Almost a year ago I read about an interesting event happening in LA. It seemed there was an opera taking place in cars traveling around the city. I was completely intrigued but never got around to getting a ticket and before I knew it, it was over. Luckily, KCET picked up on the cultural significance of the piece and decided to air a documentary about the unique performance. The result is Hopscotch: An Opera for the 21st Century which debuts as part of the Artbound series Tuesday, July 19th at 9pm.
I was lucky enough to attend a preview of the film at the Skirball and was impressed by this complex art piece. Hopscotch is the brainchild of Yuval Sharon, founder of the avant garde opera company The Industry. Wanting to present a story of Los Angeles in a unique way he conceived of an opera that would take place in and around the automobile – one of the defining features of the city. The result is a 24 act journey through the lives of three specific Angelenos. the audience rides in a car with the characters and travels throughout the city stopping at various places along the way. In the acts there is singing, dancing, instrumentation and various other art forms interpreting the story. It’s a complex and detailed undertaking bringing the audience on a journey they won’t soon forget.
Through the camera lens KCET was able to get up close and personal to the action taking place. At times it felt like the documentary gave me a better view of the performance than the attending audience and it was a fascinating glimpse into this unique art form. At times transcendent and at other times eye rolling it gave me a glimpse into a performance I wasn’t able to view in person. It’s the exact reason I loving catching Artbound documentaries. They chronicle parts of the cultural experience that not everyone is privy to and for an hour we get a glimpse into a fascinating world of art, invention and imagination. Hopscotch: An Opera for the 21st Century was just such an glimpse and I’m so happy I got the chance to experience this unique Los Angeles based piece.