It’s an exciting time when you get to see an opera becoming a part of the standard repertoire. In a brand new production and the professional South Carolina premiere, Holy City Arts & Lyric Opera—HALO—presents As One in a dramatic conclusion to their 2022/23 Season. The immersive experience utilizes elements including lobby exhibitions, video projections, and surround sound for spoken word to welcome an audience of opera aficionados and newcomers alike.
“A piece of HALO’s vision has always been ‘to reclaim Charleston as the birthplace of opera in North America,’” says Leah Edwards, HALO’s Founding General Director. “In order to do that, we must honor its past while leading the charge towards its future. Having the ability to set an 1853 opera in 1986 (La traviata, 2021) one season and a 2014 opera in the 1990’s (As One, 2023) the next exemplifies that the art form is relevant, the subject matter is personal, and the stories are timeless.”
Starring Heather Jones and Lucas Bouk, As One is a universal tale of transformation; a coming of age story that chronicles the life of Hannah, a transgender protagonist, as she experiences joy, struggle, isolation, and finally freedom. Stage direction by David Lefkowich transcends a minimalist set, costume design by Erik Teague unquestionably focuses the time period, and the film design of co-creator Kimberly Reed evoke deep nostalgia. Alexandra Enyart leads an on-stage string quartet, further unifying the intimacy of the performance.
HALO will host composer Laura Kaminsky and Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award-winning librettist Mark Campbell in a Conversation with the Creators on June 20 to discuss the importance of writing compelling stories for the modern audience. Enthuses Campbell, “I’m thrilled that HALO is presenting this groundbreaking opera in Charleston—the city where opera first emerged in America, and one that has always maintained a rich and diverse cultural life.” Kaminsky and Campbell will attend the premiere on June 22.
Commissioned by the American Opera Project, As One opened on September 4, 2014, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Fisher Space. Since its premiere, it has become the most produced new opera in North America, according to Opera America magazine. For more information about the show and the creators, please visit www.asoneopera.com.
As One is a one act opera and runs approximately 90 minutes. It will be performed in English with English subtitles. Performances are June 22-25 at the Queen Street Playhouse (20 Queen Street). Doors open at 6 pm, and the show begins at 7 pm. Tickets are $65-$85. Drinks and merchandise will be available for purchase before and after the show. Talkbacks with the cast will follow every performance.
For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit www.holycityarts.org. To stay up to date with HALO happenings and to find out how you can be involved, sign up to receive the newsletter. For additional information about HALO, including information about the newly announced 2023/24 Season, visit HALO’s website.
Founded in 2019, HALO is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization and is the trademark holder for ‘Opera. For y’all.’ and ‘Social Distance-SING!’ HALO can be found @HolyCityArts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For interviews or additional press coverage, please contact HALO at (843) 388-3243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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