Music and Concept by Laura Kaminsky
Libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed
Original Film by Kimberly Reed
AOP PRODUCTION AVAILABLE FOR TOURING
As One is a chamber opera in which two voices—Hannah after (mezzo-soprano) and Hannah before (baritone)—share the part of a sole transgender protagonist. Fifteen songs comprise the three-part narrative; with empathy and humor, they trace Hannah’s experiences from her youth in a small town to her college years—and finally traveling alone to a different country, where she realizes some truths about herself.
Since its AOP premiere in 2014, it has received over two dozen new productions making it the most widely-produced contemporary opera in North America in 2016/17 and 2017/18 (OPERA America Magazine).
Duration 75' / no intermission
Commission As One was 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.
Premiere September 4, 2014; Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY; American Opera Projects; Steven Osgood, conductor; Ken Cazan, director.
Roles (2) Hannah Before · baritone ; Hannah After · mezzo-soprano
Instrumentation string quartet
Publisher Bill Holab Music / Staged performances of this work require licensing through the publisher.
Official website: www.asoneopera.com. Includes list of past and upcoming performances, organizations that support the transgender community, guidelines for marketing, and more.
“A piece that haunts and challenges its audience with questions about identity, authenticity, compassion and the human desire for self-love and peace.”
"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
"…A transgender story with power, passion... “As One” has a power all its own. It is the power of intimate revelation... touch(es) the audience — with the emotional impact of an affecting story about a child born into the wrong body. ... beautiful lyrical moments... as uplifting as any operatic ending could be."
"‘As One serves as effective monodrama, subversive duet … a thoughtful and substantial piece as well as that rarest of operatic commodities — a story that lends itself to dramatization in music. … an insightful text that avoids the pitfall, all too easy with this material, of becoming sanctimonious. … effective, direct music … "
—The Washington Post