Creative Team

Grethe Barrett Holby (Concept & Creative Director)

Directed/choreographed at The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center Festival, Houston Grand Opera, La Scala, and opera companies across the US. Original cast member of Einstein on the Beach; collaborations with Leonard Bernstein, Lou Reed, Robert Wilson and Yusef Komunyakaa; founder of Ardea Arts, Family Opera Initiative and American Opera Projects. A Rockefeller Fellowship recipient, she holds a B.S. and M.S. from MIT.

Charles R. Smith, Jr. (Book, Libretto, & Lyrics)

Award-winning author, photographer and poet with over thirty books to his credit. Numerous accolades including a Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration (2010) for his photographs accompanying the Langston Hughes poem, “My People” and a Coretta Scott King Honor Author Award (2008) for his biography on Muhammad Ali, “Twelve Rounds to Glory.”

Glen Roven (Lead Composer & Music Supervisor)

Composer, lyricist, conductor, pianist; Founder and Artistic Director for Roven Records, distributed worldwide by Naxos; twelve-time Emmy Award nominee and four-time Emmy Award winner; collaborated with Quincy Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Frank Sinatra, Julie Andrews, Aretha Franklin, Renee Fleming, Kathleen Battle and hundreds of other celebrities for film, television, Broadway, Carnegie Hall and many other international venues and orchestras.

Tomás Doncker (Additional Music)

Composer, producer. Guitarist for James Chance & The Contortions, Defunkt, J. Walter Negro & The Loose Jointz. Collaborated with Bootsy Collins, Yoko Ono, The Itals, & Prince Charles Alexander. Current projects with Ivan Neville, Bonnie Raitt, Meshell Ndegeocello, Living Colour’s Corey Glover, P-Funk keyboardist Amp Fiddler Shamekia Copeland, & Bill Laswell.

Ansel Elgort (Hip-Hop Tracks)

A DJ, producer, singer, and actor, Elgort has performed in major EDM concert venues and festivals around the world. He was nominated the 2017 Golden Globe Best Actor for his role in Baby Driver. Currently in production on The Goldfinch, based on the Pulitzer-winning novel, his past credits include Carrie, The Fault In Our Stars, and the Divergent series. He is signed with Island Records and is a graduate of LaGuardia Arts High School here in New York City.

Everett McCorvey (Producer & Music Director)

Professor of Voice, OperaLex Endowed Chair in Opera Studies, and director and executive producer of the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre; artistic director of the National Chorale, New York City; director of the American Spiritual Ensemble; vice-chair of the Kentucky Arts Council. Professional Credits: the Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Opera, Teatro Communale (Italy), Radio Music City Hall.

Beth Gutcheon (Additional Story and Libretto)

Beth Gutcheon has ten novels in print. Her eleventh will be published by Morrow / HarperCollins in March of 2018. She is also a vested member of the Writers Guild of America, with some dozen studio feature screenplays to her credit, as well as the narration for the documentary Children of Theatre Street, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Frank X Walker (Additional Lyrics)

Former Kentucky Poet Laureate, Frank X Walker is a founder of the Affrilachian Poets and the author of nine collections of poetry including, Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers. Voted one of the most creative professors in the South, he is the originator of the word, Affrilachia. The Lannan Poetry Fellowship Award recipient has degrees from UK and Spalding University as well as four honorary doctorates from the University of KY, Spalding University, Centre College, and Transylvania University.

David Wolfson (Orchestration & Music Director)

Wolfson is enjoying an eclectic career, having worked as conductor, composer, music director, orchestrator, arranger, pianist, and copyist for performances in venues ranging from Broadway theatres to elementary school cafetoriums. This is the seventh Ardea Arts production he has been involved with in some capacity. He teaches at Hunter College. To hear his original music, please visit DavidWolfsonMusic.net.

 
 

BOUNCE Performances

A Cocktail Introduction to BOUNCE
April 16, 2018

Seth A. Ibarrondo (Poet)

A long-time, staunch supporter and performer for BOUNCE, Seth was born in New Rochelle, NY. He has always been a musician since the time he could remember. It wasn’t until many years later that Seth was discovered by an A&R from Atlantic Records after a performance in New York City’s Meat Packing District, asking him to come on board as a songwriter. Seth has written for Hip Hop & RnB superstars such as Trina, Lil Kim, Twista, Trick Daddy and many more. After encouragement from family & friends, Seth began to pursue a career in acting alongside his passion for creating music. He is currently working on his debut EP with longtime friend, producer and composer Gary Haase.

Kenny “The Blenda” Rodriguez (Ball Bouncer)

Blenda Rodriguez first picked up a basketball because he wanted to do everything his big brother, Elvis, did, and he’s never looked back. Blenda was also influenced greatly by the Globetrotters and another ball handling marvel, Pistol Pete Maravich. “The tricks the ’Trotters and Pistol Pete did were unreal to me; I didn’t think those things were possible.”

His passion for basketball led him to create his own ball handling show that he performed in NBA arenas and schools, which took him throughout the U.S., London and Japan. Blenda was rated the number one ball handler in 2007 at a StreetGodz event freestyle battle, where he competed against the top eight ball handling free-stylists from New York, California, Illinois, and Virginia.

Blenda was also featured in the DVDs “One Love True Balling, Volume 2” and “One Love Pure Heat, Volume 3,” with NBA stars Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and more. The Globetrotters’ scouting staff discovered his incredible skills, and after a tryout, Blenda became a member of the most famous basketball team on the planet.

Blenda also enjoys martial arts, and the discipline and hand-eye coordination translate seamlessly to his ball handling prowess.

Troy Press (Announcer/MC)

Also a long-time, staunch supporter and performer for BOUNCE, Troy’s acting credits include principal roles in short films like This Is My Cap (runner-up at the Harlem Film Festival for Best Comedy Short) and Her Finale. He’s also appeared onstage as Bryce in The Devil Tree, which won Best Play at the 2015 Players Theatre Book Festival. Troy is a host for Fox Sports 1, ESPN Radio/TVl. He currently works for the Brooklyn Nets.

Samuel Li Weintraub (Kwame Lucas)

Samuel made his Broadway debut last year at age 5, as an original cast member in the revival of Miss Saigon as Tam. He has also been seen in a commercial for Play-Doh, and will appear on Season 3 of Amazon Prime’s Creative Galaxy. He is a very busy 6-year-old! He attends kindergarten, studies karate, piano, and dance, and loves cars and singing.

Phillip Gay (Isaac “Ike the Flight” Harris)

Phillip Gay, An American bass-baritone, is praised by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review as having an “impressive” and “sonorous” voice. An alumnus of the Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist Program, he has sung numerous roles for countless operas. This season, he will reprise his roles in The Summer King with Michigan Opera Theatre. Gay holds degrees from Lamar University and University of Illinois at Urbana: Champaign.

Alan Dai (Chorus)

Dai is a self-taught vocalist, beatboxer, and composer currently based in New York City. A native of sunny Los Angeles, he enjoys recording, producing, mixing, and mastering music as a freelancer, and hopes to one day start his own professional studio. He also has an interest in Computer Science, and aspires to combine those skills with his love for music. He is a recent graduate from Columbia University, earning a B.A. in Music.

Adam Richardson (TJ “The Future” King)

Richardson is rapidly gaining acclaim as a multi-talented baritone for his powerful operatic, concert, and theatre performances. He debuted successfully internationally as a soloist in 2014 with the American Spiritual Ensemble. He earned his M.M. (’11) from The Juilliard School. He also holds a B.F.A. (’09) from Carnegie Mellon University. Richardson is well-recognized and received several awards, including the Encouragement Award from the Harlem Opera Theatre, Young Talent Award from the Lotte Lenya Competition, and second place from the Pittsburgh National Arts and Letters.

Robert Weintraub (Chorus)

Weintraub, an experienced, versatile baritone, is at home performing in opera, oratorio, concert, musical theater, and contemporary music. He has been previously featured on the stages of The Ashlawn Opera Festival, and more. He received his Master’s in Opera Performance at Arizona State University and an undergraduate degree from SUNY Fredonia. He lives in Hartsdale, NY with his wife, pianist Lin Li Weintraub, their child, Samuel (Kwame Lucas), and their dog, CoCo.

Phillip K. Bullock (Coach Ellis)

Bullock, a native of Washington, D.C., has been featured in operas, recitals, and concerts across the United States. Recently, he has performed the role of Jake, in Porgy and Bess, at the Sächsische Staatsoper in Dresden, Germany. This past summer, he was seen in concert performances with the National Music Festival Orchestra. Bullock has both workshopped and premiered several leading roles in new commissioned works with arts organizations around the country. In past seasons, he has worked with Kentucky Opera, Sarasota Opera, St. Petersburg Opera, and Virginia Opera as a resident artist. Next season, he will return to Virginia Opera as a resident artist.

Susanna White (Sabrina Banks)

White graduated from the University of Kentucky in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre along with a Vocal Performance minor. Her performing credits include several productions through the UK Opera Theatre. She has also performed locally in KY through Stage Right Acting. She has competed in the 2015 and 2017 Miss Kentucky Pageant earning a place in the top ten, the Spirit of Miss Kentucky Award, and the Overall Talent Award. She hopes to be a positive influence in the performing arts world not only through her work, but through her heart for loving others.

Clark Davis (Daphne Woods)

Davis graduated as a vocal performance major at the University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts, Opera Theatre. She served her state as Miss Kentucky in 2015 as a representative at the Miss America Pageant. She plans on moving to New York City to pursue her performance aspirations in the fall of 2018.

Ryan Brightwell (Teammate)

Brightwell just moved to New York from Kentucky. He has been acting for a little over two years now in pursuit of his goal to make acting his career. He has played basketball since he was a young boy, and played four years of college basketball at two different colleges. Brightwell was also recently married to his wife Lizzie.

Alison Buchanan (Mrs. Harris)

Known for a “luscious voice with incredible richness and clarity,” soprano Alison Buchanan has been regaling audiences around the world with her versatility, “great dramatic flair,” musicality, and “depth of emotion.” She has performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and gave a Martin Luther King concert for National Sawdust in Brooklyn. Buchanan made her debut at the Harare International Festival in Zimbabwe, traveled to Brazil performing with Marin Alsop with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra as Serena in PORGY & BESS, and then to Barbados for the Classical Pops Festival.

Patrice E. Turner (Mrs. Lucas)

An accomplished classical, jazz, and gospel pianist, soprano Patrice E. Turner received a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Music and Music Education from Ohio State University. She also earned a Master’s and Doctor of Music and Music Education from Columbia University. Artist-in-residence at the First Corinthian Baptist Church, she teaches at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Her numerous credits include her CD: Introducing Patrice E. Turner, concerts at Smetana Hall, Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, and Konserthuset.

Justin A. Ibarrondo (Police Officer)

Justin Ibarrondo, born in New Rochelle, NY, started to pursue a career in acting after spending many years as an entertainment manager to his brother Seth (Poet) and taking on the role as Creative Director for several projects they have worked on. His need and desire to create led him down the path of chasing a lifelong dream of becoming an actor, where he did so once his brother’s music and songwriting career was on the rise. Justin is also an accomplished artist who spends most of his downtime with acrylic & canvas, accompanied with a passion for writing poetry.

Jack “Black Jack” Ryan (Ball Handler)

Jack “Black Jack” Ryan first became a Harlem Wizard in 1997, became the first white Harlem Wizard Showman in 1999, and has enjoyed providing basketball entertainment ever since. He was recognized as the main character for a 2013 documentary entitled Doin’ It In the Park, and was also a subject of interest in a documentary called Release: The Jack Ryan Story, and a feature film is now in the works!

 

Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) Conference 2018
January 12, 2018

Aaron Ramsey (TJ “The Future” King)

Aaron Ramsey, a baritone from New York City, performed the role of Future in APAP 2018 and East Flatbush Showcase 2017.

Ryan Brightwell (Coach Ellis)

Brightwell just moved to New York from Kentucky. He has been acting for a little over two years now in pursuit of his goal to make acting his career. He has played basketball since he was a young boy, and played four years of college basketball at two different colleges. Brightwell was also recently married to his wife Lizzie.

Brian Kortovich (Ball Handler)

Kortovich has defined his life by dreaming big and overcoming the odds. He overcame the loss of his father to cancer at an early age through basketball. What began as a cathartic outlet quickly became a lifelong passion and devotion, propelling Brian around the world in search of a hoop and paving the way into the NBA D-League draft and preseason camps with the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets.

 
 

University of Kentucky Opera Theatre (UKOT) World Premiere
November 10–12, 2017

Benjamin S. Preacely (Kwame Lucas)

Benjamin Preacely was a second grader at Trinity Christian Academy. He is the son of Michael and LeTicia Preacely and the brother of Joshua and Jayce. He enjoys reading, playing video games and family vacations. This is his first theatrical appearance.

Blake Ashton Denson (TJ “The Future” King)

Denson received a Vocal Performance major from University of Kentucky studying with Dr. Dennis Bender. While attending UK, he has been involved in various organizations, including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., AcoUstikats, and U.K. Intramurals. Over the years, Denson has played various roles such as Seaweed in Hairspray, Jud in Oklahoma!, Javert in Les Misérables, and, most recently, Dottore Grenvil in La Traviata.

Ben Boutell (Coach Ellis)

Boutell is a Music Education and Vocal Performance Major at the University of Kentucky. He’s excited to be in the world premiere of BOUNCE! He would like to thank Dr. Everett McCorvey and Grethe Holby for the opportunity.

Alicia Helm McCorvey (Mrs. Harris)

Alicia McCorvey received her Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, her Master’s Degree from New York University and has completed her D.M.A. coursework at the University of Kentucky. She has sung with the Metropolitan Opera, Aspen Music Festival, Chautauqua Opera, Opera Carolina, the American Spiritual Ensemble, National Chorale and Miami Opera, to name a few, and in places as diverse as Japan, Brazil, England and Spain.

Treg Setty (Hector the Helicopter)

Treg Setty, a professional basketball player, hails from Maysville, KY. He played for S. Illnois his freshman year before transferring to Ohio State, where he played for the remainder of college. In his senior year at Ohio, he was promoted to a starter, where he averaged 12 points and 5 rebounds per game on 53/37/72 shooting splits. Setty most recently played for Leuven, a Belgian team, during the 2016-17 season.