Opera that Serves
Minnesota Opera’s The Daughter of the Regiment features a highly anticipated special guest to star as the infamous Duchess of Krakenthorp: Monét X Change. Some would call Monét a triple threat, but she effortlessly exceeds this accolade. A modern visionary, Monét is a writer, singer, producer and most notably, an American drag queen and RuPaul’s Drag Race double crown winner. On the show, she performed an astonishing rendition of “Vi ravviso, o luoghi ameni” from La Sonnambula that stunned fans across the nation. Monét’s debut as The Duchess of Krakenthorp will be a milestone as her first-time performing opera in full drag. Her captivating stage presence and sultry bass vocals will keep audiences enthralled night after night.
Monét X Change will be joining the ranks of iconic figures who have portrayed The Duchess of Krakenthorp in productions of Gaetano Donizetti’s laugh-out-loud opera.
Historically, The Duchess of Krakenthorp is a non-singing cameo role that has featured a unique cast of performers, including Bea Arthur of The Golden Girls, esteemed operatic sopranos Kiri Te Kanawa and Monserrat Caballé, and perhaps most prominently, the late Supreme Court Justice and avid opera lover Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Regarding her operatic debut, Monét X Change expressed, “It honestly means the world to me. I spent many hours throughout my undergrad in a cold room with a piano, my bass aria books, and practice log awaiting a moment like this… and it’s finally here.”
Although this role does not traditionally include singing, Monét X Change is elevating the role with her own flair by performing an added aria. This expansion of the role capitalizes on the operatic training she received while studying at the Westminster Choir College of Rider University. During her time as a student, she was featured in opera productions, including The Magic Flute and La bohème. This additional musical offering, combined with her colorful personality and experience as an accomplished performer, will help bring this show-stopping role to life in a new way.
This performance will not only push the boundaries of traditional opera, but also will encourage younger generations of queer and drag performers to pursue their passions, in and out of drag. Monét X Change’s drag experience aligns with her deep appreciation for opera in a profound way. “Opera was my first love in the arts. It’s definitely how I discovered the artiste that lives in me, and drag was how I discovered my queerness,” she says. “You put those together, add a pair of 301 lashes, and you have the perfect intersection of an opera singing drag diva!”