Hoops and High Notes
Close-up of elegant singer Ashley Emerson

Soprano Ashley Emerson hosts this video series which includes a lighthearted comparison of opera singers with athletes, artists and artisans in our community. Watch them compare notes, flaunt their skills, compare secrets of their craft and share in good-natured competition.

Ballet + Opera

Join soprano Ashley Emerson in our first episode of Hoops & High Notes. Discover what ballet performers and opera singers have in common in this interview with Louisville Ballet’s Ryo Suzuki.

Bourbon + Opera

What does a bourbon Master Distiller have in common with an opera performer in perfecting their craft? Find out in the second episode of our Hoops & High Notes series as soprano Ashley Emerson interviews Woodford Reserve’s Master Distiller Chris Morris on his journey at Brown-Forman.

Football + Opera

How does training for a football game compare to preparing for an opera? Watch our third episode of Hoops & High Notes for an interview with soprano Ashley Emerson and PJ Mbanasor, former football player at the University of Louisville, to find out.

Drag + Opera

Dramatic. Audacious. Vivacious: three adjectives that describe the art forms of opera and drag. Both share the skills of performing and connecting with the audience from the stage. Find out what else opera singers and drag queens share as soprano Ashley Emerson interviews the fabulous, opera-singing drag queen Gilda Wabbit!

Skateboarding + Opera

On the surface, you might not think that opera and skateboarding have much in common. But between the physicality of singing and skateboarding and finding your signature style, the two have more similarities than meets the eye. Discover what else they share in the latest episode of Hoops & High Notes, as soprano Ashley Emerson interviews Noah Hulsman, owner of Home Skateshop, about his skateboarding journey and how that compares to singing opera.

Baseball Bats + Opera

Spring training for Major League Baseball has just begun! Find out how the instrument of a baseball player compares to the instrument of an opera singer in this interview with soprano Ashley Emerson and Bailey Mazik, Guest Experience Assistant Manager at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory.

Shakespeare + Opera

To sing...or to act? That is the question. Whether singing opera or belting the words of Shakespeare, opera singers and actors can both be described as vocal athletes. In this episode of Hoops & High Notes, soprano Ashley Emerson interviews Kyle Ware, Actor & Director of Education at Kentucky Shakespeare, about their respective crafts in which all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.

Racehorses + Opera Part 1

Opera singers and racehorses – are they born, or are they made? Discover how the journey and training of a racehorse compares with that of an opera singer in this episode.

Racehorses + Opera Part 2

Have you ever wondered what happens to horses AFTER they retire from racing? Just as opera singers may take on a second career after retiring from performing, racehorses may follow a similar path. Explore what finding a post-performance career looks like in the final part of our two-parter about racehorses.

Calligraphy + Opera

In our final episode of Hoops & High Notes, soprano Ashley Emerson interviews Jen Grove, Owner of Lettersong Calligraphy Studio & Gallery, to explore the connections between opera and calligraphy, two art forms performed with rhythm, flow, grace, and fluidity.