As One

Music & Concept by Laura Kaminsky

Libretto by Mark Campbell & Kimberly Reed

Film by 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 with a beautiful score illuminated by empathy and humor. Two voices, a baritone and a mezzo-soprano, share the sole protagonist role in an intimate chamber opera featuring the Hausmann Quartet. Stay for Act II, a talk-back with the cast and the creators of the opera, including Kimberly Reed, who made the renowned documentary, Prodigal Sons.

The approximate run time is 2 hours and 20 minutes - the opera is approximately 90 minutes and Act II talk-back is approximately 45 minutes.

Funding for this production has been provided, in part, by Union Bank.


Transgender Visibility in the Arts

► Reserve Your Seats

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2017; 6:30PM Reception; Program 7:15PM
ADDRESS: Diversionary theatre, 4545 Park Boulevard #101, San Diego, Ca 92116
COST: $25 per person
PARKING: Free street parking after 6pm

SDO is proud to present the opera As One, part of the dētour series which reflects topics and stories that are important to diverse communities. As One explores the journey of Hannah from her youth in a small town to a place where she learns to embrace herself and her true identity emerges. As One strips the topic of being transgender bare to one human being’s personal and emotional story with a beautiful score illuminated by empathy and humor. In this community panel discussion, we’ll join SDO’s General Director David Bennett, Diversionary Theatre's Executive Artistic Director Matt M. Morrow, and Lindsey Deaton, Founder & Artistic Director of Trans Chorus Los Angeles, as they explore transgender visibility in opera, theatre, and life as well as the important issues this visibility addresses, with an opportunity for a Q&A. Pre-reception catered by Plumeria Vegetarian Restaurant with wine and Modern Times beer.


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Meeting Turandot: Soprano, Lise Lindstrom

In a free-wheeling conversation with Dr. Nic, soprano Lise Lindstrom discusses Wagner, performance prep, acting challenges, Wozzeck and Persian classical music! Yep, it was one of those conversations: delightful, insightful, fun, and reflective of the committed professional life of one of today's most successful singers, who also happens to be one of San Diego Opera's favorite people! Enjoy! 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

As One: Stage Director, Kyle Lang

Kyle Lang has worked with the company for a few seasons now in the position of assistant director and, for The Pirates of Penzance, associate director. In this conversation with Dr. Nic he discusses his approach to the opera As One, especially the difference between preparing a standard repertoire item like Tosca or La boheme, and a relatively new opera. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Meet Mezzo-Soprano Blythe Gaissert

Along with co-cast member Kelly Markgraf, Blythe Gaissert was there at the origin of the opera As One and has some wonderful reflections about having worked on the score and played the role of Hannah After a number of times. As an avid performer of new music she has a lot to say about the evolution of new opera today, something that we're all very excited about!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Meet Baritone Kelly Markgraf

Baritone Kelly Markgraf plays the role, "Hannah Before" in the opera As One, a story of a person's transition from male to female. The opera presents Hannah as one character, but she is portrayed by two singers...a baritone and a mezzo-soprano. In this conversation with Dr. Nic he describes the opera, the role and some of the challenges that he meets in this piece as a singing actor. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

As One is Not Alone! Other LGBT-Themed Operas

The opera As One, coming up at San Diego Opera in November this year, is one of a number of LGBT-themed operas to have premiered since 2000. In this brief discussion, Dr. Nic surveys a few of them and talks about the impact these works have made on the opera industry. An opera version of Brokeback Mountain? Yup! Watch, learn and enjoy!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

As One: An Opera About Transition

On November 10th, San Diego Opera will open As One, an opera by composer Laura Kaminsky and librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed. It's an extraordinary work that will launch this season's Detour Series. In this podcast Dr. Nic talks about the power of opera in an intimate space, giving special attention to this wonderful opera that tackles a difficult and, as of this writing, especially relevant subject: growing up, understanding and living happily as a transgender person in America.

As One

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 bifurcated 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 trans 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.