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If you look at the listings of the major orchestras in America you will see two things in common; very few of them are programming major pieces by women composers, and almost none have a woman on the podium. Despite the abundance of wonderful compositions by women, the world of classical music has been, for centuries, a man’s world.

Breanna Sinclairé, professional opera singer

The first trans woman in the opera program at San Francisco Conservatory

Professional opera singer Breanna Sinclairé was raised in Baltimore, and was encouraged to sing in the church choir and listen to recordings of Jessye Norman, Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price. She began her transition during her senior year at the California Institute of the Arts, setting her sights on singing the lead role in Carmen. 

After graduation from CalArts, Breanna received her Masters from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and was the first transwoman of the opera program. Like many trans people, particularly trans women of color, Sinclaire struggled with housing insecurity and was homeless for a time while working toward her Masters Degree. 

 In June 2015, Sinclairé made history as the first transgender woman to sing the national anthem at a professional sporting event, when she sang at a game between the Oakland As and the San Diego Padres. She made her debut with San Francisco Symphony on December 31, 2018 as the first trans singer to perform with the orchestra.

Donde Lieta Usci from Puccini's La Bohème; Opera Singer Breanna Sinclairé and Pianist Ron Valentino