Aiden Kim Feltkamp (they/he) began his musical life at the age of 5 playing a quarter-size cello and now he champions new classical music and opera as a trans nonbinary librettist, performer, and educator. He’s currently the Emerging Composers and Diversity Director with American Composers Orchestra.
Mx. Feltkamp is passionate about diversity and inclusion, and that mission pervades every aspect of his career. He writes to explore the crevices and the intersections: the shadowy stories previously unexcavated due to the oppression of their narrators. In life and in fiction, he’s drawn to main characters who live on the margins and open our capacity for empathy by telling stories through a yet-unencountered lens. Feltkamp’s work spans from live performance reviews and interviews with classical music industry leaders to supplemental program material and editorials to poetry and libretti.
As an educator and diversity expert, he frequently consults for performing arts groups, universities, and businesses on matters of inclusion. His past collaborators include Opera America, Northwestern University, UC Riverside, Johnson & Johnson, and Fresh Ink Festival. He has served as a panelist on diversity, inclusion, and gender representation in classical music hosted by various organizations, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New Music Gathering, and the New York Opera Alliance.
In 2015, Feltkamp founded OperaRox Productions, a non-profit dedicated to elevating underrepresented artists and fostering the next generation of opera through socially relevant productions.
Before beginning his medical transition, he performed professionally as a mezzo-soprano, specializing in Baroque opera and new music. He most loved studying Baroque gesture with Drew Minter and expanding the American repertoire through collaboration with living composers. Now he trains as an operatic baritone.
He received his M.M. from the Bard College Conservatory of Music in Dawn Upshaw’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program and his B.S. in Vocal Performance from Hofstra University. He has had the honor of working with Leon Botstein, Charles Jarden, Peter Sellars, Isabel Milenski, Edda Moser, and the late Nico Castel. More than anything, Feltkamp hopes for a more equitable, more vibrant, and more compassionate future.
Articles by Aiden Feltkamp:
I realize that numbers are a bit sterile, especially for something as artistic as opera and as unique as voice, but they could be replaced with words. The challenge is...
An ideal updated system for vocal classification would serve singers, composers, and producers. The goal is to create more flexibility for singers, a more usable tool for composers, and more...
If a mezzo-soprano and a countertenor share the same range and often the same roles, then why are they separate types? And why is there an obvious gender difference?
My experience as a transgender nonbinary singer has led me to question the effectiveness of the voice type classifications that we currently have in place.