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The Industry's HOPSCOTCH Opera Recording Set for Release on Key-Shaped USB Drive

The Industry drew international acclaim last year for Hopscotch, a revolutionary mobile opera that took place in cars and public sites around Los Angeles. It was conceived and directed by The Industry's Artistic Director, Yuval Sharon.

On Friday, January 13, more than two hours' worth of music from Hopscotch will be issued by The Industry Records as a car key-shaped USB drive or digital download available via Bandcamp and other outlets. Simultaneously, a new interactive website about the opera, with animations, images, and audio, will be launched at hopscotchopera.com.

To mark the occasion, a release event titled "Hopscotch in Concert" will take place on Friday, January 20 (7:30 pm) at the University of Southern California's Newman Recital Hall. Hosted by Yuval Sharon, it will be the first live concert of songs from the opera. The performance will be preceded at 4 pm by a panel discussion at USC's Wallis Annenberg Hall with members of the opera's creative team, plus journalists Mark Swed and Sasha Anawalt (moderator). Both events are free and open to the public; further details follow.

Hopscotch tells an original story of a disappearance across time. The version of Hopscotchpresented in fall 2015 comprised 24 live "chapters" with music by six principal LA composers - Veronika Krausas, Marc Lowenstein, Andrew McIntosh, Andrew Norman, Ellen Reid, and David Rosenboom - to texts by six writers. In addition, ten animations with music by gnarwhallaby were posted online to offer the basic points of the story to all audiences.

Audiences traveled from site to site along three routes in groups of four; the limousines that carried them also served as intimate performance spaces. Although an overall narrative emerged, a version of the Orpheus myth with the genders reversed, each group saw the chapters of this non-linear work in a different order. All told, more than 100 singers, musicians, and dancers performed. At the end, all the groups converged at a Central Hub for a climactic finale composed by Norman.

Small wonder Alex Ross described Hopscotch in the New Yorker as "one of the more complicated operatic enterprises to have been attempted since Richard Wagner staged The Ring of the Nibelung, over four days, in 1876."

For this recording, Yuval Sharon and The Industry's Executive Director, Elizabeth Cline, distilled Hopscotch's four-plus hours of music into 20 tracks lasting two hours and fourteen minutes. These include vocal scenes by each of the opera's six main composers, spoken-word episodes, and instrumental interludes; together, they form a dynamic portrait of this mercurial piece.

Says Sharon, "The live performance of Hopscotch was intentionally fragmentary and incomplete, an open-ended drift through our perceptive experience of city life. Our recording of Hopscotch offers something different: a sense of the total picture and a chance to appreciate the individual contributions from six of LA's best composers. Although the 'beginning-middle-end' dramaturgy was never part of the original intention of the work, we hope this record fills in the missing pieces and showcases the diversity of viewpoint at the center of what Hopscotch represents. In the spirit of the Julio Cortázar novel that inspired this project, the best way to recreate the Hopscotch experience may be by shuffling the tracks." In that spirit, the accompanying 50-page libretto booklet lists seven playlist suggestions, grouping the tracks by route (Green, Yellow, Red); by composer; by librettist; "Just the Story;" and "Just the Music."

The booklet also features a Foreword by Alex Ross, a dialogue between Sharon and Hopscotch dramaturg Josh Raab, essays by Elizabeth Cline and Music Director Marc Lowenstein, a diagram of the three routes, and more. Given the unlikelihood of another production, the Hopscotchrecording will serve as a unique documentation of this singular opus.

HOPSCOTCH RELEASE EVENTS:

Panel discussion
Friday, January 20 (4 pm)
USC, Wallis Annenberg Hall (ANN), Room L105A
3630 Watt Way, Los Angeles
A fascinating conversation with arts journalists about producing live performing arts in L.A.'s public spaces, and listening to the music of an opera outside of its original context. Panelists include composers Veronika Krausas and Marc Lowenstein, Yuval Sharon of The Industry, and arts journalists Mark Swed and Sasha Anawalt (moderator).

Hopscotch in Concert
Friday, January 20 (7:30 pm)
USC, Newman Recital Hall (AHF)
3616 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles
This special evening emceed by director Yuval Sharon will be the first live concert of songs from the opera. Six chapters from the work will be performed (one from each of its six composers), including the expansive choral finale by Andrew Norman.

FIRST TAKE / SECOND TAKE:

February 2017 brings the third iteration of FIRST TAKE, The Industry's biennial West Coast workshop of new American opera, and the debut of SECOND TAKE, presenting an entire performance of a new opera heard in progress on the previous FIRST TAKE program. Co-presented by its "house band," LA's fearless wild Up ensemble, FIRST TAKE will showcase excerpts from six new opera works-in-progress, composed by Nicholas Deyoe, William Gardiner, John Hastings, Laura Karpman, Marc Lowenstein, and Dylan Mattingly. The three-hour performance is free and open to the public, and takes place Friday, February 24, 2017 (7 - 10 pm) at the Aratani Theater, 244 S. San Pedro St. in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. Reserve tickets at https://ftst_2017.eventbrite.com.

Second Take launches with the concert premiere of Bonnie and Clyde by composer Andrew McIntosh and librettist MeLinda Rice on Saturday, February 25 (7 - 9 pm), also at the Aratari Theater; tickets will be $10 and will go on sale at ftst_2017.eventbrite.com.

FIRST TAKE and SECOND TAKE are curated by Yuval Sharon, in collaboration with Executive Director Elizabeth Cline, Music Director Marc Lowenstein, and wild Up Artistic Director Christopher Rountree. FIRST TAKE is modeled on the format Sharon created during his four years as Project Director of New York City Opera's influential VOX program between 2005-09. The scores are chosen from an open call - a record 68 submissions for 2017. Each opera performed during FIRST TAKE is presented unstaged, enabling the audience to focus on the music and libretto, and is prefaced by a short video introducing the composer and giving context. FIRST TAKE will be conducted by Paolo Bortolameolli, Dudamel Fellow Conductor at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Marc Lowenstein, music director of The Industry, and SECOND TAKE will be conducted by Christopher Rountree, artistic director of wild Up. The full schedule and cast is here: theindustryla.org/projects/first-take-2017.

The Industry creates experimental productions that expand the traditional definition of opera. By merging media and engaging in interdisciplinary collaborations, we produce works that inspire new audiences for the art form. We believe that opera can be emergent and responsive to new perspectives and voices in contemporary culture. The Industry serves as an incubator for new talent and for artists predominantly based in Los Angeles.

Founded by Yuval Sharon in 2010, The Industry has developed large-scale world premiere productions every other year: Crescent City (2012), Invisible Cities (2013), and Hopscotch (2015). Throughout the year, we present smaller-scale yet artistically ambitious events including our biennial workshop of new American operas, FIRST TAKE, and our California series Highway One. The Industry Records expands the reach of new American opera through high-quality recordings.


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