When opera singer Adrian Tamburni came out, he said he was surrounded by support from those he worked with in the arts.
“I don’t think being gay is a liability in the arts, I think it’s quite an asset to have,” he told the Star Observer.
“I’ve been blessed as an opera singer to work with incredible gay singers who are so inspiring, and many of their journeys haven’t been as smooth as mine.”
Tamburni began singing with the Victorian Boys Choir at the age of five, and has since gone on to become a multi-award winning artist, through his work as an operatic soloist with Opera Australia, Melbourne Australia, and West Australian Opera.
He said his experience with sexuality has been one of privilege, and that culturally and linguistically diverse men in the arts from different countries face worse hardships.
“I’ve worked with people from all over the world, in places where homosexuality isn’t culturally looked upon favourably,” he said.
“Therefore being an entertainer who’s gay in those cultures is frowned upon and lots of people have to stay in the closet to remain successful.
“It’s been smooth sailing for me comparatively – I have a sixteen year old daughter who didn’t really care when I came out, she told me she didn’t care and that she still loved me.”
In May, Tamburni will perform in La Bohème, a production he said he was fortunate enough to be a part of during its premiere production in Melbourne five years ago.
“The show holds a really special place in my heart, because I was there from day one,” he said.
“I really feel like part of me is in this show, in my hometown, which is amazing.”
The opera La Bohème will be one of three productions comprising Opera Australia’s autumn season in Melbourne this year.
For its 60th anniversary programming, La Bohème will be accompanied by a brand new Australian production of The Pearlfishers and for the first time, the rare masterpiece Luisa Miller.
“La Bohème is a quintessential opera, it’s the most famous and best first opera to got to,” Tamburni said.
“It’s so famous that Baz Luhrmann quotes it in Moulin Rouge – it’s nearly 100 years later and the piece seems to have infiltrated our artistic psyche.”
As a gay performer, Tamburni believes art can be an invaluable way to express one’s identity.
“I think as an artist, to use any medium as a means of communication and expressing oneself is important, especially in the LGBTI community,” he said.
“It’s a really great bridge, where we as gay individuals can express ourselves to the broader community.”
Opera Australia’s autumn season in Melbourne will run from May 3 to 28. To find tickets for La Bohème, The Pearlfishers, or Luisa Miller, visit the Opera Australia website.