invited by the Teatro Colón in Argentine, on the one hand, as assistant conductor to its current music director, on the other hand, as guest conductor to conduct chamber opera productions, and during October she made her debut in front of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires. During 2023, along with engagements with orchestras in Argentina and Chile, she made her debut in Mexico with the Orquesta del Estado de México and in October she conducted opera in Italy for the first time at the Teatro delle Muse in Ancona. In 2022 she made his Swiss debut at the St. Gallen Theatre in the 2021/22 season with the opera María de Buenos Aires by Astor Piazzolla with whom she also had engagements for his 2022/23 season in a Ballet project. In 2022 she also made his debut with orchestras in Uruguay and Brazil. In 2021 she made her operatic debut in Europe, in Austria at the Taschenopernfestival (Pocket Opera Festival) Salzburg 2021, in charge of the world premiere of the opera Der Kuss by Wolfgang Mitterer, then in Germany, in the same year, she made her debut in front of the Magdeburg Philharmonic Orchestra and worked for the first time in front of the Muskifabrik Ensemble. She is currently pursuing a Franco-German PhD in Orchestral Conducting at the Université de Strasbourg, the Haute Ecole des Arts du Rhin (HEAR), and the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg dedicated to the work of the Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera. She completed a master's degree in conducting specializing in 20th and 21st century music at the Université de Strasbourg and the HEAR in France. In 2020 she was awarded by the National University of Mexico with a full scholarship for the first Diploma in Latin American Composers. She is also licentiate degree in Orchestra Conducting from the Universidad Nacional de La Plata and trained as a pianist at the Conservatorio Provincial de Música de Santa Cruz, Argentine.

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Dear Natalia, I would like to thank you for accepting my invitation and welcome you as the newest member of our charming Conductors of the Future family. The whole team and our readers look forward to getting to know you better and finding out as much as possible about your musical origins and plans. You are so […]

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Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner comes from a music-loving family. Her first encounter with the opera universe was at the tender age of six. The grandeur of the stage productions and costumes, the backstage chatter, and last, but definitely not least, the music left her in awe, beginning with Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The overall feeling that opera awakens in anyone who gets a glimpse into this part of artistic eternity, that each and every day passes the test of time, was what drew her to stay and be a part of this world. The Opera House of Brașov became her second home, and the people who worked there were her second family.

Since then, Alice has devoted her spare time to maximising her musical knowledge through instrumental studies, studying both piano and violin for a short time. In the following years, her number one passion stepped out of the limelight and graciously gave way to Law Studies.
Since 2018 she has been studying Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Her passion for opera, even if it is no longer her top professional priority in terms of career, it has most definitely become her priority during her free time. Wanting to experience the best of both worlds and extend her musical horizons, she regularly attends opera performances throughout Romania and abroad.
With OPERA Charm Magazine, Alice aims to nurture her creative side to help it flourish and bloom and to discover, alongside the magazine’s readers, the fascinatingly complex world of opera.

Currently, she is an LL.M. in Business Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Oana Zamfir

Oana Zamfir is a second year MA student at the “George Enescu” National University of Arts, at the Department of Musicology.

She studied violin for 12 years at the “Stefan Luchian” High School of Art in Botosani, later focusing on the theoretical aspects of music. In 2019 she completed her bachelor studies in Musicology as a student of the National Academy of Music “Gheorghe Dima” in Cluj-Napoca. Her research during 2018-2019 brought to the forefront elements of the archaic ritual within works of composers who activated during the communist period, giving her the opportunity to start a research internship at the “Carl von Ossietzky” University in Germany. In this context, she recorded conversations with members of the Sophie Drinker Institute in Bremen, and had access to documents directly from the Myriam Marbé archive.

Since 2019 she has been a teacher of Music Education and Theoretical Music Studies, making full use of interactive methods in the musical training of students and working, at the same time, with the children’s choir founded in the first year of her activity.

Her interests include pursuing a degree in interior design in 2020.

Alexandru Suciu

Alexandru Suciu inherited his passion for art growing up in a family of several generations of musicians. He began his musical studies at the “Augustin Bena” School of Music in Cluj, where he studied piano and guitar. Even though his main study direction was philological, his passion for music prevailed. He began his academical journey at the Faculty of Letters of the “Babeș-Bolyai” University, studying Comparative literature and English. He continued by studying Opera Singing at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy. He also graduated the Musical Education section, followed by Artistic Directing at the Musical Performing Arts department.

His multidisciplinary education opened the doors towards research, which is seen both through his participation in national and international conferences and symposia, such as the Salzburg Easter School PhD-forum, organized by the Salzburg Universität or the Silesian Meeting of Young Scholars, organized by the Institute of English at the University of Silesia, as well as the collaboration with Opera Charm Magazine.

During his student years, he won several prizes, including the Grand Prize at the “Paul Constantinescu” National Musical Interpretation Competition, the Romanian Composers and Musicologists’ Union Prize at the same competition, the First Prize and the Schubert Prize at the “Ada Ulubeanu” Competition.

He further developed his artistic skills by specializing in courses and masterclasses held by personalities such as Vittorio Terranova, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Marian Pop, Ines Salazar, Riccardo Zanellato, Paolo Bosisio, Valentina Farcaș and Manuel Lange in contexts such as the Internationale Sommerakademie für Operngesang Deutschlandsberg, Corso Internazionale di Canto Lirico I.M.C. Licata or the Europäische Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst Montepulciano. Besides his activity on-stage, he currently teaches Opera Singing Didactics, and Pedagogical Practice within the Department for Teacher Education and Training at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy.

Cristina Fieraru

Cristina is a 24 year-old Romanian soprano & a student at the National University of Music Bucharest, where she pursues the MA program in Vocal Performance.

She made her debut in Pamina from “Die Zauberflöte” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at only 19 years old at the Bucharest National Opera House, as a member of the Ludovic Spiess Experimental Opera Studio. Over the years she made her debut in roles such as Contessa d’Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Mimì & Musetta (La Bohème), Alice Ford (Falstaff), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte) in her university’s opera productions.
Her passion and experience extends in the field of choral music, too.

She has been part of our dream team since the fall of 2021. For a good period of time she took care of OPERA Charm’s social media and took you on the monthly journey through the history of opera through our Legends rubric – and a few times through the Theaters around the World rubric.

Her little soul rubric – from 2021 to present – is definitely the Conductors of the Future, where, every month, she gives you the chance to meet a young star of the world of conducting and, of course, to find out what’s the most charming feature of opera in these artists’ views.


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