Photo by Cory Weaver. Everest, 2018.

As One

Saturday, January 27, 2018  |  7:30 p.m. SOLD OUT
Sunday, January 28, 2018  |  2:00 p.m. SOLD OUT

Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building
712 E. 18th St., KCMO 64108

Approximate running time of 75 minutes with no intermission.

Aligned. At Peace. As One.
In this one act opera, a baritone and a mezzo-soprano depict the sole transgender protagonist, Hannah, as she strives to resolve the discord between herself and the outside world. Honest, raw, and humorous, As One’s universal message is that everyone wants to be at peace with themselves. Composer Laura Kaminsky teamed with co-librettists Mark Campbell (Silent Night) and Kimberly Reed to create this uplifting work, based partly on Reed’s own experiences. Reed also provided projection design for the production.

Tickets are $25.

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As One is underwritten by Reach Out Kansas, Inc. and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund at Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

Financial assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. This project is supported in part by an aware from the National Endowment for the Arts.

National Endowment for the Arts City of Kansas City Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund




Explorations Series is sponsored by Virginia & Charles Clark and Spencer Fane LLP



Read the reviews of As One:
KC Stage


Creative Team

Conductor – Robert Wood *

Robert Wood has conducted La traviaa and L’italiana in Algeri at San Francisco opera, Le comte Ory and The Magic Flute at Wolf Trap Opera, Three Decembers at Kentucky Opera, As One, Die Fledermaus, and The Abduction from the Seraglio at Hawaii Opera Theatre, and Roméo et Juliette and Carmen at Opera Colorado. He was Conductor in Residence at Minnesota Opera from 2006-2008, leading productions of L’italiana in Algeri, Le nozze di Figaro, La donna del lago, Rusalka, and Il barbiere di Siviglia. Wood also founded UrbanArias, Washington DC’s contemporary opera company, in 2009. Under his guidance the company has achieved national recognition as an innovator in the field of opera, and has given over 100 performances, including the world premieres of Gregory Spears’ Paul’s Case, Sidney Boquiren’s Independence Eve, and Peter Hilliard’s Blue Viola, as well as notable productions of Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied, After Life, and Josephine.

Director – Mary Birnbaum *
Birnbaum has staged operas in New York, across the U.S. and abroad, from Latin America to Taiwan. An honors graduate of Harvard College, she was the inaugural Marcus Directing Fellow at Juilliard before joining the Juilliard Vocal Arts Faculty, where she teaches acting to singers and serves as the Associate Director of the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies program. New York Credits: Die Zauberflöte, The Rape of Lucretia, and Eugene Onegin at Juilliard, the world premiere of Steven Stucky and Jeremy Denk’s The Classical Style at Carnegie Hall, and several concerts with New York Festival of Song. Other Credits: Kristin Kuster and Megan Levad’s Kept at Virginia Arts Festival, Halka at Bard Music Festival, Giulio Cesare at Boston Baroque, collaborations with New World Symphony, the Ojai Festival and Santa Fe Opera. International work includes productions at National Symphony Orchestra in Taipei, Compañía Lírica in Costa Rica, and Melbourne Opera Studio.

Film & Projection Designer – Kimberly Reed *
Lighting Designer – Mario Raymond *
Technical Director – Brad Kanouse
Rehearsal Accompanist – James Maverick
Costume Coordinator – Mary Traylor
Titles Operator – Sarah Zsohar
Stage Manager – Tracy Davis-Singh
Assistant Stage Manager – Olivia West
Head Scenic Artist – Gen Goering

* Lyric Opera Debut


Hannah Before – Wes Mason *
In the 2017-18 season, Mason has performed the roles Dax/Larry in the world première of Robert Paterson’s Three Way, he also reprises the role of Billy Bigelow in Carousel with Union Avenue Opera; sings Robert Paterson’s Crossing the Hudson with American Modern Ensemble at Carnegie Hall; John Sorel in The Consul with Opera Saratoga, and Amos King in a NYC reading of Jimmy Roberts’s All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go. Other recent highlights include Marcello in La bohème with Hawaii Opera Theatre and Fort Worth Opera; Father Flynn in Doubt with Union Avenue Opera; Morales in Carmen with Glimmerglass Festival; Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles with Opera Delaware; the title role in Guillaume Tell with Southern Illinois Music Festival, and Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with Gulfshore Opera. Mason graduated from the Academy of Vocal Arts and the University of Michigan; he has been awarded by the Sullivan Foundation and The Metropolitan Opera National Council.

Hannah After – Blythe Gaissert *
In the 2017-18 season, Gaissert creates the role of Walker Loats in Mikael Karlsson’s one-woman opera The Echo Drift at the Prototype Festival in New York City, reprises the role of Hannah After in As One at San Diego Opera, sings Hester Prynne in the Professional Premiere of The Scarlett Professor at Amherst College, Sadie in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star with On Site Opera, Berio’s Folk Songs with the Dallas Symphony, CAPTCHA by Robert Paterson with American Modern Ensemble at Carnegie’s Weill Hall, and finishes her season with as Siegrune in Die Walküre with the Dallas Symphony. Gaissert is also a member of the alt/classical/rock group The Knells, which released its second album in Fall 2017. She has worked with companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, Opera Colorado, Tulsa Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Aldeburgh Festival, Lyrique en Mer in France, Opera Southwest, Opera Saratoga, and more.

Accompanied by The Fry Street Quartet – Robert Waters, Rebecca McFaul, Bradley Ottesen and Anne Francis Bayless
The Fry Street Quartet is a multi-faceted ensemble taking chamber music in new directions. Since securing the Grand Prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the quartet has reached worldwide audiences with performances from many corners of the musical spectrum, including an emphasis on women composers. Their discography includes works from Haydn to Stravinsky, Janacek and Rorem. Fry Street Quartet has commissioned and toured new works, including Pandemonium by Brazilian composer Clarice Assad; Michael Ellison’s Fiddlin’ (a co-commission with the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music Series and the Salt Lake City based NOVA series); and Laura Kaminsky’s Rising Tide, commissioned for the quartet’s global sustainability initiative, The Crossroads Project. This fresh approach to communicating society’s sustainability challenges draws upon all the senses with a unique blend of science and art and has been featured on the NPR program joe’s big idea, which aired during All Things Considered, as well as in publications by Yale Climate Connections, Reuters, and the New York Times. The quartet also premiered As One in 2014-15.

* Lyric Opera Debut

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