“A production of Don Giovanni opening this weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma, stars a transgender woman in the title role,” writes Chloe Veltman in Wednesday’s (5/1) Guardian (U.K.). “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 … using the dramatic baritone voice with which she launched her international career, before she transitioned, a decade ago…. Tulsa Opera artistic director, Tobias Picker, says, …  ‘Lucia has a very powerful and penetrating voice and a dramatic intensity. That is what I was looking for in casting Don Giovanni.’ … Lucas says, … ‘If I would have come out before my audition for Germany in 2009, they probably wouldn’t have taken me,’ she says. ‘Things have changed a lot since then.’ … Tulsa Opera’s Don Giovanni is an expression of that change. ‘The potential doors that this is now opening for trans singers is a very exciting step forward,’ says Matthew Shilvock, the director general of the San Francisco Opera…. Lucas would like to see more opportunities for trans singers to play standard roles, as opposed to what she calls … ‘specialty projects’ featuring trans or non-gender-specific characters.’ ”

Posted May 2, 2019