WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

‘As One’: Coming Of Age Opera Explores Themes Of Identity And Authenticity


Play Audio

Photo: Orlando Opera


Opera Orlando’s performance of As One showcases the transgender experience at a time when trans rights are being challenged in Florida and across the US.

Opera Orlando director Gabriel Preisser and conductor Alexandra Enyart join Intersection to talk about the opera and transgender identity in the arts. 

Preisser says As One has been on Opera Orlando’s radar since 2016.

“We find in the story, that’s really a universal message for all of us a message of acceptance, self discovery, it’s also an opportunity for us to learn more about the transgender community.”

Preisser says although the opera was already scheduled for production this year, the recent headlines around the rights of transgender Americans make the performance even more relevant.

“All the more reason why our community needs more education around transgender individuals and what those issues are,” he says.

Enyart says this will be the fifth production of ‘As One’ she’s conducted.

The opera is scored for string quartet and two voices. “One of them is Hannah before and one of them is Hannah after,” says Enyart.

“It’s a binary representation of transness, which is definitely you know, it’s just the method that is used to tell this story. It’s really not the only way transness is experienced. And I think that’s really significant for people to know is that we’re not all walking around with ‘before’ and ‘after’s. But it’s a good storytelling method for the purpose of this show.”

Enyart says she sometimes feels the weight of responsibility as one of a minority of trans conductors in the field.

“One of the big challenges and one of the big realities of of my life in my work is that for me, there is an aspect of, as far as I can make it, that is a huge win for my entire community. It’s been in moments, an incredible amount of pressure. When things feel dry, like in terms of gigs are drying up or even throughout the pandemic, I was like, am I letting down a whole community of people,” says Enyart.

“I always hold on to this, the ultimate goal is to lower the amount of harm that happens to my community. And music is a wonderful vehicle for that,” she says.

“I used to pretend that I could separate the two but they are not possible to separate. Yeah, whatever I’m doing comes with that mission.”

 


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

GET THE LATEST
Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »

TOP