Long Beach Opera Premieres New Transgender Opera “As One”

By Katharine Baran

Long Beach Opera (LBO) presents “As One” starting on May 13, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. at the Beverly O’Neill Theater in Long Beach, CA. There will be two more performances, one on May 20 at 2:30 and May 21 at 2:30 as well.

The highly anticipated debut of the production is a story about identity, consideration, and more. Its music and concept are by composer Laura Kaminsky with librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed.

“As One” follows a transgender person’s personal journey with the lead role divided up into the character’s male and female identity as performed by two artists. Hannah Before will be performed by baritone Lee Gregory, who was previously in leading roles at LBO. Meanwhile, Hannah After will be played by mezzo-soprano Danielle Marcelle Bond, who has starred in roles around the world.

Returning to LBO, David Schweizer will stage the production and LBO’s Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek will conduct. The production was influenced and based partly on certain events in the life of acclaimed filmmaker Kimberly Reed.

The performances will showcase Hannah’s life from a youth in a smaller town to her college careers on the West Coast, to finally accepting herself. This new opera about the life of a transgender person can be added to the list of cutting-edge and unique operas that LBO has done in the past.