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Opera and the LGBTQ+ Experience

Anthony Roth Costanzo (left) and Ricky Ian Gordon
Matthew Placek and Ricky Ian Gordon
Anthony Roth Costanzo (left) and Ricky Ian Gordon
A smiling man with short dark hair wearing a blue button-down shirt and a grey blazer. He is holding a pair of eyeglasses. The word "Connections" appears on the left side of the photo in vertical letters.

Opera has always been inextricably linked to the experience of LGBTQ+ people.

From its beginnings in the Renaissance and Baroque traditions and the use of castrati to the important operas of gay composers Tchaikovsky, Poulenc, and Britten, to the increased visibility of transgender opera singers such as Lucia Lucas and Holden Madagame, the relationship between opera and queer identity is an intimate and complicated one.

Guest host Daniel Kushner delves into this relationship — and what opera can tell us about the LGBTQ+ community — in conversation with two prominent opera artists.

Arts writer Daniel J. Kushner began writing for CITY in 2015 as a contributing writer before joining the staff full-time in 2018.