TROUSER ROLES | En travesti

- 20 February 2014

Women have played men on the operatic stage since the beginnings of opera, but only relatively recently has there been a move towards theatrical realism. Two trouser-wearing mezzos, Sarah Connolly and Helen Sherman, talk to Robert Hugill.

The hero walks on to the stage, looking dashing but dishevelled in a military uniform. His body language says it all, and then he opens his mouth. He turns out to be a she, and the role is en travesti.

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