El Mes del Orgullo

Club de Ópera
June 2019

Club de Ópera: What does Pride / Pride Month mean to you?

To me, Pride Month is about inclusion and support. It’s a chance to celebrate those who got us here and also an inspiration to look forward and consider how we can be doing better for each other. In particular, I think it’s an important time to take stock and make sure we’re hearing each other’s voices

How do you feel opera has allowed the LGBTIQ+ community visibility? If anything, what else could the industry do to help even further?

The opera industry has been a haven for a lot of us, but I think we can do more to ensure that marginalized voices within the LGBTIQ+ community are being heard. For starters, I want to see more diversity represented on stage so that people in the audience can recognize themselves in the stories we’re telling. Given opera’s history with gender-bending roles, as well as the safe haven it has been for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, I think this art form is uniquely equipped to amplify a myriad of stories. I’m certain that broader representation in both voices and narratives would resonate with modern audiences.

What advice would you give LGBTIQ+-identifying young artists who might be starting out in the business?

Learn what makes you unique and develop your artistry with integrity – with the honesty of who you are. Audiences crave that kind of vulnerability and authenticity from those of us on stage. And offstage, don’t forget to build your chosen family – what I call my “logical” family, which supplements my biological family. Many of my chosen family are colleagues within the opera world, and they really help me deal with homesickness when I’m on the road. Having that kind of support will help you immensely through the ups and downs of this crazy business!

Beth Stewart