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Parents' Guide to

The Sound of Identity

By John Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Trans opera singer defies norms in candid, sincere docu.

Movie NR 2021 90 minutes
The Sound of Identity Poster Image

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Even though the task seems impossible in the United States, Lucia Lucas wants to do her part to save opera. The main focus and star of The Sound of Identity, Lucas is captivating and commands the screen even when she's not singing. She's open, candid, and in a way plain, which is to say, plainly comfortable in her own skin, comfortable in a role no woman has ever played before (let alone trans woman), and comfortable in the various ways her company and the Tulsa Opera could be marketing their show. Lucas acknowledges that "being trans is such a small part of who I am," but also recognizes that her playing Don Giovanni fascinatingly coincides with her own gender identity. Given that Don Giovanni is a "master of disguise" and at times disguises himself as women during the opera, Lucas must wrestle with inhabiting and embodying the role of a man (often times staying in character during rehearsal) who sometimes performs as a woman, a kind of performance and performing Lucas knows all too well.

She later suggests that "gender is all performance," evoking the (early) ideas of gender studies and feminist theorist Judith Butler. And even still, Lucas shares through experienced tears that "if you're good, people will like [the art] ... but you can't make everyone like you."

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