Meet Lucia Lucas, First-Ever Trans Singer to Headline a U.S. Opera | SEEN | NowThis

– I sing baritone. I play a lot of bad guys. These characters are really dramatic, usually more aggressive. I thought that I might
not be able to handle the emotional weight of singing baritone while being out. Once I decided, like, no I can play these masculine characters, The week after I came out, I had four performances of these hyper-masculine characters. I didn’t give myself a
chance to think about it. I would take off my street makeup and they would put on my character makeup. I would go do the character and then I’d put on my face again and then everything was fine. (group opera practice singing) (group opera practice singing) The tricky thing about voice, and about studying in a college, is there are some voices that don’t mature ’til 30, ’til 35 ’til 40, ’til 45. People would say: “oh well
you shouldn’t sing Wotan “and you shouldn’t sing this,
you shouldn’t sing that, “you should wait ’til you’re 40, or 45.” Whenever somebody would
say something like that, I would just think: (dramatic orchestral music) If I have to wait another 15 years to try out my career, to
try and have a big career and like postpone my
transition for all of that then like, what am I doing with my life? I knew that as soon as I came out that there was no way I
could go back on that. I would be out, and if my career was over then my career would be over. I was always okay with having like this big career for like five years, and then disappearing from the opera world and transitioning and
leading my life separate. I’ve been out for about five years, so I’ve hit this weird magical spot, where my career has
actually lasted longer. I’m finally doing Don Giovanni, and Don Giovanni is at
least in the top 10, if not the top five performed
operas in the world, and he’s super hyper-masculine. He’s the quintessential womanizer. I think that in playing
these male characters I’m able to bring other ideas that I don’t think cis
men would bring to it. I think I can amp up
the emotional part of it without scaring the other actors. It takes people to risk things to move anything forward. My sort of, credo, is: I heard it once and it stuck. I want people who happen to be trans to be able to pursue whatever they want. To see people, not only surviving but really having a good
life, doing what they want, that is important. We want to be able to tell
our friends and our family: “I’m trans,” and they go:
“great, what are your pronouns?” (dramatic orchestra music) (operatic baritone singing) Personally, I want to make sure that I’m very, very prepared, and if I can help anybody else, know what they need to know coming out so that there is lots of
positive representation of trans performers, so that people can keep getting employed, so that they don’t have
to give up their passion for their authentic life. I want to be able to show opera companies or performing arts companies, that, just by coming in and
being extremely prepared over-coaching everything. If they had only had one experience with a trans performer, if they’ve only had one
experience with a trans person, that it is positive. That’s what drives me. (operatic baritone singing)