Until recently, many members of the public generally had little familiarity with “Opera” as an artistic genre. Enter the Industry, an LA-based experimental opera company that seeks to change public perceptions of opera by staging large-scale multi-media performances in public places. Their 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning production, Invisible Cities, caught public attention as it played out in Union Station amongst unsuspecting passersby. In the fall of 2015, the Industry raised the stakes with Hopscotch, a “mobile opera for 24 cars,” which stationed live scenes all over the east side of Los Angeles, shuttling audiences in limos between them. The Hopscotch libretto follows the life and love of Lucha. Public spaces like Chinatown Plaza, the Bradbury Building, Hollenbeck Park, and in the backseat of moving vehicles serve as real-life sets for vignettes that portray major milestones in Lucha’s life.
Audiences were thrilled with Hopscotch. The composition, orchestration, and the innovation of the piece impressed all who witnessed the opera. Much has been said about the mechanics of Hopscotch, but few outlets have told the story of what it was like to perform. Four of the quintessential soloists in Hopscotch are LA based opera singers, all singing the role of Lucha. Annenberg’s Corinne DeWitt, who reported on Hopscotch here, spoke with Suzanna Guzman, Delaram Kamareh, Maria Elena Altany, and Justine Aronson about the challenges of their role as Lucha, and how their performance will challenge the status quo of opera in Los Angeles.