New York Opera Fest 2017: Ardea Arts Showcases ‘Bounce: The Basketball Opera Pop-Up Shows’

By Katharine Baran

Ardea Arts with the University of Kentucky opera theatre are coming together to present, “Bounce: The Basketball Opera Pop-Up Shows” with performances all around New York City basketball courts. The series will start on May 17  and continue every Wednesday up until June 14.  Each week the location of the production will change, but all of them start at begin at 5:30 p.m. EST.

The first performance will take place at the West fourth Street Courts. On May 24 the show will be at Union Square Park South, while on May 31 the production will debut at the Brooklyn Public Library (Grand Army). On June 7, the show is going to Bed-Stuy and the final performance will go up to Harlem on 125 street, with the exact location to be determined.

Basketball seems like a simple game, but the show will display how it becomes complicated when outside influences, like money and fame, start to cause issues and tamper with the ethics of the game.  Within these unique performances, there will be a combination of operatic singing, hip-hop, electronic dance music, and basketball percussion to tell the story of Ike “The Fight” Harris.

The premise revolves around Ike growing up quickly to be a basketball superstar until his dreams are crushed when a jealous teammate starts rumors to crush his career. Glen Roven, Tomas Donker, Ansolo and Daniel Bernard Roumain all composed the production. Grethe Barret Hobby directed and created the story, while Everett McCorvey musically directed and produced the work, and Charles R. Smith Jr. wrote the libretto.

The opera is presented as part of the New York Opera Fest 2017.