Regional Opera Company of the Week: Hawaii Opera Theatre
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by Scott Frost
The Hawaii Opera Theatre (HOT) has a rich history dating back to 1960 when it opened with Madama Butterfly with performances in McKinley High School Auditorium.
For the first two decades the company was a subdivision of the Honolulu Symphony. In 1980, HOT became an independent tax-exempt corporation with the launch of their first independent season with La Bohème, Lucia di Lammermoor and Carmen. The company has continued to evolve into what it is today- with International Artists who have graced the most renowned stages as the New York Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, the Royal Opera house and many others through Europe, Asia and North America. The casting of the featured roles pulls from around the world while the chorus of 40-70 is comprised of local singers who rehearse for months before the opening of a main stage production.
While the company only has a Winter Grand Opera and Summer Season productions, HOT has a group of year-round staff that are committed to bringing opera to thousands of children throughout the year. This program is nationally recognized for reaching more than 25,000 students on Oahu and other neighboring islands through a series of programs. The HOT Residency Program works with select schools each season to help produce mini-operas with the students. Opera for Everyone is a program that allows Middle and High School students to attend the final dress rehearsal of the operas. The company also has Opera Express that brings shortened opera to the school. HOT Training allows voice training for young artists interested in a career in opera. There are many ways for your students or children to become involved with Hawaii Opera Theatre. Check out more information on the Education and Outreach page.
HOT has a unique program in which you can support the company while also getting to know and supporting a professional world renown opera singer in your own home. The leads are on the island for four weeks between rehearsal, tech and performance and need a comfortable inviting place to stay. This is such an amazing opportunity to get to know and gain insight to the world of an opera singer.
HOT Current Season:
This years season kicked off with Die Fledermaus back in October and this week saw the close of the second production in the HOT season, Dialogues of the Carmelites. HOT's 2012-13 season ends with Tosca from April 26- 30. If you are on the islands be sure not to miss this season closer sung in Italian with English subtitles.
Opera is all around out throughout this country. No matter where you travel or where you live you can always find an opera outlet. Be sure to find the opera companies near you both at home and on vacation. For more information about Hawaii Opera Theatre or to get tickets for the upcoming Tosca, visit their website.