The American Opera Projects production of AS ONE is available on tour. The singers depict the experiences of AS ONE’s sole transgender protagonist, Hannah, as she endeavors to resolve the discord between her self and the outside world. Tours of the new production of this beautiful and important work include educational and community outreach. [images of the new production.]
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, string quartet and film, 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.
The premiere recording of AS ONE debuted at #3 on Billboard Traditional Classical Albums chart. In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, Bright Shiny Things has released AS ONE [BSTC-0127] featuring the original cast that premiered the work at BAM: Sasha Cooke, Kelly Markgraf and the Fry Street Quartet. Gramophone cites the “radiant performance” of the artists, and the Fry Street Quartet’s “elegance and subtlety” while calling the CD “A remarkable achievement.”
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).
“As One tells a transgender story with power, passion” [headline]
“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.”
Los Angeles Times
“By moving beyond the daily news, “As One” approaches admirable universality.”
Los Angeles Times
“As One makes the character’s coming to terms with her identity a poignant coming-of-age story just about every audience member can relate to. Its universality is key to As One’s becoming the hottest new American opera of recent years. It challenges us to ponder questions of authenticity, identity, compassion and self-love. And it does so without preachiness.”
—The Chicago Tribune
“As One is the hottest title in opera right now, at least among the titles written in the last 100 years. The musical tale of a transgender woman’s personal evolution is somehow right on time—an accomplished bit of art-making, with considerable entertainment value, that thrusts itself smack into the current political and social discourse.”
—The Denver Post
“The real secret of the opera’s success… is that under everything lays a winning coming-of-age story. … In fact, As One is not so much an opera of ripped-out-of-the-headlines relevance than a traditional, if unconventional, love story. … In the end, As One boils down to the easily relatable condition of a person learning to love one’s self. … By moving beyond the daily news, “As One” approaches admirable universality.”
—The Los Angeles Times
“As One is everything that we hope for in contemporary opera: topical, poignant, daring, and beautifully written. “
—New York Classical Review
“As One forces you to think, simultaneously challenging preconceptions and inspiring empathy.”
—The New York Times
“A wholly engrossing character study…achieves a luminous and absorbing effect with absolute economy of means. It is an opera producer’s dream that is also a spectator’s wonder. Ms. Kaminsky, Mr. Campbell and Ms. Reed have crafted a beautiful, informed work.”
“As One’s real longevity lies in its ability to simultaneously tell a trans story and an everyman’s story.”
—San Francisco Classical Voice
“…An attractively scored, affecting 80-minute work.”
—The Mercury News