Author Archives: Hawaii Opera Theater

10/20 – Hear Excerpts from As One at Arts in Conversation: LGBTQ+

Artists for Social Justice Hawaii are back with another free event on October 20, 2017, at 7:30pm, in the Orvis Auditorium.  Don’t miss it and get the chance to hear As One, which HOT stages this coming January!



Arts in Conversation: LGBTQ+

October 20th, 2017 7:30 PM, Orvis Auditorium

In a Heartbeat                                                                                            Esteban Bravo & Beth David

                                                                                                             Ringling College of Art & Design

Suite for Violincello and Harp                                                                                             Lou Harrison

  1. Chorale
  2. Interlude

Anna Callner, cello & Megan Bledsoe-Ward, harp

Native Hawaiian Leadership in the LGBTQ+ community

Kumu Hina Wong-Kalu, Speaker

Same Love                                                                                                        Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Sam Hargrove, Helena Bohannan, Rosemary Kulhavy-Sutherland

I Dream A World                                                                               André J. Thomas & Langston Hughes

In This Moment                                                                                                                      Gary Simmons

Seasons of Love (Rent)                                                                                                        Jonathan Larson

Gay Men’s Chorus of Honolulu

Phil Hidalgo, Artistic Director

Steven Strugnell, Piano



Milo Robinson, poetry, video, editing & Katie Patrick, dance

An die Musik                                                                                                              Franz Schubert

  1. (Deux Poème de Louis Arragon) Francis Poulenc

Sonetto LV: Tu sai, ch’io so (Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo)                                   Benjamin Britten

Early in the morning                                                                                                   Ned Rorem

I never knew (AIDS Quilt Songbook)                                                             Ricky Ian Gordon

Rachel Schutz & Chorelle Ramirez, soprano; Kyle McKinney, tenor

Thomas Yee & Noe Baladad, piano

Farrington HS Slam Poetry Club

Excerpts from As One                                                                                                 Laura Kaminsky

            Perfect Boy

            Two Cities

            Three Words

Jeremy M. Wong: Hannah, before

Maya Hoover: Hannah, after

Maika’i Nash, Piano; Barett Hoover, director

HOT Orvis Opera Studio Live in Concert with Maestro Tim Shaindlin

HOT presents the Orvis Opera Studio: Live in Concert with Maestro Timothy Shaindlin, on Saturday, August 12, at the Mae Z. Orvis Auditorium at the University of Hawai’i-Manoa. This free event is offered by HOT’s Education Department.

Doors to the public will open at 7:00pm; performance at 7:30pm. Both on street and limited parking are available at Mae Z. Orvis Auditorium, University of Hawaii at Manoa Music Department. Please call 808-596-7372 to RSVP.

Singers from the Mae Z. Orvis Opera Studio will perform in this free concert featuring opera arias and other classical music favorites led by Maestro Timothy Shaindlin. The event is the culmination of two weeks spent with Maestro Shaindlin.

Maestro Timothy Shaindlin has been on the faculty of the Yale School of Music since 2008. He has also served on the music staffs of the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, San Diego Opera, and multiple world-renowned companies. Additionally, Mr. Shaindlin has played in classes and coachings for some of world’s most beloved voices, including such artists as Carlo Bergonzi, Sherrill Milnes, Joan Sutherland, Regine Crespin,Beverly Sills, Birgit Nilsson, Luciano Pavarotti, and Frederica von Stade.

Along with his work as a Coach and Teacher, Mr. Shaindlin has had engagements on the podium with the Wolf Trap Opera Festival and Chicago Opera Theatre. He most recently conducted HOT’s production of The Mikado (2014).

Jake and Jill Gardner return to Hawaii for A Grand Night for Singing


A Grand Night For Singing will take place at 7:30 pm on Saturday, June 17 in the Sacred Hearts Academy Second Floor Auditorium, located at 3253 Waialae Avenue Honolulu, Hawaii, 96816.

To RSVP, contact Hawaii Opera Theatre at (808)596-7372.


Honolulu Star-Advertiser Opera Review

Star-Advertiser Review: ‘Hoffmann’ closes out opera season with bittersweet story of love wasted and lost

A bittersweet story of love wasted and lost, the Jacques Offenbach opera “The Tales of Hoffmann” has many a party scene, from its carousing opening scene in a tavern, to an elegant ball to a raucous gambling den.

So it only seems fitting that “Hoffmann” closes this year’s Hawaii Opera Theatre season. The opera, which premiered Friday, is longtime HOT artistic director Henry Akina’s final production, as illness is forcing him into retirement. And with a beautiful production that featured fine performances all around and one particularly stupendous one, he gave himself and his audience a spectacular aloha.

Offenbach described his 1881 masterpiece as an “opera fantastique,” and it is a bit crazy and hard to follow, with a huge cast and lots of interchangeable parts. The story has writer, composer and jurist E.T.A. Hoffman reliving the three main romances of his life: his superficial attraction to the doll Olympia; an honest but ultimately tragic love for the mysteriously ill Antonia; and a lust-driven downfall to the courtesan Giuletta. It’s a wide-ranging role requiring everything from bravado to vulnerability, and tenor Eric Fennell delivers nicely on those counts. His main aria “The Legend of Kleinzach,” a knee-slapping tale about a dwarf, was comical, fun and somewhat cruel, in the way that alcohol-driven banter can be.


Unfortunately, Fennell’s voice, while smooth and pleasant on the ear, was overmatched by his powerful co-stars. Olivia Vote, in the “pants role” (a woman playing a young man) of Nicklausse, filled Blaisdell Concert Hall with her silvery soprano, particularly in the second-act “Violin” aria, in which Nicklausse, who is actually the alter ego of the female Muse, tries to turn Hoffmann’s attentions towards her.

Wayne Tigges, who during the course of the opera foils Hoffmann as four different villains, brought a multifaceted menace to the roles and a baritone that was Darth-Vader-like in depth and power. Out loud, he had only one evil laugh, but you felt it throughout the evening. Also excellent in a multi-character performance was Joseph Gaines, who plays four servants, some bumbling and incompetent, others wickedly sycophantic. His clear tenor cut through the orchestra life a hot knife through butter.

The stupendous performance of the evening – one that provoked gasps from the audience and a 40-second-long ovation – was delivered by coloratura soprano Rachele Gilmore. Olympia’s aria “Les oiseaux dans la charmille” (“The birds in the arbor”) has become her signature, and Friday’s performance showed why. In a voice pure and penetrating, Gilmore soared above the traditional soprano scale, tossing off runs, trills and swells with impunity. Her acting also was also a tour-de-force, as she batted her eyes in sync with her trills and batted Hoffmann around with her shepherdess’ cane, all the while moving around the stage like a robot.

Anybody who admires performance singing of any kind should experience this performance – alone, it’s worth the price of admission.

Olympia’s aria comes in the first act of “Hoffmann,” and afterwards, one was left wondering what was left. There was plenty, particularly with Christine Arand in a lovely portrayal of Antonia. She’s weak in body but strong in love for Hoffmann and for music, and Arand’s warm, sweet soprano left one the feeling that she’s “the one who got away.” Eve Gigliotti is also excellent as the manipulative courtesan Giullietta in the final act.

The production itself is beautiful to behold. Projected scenery has become a mainstay in theater production and Peter Dean Beck and Adam Larsen’s designs made for a visual treat. They had some fun with it as well – when Hoffmann dons rose-colored glasses, hiding the doll Olympia’s flaws from him, the lighting took on a pinkish hue, letting the audience see through Hoffmann’s eyes.

As for the costuming, costume designer Helen Rodgers brought a wonderful authenticity to the period production. And who knew there were so many powder puff wigs in Hawaii?

Praise also must be given to the chorus, under Nola Nahulu. Visiting singers and conductors uniformly praise HOT’s chorus as singers and actors. In “Hoffmann,” five chorus members almost steal the show as the villain’s minions, scurrying about in the best tradition of criminal gangs. The men of the chorus also added a lot with their opening act appearance in a tavern, banging their beer mugs in rhythm to the music. With the opening lines “We are beer! We are wine!”, they put the audience in the mood for the party that “The Tales of Hoffmann” became.

Gallery – A Run Through The Tales of Hoffmann

HOT’s new production of Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann opens on April 21, 23, & 25 at the Blaisdell Concert Hall.  Join us and celebrate the career of Henry Akina, who will retire after twenty seasons with the company.

Enjoy these photos from the final rehearsal in the HOT Rehearsal Hall and don’t miss The Tales of Hoffmann

Tickets available online at Tickets.HawaiiOpera.Org.

Opera Preview at Doris Duke Theatre

Join HOT for an Opera Preview of The Tales of Hoffmann, featuring a lecture by Dr. Lynne Johnson, followed by a Q & A with the cast of HOT’s brand new production of Offenbach’s classic opera The Tales of Hoffmann.  

Details: April 12, 2017, 10:00am at the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre

See you there! And if you haven’t, purchase your tickets to the opera on April 21, 23, & 25!

Fashionably HOT – ACT II: A Fashion Reprise Pop-Up Returns this Spring

Fashionably HOT – ACT II: A Fashion Reprise Pop-Up Returns this Spring

Hawaii Opera Theatre (HOT) presents the Spring Pop-Up of ACT II: A Fashion Reprise.

In recent years, ACT II has raised over $100,000 in support of HOT, the Fall Pop-Up format following a very popular Spring Pop-Up series held earlier this year. This event provides the opportunity to shop for couture and designer apparel, handbags, shoes, jewelry, art, home accents, and more with the proceeds going to service the non-profit organization.  HOT receives the goods for ACT II from the generous donations of its Supporters.   Many of the items are brand new and still have price tags on them. 

A Special Preview Evening will be held on April 6 (5pm- 9pm) for those interested in previewing the new Act II collection.  The Preview Party experience includes pupus & wine, with a cost of $30/person.  RSVP to Courtney Coston at (808) 596-7372 ext. 200.  Space is limited. 

ACT II opens to the public on April 7 (9:00am – 6:00pm) and 8 (9:00am -5:00pm).  The ACT II Pop-Up will be held at the ACT II Pop-Up Shop, located in Hawaii Opera Plaza, Suite 310, at 848 S. Beretania Street.  Parking is available at the building and street parking where available.