A story about identity, authenticity and compassion. Two voices—Hannah before and Hannah after—share the transgender journey. With empathy and humor, we experience Hannah’s youthful challenges in a small town, her struggles with family, her discovery of the larger trans community, and her inspiring quest to find her one true self. Based in part on the life of acclaimed filmmaker Kimberly Reed, AS ONE’s rich libretto and evocative melodies make for an unforgettable theater experience.
In this chamber opera for two singers and string quartet by composer Laura Kaminsky, librettist Mark Campbell and librettist/filmmaker Kimberly Reed, Hannah knows there are things about her that society says she must hide… the thrill of a wearing a blouse, her expressive penmanship, other impulses that society says are wrong. Then one day, she hears the word that describes who she is. The real word. The magic word. Take the journey with Hannah from a her youth in a small town, through college and finally to a place where she learns to accept herself for who she is.
Transgender rights is a hot button topic in today’s news. As One strips the issue bare to one human being’s personal and emotional story in an effective staging with a beautiful score. Two voices, a baritone and a mezzo-soprano perform this 75-minute intimate chamber opera featuring the Fry Street Quartet and film projections. In English with English supertitles.
AS ONE premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and has been produced by the Long Beach Opera, Opera Colorado, Pittsburgh Opera, Seattle Opera (among others). Upcoming productions include runs in Anchorage, Boston and San Diego.
In addition to the American Opera Projects singers and the Fischoff-winning Fry Street Quartet, tour participants can include American composer Laura Kaminsky, librettist/filmmaker Kimberly Reed (Prodigal Sons), and co-librettist Mark Campbell (Silent Night, which won the Pulitzer for Kevin Puts).
"The real secret of the opera’s success... is that under everything lays a winning coming-of-age story."
Los Angeles Times
"In short, As One, both inspiring and groundbreaking, innovative yet relatable, is built to travel, and deserves to. It’s also a gift: to college music departments hungry for work that doesn’t require expensive staging but that offers juicy roles to young singers who want to stretch both musically and dramatically, and to opera companies hoping to reach untapped audiences who may be more drawn by an examination of here-and-now issues than by vengeful gods or scheming soubrettes."
“As One, which opened last weekend... proved to be a
thoughtful and substantial piece as well as that rarest of operatic commodities
— a story that lends itself to dramatization in music."
"A rhapsodizing solo viola, its range between the violins and cello, is the
ideal alter-ego for both Hannahs, the inquisitive Before and the soul-searching
After. But Kaminsky just as easily employs the full quartet to produce effusive
romanticism, flamboyance, folksiness and, in the one scene where Hannah narrowly
escapes a hate crime, harrowing harmonics. One style, appropriately enough for
this story, doesn’t fit all."
"By moving beyond the daily news, “As One” approaches admirable