HOPSCOTCH: An Opera For the 21st Century

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If someone gave you  the gift of choosing what moments of your life would best represent who you are today…which ones would you choose?

KCET’s ARTBOUND episode, Hopscotch,  examines that very question through a series of operas performed live in 24 cars driven all around Los Angeles.  Six composers, six writers, 126 performers and a team of  behind the scenes stage managers, designers, technicians and drivers all helped in bringing this ground-breaking avant-garde piece to life.

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In November 2015, tickets were sold and each buyer would experience a different chapter of the story for 10 minutes.  How?  The vocalists and musicians helped weave the story of one woman from her childhood to becoming elderly in the intimacy and confined space of a car.

This team thought of everything!  They even created a hub in Downtown LA with tv screens numbered by chapters to the ticket buyers could see what chapter they would be joining in on.

Hopscotch gave it creators, participants and ticket holders a perspective of Los Angeles never seen…through the eyes of one woman’s journey in a series of chapters in a car.

Watching the piece unfold before your eyes can be a little dizzying at first, but then you are totally sucked and longing for what happens next.  Director Yuval Sharon described Hopscotch as a piece in which “time is happening all at once”.

Earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival, I screened a feature film starring Jason Bateman, Nicole Kidman, Maryann Plunkett and Christopher Walken  called The Family Fang.  Kidman and Bateman were the now grown-up children of a couple that became world-famous for performance art.  I couldn’t help think of this film while watching this doc.  It was absolutely fascinating and the performances were stellar.  The voices on some of these vocalists was unreal and their commitment to the artistry was admirable.

It goes without saying that Yuval Sharon deserves a standing ovation for taking on such an ambitious project and pulled it off with flying colors. It was heartwarming and inspiring to hear Sharon speak of all the tragedies in the world over recent months.  Nice had not occurred yet, however, Paris, Dallas, Minnesota and so many others had happened.  I think his quote from Brecht sums it all up perfectly…

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Hopscotch debts tonight as part of KCET’s ARTBOUND series, which airs on Direct TV Channel 375, Dish Network 9410, and of course at 9pm on KCET in Southern California.

Check out the making of this interesting, avant-garde fascinating piece of art and the interviews I did with Kate Walsh and director Yuval Sharon.

 

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