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Metro Weekly

Doug Rule

Taking the Lead

Michael Fabiano, One of opera's most in-demand tenors, is making his Washington National Opera debut in Carmen.

“I CAME OUT PRIVATELY TO MY friends and my family when I was 21. But a large part of my industry did not allow me, or kind of rejected me, coming out for a long time,” says opera singer Michael Fabiano. “It seems a little odd to people. ‘You say the arts? What are you talking about? The arts must be one of the most gay-friendly verticals in the world.’ And in large part, that’s true.”

But the opera and classical worlds are more tradition-minded and conservative than other genres. All the more so for those singers who aspire to play leading roles. “I’m a leading artist, who sings leading tenor roles, that are historically known as strong warrior-type men, or romantic men, that fall madly in love with one woman,” says Fabiano. “I would say there was a lot of resistance in the first five to ten years of my career to being openly gay, because of the kind of undercurrent of people resisting hiring me…

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