This year’s very much reduced BBC Proms season hasn’t stopped the celebrations and the BBC Music Magazine have instead focussed on the incredible 125-year history of the festival, looking back at memorable events and important milestones. Composers Edition’s Odaline de la Martinez is featured in the current issue as the BBC Proms’ first woman conductor in 1984 with her ensemble Lontano.
Asked about that first Proms appearance, de la Martinez tells us;
My deepest memory was walking down the bull run (the sloping entrance to the stage) and feeling the warmth and applause of such a supportive audience.
and asked recently by a friend Were you nervous about being the first woman to conduct a Prom? she answered without thinking;
I can’t be nervous because I can’t let women down
de la Martinez went on to conduct half-a-dozen Proms in the 1980s and 90s including a performance of Ethel Smyth’s opera The Wreckers, a recording of which has just been re-released on the Retrospect Opera label.
Odaline de la Martinez brings flair and commitment to realising the regularly memorable score. Good sound.George Hall, classical-music.com