Music by Laura Kaminsky
Libretto by Mark Campbell & Kimberly Reed
Film by Kimberly Reed
With humor and empathy, As One chronicles Hannah’s inner journey as she endeavors to resolve the discord between herself and the outside world. Two singers, a baritone and a mezzo-soprano, share the part of the sole transgender protagonist Hannah in this most produced contemporary opera in the world. The three scenes trace Hannah’s struggle to measure up to expectations, her search for her identity, and finally making peace with herself and the world around her.
Sung in English
Friday, April 12 8pm
Sunday, April 14 2pm
Additional performances to be announced
Kentucky Opera Center for Cultural Health
Warning – the following contains spoilers about the plot
In “Paper route,” Hannah rides around her suburban neighborhood delivering newspapers and revels in her more feminine impulses. Her youthful challenges in conforming to gender norms are related in “Cursive,” “Sex ed,” “Entire of itself ” and “Perfect boy”—in such disparate subjects as handwriting, sex, a John Donne poem, and exemplary male behavior. However, in “To know,” she discovers that she is not alone in the world and seeks understanding about herself at a local library.
During her college years, Hannah struggles with her divided existence in “Two cities,” but also encounters the joy of being perceived as she wishes in “Three words.” In “Close,” she has made the decision to undergo hormone therapy and briefly suffers its vertiginous effects before feeling at one with her own body. “Home for the holidays,” “A Christmas story” and “Dear son” all occur around the Christmas season and relate Hannah’s growing distance to her family and her past, which is countered by an immediate connection with a stranger in a local café. In “Out of nowhere,” Hannah escapes a harrowing assault that prompts her to find a link to the larger community and end her self-imposed alienation. Reacting to the conflicting voices in her head, she finally resolves to escape in the fragment, “I go on to…”
“Norway.” In this extended aria, Hannah finds, in nature, solitude, and self-reflection, the simple yet surprising equation that will help her achieve happiness.