From The Guardian: “‘This opens doors’: Trans woman to play Don Giovanni in a first for US opera. Casting of Lucia Lucas marks first time a professional US company has hired a trans person to sing the lead in standard work.”

Jana McIntyre as Zerlina, Lucia Lucas as Don Giovanni
Jana McIntyre as Zerlina, Lucia Lucas as Don Giovanni

“Lucia has a very powerful and penetrating voice and a dramatic intensity. That is what I was looking for in casting Don Giovanni.”Tobias Picker, Tulsa Opera artistic director

“Lucia Lucas, the woman charged with playing one of the opera canon’s best-known protagonists, is a rising star. The 38-year-old singer has performed on major stages in Europe and Asia. Next season, she will make her debut with the English National Opera in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld. And all this using the dramatic baritone voice with which she launched her international career, before she transitioned, a decade ago.

“Lucas earned spots in some of the most prestigious young artist programs in the United States, at the Santa Fe Opera and Chicago Opera Theater, among others. She was 29 when she made the jump to Europe in 2009. Her wife, a fellow opera singer whom she met when they were both students in California, followed two years later.

“Lucas says they moved to Germany for employment. “There is just much more work here,” Lucas says, citing her adopted country’s multitude of opera houses and opportunities for year-round, salaried employment.

“She had been working steadily as a staff baritone in opera houses in Germany and Italy, landing prominent roles in operas like Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro and Edward Teller in John Adams’ Dr Atomic, by the time she decided to transition.”

Read the full article at The Guardian.

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