Apparently people who are presumed to know so much about opera that other people actually pay them to express their opinions, (although for how much longer? are newspapers in the rest of the First world in the kind of trouble ours are? I digress.)
Apparently some who purportedly possess sufficient expertise on the subject of opera to be professional critics are under the impression that those playing trouser roles are intended to be convincingly manly en travesti.
Trouser roles were intended to grant wealthy or aristocratic dogs in the audience in covered-up societies to ogle the female form in tight knickers and fitted, leg-revealing hose.
The original Sophie and her Knight of the Rose:
(That last one is of the magnificent Alice Coote, also known for trouser roles who is also done wrong by costumers and wiggers ['zat a word?] much of the time.)
An interesting blog post on the subject of trouser roles.
(By the way, this:
... is a beautiful woman by any measure.