Opera has been part of island culture for more than a century. Its history in Hawaii, 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 Liliuokalani 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. International artists, who have graced stages from the New York Met to opera houses throughout Europe and Asia, compete up to three years in advance to perform on the HOT stage along side Hawaii's best local artists. With its recent commemoration of 50 years as Hawaii's only professional opera company, HOT is one of the largest performing arts organizations in the state with performances and outreach presentations on all of the major islands.