February 18, 21, 24 & 26, 2017
A chamber opera for two voices and string quartet
Music & Concept by Laura Kaminsky
Libretto by Mark Campbell & Kimberly Reed
By arrangement with Bill Holab Music
In As One, a mezzo-soprano and a baritone depict the experiences of its sole transgender protagonist, Hannah, as she endeavors to resolve the discord between herself and the outside world.
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.
As One will star Pittsburgh Opera’s Resident Artists, and be performed in the intimate environs of Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters.
Commissioned and developed by American Opera Projects, As One received generous funding 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, the New York State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works, Dr. Coco Lazaroff, Lynn Loacker and Judith O. Rubin.
As One premiered at BAM Fisher Center in Brooklyn, NY in September, 2014, and has already been performed by nine different opera companies throughout the United States and beyond.
Limited capacity- Individual tickets are now on sale. You can buy single tickets now or purchase them as part of a subscription.
Season sponsor: PNC. Tuesday performance sponsor: Ambridge Regional Distribution and Manufacturing Center.
Meet the Creators event, Saturday Feb. 18th
As One composer Laura Kaminsky and co-librettists Mark Campbell & Kimberly Reed will be giving a special pre-opera talk prior to the opening night performance on Saturday, February 18th.
Hosted by Pittsburgh Opera General Director Christopher Hahn, the lively and engaging 30-minute talk starts at 7:00 PM.
Free to all Saturday ticketholders, no reservations necessary.
As explained more fully in the libretto available for free download, As One tells the story and struggle of the transgender protagonist, Hannah, as she tries to reconcile the discord between herself and the outside world. 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.
From the libretto:
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.
*Brian Vu: Hannah before
*Taylor Raven: Hannah after
Conductor: James Lesniak
Stage Director: Frances Rabalais*
Stage Manager: Cindy Knight
Set Designer: Chen-Wei Liao
Lighting Designer: Todd Nonn
* Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist
We want you to have the best experience possible at our performances!
Here are some details and resources to help. Also visit our Opera FAQs or our Accessibility page.
- Run time is 1 hour, 15 minutes, with no intermission
- Understand Every Word: Sung in English with English supertitles shown at all performances
- Study Guide for As One (PDF), created by our Education department
- Please note: there are NO Pre-Opera Talks for the Tuesday, Friday or Sunday As One performances. There is one at 7PM on Saturday, Feb. 18th, featuring creators Laura Kaminsky, Kimberly Reed and Mark Campbell, which is free to all Saturday ticketholders.
- Audio Description available at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters
- Braille Programs available at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters
- Large-Print Programs available at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters
- Broadway World - Pittsburgh Opera to Tell Transgender Story with AS ONE Chamber Opera
- City Paper - Winter Stage
- Pittsburgh Magazine - Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in February
- Don411 - Pittsburgh Opera Presents As One: The Story of a Transgender Person Named Hannah
- Pittsburgh Owl Scribe Blog: Pennsylvania Premier Takes an Operatic Look at Transgender Experience
- NEXTpittsburgh: A transgender story takes center stage at the Pennsylvania premiere of As One
- Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents: Pittsburgh Opera Premiere’s ‘As One’ Chamber Opera With Transgender Protagonist
- Pittsburgh in the Round: Artist Spotlight – Brian Vu on “As One”
- The Glassblock: The Natural and the Political: A Conversation with Laura Kaminsky and Rebecca Allan
- The Almanac: PA premiere tells the story of a transgender person named Hannah
- Pittsburgh City Paper: As One brings the story of a transgender person to opera
- 90.5 WESA: Transgender Opera, With Two Singers Portraying One Character, Comes to Pittsburgh
- Trib Live: 'As One' an intimate look into quest to find one's true self
- Pittsburgh in the Round: As One Review
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Review: Two voices shine in Pittsburgh Opera's moving transgender journey, 'As One'
- WQED: Laura Kaminsky & Kimberly Reed - "As One"
- Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh: A Story of Transformation
Pittsburgh Opera presents the Pennsylvania premiere of Laura Kaminsky, Kimberly Reed & Mark Campbell's "As One."
In this scene, Hannah after (Taylor Raven) feels a rush of contentment because someone finally perceived her as she really is.
In this next scene, Hannah before (Brian Vu) sings about feeling compelled to be the 'perfect boy', while suppressing Hannah after (Taylor Raven).
Recorded at the final dress rehearsal on Feb. 16, 2017 at Pittsburgh Opera headquarters.
Video provided by RLG Creations.