Courtside

Chamber Opera in One Act (2011)
Libretto by Eugenie Chan
Four Voices, Vn, Vc, D.Bass, Pno & Pipa
Duration: 30″
Full Score :: Piano Vocal Score :: Libretto
Commissioned by Houston Grand Opera
Premiere: February 5, 2011, Houston Grand Opera; Joseph Li, conductor
Seong Shin Ra, soprano; Rodell Aure Rosel, tenor; Wesley Landry; baritone; Kelvin Chan, bass-baritone

Three generations of Chinese Americans must find ways to reconcile the expectations between the dining room table and the basketball court, in order to live with pride in modern America, while maintaining tradition.

Courtside follows Jason Ching, a hot-shot, high school basketball player who fights back when taunted on the court. Conceptually, the text centers on the image of withdrawal vs. release and acceptance vs. rage in a young man’s world where basketball is a means of touching the heavens. The opera was commissioned by the Houston Grand Opera (HGO), for their HGOco “Song of Houston” project, a series of new works that share the stories of Houstonians who define the unique character of that city. The piece is a part of the East + West component of “Song of Houston”, which celebrates the city as a meeting place for Eastern and Western cultures, and explores the stories of first and second-generation immigrants.