Courtside: Post-Game Update

I’m back from 17 amazing days working with the Houston Grand Opera’s HGOco, on rehearsals and performances of Courtside.  A one act chamber opera, Courtside premiered on Saturday, February 5th, to an audience of about 3,000, at the Chinese Community Center in Houston. Performances continued through 2/12 – eight in all throughout Houston. It was an exhilarating experience working with such an amazing organization as HGO, and with such a brilliant, accomplished cast and creative team. I’m sincerely grateful to Anthony Freud, Sandra Bernhard, Patrick Summers, Leslie Swackhamer, Evan Wildstein and everyone else involved with the project for this tremendous opportunity.

More about Courtside, at the HGO website

In rehearsal at HGOÂ

HGO recently announced the launch of East + West, a four-year project to commission a series of new chamber operas based on the intersection of Eastern and Western cultures. I feel honored to have been asked to compose Courtside, the first opera in this series. The story follows three generations of Chinese Americans balancing Chinese traditions at home with American expectations on the basketball court. Both of which need to be reconciled when Jason Ching, a hot-shot high school basketball player, fights back when taunted on the court.

“Opera That Bridges the Divide”The Wall Street Journal
“The Yao Ming Opera?”Culturemap, Houston
“Song of Houston: East + West: Courtside”

Costume designer Macy Perrone's sketch


Rodell Rosel
, Jason Ching
Seong Shin Ra, 
Margaret Ching
Kelvin Chan
, Goong-Goong Ching
Wesley Landry, 
Trevor Johnson

Leslie Swackhamer
, Director
Joseph Li
, Music Director
Elizabeth Freese, 
Set Designer
Macy Perrone
, Costume Designer
Jack Perla
, Composer
Eugenie Chan
, Librettist
Shenshen Zhang


Librettist Eugenie Chan
Set designs by the awesome Liz Freese
B-ball court becomes.... dining room
Seong Shin Ra (Margaret Ching) & Rodell Rosel (Jason Ching)
Pipa genius Shenshen Zhang
Cast, final performance