Why is opera called "grand"? Magnificent sets. Spectacular costumes. Glorious voices. Live symphony orchestra. Familiar musical scores. Timeless, classic story lines. Emotional introspection. The artistry of opera offers a theatrical experience like no other.
Before going to the opera, plan ahead to get the most out of your experience.
The performances take place at the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall. Ample parking is available for $6. Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to curtain time to allow for unexpected parking lot delays due to activities at the adjacent Blaisdell Arena. When available, parking advisories will be published here.
To many here, the opera is the perfect opportunity to be elegant and glamorous. But for those who take a more laid-back approach, comfortable style is the way to go. Short of shorts and slippers, dress to suit yourself. You will see some suits, a tux or two, cultured pearls, shell lei, muumuu of several lengths, neat aloha shirts. So no matter if you like dolling it up, or taking it easy, you'll fit right in.
A wide selection of dining options just 5 or 10 minutes away from the Blaisdell Concert Hall for all tastes and budgets.
Knowing the storyline of the opera before arriving for the performance is a great initial step to enhancing the enjoyment of your opera experience. HOT also presents several short talks about the upcoming operas at various locations, outlined in the HOT Guide to the Season. Another easy way to prepare is to rent videos of the operas in question from the library, Netflix or other providers. You'll acquire insight to the different ways the opera can be staged and roles performed.
Before the show and during intermissions, enjoy drinks, snacks or light dinner fare available at the Hall. The Lion Café features your favorite espresso drinks, sandwiches and bakery items. Wine, cocktails and soft drinks are also available.
HOT logo wear, collectibles, gifts and more are available at the ShOpera Boutique in the theatre lobby before opera performances and during intermission. 10% discount to HOT Members.
When the lobby lights flash, that means you have a few minutes to find your seat.
At curtain time, the house lights are dimmed, and the musicians begin to perform the opera's overture. The overture is a musical masterpiece that transports you from your seat into the storyline. The overture often contains the music you will hear later in the opera.
The stage scene reveals itself before your eyes, and the performers begin to enter. Unlike musicals or plays, most operas have no spoken dialog. Rather, the libretto, which is like a script for a movie, is set to music and sung by the story's characters. This includes the principal cast and the members of the HOT Chorus, who are also singng and acting in full costume.
The music you hear during these performances are works created by the geniuses of the genre – Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Puccini, to name a few. Performers and production specialists who bring these masterworks to life are people who've been perfecting their craft their entire lives. The end result for audiences is a performance that is presented at the highest artistic level.
Opera brings you face to face with a range of human emotions; it can be sad, hysterical, surprising or uplifting. Feel free to laugh or cry as the drama presents itself.