Emerging, returning talent to headline Fresh Meat fest

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Groundbreaking performances by a transgender opera singer, gay ballroom champions, and a gender-bending boy band are all on tap for this year’s Fresh Meat Festival.

The festival, taking place Thursday, June 18 through Saturday, June 20, features a lineup of some of the nation’s history-making, trailblazing transgender and queer artists, said choreographer Sean Dorsey, a trans man who curates and produces the event, now in its 14th year.

“This year, we’re presenting world-class artists who are trailblazers, pioneers, and on the cutting edge of American performance,” Dorsey

said in a news release.

One of those artists is Breanna Sinclaire, who is the first transgender

woman to receive a master’s degree in the opera program from the San

Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Sinclaire, 25, with a mezzo soprano voice, was a headliner at last year’s

Trans March.

A native of Baltimore and a graduate of the esteemed Baltimore School

for the Arts, Sinclaire earned her bachelor’s of fine arts degree at the

Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts in

Valencia, California, under the tutelage of Maria Fortuna Dean and

former Cirque du Soleil star Kate Conklin. At the San Francisco

Conservatory of Music, she studied under Ruby Pleasure.

Two years ago Sinclaire moved to San Francisco after receiving a

scholarship to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Living far

away from her family, she tries to keep in contact.

“I am still in touch with my family, but for them it’s still a process. I

have not spoken to my father in six years. My mother and I are working

on our mother-daughter relationship. I got my SRS two months ago and

she is finally pulling through,” Sinclaire said, referring to sexual

reassignment surgery.

Sinclaire has performed in Mozart’s The Magic Flute , Ravel’s L’enfant

et les sortileges , Rameau’s Platee , Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess , and

Bernstein’s West Side Story . She has also been part of some special

projects in Los Angeles, at the Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theatre

(Meredith Monk’s Songs of Ascension) and at the Museum of

Contemporary Art (Zachary Sharrin’s Time Bodies ).

She was most recently seen performing as Carmen in “Melons!

Coupons!” from Carmen.

Among many people who inspire her is Jessye Norman, the native

Georgian opera singer who gained fame for her roles in Aida and Les

Troyen and became one of the most popular opera singers in the world.

“Jessye Norman has the most incredible, unique sound,” Sinclair said. “Her musicianship is on point and she is articulate and

educated.”

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Sinclaire said that she’s looking forward to her upcoming performances.

“I am so honored to be one of the chosen performers for Fresh Meat Productions,” she said. “Each

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