As One


Music by Laura Kaminsky
Libretto by Mark Campbell & Kimberly Reed
Film by Kimberly Reed

As One is a chamber opera in which two voices—Hannah younger (mezzo-soprano) and Hannah older (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. 

The creators of As One have made its story accessible in words and music; and that the journey of its transgender protagonist toward self-fulfillment is something everyone can relate to and understand. 

For further information about how to discuss transgender issues, go to: www.glaad.org/transgender/transfaq 

Sung in English

Friday, April 12 8 pm
Sunday, April 14 2 pm
Tuesday, April 16 1:30 pm
Thursday, April 18 8 pm
Friday, April 19 8 pm

Kentucky Opera Center for Cultural Health

Conductor

Alexandra Enyart

Director

Robert Barry Fleming

Cast

Hannah (older)

Heather Jones

Hannah (younger)

Michael Kelly

Synopsis

Warning – the following contains spoilers about the plot

Content Warning 

As One contains a scene of violence—song number #13, “Out of nowhere”—that may be disturbing to some people. The scene lasts approximately 8 minutes and is followed by a satisfying finale depicting the joy of trans self-realization. 

Local, Regional & National Community Organizations & Resources 

Part I

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.

Part II

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…”

Part III

“Norway.” In this extended aria, Hannah finds, in nature, solitude, and self-reflection, the simple yet surprising equation that will help her achieve happiness.