Invisible Lesbians (Opera Edition)

[Time for some queer tango? – Patricia Petibon (Giulietta) and Michèle Losier (Nicklausse) in Offenbach’s “Les contes d’Hoffmann” Brussels/La Monnaie 2019]

In honor of Lesbian Visibility Week, here are some operatic lesbians you probably never considered as lesbians, despite all this evidence:

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White Skirt Wednesday: Lo sposo tuo è la mia germana

[The only setting – except for a soap opera – in which a perfectly reasonable line of dialogue is “Your husband is my sister”: a Vivaldi opera, of course.
It is also the only setting in which the thus informed heroine reacts by saying “Oh. What scheme is this – I am your sister’s lover?!” She then waits until the tenor (whom she is supposedly in love with)  runs off, to finally dedicate an aria of her own to her bi-curiosity overall doubts of whom she is attracted to, starting with, “I’m a little butterfly ambling back and forth between two flames: both seem beautiful.” – Vivaldi’s “Arsilda, regina di Ponto” (what is in the water in Ponto that has women in trousers flock to its queens, really?) as recorded by Federico Maria Sardelli with Modo Antiquo, 2007.]

Continue reading “White Skirt Wednesday: Lo sposo tuo è la mia germana