On the face of it, the opera and drag might not seem to have much in common. But in fact, cross-dressing and gender fluidity have been part of both art forms for as long as they have been in existence.

That’s why it made sense when the San Francisco Opera reached out to Heklina, one of the Bay Area’s preeminent drag artists and the owner of Oasis nightclub in SOMA, about collaborating on an event.

“Some of the first drag queens were in opera,” Heklina says. “So I’m really excited to see the singers in the context of Oasis.”

Our video delves into the shared history of the two art forms, and captures the spirit of Oasis and SF Opera’s one-time, pop-up drag opera soiree, held at Oasis on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016.


For more about the connection between opera and drag, read Charlise Tiee’s recent article for KQED Arts.


Chloe Veltman

Chloe Veltman is senior arts editor at KQED.



Claudia Escobar

Tropical latin visual story teller extraordinaire! bread maker apprentice.

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