REVIEW: Hopscotch in Concert redefines opera in live show

Hopscotch, the world’s first mobile opera performance, tells a unique tale of lovers burdened with the difficulties of life.  Debuting at iconic Los Angeles sites since 2015, Hopscotch was performed in 24 cars that would travel through the city.

There were eight scenic routes taken, each telling a different segment of the story. When a ticket was purchased, audience members would be given a specific address on their ticket and would begin the performance there. Every series of car rides told a radically different part of the character’s lives, and the audience could start anywhere in the storyline, thrown into the middle or working backwards from the end.

Because of the non-linear narrative, the audience was forced to actively participate in the performance and piece together the story on its own. Hopscotch tells the heartbreaking and unique tale of many lovers tangled up together.

“How do you know you’re in love with me, when there are so many you’s and so many me’s?” This is the question lovers Lucha and Jameson despair over as their relationship becomes more complicated.

The characters struggle with their love for each other and question how substantial their love is when there are so many people in the universe similar to them.

As time goes on, their love is not strong enough to bind them since both wish to pursue different paths of lives as the ones they are currently on turn aimless. During his research on headband transmitters, Jameson reaches a frenzied point and suffers a mental breakdown. Days, months and then years go by, yet Lucha never hears from him again.

When Orlando, a friend of Lucha’s, returns from Paris, the two began dating. The new couple drive through the streets of the city and remark how much has changed due to the effect of time.

They both agree that life is a series of questions. They grapple with mysteries of the universe and come to realize that some things will never be understood or have answers to them, neither the mysteries of the universe nor the mysteries in themselves.

All 36 chapters of Hopscotch debuted for the first time ever in linear order at the Alfred Newman Recital Hall last Friday. It was a special evening lead by artistic director Yuval Sharon. Through Hopscotch, themes of companionship, displacement and fulfillment are developed and built on in the most interesting and unconventional ways.

“A thousand streets lead into one great road, and no gate blocks your way,” a fortune-teller tells Lucha.

The concert circulates around this enigmatic message that Lucha receives. Throughout the story, many characters battle the obstacles placed on the roads they travel. However by the end, Lucha finds herself headed down her own great road and the performance ends on this final note.

The finale is so fitting as it ends on a perfect, balanced note. In a harmonious last song every performer walks slowly down the aisles. The eyes of the audience trails their every step. As the artists gather onstage for a grand finish, each sings to the hearts of all a story of love, determination and happiness.

Sharon conveys it is through art that we can think about the intrinsic values and challenges of the universe.

Art is a communal activity that brings together people to think about the world around them and their part in it. With art, people are able to both express themselves and celebrate life.

The universe has many wonderful things to offer, despite the many mysteries it holds. Hopscotch clearly exemplifies this revelation in a beautiful, five-star worthy performance with the universal message to live freely and embrace what you cannot control.