From Il Trovatore, HOT 2015–16 season

A guide to Hawaii Opera Theatre's 2016-2017 season

Summit + Hawaii Opera Theatre

Text Summit Staff

Opera has been part of island culture for more than a century. Its history in Hawaiʻi, which dates back to the 1850s, includes stories of Queen Emma singing in the chorus of Verdi’s Il Trovatore while her husband, King Kamehameha IV served as the stage manager. Queen Liliʻuokalani is said to have composed her own opera. Hawaii Opera Theatre (HOT) was established as a non-profit organization in 1960. Today, HOT is known for its vibrant and creative productions. Artistic excellence continues to be the cornerstone of standards for the company.

Since 1961, Hawaii Opera Theatre (HOT), formerly a division of the Honolulu Symphony Society, has enhanced both art and culture in Hawai‘i by presenting opera performances of the highest quality while maintaining affordability. Through four annual productions at the Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall, HOT offers opera to almost 18,000 residents and visitors each season, increasing the public’s awareness and exposure to opera as a modern, multi-media art form.

HOT’s educational programs for youth serve as both catalyst and active participant in the artistic education of Hawai‘i’s youth: Opera for Everyone provides a special performance of each opera for a large and enthusiastic audience of students; Opera Express takes specially adapted operas into elementary and middle schools, with special tours to all neighbor islands; HOT’s Opera Residency program takes education and production staff members into an elementary school to work with students and teachers to compose an opera production centered around curriculum components; and adult education is offered with Opera Highlights, a non-credit course at the University of Hawai‘i. The company also provides opera previews at the Honolulu Museum of Art and pre-performance lectures on the Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall lanai.

Hawaii Opera Theatre (HOT) announces its 2016–17 opera season, highlighting the passion and magnificent beauty of the art form and featuring world-class productions and internationally renowned stars.

From A Midsummer Night's Dream, HOT 2015–16 season

La bohème

Alongside his iconic Madama Butterfly, La bohème is one of Puccini’s most popular operas. Set in Paris during the start of 1830s, La bohème tells the story of four young artists living in a garret (attic) and pursuing an idealistic “bohemian” lifestyle. When Rudolfo the poet meets Mimi they fall in love, but the poverty of their lifestyle affects her health and, after a whirlwind romance, she tragically dies. From the romance of their first meeting in act one, to the joyous celebration of Café Momus on Christmas Eve with the delightful Musetta, the opera moves to the soulful quartet of act three which leads to the tragedy of act four. Featuring some of Puccini’s best-loved melodies.

Blaisdell Concert Hall
777 Ward Ave, Honolulu, HI 96814
Oct. 14, 16 & 18, 2016

A Streetcar Named Desire

In 1995, Andre Previn transformed Tennessee Williams’ classic play into a gripping opera. Set in New Orleans in the 1940s, Blanche DuBois arrives at the home of her sister, Stella, and husband, Stanley Kowalski, after suffering the loss of her ancestral home and job. Skeptical of the story, Stanley grows infuriated by Blanche losing his wife’s birthright, and sets out to reveal the truth behind the circumstance. The conflict between the two unfolds with tragic and violent consequences.

HOT’s production stars Jill Gardner (Tosca, 2013) as Stella and Ryan McKinney (The Flying Dutchman, 2015) as Stanley. Mark Morash conducts.

Blaisdell Concert Hall
777 Ward Ave, Honolulu, HI 96814
Jan. 27, 29 & 31, 2017

Three Decembers

Composed by Jake Heggie (Moby Dick), Three Decembers is based on a play by Terrence McNally about Broadway star Madeline Mitchell, as she enters the twilight of her career and life. The story unfolds with Madeline, estranged from her children, sharing a secret she has kept for over three decades; hidden truths are revealed as the family members struggle to find their identities, both as parts of a whole and as individuals. Madeline will be played by mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade in what the Houston Chronicle called “the role of a lifetime” for the opera legend when she first performed the role in 2008.

Hawaii Theatre
1130 Bethel St, Honolulu, HI 96813
March 24, 25 & 26, 2017

Tales of Hoffmann

The Tales of Hoffmann, composed by Jacques Offenbach, takes place over a series of flashbacks as the famous German poet Hoffmann tells the story of his three great failed romances at a bar, ruining his fourth great romance in the process. Each woman represents a part of the whole that he is seeking: Olympia, the beautiful doll; Antonia, the singer; and Giulietta, the courtesan. As his current love, the prima donna Stella, abandons him in despair, Hoffmann once more dedicates himself to his true love: poetry.

Blaisdell Concert Hall
777 Ward Ave, Honolulu, HI 96814
Apr. 21, 23 & 25, 2017


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