5 Groundbreaking Transgender Opera Singers

By Francisco Salazar

It’s Pride Month and in honor of the month that celebrates the LGBT community, OperaWire is putting a spotlight on some of the most important LGBT artists in the opera world.

For this list, we have looked at Transgender performers who have become influential voices in the opera community.

Lucia Lucas

Lucas made history in becoming the first Trans singer to take on a leading role in the U.S when she sang the title role of “Don Giovanni” at the Tulsa Opera. Lucas has also performed such roles as Wotan in “Die Walküre,” the four villains in “Les Contes d’Hoffmann,” Sharpless in “Madama Butterfly,” and Escamillo in “Carmen.” Lucas has performed at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Lyric Opera of Dublin, Oper Wuppertal, and Tulsa Opera.

A big Transgender advocate, Lucas will become one of the first Trans singers to grace the Metropolitan Opera when she debuts as Bosun in “Billy Budd.”

Adrian Angelico

The mezzo-soprano is one of the most recognized singers performing in Europe. He made his Royal Opera House Covent Garden debut in 2014 singing the Marquise de Merteuil in John Fulljames’s new production of “Quartett.” He would tour that opera in France, Italy, and Spoleto Festival USA.

In 2010, Angelico made his Bregenz Festival debut, performing in Mieczysław Weinberg’s operas “Die Passagierin” and “Das Portrait.” The mezzo-soprano has also performed with the English Touring Opera, Opera Trondheim, Royal Stockholm Opera, Gothenburg Opera, the Norwegian National Opera and is a winner of such competitions as the 2009 Queen Sonja International Music Competition and Wilhelmsen’s Opera Prize for 2017.

Breanna Sinclairé

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Sinclairé is a graduate of CalArts and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She is the first transwoman of the opera program and has performed in productions of  “Carmen,” “La Calisto,” “The Old Maid and The Thief,” “The Magic Flute,” and “L’enfant et les sortilèges.”

Sinclairé has also performed with the Gay Men’s Choruses of Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. She made her debut at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus and performed with Americans for the Arts, Washington, D.C. and at Toronto Pride Festivals, SF Trans March, Fresh Meat Trans and Queer Arts Festivals, among others. She made history when she became the first trans singer to perform with the SF Symphony.

Liz Bouk

Bouk is one of the rising stars in the opera world, having made his debut at the New York City Opera in the world premiere of Iain Bell and Mark Campbell’s opera “Stonewall.” He has performed with the ChamberQUEER, dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, Utopia Opera, Alamo City Opera, and St. Petersburg Opera Company.

Bouk also collaborated with librettist and stage director Bea Goodwin on the play “Mr. Liz’s One [wo] Man Show: [Living in the In-Between]” and workshopped the sequel, N”ew Beginnings,” with The New Work Series at TADA Theater. He is an advocate of new works and has collaborated with William Bolcom, Jake Heggie, and Libby Larsen.

Holden Madagame

The American tenor and University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance alumni is a passionate trans activist forging the way for trans-identified artists to work openly in opera and classical music. Madagame has participated in the Glyndebourne Academy and has worked for the Passaggio Oper, Fulham Opera, Gerhart Hauptmann Theater in Görlitz, and the Brandenburgisches Konzertorchester.