Carla Dirlikov is an internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano and humanitarian. She has performed at leading opera houses, concert venues, and festivals around the world, including the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Guangzhou Opera House, the Royal Opera of Wallonia, and Mexico’s and China’s National Centers for the Performing Arts. Dirlikov is the first singer to have been awarded the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, an honor bestowed upon her by Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a ceremony and concert at the US Supreme Court, and has been praised by Opera Magazine for possessing a voice that “grabs the heartstrings with its dramatic force and musicality.”
Dirlikov’s passion is bringing arts education and cultural exchange programs to underserved communities. A dual US and Mexican citizen and the proud daughter of a Bulgarian father and Mexican mother, Dirlikov serves as cultural envoy of the US Department of State. She is the first opera singer to join the roster of the President’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities’ Turnaround Arts Initiative, which promotes arts education in public schools, and is a member of the Americans for the Arts’ Artists Committee.
Dirlikov is artistic director of the El Camino Project, which she founded in 2014. The El Camino Project aims to research, perform, preserve, and educate the public about Latin American music and culture.
In 2015, Dirlikov performed at the nationally-televised 28th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards, a reception hosted by Vice President Joe Biden in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, and the National Endowment for the Art’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. She was also featured as a guest speaker at the Business Innovation Factory Summit and the TEDxMidAtlantic Conference in Washington DC. Dirlikov has previously spoken and performed at events hosted by the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics and the Aspen Institute.
Dirlikov is an alumna of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. She received a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Michigan and continued her studies at the Paris Conservatory, obtaining a mster’s in opera performance from McGill University in Montreal. Dirlikov is fluent in Spanish, French, Italian and English.