Setting aside all political, social justice, considerations, what puzzles me is simply the issue of voice type. How does a trans person become a baritone? Plus, should the press release have referred to Lucia Lucas as a "her"? In any case, here is a clip from YouTube of Lucia Lucas singing an excerpt from Falstaff:The Tulsa Opera has this week announced American transgender baritone Lucia Lucas in the title role of Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’ for their 2018-2019 season – set to make her the first trans woman in history to perform a principal role on an American operatic stage.“Making history, Tulsa Opera presents baritone, Lucia Lucas in her American operatic debut as a transgender woman …” Tulsa Opera Artistic Director, Tobias Picker has said.“Lucia Lucas’ appearance here will mark the first time a trans woman has performed a principal role on the operatic stage in the United States … it’s a testament to our company’s commitment to casting without regard to ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation,” he has said.Lucia has previously performed with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Il Teatro Regio, Daegu Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Santa Barbara, Sacramento Opera – and as a permanent member of the Staatstheatre Karlsruhe in Germany.
The role of Don Giovanni poses some issues for any singer, I would imagine. The character of the archetypal seducer, who at the end refuses to repent and is dragged down to hell, is even more complex in our current climate. I would guess that what would be particularly tricky to get across now is that Don Giovanni has a charming side to his character. He is not just a bad, evil person.