As One illuminates the brave and painful growth of a transgender person, whose identity is still deemed “abnormal” and, more shamefully for our world, is barely recognized. The deeply normal need to unite body and soul within the boundaries of accepted human interactions has much to reveal to all of us.
As One premiered at The Brooklyn Academy of Music just this past September. It is based on the life experience of noted filmmaker Kimberly Reed.
Two singers, a baritone and a mezzo-soprano, together portray the character Hannah. The two singers embody a young boy who knows he is different but can’t understand how or why. The 70-minute opera traces the life of young Hannah through her eventual gender reassignment. It examines the life of a transgender person through poetry, movement, beautiful music and film in a new and especially touching way.
New York Classical Review called its premiere this past September a “rich addition to the repertoire … formidable on all fronts … As One is everything that we hope for in contemporary opera: topical, poignant, daring, and beautifully written.”
The New York Times wrote: “As One forces you to think, simultaneously challenging preconceptions and inspiring empathy…[with] winning humor and a satisfying emotional arc.”