Program Details: Open to the public

As One: Authenticity, Compassion, and a Transgender Story

This program aims to demonstrate how storytelling, particularly through music, cultivates opportunities for discussion and learning by bringing the chamber opera As One to the Boulder community. It highlights the ways in which artists use their craft not only to express experience, but to share that experience with the purpose of generating a sociocultural dialogue. The goal of our performance of As One is to advocate for social change through artistic engagement within the Boulder community and beyond resulting in a more inclusive community.

As One is a chamber opera in which two voices, "Hannah Before" (baritone) and "Hannah After" (mezzo-soprano), share the part of a sole transgender protagonist. Because of its specificity, the work is not a blanket statement about the “trans experience." Its focus on the individual allows for a means of compassion and empathy. In the words of project creator Kimberly Reed, “A lot of the world does think of transgender issues as an ‘issue,’ and it just so happens that by telling a very specific story about a very specific person, you get to know that person, and that’s how the “issues” get dealt with the best. That’s how you can really make change.”

The presentation and format of the work offers an approachable way of overcoming the barrier of perceived difference. It provides an opportunity to deepen understanding of a trans individual’s life and witness her struggle towards self-fulfillment and acceptance; an experience which many will be able to relate to. This encourages a welcoming and open atmosphere for diversity in the community.

A student-driven team of performers and production crew members will work with CU Music Faculty and other industry professionals on all levels of production. The program includes a residency that brings the nationally acclaimed Carpe Diem String Quartet, composer Laura Kaminski, librettist Mark Campbell (CU alum), and filmmaker Kimberly Reed to CU to work with production participants and other students in the College of Music. Students will participate in workshops, rehearsals, and lectures leading up to the performance of the opera (performance dates are being finalized, check back soon).

In cooperation with the Dairy Arts Center, Out Boulder, and the CU Center for Inclusion and Social Change, we aim to bring together a diverse audience for performances and offer performance talk-backs and presentations with the opera’s creative team during which audience members are encouraged to ask questions. We will update with site with any additional events open to the public. We seek to reach members of the University and the greater Boulder community, inclusive of all gender identities and expressions.

This is a public program.


In Colorado

  • Boulder

Program Contact

Claire McCahan
Production Lead

Program Categories


  • Diversity
  • Film
  • Music
  • Theatre

Program Types:

  • Community Event
  • Public Performance


  • General Public
  • Non-Profit Organization

We do our best to accurately represent CU Boulder’s outreach programs and services, but they are subject to change and may no longer be active in a community. Please contact the program directly for current information.