Katherine Goforth Awarded the First “True Voice Award” on International Transgender Day of Visibility

By Afton Wooten

Photo credit: Dallas Symphony

In recognition of International Transgender Day of Visibility, Washinton National Opera announced Katherine Goforth as the first recipient of the “True Voice Award.”

The new award was created specifically for transgender or nonbinary opera artists by the creators of “As One,” Kimberly Reed, Laura Kaminsky, and Mark Campbell in collaboration with Washington National Opera. The “True Voice Award” which will be given out every three years provides career training, artistic coaching, funding, and performance opportunities for those within the community.

Goforth, a transgender woman, has performed with Oper Köln, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Portland Opera, and Bozeman Symphony, among others. She graduated from the Juilliard School and St. Olaf College. Goforth headlined the Dallas Symphony at their fourth Women in Classical Music Symposium, where she gave a recital with  Julia Bullock and was awarded the Career Advancement Award.

She was awarded a cash prize of $5,000 and will perform at the Kennedy Center with Washington National Opera’s Cafritz Young Artists in May 2024. Additional event details are to be announced.

Goforth’s official statement reads “I am very lucky to be living in a time when there are national arts organizations that are willing to support and foster trans artists. I hope that this award will mean that I am at the beginning of a career in which I can work, connect, create, and live fully as myself, and that we will model what our opera industry could be: a place where every artist gets to fully self-actualize and every person has a right to self-determination. My heartfelt thanks go out to WNO, the selection committee members, and to Mark, Laura, and Kim, who created this award.”

“Katherine Goforth is a perfect choice for the inaugural TVA. She personifies the artistry and activism that this award represents. Not only does Katherine set the bar for future recipients, she is a singer who will raise awareness and uses her platform to lift up other trans and nonbinary singers,” says co-creator Kimberly Reed.