Ardea Arts announces Pop-up Preview Performances of BOUNCE The Basketball Opera, their latest project in development. These will take place throughout New York City on Wednesdays at 5:30pm.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 5:30pm – West 4th Street Cage
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 5:30pm – Grand Army Plaza Entrance, Brooklyn
Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 5:30pm – Abraham Lincoln Playground, 134th Street, Harlem
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 5:30pm – Brooklyn – Surprise Location!
are free, non-ticketed events, of mini preview performances in public spaces, open to the public. For more information, visit www.ardeaarts.com/bounce/
. They are conceived as little previews of the opera, slated for premiere November 17-19, 2017 in Lexington KY.
BOUNCE The Basketball Opera is grounded in pressing issues facing today’s audiences. Based on the Greek myth The Flight of Icarus, BOUNCE tells the story of Ike “The Flight” Harris, a high school basketball star bound for stardom. Audiences will see if “Flight” can rebound from the emotional and physical pain of gun violence, as the story plays out on local basketball courts across the city and the country.
Pairing diverse casting with a fresh approach to arts engagement, local youth working alongside seasoned professionals are integrated into the production using the powerful medium of basketball. They become the basketball players, the cheerleaders and Flight’s classmates and teammates. Local and national community leaders also play a number of the guest adult roles.
Basketball is a simple game – get the ball in the basket. But this ‘simple’ game becomes complex when outside forces like money and fame challenge team ethics. Isaac “Flight” Harris, a gifted and ambitious young player is on a fast track to stardom until his wings are clipped by the actions of a jealous teammate. We experience Flight’s descent, then the powerful epiphany that changes his world forever. Synthesizing the grandeur of operatic singing with the grittiness of street rhythms, electronic dance music and urban hip-hop vocal stylings, BOUNCE asks: how does one rise up after being knocked down? The answer is in the game of basketball itself.
The creative team includes: Glen Roven (Lead Composer/Music Supervisor), Charles R. Smith, Jr. (Story and Libretto), Grethe Barrett Holby (Concept/Creative & Stage Director), with additional music by Tomás Doncker (Global Soul Composer) and Ansel Elgort aka Ansolo (EDM Producer). The Production staff includes Dr. Everett McCorvey (Conductor), Chidi Ozieh (Media & Sound).
The BOUNCE Pop Up casts feature Seth Ibarrondo aka Madison Priceas Poet, Phillip Gay as Flight, Charlotte Dos Santos as Sabrina, Ashley Jackson as Daphne, Troy Press as Announcer/MC, Patrice Turner as Mrs. Lucas, and Rod Raines aka Rodreezee with Basketball Percussion.
Ardea Arts has been developing BOUNCE in partnership with The University of Kentucky Opera Theatre. BOUNCE partners and advocates include prominent local council members, community leaders, and basketball industry advocates, many whom will participate in the production, including basketball legend and announcer Len Elmore. This project is made possible in part by the support of Art Works/The National Endowment for the Arts, The John and Jody Arnhold Foundation, UK Women and Philanthropy, The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, and many private individuals.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Grethe Barrett Holby (Concept & Direction) The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center Festival, Houston Grand Opera, La Scala, LA Opera & companies across the US. Originating cast member Einstein on the Beach; collaborations with Leonard Bernstein (A Quiet Place), Lou Reed, Robert Wilson and Yusef Komunyakaa. Founding Artistic & Executive Director Ardea Arts, Family Opera Initiative, and American Opera Projects; Rockefeller Fellowship recipient, Holby holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from MIT. “One step beyond, busting the boundaries of…opera” (NY Times 4/23/17)
Glen Roven (Lead Composer/Music Supervisor) Composer, lyricist, conductor, pianist; Founder and Artistic Director for RovenRecords, distributed worldwide by Naxos; 12 -time nominee and 4-time Grammy winner; collaborated with Quincy Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Frank Sinatra, Julie Andrews, Aretha Franklin, Renee Fleming, Kathleen Battle and hundreds of other celebrities for film, television, Broadway, Carnegie Hall and many other international venues and orchestras.
Charles R. Smith, Jr. (Story and Libretto) Award-winning author, photographer and poet with over thirty books to his credit including a Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration (2010) for his photographs accompanying the Langston Hughes poem “My People” and a Coretta Scott King Honor Author Award (2008) for his biography on Muhammad Ali, “Twelve Rounds to Glory.” Early books such as “Rimshots”, “Hoop Kings” and “Hoop Queens” focus on his love of basketball.
Tomás Donker (Additional Music) Global Soul composer and producer. Directs, composes and performs with his ensemble, Tomás Doncker Band. Guitarist for James Chance & The Contortions, Defunkt, J. Walter Negro & The Loose Jointz. Collaborated with Boosty Collins, Yoko Ono, The Itals, & Prince Charles Alexander. Current projects with Ivan Neville, Bonnie Raitt, Meshell Ndegeocello, Living Colour’s Corey Glover, P-Funk keyboardist Amp Fiddler Shamekia Copeland, & Bill Laswell.
Ansel Elgort aka Ansolo (Basketball Game Tracks) As DJ and Electronic Dance Music Producer, Ansolo has performed in major EDM concert venues and festivals around the world including Japan, the Philippines, Las Vegas, and in NYC including Pasha, Electric Zoo, TomorrowWorld, Life in Color, and Ultra Music Festivals in Japan, Bali and Miami. Represented by Sony and Island records, recent songs include “Thief” “Home Alone” and a track on Logic’s new album “Everybody”. As an actor, he is known for the movies “The Fault in Our Stars” the Divergent Series, and the upcoming movie “Baby Driver.” He is a graduate of LaGuardia Arts High School in New York City.
Everett McCorvey (Conductor/Producer) Professor of Voice, OperaLex Endowed Chair in Opera Studies, and Director and Executive Producer of The University of Kentucky Opera Theatre: Artistic Director of the National Chorale, New York City; Director, American Spiritual Ensemble; Vice chair Kentucky Arts Council. Professional Credits: the Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Opera, Teatro Communale (Italy), Radio Music City Hall. A basketball fan, he often sings the National Anthem for UKY Wildcats games.
ARDEA ARTS is the premiere company in the U.S. creating new, high-quality opera-theater works for multi-generational and family audiences, creating and producing provocative new works of music-theater and opera to entertain, challenge and inspire today’s diverse global community, uplift the human spirit, and encourage new ways of seeing our world. The company was founded in 2006 by Grethe Barrett Holby to create a substantial new repertory with the goal of bringing the opera experience to a widely diverse audience, and the commitment to engage the community in the process and performance of the work. Learn more about ARDEA Arts’ history, mission and repertory at: www.ARDEAarts.com.
Family Opera Initiative (FOI), a major initiative of Ardea Arts, was established by Holby in 1995. FOI has commissioned and developed a repertory of opera-works including BOUNCE: The Basketball Opera, the holiday opera Flurry Tale by Rusty Magee & Billy Aronson; the swashbuckling Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Richard Peaslee & Kenneth Cavander; the summer pageant Fireworks! by Kitty Brazelton & Billy Aronson (theatre premiere May 11 & 12, 2017 Kaye Theater, Hunter College); Animal Tales by George Plimpton, Kitty Brazelton, and Grethe Holby, about “having the gumption to spread ones wings” (World Concert Premiere March 25, 2017 with Garden State Philharmonic) as well as the accompanying Cat’s Talefor younger audiences (premiere NYC Central Park Zoo). FOI has also premiered Glen Roven’s Goodnight Moon & Plums- five songs for kidsduring FOI’s summer performances in Southampton NY, David Wolfson’s 10-minute gem Maya’s Ark based on a true story from inner-city Newark NJ, and a staged and choreographed version of Babar, the little elephantwith The French Institute FI-AF NYC. Works currently in development are The Three Astronauts, based on the book by Umberto Eco and Eugenio Carmi, by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, and an international team of writers and composers.
Ardea Arts/FOI has collaborated on these new works with extraordinary artists unexpected in the field of family entertainment. Performances have been co-produced with American Opera Projects, the Clark Studio Theater NYC, Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, TADA! Youth Theatre NYC, Playfest/Orlando Shakespeare Theater FL, NYC’s Central Park Zoo, Infinity Music Hall CT, The International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight NM, WNYC’s The Greene Space, & The Parrish Art Museum, with workshops at Atlantic Center for the Arts, American Opera Projects, Ardea Arts Center, Montclair State University-Peak Performances (NJ), and New York City area schools and community organizations.
Ardea Arts, Inc. is a professional company member of Opera America, International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA), Theater for Young Audiences (TYA), and International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY). Ardea Arts is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Ardea Arts received its second Art Works award from the National Endowment for the Arts for BOUNCE The Basketball Opera, and two recent grants from Opera America.