Takin' it to the Streets

Last fall, we shared a story about how Houstonians can experience opera from specialty built bicycles that compose unique, site-specific songs and sounds as they wind through their neighborhood. 

Well it seems that creative opera fans are at it again, this time with Hopscotch, an experimental production that took opera-goers along for a limousine ride complete with live performances in the car, at nearby parks, and even rooftops. 

How, exactly? 

The product of LA-based The Industry (a self-described “independent, artist-driven company creating experimental productions that expand the definition of opera”) Hopscotch invited opera-goers to board limousines in groups of four, along with singers and musicians. Each group experienced 8-10 nonlinear chapters of an opera that took them along different paths through the city.  

And why?

At the risk of stating the obvious, the project got audiences to experience music and theater outside of traditional venues—expanding the boundaries of opera and making it more accessible to the public.  

According to Elizabeth Cline, executive director of The Industry,  new audiences seem to be the goal, “When you reduce the barriers to participation — whether that means making something free or doing something in public — you immediately are getting a different audience.”

Even better for those audiences? It also changed their artistic experience.  Cline noted, “With the city as a backdrop, all of a sudden the work really expanded for people."

Time to rekindle the flame

The Hopscotch project ended in November 2015, but The Industry appears to be at it again planning a performance “around an enormous bonfire on a beach.” Sparks are set to fly for this production in fall 2017.