More than 350 people attend opera/drag showWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
The first annual “Opera Ain’t No Drag” event, which brought two artistic worlds together, was a success, the organizer said.
“It was great that everybody could make it out. We had a really good crowd and all the performers did amazing,” said Lexi Staples, producer of the show and executive director of the Pride of Toledo Foundation, which puts on the annual Toledo Pride weekend during the summer.
The show took place Feb. 2 at the Collingwood Arts Center. Roughly 350 people attended and the proceeds of about $1,300 were split between the Pride of Toledo Foundation and Toledo Opera.
The show featured opera singers Jennifer Cresswell and Sean Cooper performing tunes from “Don Giovanni.”
Drag queens and kings Deja D. Dellataro, National Holiday, London Asia, Spacee Kadett, Orion SpanKing and Santana Romero also lip-synced popular opera songs.
“[The performers] loved it and they’re all excited for next year,” Staples said.
Suzanne Rorick, executive director of Toledo Opera, said of the show’s concept, “I thought it was a very clever way of expanding our audience and reaching out to a broader piece of the community.”
Several tickets for the Toledo Opera’s performance of “Don Giovanni” were sold at the event.
Staples also said the event helped show the Pride of Toledo Foundation’s scope.
“It’s our first real big way of saying the Pride of Toledo Foundation isn’t just Toledo Pride — that’s just one of the events that we do,” she said.
Staples, who does hair and makeup for Toledo Opera, thought of the idea for an opera/drag show in 2009 and had been working toward it since then.
“[I thought], how can we make opera seem really fun to people who haven’t experienced it before and how can we make drag seem fun to people who haven’t experienced that before?” she said.