Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-12-05
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT A trans opera journey 'As One'
by Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

As One is a 2014 chamber opera exploring a transgender woman's journey of self-realization and acceptance. Commissioned by American Opera Projects, As One initially escaped the notice of classical conductor Alexandra Enyart.

Yet now Enyart is proud to be tied to the growing reputation of As One—she's guest conducting Chicago Fringe Opera's Windy City debut of the work at the Center on Halsted. It's just one of 11 separate As One productions appearing during the 2017-18 season, and follows on the heels of San Diego Opera's staging earlier this month.

"Being transgender, I definitely connect with this," said Enyart, who recently relocated to Chicago from Louisville, Kentucky, to be music director of Thompson Street Opera Company. "Just knowing As One exists made me very happy."

As One was conceived by lesbian composer Laura Kaminsky, the head of composition at Purchase College Conservatory of Music/SUNY and the former artistic director of Symphony Space in New York. As One features a collaborative libretto by gay lyricist/librettist Mark Campbell ( the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night and Chicago Opera Theater's forthcoming Elizabeth Cree ) and trans filmmaker/journalist Kimberly Reed ( the 2008 documentary Prodigal Sons ).

"It's so important to have someone who has gone through the same experience, or a very similar experience, to be working on this project," said Enyart about Reed, whose film work is also incorporated into Chicago Fringe Opera's staging of As One.

"It rings with an incredible truth to it and it is incredible how Kaminsky and Campbell, who are cisgender, have managed to learn so much about the transgender community," Enyart said. "And represent it so strongly and positively."

As One is scored for a string quartet, and distinctively features two performers playing one character simultaneously. "Hannah Before" is sung by a baritone, while a mezzo-soprano is "Hannah After."

Enyart conducts members of the new music ensemble Zafa Collective for Chicago Fringe Opera's production. She is also welcome resource to As One director Amy Hutchison and singers Jonathan Wilson and Samantha Attaguile in their portrayal of Hannah.

"I've not had the opportunity really before now to meet and speak with trans folks who were out to me or that I was aware of," Attaguile said. "It's been a really special experience."

"Alexandra has been very good at putting a very personal expression to what we've been working on and making it personal for each of us," Wilson said. "And approach this with as much context and understanding of the reality of experience as we could."

Enyart said she was careful not to just offer up "pamphlet version" advice that would be handed out to parents and families. Instead, Enyart wanted Attaguile and Wilson to personalize their own Google searches as if they were facing Hannah's internal struggle. They needed to be exposed to the variety of confusing or poorly written online advice that might influence vulnerable trans youth.

"Just having a transgender voice in the room who has these experiences really helps bring some of these moments into more clarity," Enyart said. She was also grateful to About Face Theatre, which presented a talk about gender and sexuality to the company.

In a perfect world, Attaguile said trans singers would be cast in future productions of the opera. But in the meantime, Attaguile is grateful that she gets the opportunity to be part of the growing visibility of trans people and issues by performing in As One.

"It's a happy story, but also full of conflict in trying to figure yourself out," Attaguile said. "Audiences should be able to identify with it because everyone has gone through that in some way—asking 'Who am I?' and 'Where do I really belong?'"

"[As One] can be so relatable, while still giving this underrepresented voice a moment to be front and center," Wilson said. "It's easy to grasp onto and feel a part of."

Enyart is pleased that opera companies are taking notice of As One. She feels so many productions have proliferated thanks to the opera's intimate scale and accessible score. Yet Enyart doesn't want As One to be the only opera out there telling a trans story.

"I hope that in the future we can see more works focused on female to male, as well as non-binary, as well as really emphasizing transgender people of color," Enyart said. "[As One] is a great step to inclusivity, but I hope more of these works come around and I can't wait to see them when they do."

Chicago Fringe Opera's local premiere of As One plays 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 16-19, in the Hoover-Leppen Theatre at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. As One is sung in English with projected English surtitles. Tickets are $40 and $20 for students. Call 773-472-6469 or visit for more information .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Best of The Infinite Wrench 2018 2018-12-08 - Playwright: The Neo-Futurists At the Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. Tickets:; $10 - $20. Runs through: Dec. 9 Who would have ...

Gay News

Holiday Hootenanny Radio Hour presents Cricket on the Mantle, benefits AVER 2018-12-08 - CHICAGO ( November 16, 2018 ) — The Holiday Hootenanny Radio Hour is pleased to announce Nick Thornton's heart warming new radio play ...

Gay News

Carlile, Monae, Lamar get Grammy nods 2018-12-07 - The 2019 Grammy nominations were announced Dec. 8—and rapper Kendrick Lamar led everyone with eight nominations. Drake scored seven, and Brandi Carlile and ...

Gay News

Interrobang Theatre Project to present "I Call my Brothers" 2018-12-07 - CHICAGO ( December 6, 2018 ) Interrobang Theatre Project is pleased to continue its ninth season, exploring "identity/crisis"with the Chicago premiere of Jonas ...

Gay News

About Face Theatre announces casting for DADA WOOF PAPA HOT 2018-12-06 - CHICAGO ( December 6, 2018 ) — About Face Theatre is pleased to announce casting for its Chicago premiere of DADA WOOF PAPA ...

Gay News

Event focuses on revolutionary Cuban punk-rock band 2018-12-05 - Nonprofit arts and education group QUEER, ILL AND OKAY brought a neglected component of Cuban history to the mainstage with a screening and ...

Gay News

Critics' Picks 2018-12-05 - The Safe House, City Lit Theatre at Edgewater Presbyterian Church, through Dec. 16. The occupants of the title dwelling may be a three-generation ...

Gay News

'When Adonis Calls' through Dec. 9 at Pride Arts 2018-12-05 - Thompson Street Opera Company is collaborating with Pride Films & Plays on the production When Adonis Calls, which will run Fridays through Sundays ...

Gay News

Elton John tribute show Dec. 8 2018-12-05 - On Saturday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m. at the Gallery 1070 Auxillary Building, 1101 W. Granville Ave., the Edgewater Artitsts in Motion will ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Handmaid,' Kristen Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Viola Davis 2018-12-04 - Margaret Atwood is currently writing a sequel to her best-selling dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale, noted. Due out in September 2019 from ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.