AS_ONE full credits banner.jpg
 

THU | MAY 30, 2019
8:00 PM
(Gaissert / Kelly)

SAT | JUN 01, 2019
9:00 PM
(Hunter / WILLIAMS)

TUE | JUN 04, 2019
8:00 PM
(Hunter / WILLIAMS)

THU | JUN 06, 2019
8:00 PM
(Gaissert / Kelly)


Synopsis / Artists / Media

Since its 2014 Brooklyn premiere by American Opera Projects, As One has become the most performed opera in the U.S. and Canada written in the 21st century. Kaufman Music Center is proud to bring As One back to New York in a new co-production with American Opera Projects and New York City Opera that joins the citywide celebrations that mark the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and a half-century of LGBTQ+ liberation.

In As One, two voices share the role of the sole transgender protagonist, Hannah, in this moving and often funny story that follows her journey to self truth. With empathy and humor, As One traces Hannah’s experiences from her youth in a small town to her college years on the West Coast, and finally to Norway where she is surprised at what she learns about herself.

Presented by Kaufman Music Center in association with New York City Opera and American Opera Projects


Blythe Gaissert mezzo-soprano Hannah after   Blythe Gaissert has established herself as a fresh and exciting artist with "a voice that is pure, powerful, and appealing, with a stage presence to match." (Denver Post). Recent operatic engagements include Hannah in  As One  with the San Diego Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Colorado and BAM, the role of Walker Loats in Mikael Karlsson’s  The Echo Drift  at the Prototype Festival in NYC, Sadie in Ricky Ian Gordon's  Morning Star  with On Site Opera, Robert Paterson’s  CAPTCHA  with the American Modern Ensemble at Carnegie's Weill Hall and covering both the title-role and Martha in the new Peter Sellars staging of John Adams’ dramatic oratorio  The Gospel According to the Other Mary  with The Los Angeles Philharmonic both in the US and on tour to London, Paris and Lucerne. Other recent credits include Siegrune in  Die Walküre  and the Berio  Folk Songs , both with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Ravel’s  Trois Poèmes de Stefan Mallarmé  and Copland  American Songs  with the Sarasota Orchestra, and the title role in  The Rape of Lucretia  with the Aldeburgh Festival. Upcoming performances include  As One  for Opera Memphis and Opera Columbus and Hänsel in  Hänsel und Gretel  for San Diego Opera.

Blythe Gaissert
mezzo-soprano
Hannah after

Blythe Gaissert has established herself as a fresh and exciting artist with "a voice that is pure, powerful, and appealing, with a stage presence to match." (Denver Post). Recent operatic engagements include Hannah in As One with the San Diego Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Opera Colorado and BAM, the role of Walker Loats in Mikael Karlsson’s The Echo Drift at the Prototype Festival in NYC, Sadie in Ricky Ian Gordon's Morning Star with On Site Opera, Robert Paterson’s CAPTCHA with the American Modern Ensemble at Carnegie's Weill Hall and covering both the title-role and Martha in the new Peter Sellars staging of John Adams’ dramatic oratorio The Gospel According to the Other Mary with The Los Angeles Philharmonic both in the US and on tour to London, Paris and Lucerne. Other recent credits include Siegrune in Die Walküre and the Berio Folk Songs, both with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Ravel’s Trois Poèmes de Stefan Mallarmé and Copland American Songs with the Sarasota Orchestra, and the title role in The Rape of Lucretia with the Aldeburgh Festival. Upcoming performances include As One for Opera Memphis and Opera Columbus and Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel for San Diego Opera.

Briana Elyse Hunter mezzo-soprano Hannah after   Known for her stage craft and savvy artistry, Briana Elyse Hunter has been seen on numerous stages in both standard and contemporary works. Upcoming engagements include a return to the Glimmerglass Festival in the role of the Mother in Jeanine Tesori’s world première of  Blue . Her other roles include Deedee Reyes in  The Last American Hammer ; Pvt. Stanton ( An American Soldier ), Gertrude Stein ( 27 ), Arsemenes ( Xerxes ), Flora ( La traviata ), Jo ( Little Women ),  Carmen  (title role), Ruggiero ( Alcina ), Giulietta ( Les contes d’Hoffmann ), Wolke ( La fanciulla del West ), Lucinda ( Cold Mountain ), Ottavia ( L’incoronazion di Poppea ), Rachel ( Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Line to Freedom ) and Carmen ( La tragédie de Carmen ). She has worked with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Michigan Opera Theater, Glimmerglass Festival, Santa Fe Opera, El Paso Opera, Knoxville Opera, Sarasota Opera, and American Opera Projects and has worked under the baton of Joseph Colaneri, John DeMain, Stephen Lord, Paul Nadler, Steven Osgood and Robert Tweten. Ms Hunter has been honored by the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Lotte Lenya Competition and holds degrees from Davidson College and Manhattan School of Music.

Briana Elyse Hunter
mezzo-soprano
Hannah after

Known for her stage craft and savvy artistry, Briana Elyse Hunter has been seen on numerous stages in both standard and contemporary works. Upcoming engagements include a return to the Glimmerglass Festival in the role of the Mother in Jeanine Tesori’s world première of Blue. Her other roles include Deedee Reyes in The Last American Hammer; Pvt. Stanton (An American Soldier), Gertrude Stein (27), Arsemenes (Xerxes), Flora (La traviata), Jo (Little Women), Carmen (title role), Ruggiero (Alcina), Giulietta (Les contes d’Hoffmann), Wolke (La fanciulla del West), Lucinda (Cold Mountain), Ottavia (L’incoronazion di Poppea), Rachel (Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Line to Freedom) and Carmen (La tragédie de Carmen). She has worked with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Michigan Opera Theater, Glimmerglass Festival, Santa Fe Opera, El Paso Opera, Knoxville Opera, Sarasota Opera, and American Opera Projects and has worked under the baton of Joseph Colaneri, John DeMain, Stephen Lord, Paul Nadler, Steven Osgood and Robert Tweten. Ms Hunter has been honored by the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Lotte Lenya Competition and holds degrees from Davidson College and Manhattan School of Music.

Michael Kelly baritone Hannah before   Praised as “expressive and dynamic” and “vocally splendid,” the American baritone has performed with opera and orchestral companies in wide-ranging repertoire of many styles and periods. He is equally at home in opera, concert, recital, cabaret and musical theater. Recently, Michael was heard as Fred in  Kiss Me Kate  (St. Petersburg Opera), in Bernstein’s  Mass (Mostly Mozart Festival),  Messiah  (Seattle Symphony),  The Last Rose  by David Del Tredici (Symphony Space),  Songs, Drones and Refrains of Death  by George Crumb (New World Symphony),  Zabur  by Mohammed Fairouz (Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium),  Die Schöne Müllerin  (Symphony Space), recitals in Carnegie Hall with the Mimesis Ensemble, Ganz Hall, the Neue Galerie and the Kennedy Center. Michael has collaborated in recital with celebrated pianists Kathleen Kelly, Malcolm Martineau, Spencer Myer, Jonathan Ware, and Brian Zeger. Mr. Kelly has also won prizes in several prominent competitions, including first prizes in the Poulenc Competition and Joy in Singing. He can be heard on recordings for Naxos and eOne of world premieres by composers Mohammed Fairouz and David Del Tredici, and seen in the documentary  Secret Music  about the life and compositions of Del Tredici. A frequent collaborator with living composers, Michael is also the curator for the newly released baritone volume of art songs for NewMusicShelf’s  Anthology of New Music . A graduate of the Eastman School and Juilliard, Michael is the founder of SongFusion, a NY based art song ensemble. Michael previously performed in  As One  at Opera Idaho.

Michael Kelly
baritone
Hannah before

Praised as “expressive and dynamic” and “vocally splendid,” the American baritone has performed with opera and orchestral companies in wide-ranging repertoire of many styles and periods. He is equally at home in opera, concert, recital, cabaret and musical theater. Recently, Michael was heard as Fred in Kiss Me Kate (St. Petersburg Opera), in Bernstein’s Mass(Mostly Mozart Festival), Messiah (Seattle Symphony), The Last Rose by David Del Tredici (Symphony Space), Songs, Drones and Refrains of Death by George Crumb (New World Symphony), Zabur by Mohammed Fairouz (Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium), Die Schöne Müllerin (Symphony Space), recitals in Carnegie Hall with the Mimesis Ensemble, Ganz Hall, the Neue Galerie and the Kennedy Center. Michael has collaborated in recital with celebrated pianists Kathleen Kelly, Malcolm Martineau, Spencer Myer, Jonathan Ware, and Brian Zeger. Mr. Kelly has also won prizes in several prominent competitions, including first prizes in the Poulenc Competition and Joy in Singing. He can be heard on recordings for Naxos and eOne of world premieres by composers Mohammed Fairouz and David Del Tredici, and seen in the documentary Secret Music about the life and compositions of Del Tredici. A frequent collaborator with living composers, Michael is also the curator for the newly released baritone volume of art songs for NewMusicShelf’s Anthology of New Music. A graduate of the Eastman School and Juilliard, Michael is the founder of SongFusion, a NY based art song ensemble. Michael previously performed in As One at Opera Idaho.

Jorell Williams baritone Hannah before   Jorell Williams is an American operatic baritone with a wide variety of experience from standard repertoire to contemporary works. Praised for his “magnificent, rich-toned” baritone (The New York Times), highlights of Mr. Williams 2018-19 season include the American premiere of Frank London’s Cuban-Yiddish Opera  Hatuey: Memory of Fire  (produced by Music-Theatre Group and Peak Performances), with returns to Victory Hall Opera in Menotti’s  The Medium , and Finger Lakes Opera in  La bohème . Jorell has performed as a young artist with the Santa Fe Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Caramoor Bel Canto Program, Opera North, the Steans Institute of Music at the Ravinia Festival, Songfest-Los Angeles, Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Westchester Vocal Institute. Concert engagements for Mr. Williams include Faure’s  Requiem  with Juneau Symphony Orchestra, Ginastera’s  Estancia  with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra,  Dvořák in America  with South Dakota Symphony, Jennifer Higdon’s  Dooryard Bloom  with the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey, and Brahms’  Ein Deutsches Requiem  with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra. Jorell is a recipient of the 2018 Rochester Classical Idol XII Top Prize and Audience Choice awards, and garners top awards from the Gerda Lissner International Competition, Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, The American Prize, Serge Koussevitzky Foundation, David Adams Art Song Competition, The American Traditions Competition, Civic Morning Musicals Foundation, the National Association of Negro Musicians, and the Liberace Foundation.

Jorell Williams
baritone
Hannah before

Jorell Williams is an American operatic baritone with a wide variety of experience from standard repertoire to contemporary works. Praised for his “magnificent, rich-toned” baritone (The New York Times), highlights of Mr. Williams 2018-19 season include the American premiere of Frank London’s Cuban-Yiddish Opera Hatuey: Memory of Fire (produced by Music-Theatre Group and Peak Performances), with returns to Victory Hall Opera in Menotti’s The Medium, and Finger Lakes Opera in La bohème. Jorell has performed as a young artist with the Santa Fe Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Caramoor Bel Canto Program, Opera North, the Steans Institute of Music at the Ravinia Festival, Songfest-Los Angeles, Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Westchester Vocal Institute. Concert engagements for Mr. Williams include Faure’s Requiem with Juneau Symphony Orchestra, Ginastera’s Estancia with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra, Dvořák in America with South Dakota Symphony, Jennifer Higdon’s Dooryard Bloom with the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey, and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra. Jorell is a recipient of the 2018 Rochester Classical Idol XII Top Prize and Audience Choice awards, and garners top awards from the Gerda Lissner International Competition, Schuyler Foundation for Career Bridges, Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, The American Prize, Serge Koussevitzky Foundation, David Adams Art Song Competition, The American Traditions Competition, Civic Morning Musicals Foundation, the National Association of Negro Musicians, and the Liberace Foundation.

 

CAST
Blythe Gaissert, Hannah after
Briana Elyse Hunter, Hannah after
Michael Kelly, Hannah before
Jorell Williams, Hannah before

MUSIC DIRECTOR
STEVEN OSGOOD

STAGE DIRECTOR
MATT GRAY

QUARTET
Andrea Shultz  & Yana Goichman, violin
Daniel Panner, viola    
Mark Shuman, cello 

MUSIC AND CONCEPT

Laura Kaminsky

LIBRETTO

Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed

FILM

Kimberly Reed

SUNG IN

English

RUNNING TIME

75 minutes

Commissioned and developed by

American Opera Projects
in part with funds from OPERA America's Opera Discovery Grants for Female Composers Program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works.

By arrangement with

Bill Holab Music

As One challenges us to ponder questions of authenticity, identity, compassion, and self-love
— The Chicago Tribune