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Three California Opera singers take enormous risks to live their authentic lives

Oct 10, 2019

From left to right: Lucia Lucas, Elliot Franks and Breanna Sinclairé. (Photos by Josh New, courtesy of Lamplighters and JP Lor)

Despite a long history of opera playing gender games, with women singing "trouser roles" as young male characters, and both female and male roles were sometimes sung by castrati, "opera is still a very gendered profession," states Elliott Franks. 

Franks is one of three transgender opera singers from California who share their stories in this podcast from KQED's The California Report Magazine, when they spoke with Chloe Veltman, Arts and Culture reporter and host.

They talk about how hormones impact the voice, not just physical characteristics.  They also talk about how opera companies are dealing with diversity and inclusivity, and how they've risked their careers for the art they love and the authentic lives they choose to live. 

Read the Story...Listen to the podcast

Read this New York Times article Transgender Opera Singers Find Their Voices.  You'll meet four singers and hear their stories.