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25 March 2021

Holden Madagame (1990 - ) opera tenor

 Madgame was raised in Michigan, trained as a mezzo soprano at the Michigan School of Music, and then moved to Berlin as a third of the world’s opera is in Germany. 

By 2013 Madgama knew that he had to transition. He researched what effect testosterone would have on a trained singing voice and found very little information, and what there was suggested that it would damage his career. But he had to do it anyway. A year after starting testosterone, he had top surgery in Bangkok. He rebuilt his repertoire, this time as a tenor. He applied to the Glynbourne Academy which offers courses for opera singers not on the standard track. They helped him to sort out a vocal technique, especially in mixing head and chest voice. 

Holden has become an accomplished tenor both as a soloist and in chorus. He continue to live in Germany and has sung with Passaggio Oper, Fulham Opera, Gerhart Hauptmann Theater in Görlitz, and the Brandenburgisches Konzertorchester.

  • Holden Madagame. “Holden Madagame: The trans opera singer who went from mezzo soprano
    to tenor”. The Independent,4 December 2017. Online.
  • Lara Moehlman. “Registering change: A trans opera singer’s risky decision to follow his dreams”. Michigan Radio, Mar 14, 2018. Online.
  • Michael Cooper. “Transgender Opera Singers Find Their Voices”. New York Times, July 11, 2019. Online.

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