Lukas Book, a transgender baritone

Lukas Book, a transgender baritone

I expected the most difficult thing about transitioning to be feeling like I was missing out, or feeling pressure to speed things up and get back in the game. But because the pandemic struck and prevented so many of us from singing, I did not feel the same urgency and that meant I could take things slow—and a slow, steady transition has been key to my success.

Formerly a mezzo-soprano who lived as Mrs Liz, Lucas Bouk medically transitioned with testosterone during the COVID-19 pandemic and makes these observations as he resumes his career as a baritone. In fact, on April 30, 2022, a year after his voice changed, he sang with Teatro Grattacielo his first full operatic role: Masetto in “Don Giovanni” with Teatro Grattacielo in Syros, Greece.

Mr. Bouk is returning back to Teatro Grattacielo on June 2023, this time to sing the title role in W.A.Mozart Don Giovanni, at the Riverside Theater in NYC.

In 2021 I could see that my voice was going to come out of this okay—and not just okay, but as good as ever. Still, during the first 6 months, there were moments when I was trying to sing simple Italian art songs and I was having trouble even matching pitch. It took a good nine months to retrain my ear, solidify reading music in bass clef, and to feel comfortable with my new instrument.

I want to sing the great roles of the traditional canon (like Don Giovanni!, but also Schaunard, Papageno, Guglielmo, Mercutio…) and work with living composers to bring new operas to life. I love old beautiful operas and I also love really challenging, intricate new music… I want to keep traveling, seeing the US, singing with wonderful regional companies (like Opera Steamboat or Lyric Opera of the North where I just performed As One). I lived in Berlin for a few years and would love to return there as well. Mostly, I want to spend more time on stage and singing , because that has always been where I feel most alive.

Photo Credit: Karjaka Studios 2022

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Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation

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