In Her New Song “Gretchen,” Laverne Cox Turns Opera Into Sexy Fembot Trap Music

Not everyone gets opera. But I think when you feel it, you feel it, and sometimes it takes the right artist or the right genre or the right way that you’re introduced to it. There’s something that feels very queer about opera. I mean, there’s something so ridiculous about it and so campy and over the top. But ultimately, it’s the singing and it’s the voice. I think it’s just such beautiful music that I’m still obsessed with, and I probably will always be.

You mentioned that for some people, it takes the right artist to get into opera. Do you hope to be that person for new listeners?

That gateway artist? There are certain voices I think that have crossover appeal. Usually I think of Leontyne Price or Jessye Norman or Pavarotti or Andrea Bocelli — these are voices that usually, no matter who you are, you hear them and [you think], “This is a beautiful sound.” I mean, that Three Tenors Pavarotti moment — that was in the late ’80s, early ’90s, I think. I don’t know if there’s ever going to be a moment like that again in pop culture.

But I don’t know. If more people discover operas and they love it because of this, that would be awesome. I think it’s a beautiful art form that people should know and explore. It’s interesting because a lot of the operas that are being performed now are from the last century or two centuries ago or even older, and people don’t always relate to some of the new productions.

My boyfriend, actually, he can’t deal with ballet. He’s just a working-class dude from Long Island, but I took him to a modern production of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Met. He loves the music, actually, because I play opera all the time and I sing all the time. He gets the music, but the modern staging really was good for him. So sometimes, a modern production might help — some of those Broadway show elements that old opera heads sort of hate. Bringing a little bit of that into the opera can be helpful sometimes. And sometimes the right artist can be, too. I don’t know if I’m that artist, but if people connect then to the music, that would be a wonderful thing.