The High Seas of Dysphoria

Drawing on her vast experience singing classical repertoire, associate artist Lucia Lucas developed a staging concept for ‘Die Frist ist um’ from Wagner’s Der Fliegende Höllander, in collaboration with Oedipa, who produced three performances in London in summer 2016. Likening the Dutchman’s exhaustion and endless battle with the sea to lived experience of gender dysphoria, Lucia’s performance of the aria set the formidable force of Wagner’s music in a new context — the immense, self-derived power to transition.

Supported by the Artists’ International Development Fund, and with performances accompanied by Katherine Tinker, the project was an experiment in queering operatic repertoire, and bringing the repertoire into queer spaces. Following the success of this first stage, and the white-hot warmth of Lucia’s London audiences, it’s clear that the potential for queer opera is huge, and that Lucia and Oedipa will be instrumental in its future.

The Highs Seas of Dysphoria was presented in association with and at Bar Wotever, and at Milk Presents and The Glory.