The Gay Side Of Opera

“Gay and lesbian subtexts frequently hover beneath the surface of opera. The singer’s sex may not be the same as the sex of the character he or she is playing, while cross-dressing within plots can lead to erotic mayhem. That there should be a disparity in the way gay and straight composers have had to approach erotic subjects is ultimately a sad reflection on the normative proscriptions that have dogged social history and continue to do so. Yet opera also asserts a communality of experience that both contains and bypasses gender and sexual orientation.”