It was such a pleasure to be back in my home state of Michigan and reunited with my friends at the Sphinx Organization. I was honored to share my story and a song at SphinxCon. This amazing organization keeps doing incredible work!
I felt very lucky to sing on the stage of the beautiful Teatro del Lago in Frutillar, Chile. Along with my pianist Justin Snyder and my friend Alexander Bernstein (son of Maestro Bernstein) we presented a special concert about Bernstein's life and his relationship to Latin America.
It was a deep honor to be a part of the Messiah performance by Street Symphony in Los Angeles at the Midnight Mission on Dec 4th. This was one of the most moving experiences of my life as a performer, and I was especially happy to find out that New Yorker Magazine selected this performance as one of the most Notable Performances of the Year.
It was a privilege to be a part of POLITICO's "Women Rule" Summit, where I had the opportunity to speak on a panel of women in the arts, as well as perform!
I was deeply honored to be names one of Foreign Policy's 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2015. Current and past year honorees included President Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Pope Francis, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and others. This year's artists include MacArthur Award-Winner Lin Manuel Miranda (creator of "Hamilton"), street artist Banksy, novelist Ta-Nehisi Coates and singers including Akon and Robyn.
I had the best time as a returning soloist with New Orleans Opera, in their fall production of Verdi's opera La Traviata. This city is so full of soul & art-it's quickly becoming one of my favorite places!
On Sept 30th I had the privilege of singing and speaking at the National Endowment for the Art's 50th Anniversary Gala, held at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, in Washington DC. This organization has made it possible for me to pursue my dream of becoming an artist. I was so happy to share this moment with my pianist, Justin Snyder.
It was an absolute dream come true to be a speaker at the TEDxMidAtlantic held in Washington DC at the Harman Theater. I remember attending my first TED Global conference just under a year ago, in Rio de Janeiro, which changed my life. To be among so many celebrated thought leaders was a real honor!
On Sept 22nd Turnaround Arts launched in New York City. I was able to be a part of the launch, along with several other Turnaround Artists, and we enjoyed visiting schools and meeting the kids!
On Sept 17th I had the honor of singing the Star Spangled Banner for the Hispanic Heritage Awards in Washington DC, which will be airing on PBS. It was a dream come true to share the stage with some of my icons, including Rita Moreno!
I was honored to speak at the Business Innovation Factory Summit!
My dream came true!
On Sept 12, we launched El Camino Project on the East Coast, with a special celebration at the Mexican Cultural Institute which included opening remarks by Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor.
Through El Camino Project, I hope to better understand what it means to be Latina in America today.
It was a lot of fun to return to the Aspen Institute, this time as a part of the Healthspottr retreat, where I had the chance to speak and perform!
Happy to share this recent review in Opera News of the Opera Naples production of La Tragedie de Carmen.
"Mexican mezzo-soprano Carla Dirlikov, a well-practiced, sexy Carmen, dominated the show. She moved suggestively, singing the habanera from atop the audience, deep-kissing a stunned Micaela. Dirlikov’s dark mezzo displayed all the nuances that make Carmen an independent woman in love. Following a Gitano wedding ceremony that Corradi staged as something between Catholic ritual and a tarot reading, Dirlikov’s Carmen appeared somewhat transfigured, yet with no fear of death.
The scene of the murder with Carmen slowly falling along the pole, arms outstretched as on a cross, was stunning."
Please click here to read the full review.
I had a great time last week as a fellow at the Arts and Passion Driven Learning Institute, lead by the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and the Silk Road Project. I feel incredibly fortunate that, as someone who is increasingly interested in arts education, I was able to learn from this amazing team of people!
It was a dream come true for me to launch the El Camino Project in Redwood City, CA, right on the El Camino Real route. ECP aims to explore Latin America's history and culture through its music. In partnership with Harvard University and with the help of many friends, I am honored to be the founder and artistic director of this organization. Working with Marcela Davison Aviles, Managing Director and Executive Producer, we have many activities planned for the next year, which we look forward to sharing on our website!
On June 3, 2015, The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) announced an expansion of its successful Turnaround Arts initiative into five additional school districts. The program, funded through a public-private partnership, will receive over $5 million over the next three years from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment of the Arts, the Ford Foundation and other private foundations and companies to bring arts education into low-performing schools. Turnaround Arts now reaches over 24,000 of the country’s highest-needs students in 50 schools in 14 states and the District of Columbia.
Newly appointed Turnaround Artists Carla Dirlikov, Cameron Diaz, Mike McCready will “adopt” three Broward County Turnaround Arts schools and work directly with students and teachers to support their arts education. These schools will receive arts education training and resources to address their individual needs including teacher training, arts supplies, music instruments, and funding for partnerships with community arts education and cultural organizations. The Turnaround Artists will support the schools for the length of the program, working with students, schools and communities to highlight their success.
Carla Dirlikov is a passionate believer in advancing the arts and has shown an unflagging advocacy of empowerment through music in the U.S. and abroad. In 2005, Dirlikov began a decades-long association with the U.S. Department of State serving as a Cultural Arts Envoy, the duties of which include promoting American culture overseas, giving master classes and teaching music to orphans and poverty-stricken youth. Her first engagements took her to Mexico, her mothers’ native country and a place where she lived as a child. Since her first visit, Dirlikov has returned to Mexico frequently, both as a professional soloist as well as under the Embassy's programming.
"As a child who benefited directly from a strong arts education program in a public school, I believe in the power of the arts to strongly impact not only a child's education but also their future,” said Dirlikov. “It is a tremendous honor for me to join the Turnaround Arts roster and aid in the incredible work that they do for kids every day. I have had the chance to see this firsthand, and have found no greater joy than witnessing the excitement in a child's face as they explore the arts. As an opera singer, it's a special honor for me to be able to participate and contribute, I believe that singing can provide everyone with an easy and fun way to access the arts and share their emotions. I can't wait to get started!"
Dirlikov joins an illustrious group of new “Turnaround Artists,” including Bernie Williams, Cameron Diaz, David Blaine, Jack Johnson, Macy Gray, Mike McCready, Misty Copeland, Paula Abdul, Thom Mayne, Jake Shimabukuro, and Tracy Reese. These artists will join Chad Smith, Clarence Greenwood (aka Citizen Cope), Doc Shaw, Elizabeth Banks, Elton John, Frank Gehry, Jason Mraz, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Josh Groban, Marc Anthony, Rashida Jones, Russell Simmons, the Silk Road Ensemble, Tim Robbins, and Troy Andrews (aka Trombone Shorty). Artists who have been working with the program since its inception include Alfre Woodard, Chuck Close, Damian Woetzel, Forest Whitaker, John Lloyd Young, Kal Penn, Kerry James Marshall, Kerry Washington, Edward Norton, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Yo-Yo Ma.
One of the highlights of my year was making my debut singing Berlioz's Les Nuits d'Ete with the Sinfonica de Yucatan. This was a big dream come true for me, as I consider these songs to be among the most beautiful music that I have ever heard. I am humbled by the review that I received!
Her solid vocal skill emerges
Carla Dirlikov shows her artistic maturity
April 20th, 2015
"Spring is here, my beauty; it is the time blessed by lovers, and the bird, of satin wings, says his complaints to the edge of the nest. " Under the protection of these timely and alluring verses -originals of the great Gautier- the ninth recital of the XXIII Season Symphony Orchestra of Yucatan began.
Yesterday at noon, back in the uncomfortable and inhospitable Merida Theatre (now called Manzanero), contrary to the hopes of his large public, our orchestra displayed a vocal work by Hector Berlioz and the final symphony of Sergio Rachmaninoff, very good examples of late European Romanticism -initial and attentive to the orders of the master Juan Carlos Lomónaco with his polite countenance and expert flair of certainty. Mezzo-soprano Carla Dirkilov, who visits Merida for the third time, debuted the six songs included in the collection "summer nights" by the French author, originally to be accompanied by piano, but later orchestrated by the composer with tenderness as the unifying element.
The six songs that make up these "Nights" of Berlioz were devoted to expert singers, either sopranos or tenors, to emphasize the author's obsession for perfection, a trait also observed in the selection of the verses, all of Don Teofilo, who used language as jewelers do with their finest pieces. "Yes, is most beautiful the work when done in the most rebellious ways, as with the verse, or onyx or marble, or enamel."
Carla possesses in abundance the nuanced precaution required by these six songs. With meticulous attention to detail and a steady synthesis of pitch, she pursues and conquers the right phrasing, making the far-from-the-ordinary rhythmic flow of the texts seem docile. From the onset, the solid talent of Dirlikov emerged in the sumptuous expression of “Soulève ta paupière close /Qu’effleure un songe virginal”.
The skillful technique of the mezzosoprano created such a liberating experience that it simply led us to the essence of lyric beauty. Those qualities speak for themselves: emotiveness, idealized nuance, mastery of style, and an intuition for intimacy. The first first song, “Villanesa”, the glorification of country life with the returning warmth of summer, a peaceful forest and a love unobserved except for the breeze in the air.
Carla immediately performed “Le spectre de la rose”, adorned with beautiful cello, flute and clarinet solos, a melancholic reflection on the fleeting nature of beauty, a recurrent topic in poetry of the likes of Horatio, Petrarch, Omar Khayyam and our own Juana Inés who clarified it so well – “enjoy without fear the fairies / the brief course of your lush age”. Of the remaining songs there was one, “Absence”, which represented the culminating moment -not before and not after- in the voice of Ms. Dirlikov. Executing her rendition in warm vocal subtleties, the gentle guest artist discerned a variety of accents and transmitted the legacy of emotion and supplication proclaimed by the verse “Reviens! Reviens!”. A prolonged, heartfelt applause rewarded both soprano and orchestra.
- H. Alvarez Jorge Rendon
I was so thrilled to be asked to be a part of this incredible project, by Mexico's Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores. This book features Mexican professionals who are making a difference in their fields throughout the world. As a Mexican-American citizen, this was a special honor for me!