Long Beach Opera Presents AS ONE, 5/13
On May 13, 20. & 21, 2017, Long Beach Opera (LBO) will present the highly anticipated Southern California premiere of As One, an inspiring story about identity, authenticity and compassion by composer Laura Kaminsky with librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed.
Praising the opera, the New York Times wrote, "As One" forces you to think, simultaneously challenging preconceptions and inspiring empathy." Performances will take place at the Beverly O'Neill Theater, 300 E. Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, California.
As One chronicles a transgender person's inner journey through two voices: Hannah Before (Lee Gregory) and Hannah After (Danielle Marcelle Bond). The 75-minute chamber opera depicts the experiences of its transgender protagonist as she endeavors to resolve conflicts within herself and with her surrounding world. David Schweizer returns to LBO to stage the production and LBO's Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek will conduct.
Composer Laura Kaminsky comments, "The opera hits the core issues every human being has to confront: Who am I? How do I become myself? What struggles I have to go through? How do I achieve honesty? How can my changing affect the people and the world around me? It's specific about Hannah, but also a human story everyone can relate to. That's the beauty of the libretto. Hannah is breaking down a lot of barriers."
Based on and inspired in part by the experiences of acclaimed filmmaker Kimberly Reed, the opera follows Hannah's experiences as a youth in a small town, to her college years on the West Coast, and finally to acceptance of herself. Reed says, "I wanted to let you get to know a real, live trans person. It's not unusual for me to be the first transgender person someone has known. I'm happy to be in that position, because the best way to dispel misunderstanding and increase empathy for The Other is to simply get to know someone. "
Grants from Opera America and Long Beach Pride support audience engagement for As One and help LBO partner with the Long Beach LGBTQ Center, the Los Angeles LGBT Center and The Trevor Project to support the opera.
BACKGROUND of the OPERA:
As One was commissioned by American Opera Projects(AOP). The commissioning, development, and first production of As One was supported in part by funding from Opera America's Opera Discovery Grants for Female Composers Program, 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, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works, Bronx Council on the Arts, Purchase College Development Fund, Tanner Fund, Jeremy T. Smith Fund, Dr. Coco Lazaroff, Lynn Loacker, Judith O. Rubin, and many generous individuals. The world premiere of As One was presented by AOP as part of the BAM/DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center Professional Development Program (PDP).
Sunday afternoon, May 13, 2017, at 8:00 PM Saturday evening, May 20, 2017, at 2:30 PM
Sunday afternoon, May 21, 2017, at 2:30PM
Venue: Beverly O'Neill Theater, 300 E. Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA. 90802
Runtime: 75 minutes with no intermission.
Sung in English.
Pre-Opera Talk: One hour before each performance, a free pre-opera talk with Artistic Director Andreas Mitisek will be held in the main lobby of the Beverly O'Neill Theater. These talks are open to all ticket holders.
TICKETS: Single tickets for as one range from $49 to $150 and can be purchased either by calling the LBO Box Office at 562.470.SING (7464) or by going online to https://www.longbeachopera.org/tickets. Flex-Pass and LBO Opera Access options offer ticket discounts. Student Rush tickets for $15 will be available space permitting.
Lee Gregory (Hannah Before): Nationally praised for his beautiful warm baritone voice, Lee Gregory (Hannah Before) has previously appeared in several leading roles at LBO, including the Captain in The Death of Klinghoffer, William in The Fall of the House of Usher (also at Chicago Opera Theater), and the Rehearsal Director in the world premiere of Bryar's Marilyn Forever. A winner of the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation Competition, Mr. Gregory has participated in a number of prestigious training programs including San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program. Opera News commented on his Nixon at Eugene Opera's Nixon in China, "Gregory excelled as a young, vibrant Nixon, mastering the tricky rhythms of the pop-inspired 'News' aria and the extended legato of 'Fathers and sons, let us join hands,' singing with consistent tonal beauty."