Because of the subject matter of As One, it’s important for the producers and marketers of the work to promote it with a sensitivity toward the transgender community, while helping dispel erroneous perceptions that many members in society still have about transgender people. These guidelines have been prepared by the creators of As One to help producers market the opera successfully to their communities. For further information about how to discuss transgender issues, go to: www.glaad.org/transgender/transfaq
The story of Hannah in As One is a journey toward self-realization; it is not about a boy becoming a girl or trading one gender for another. While this journey has some conflicts along the way—it is drama, after all!—Hannah’s realization is ultimately a joyful experience. Descriptions about the opera should therefore be positive and uplifting and more about the result of Hannah’s authentic emergence rather than about the process of getting there.
One other important consideration: this opera is not about the “transgender experience.” There is no one transgender experience; Hannah is certainly not “everytrans.” Nor is it a “transgender story” or “transgender opera.” Only humans can be transgender. It is an opera about a transgender person or character, or an opera with a transgender protagonist, but it is not a “transgender opera.”
Finally, one of the main reasons for the popularity of As One is that its creators have made its story accessible in words and music; and that the journey of its transgender protagonist toward self-fulfillment is something everyone can relate to and understand. It’s important that the marketing of the opera reflect that idea.
Below are some examples of good descriptions that have been used before:
The official description (American Opera Projects & BAM): As One is a chamber opera in which two voices—Hannah after (mezzo-soprano) and Hannah before (baritone)—share the part of a sole transgender protagonist. Fifteen songs comprise the three-part narrative; with empathy and humor, they trace Hannah’s experiences from her youth in a small town to her college years—and finally traveling alone to a different country, where she realizes some truths about herself.
UrbanArias: “Hannah…Aligned, at peace, with her own body.”
Opera Colorado: With humor and empathy, As One chronicles a transgender person’s inner journey. This new, 75-minute chamber opera depicts the experiences of its sole transgender protagonist, Hannah, as she endeavors to resolve the discord between herself and the outside world. Two singers, a baritone and a mezzo-soprano, both portray the character Hannah.
Long Beach Opera: A story about identity, authenticity and compassion. Two voices—Hannah before and Hannah after—share the part of a sole transgender protagonist.
Again, Hannah’s journey in As One is uplifting and positive. We have found that the most successful images represent the result of her journey toward self-realization; not about trying to capture the process.
These images portray the story in a positive light—and some even manage to capture the humor in the story.
According to the publishing contract, companies are legally bound to credit all of the creators of the As One equally. When one member of the team is featured in marketing materials, then all others are to be mentioned in the same type size and font:
Music & concept:
Mark Campbell & Kimberly Reed
Also, program books should include this credit for American Opera Projects:
"Commissioned and developed by American Opera Projects"