Sometimes, you have to bend the truth to sell an opera. From the initial casting call, New York City Opera has been advertising their new Stonewall opera, with libretto by Mark Campbell and music by Iain Bell, as the first opera commissioned by a major company to feature a trans character specifically written for a trans singer. It’s a claim that’s been picked up by outlets from OperaWire to the New Yorker, but while the larger claim may be narrowly true, the specific way the role has been cast in this production is a travesty, not a triumph.Read More
All right! So you've questioned your gender, tried a bunch of alternatives with your friends, and settled on a new name for your new self. Now you’re ready to take the next step: Officially changing your legal name. Congratulations! A name change is a routine legal procedure that thousands of people do every year in this country alone. Follow the twelve steps outlined below, and you’ll be on your way in no time!Read More
By now I'm sure most of you are aware of the problems with Roland Emmerich’s upcoming Stonewall movie. It whitewashes history and erases the contributions of trans women of color, putting a cis white gay man front and center instead of the historical people who were actually the first to fight back against the police*. It perpetuates the abhorrent transphobic myth that trans women are ~really~ “men in dresses” by casting a cis man in the role of Marsha P Johnson. Along with cutting Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, the IMDB page for the film has no roles listed for several other pivotal women of color, including Sylvia Rivera and Stormé DeLaverie.
This film, in short, is an insult both to history and to some of the people most vulnerable to oppressive violence. Do not see this movie. Tell your friends not to see this movie. Don't reward racist, transmisogynistic lies.Read More
The stage is lit with eerie blue and purple light. The music is tense and skittish. A crowd of French aristocrats looks on as two ghostly figures — the ghosts of Louis XVI and Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, to be precise — draw swords in a fit of sexual jealousy. After considerable back and forth, the King gains the upper hand and plunges his sword into the body of Beaumarchais. There is a moment of stunned silence as the onlookers crane to see whether he's going to make it. And then, quite abruptly, Beaumarchais straightens up, pulls the sword out, and giddily proclaims "We're all dead!", whereupon the entire company break out in eerie, cackling laughter and begin stabbing each other with playful abandon. So it goes in Ghosts of Versailles, John Corigliano and William Hoffman's "grand opera buffa" which had its West-coast première last Saturday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.Read More