Amazon Smile

Support HOT While Shopping on Amazon

Do your online holiday shopping on Amazon and give back to HOT at the same time:

Next time you’re looking for something online, log-in to Amazon Smile via the link below and shop.  It’s that easy! You surf the site, choose what you wish to purchase, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of all your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Hawaii Opera Theatre whenever you shop using AmazonSmile.

Click here for HOT’s unique Amazon Smile link!

Share the link with your friends and family to effortlessly give back this holiday season. Alternatively, click here to find out how to make a direct donation to HOT


  • Children sharing in the joy of opera. Our nationally recognized education outreach program reaches more than 25,000 students on Oahu and Neighbor Islands annually.
  • Professional symphony musicians. HOT contracts professional musicians up to 10 weeks each year.
  • The only opera company in the state of Hawaii… and the only opera company that gives you the opportunity to see live opera and operetta.
  • The future of opera. We believe in the cultivation and nurturing of young artists through our Mae Z. Orvis Opera Studio programs. Several studio alumni have grown into professional singers on national and international stages.
  • Our community. HOT supports Hawaii’s economy by utilizing local resources – from the carpenters in the scene shop to young singers in the educational outreach programs.

About Amazon Smile:

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice.



2017 #GivingTuesday

HOT is taking part in #GivingTuesday on Tuesday, November 29th, 2017.

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

We would be honored if you gave a contribution, no matter the amount. On #GivingTuesday, call the HOT Box Office at 808.596.7372 to donate over the phone or make an online donation. You may also mail a donation by sending a check in the mail to 848 S. Beretania St. Honolulu, HI 96813.

You may also donate over Facebook through our fundraiser page. Facebook is waving all fees.

Support HOT at Painting With a Twist on Giving Tuesday!

Painting with a Purpose


HOT Painting with a Purpose

Sign up for a paint and sip party class at Painting with a Twist® in Honolulu – Kaka’ako on Tuesday, November 28 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Attendees will receive step-by-step instructions for creating the painting shown left with all necessary materials provided, with HALF the proceeds benefiting HOT!

Painting with a Twist® sponsors monthly fund raising events – Painting with a Purpose. Proceeds from Painting with a Purpose events are donated to local non-profit organizations. Painting with a Twist has donated over 4 million dollars to local non-profit organizations









  • Children sharing in the joy of opera. Our nationally recognized education outreach program reaches more than 25,000 students on Oahu and Neighbor Islands annually.
  • Professional symphony musicians. HOT contracts professional musicians up to 10 weeks each year.
  • The only opera company in the state of Hawaii… and the only opera company that gives you the opportunity to see live opera and operetta.
  • The future of opera. We believe in the cultivation and nurturing of young artists through our Mae Z. Orvis Opera Studio programs. Several studio alumni have grown into professional singers on national and international stages.
  • Our community. HOT supports Hawaii’s economy by utilizing local resources – from the carpenters in the scene shop to young singers in the educational outreach programs.

Share what inspires you to support HOT by submitting your personal giving story to the #MyGivingStory contest. Winning nonprofits will be awarded $25,000- $10,000 in grants! Learn more.

Opera Ball Silent Auction – Bid Now!





Photos – HOT Opera Express: No More Mr. Bad Wolf

Enjoy these images from HOT’s Opera Express production of No More Mr. Bad Wolf at the historic Hawaii Theatre! Toi, toi, toi to our performers, audience volunteers, and the HOT Education Team for making us laugh and teaching us that we can always make the choice to be good!

Each year, Opera Express takes a condensed family-friend opera to schools and venues throughout the Hawaiian Islands. The 2017/2018 touring show is No More Mr. Bad Wolf, which follows the Big Bad Wolf through story book land as he discovers he can be a hero rather than a villain. The show includes talented singers, live piano accompaniment, a set, costumes, props, audience participation, and more!

Bring Opera to your school! Please call or e-mail for availability. E-mail to join the Education Mail List.

Queen of the Night

10 Opera Halloween Costumes

Looking for Halloween costume inspiration? Look no further than the opera stage!

These 10 characters from recent HOT productions would surely make a show-stopping costume. Share your opera-inspired Halloween costumes on social media with #HOTHalloween!

The Dutchman – The Flying Dutchman

Ryan McKinny as The Dutchman in HOT’s 2015 production of The Flying Dutchman

Suggested supplies: 

Dark, large jacket
Dark pants
Dark Gloves


Use black body paint to give yourself a fake chest tattoo of a ship. Black eyeliner gives the Dutchman a cursed gaze. 






The Queen of the Night – The Magic Flute

So Young Park as the Queen of the Night in the 2015 HOT production of The Magic Flute

Suggested supplies:

Silver Crown and Jewelry
Dark purple or blue skirt
Dark purple or blue top
Dark purple or blue cape


DIY wings can be created with wire and cellophane. Accent this costume with any moon or star accessories and use glittery eyeshadow, long false lashes, and purple lipstick for face make-up. 






The Clown, Canio – I Pagliacci / Carmina Burana

Kip Wilborn as Canio in the 2014 HOT production of I Pagliacci/ Carmina Burana

Suggested supplies:

Long, white shirt
Ruffled collar
Red pom-pom balls
Hot glue gun
White, red, and black face make-up


Hot glue three red pom-pom balls to the front of a long white shirt to form buttons. Colored permanent markers or fabric die can be used to create designs on the ends of the sleeves and waist line. For clown make-up, apply white make-up all over your face and fill in a red triangle shape over your nose. Then add black eyebrows curving up above your nose, along with a black tear drop. Red lipstick may be applied, as well. 







The Fairy Queen, Tytania – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Anne Carolyn Bird as Tytania in the 2016 HOT production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Suggested supplies:

Light blue dress
Flower Crown

Blue tulle could also be purchased and wrapped around this costume to form a fairy cape. Make it a group costume and find friends to dress up as Tytania’s fairies. 











The Geisha Girl, Cio-Cio San – Madam Butterfly

Lina Tetriani as Cio-Cio San in the 2014 HOT production of Madam Butterfly

Suggested supplies:

Light, silk kimono or robe
Flower hair embellishments 
Paper fan


Butterfly accessories will help tell the story of this opera character. Cio-Cio San means “butterfly” in Japanese.








The Bullfighter, Escamillo – Carmen

Darren Stokes as the bullfighter Escamillo in the 2017 HOT production of Carmen

Suggested supplies:

Black Capris
Pink Tights
Red Sash
Blue Shirt
Black Hat
Red Cape


Wear black pants over pink tights and tie the sash around your waist. Position the red cape over one shoulder to look like a true matador. Don’t forget your rose.







The Doll, Olympia – The Tales of Hoffmann

Rachele Gilmore as Olympia in the 2017 HOT production of The Tales of Hoffmann

Suggested supplies:

Colored wig
Long Dress with wide skirt or tutu
Shepherd cane


If you can’t find a colored wig, buy a light colored synthetic wig and die it with fabric die. You can also create a staff with empty paper towel rolls taped together with clear packaging tape. Use the ribbon to create a necklace, and be sure to have a dazed expression!







The Bird Catcher, Papageno – The Magic Flute

Curt Olds as Papageno in the 2015 HOT production of The Magic Flute

Suggested supplies:

Green pants
Green shirt
Feathers in assorted colors
Handheld net
Bendable cardboard 
Hot glue gun


To create a pan flute, roll 5 small pieces of cardboard into tubes. Hot glue all tubes together at the sides and cut the bottoms at an angle. Use a hole punch to cut holes near the top and bottom of each cardboard tube. Run string through the holes at the top and tie the string to form a necklace. 










The Gypsy Girl, Carmen – Carmen

Kate Aldrich as Carmen in the 2017 HOT production of Carmen

Suggested Supplies:

Tan short-sleeved top
Long red skirt
Black bustier


Roll a 3- to 4-inch piece of white paper tightly and color one end yellow for a fake cigarette. Wear the bustier over top of the short-sleeved shirt, and loosely tie scarf around your waist. Gold hoop earrings and bangles also make for great additions to a gypsy costume.

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

No More Mr. Bad Wolf

No More Mr. Bad Wolf at Hawaii Theatre

November 1, 2017


$7, $2 (Youth 4-17), Free (Child 0-3, please call the Box Office.)

A $3.00 Theatre Restoration Fee & Internet Fees apply to all ticket prices/purchases.

All ages permitted with a ticket.


$3 Off- HTC Members, Seniors (62+), Military & Students (w/ valid id), Groups (10+)

HTC Education and the Hawaii Opera Theatre, through its HOT Opera Express program, is committed to education in the arts by introducing opera to children in a way that is entertaining and interactive.

In this retelling of the classic children’s fairy tale written by Waikele Elementary 3rd Graders, the Wolf is a central character that embarks on a quest to understand his true nature and the importance of following one’s heart. HTC Education and HOT Opera Express brings a new twist to an old tale, while introducing a new generation to the magic and grandeur of opera music. The show includes talented singers, live piano accompaniment, a set, costumes, props, opportunities for audience participation, and more. Student Matinees also available.


No More Mr. Bad Wolf is provided through HOT Education’s annual touring show, Opera Express. Each year, Hawaii Opera Theatre produces an opera specifically designed to take “on tour” to schools all around the state. In addition to being a great experience with music and drama, this show can also be used to enhance curriculum. Themes are relevant to social studies, language arts, math and more.

You can also bring this production into your school! Click here for more information.

#HOTVillage: Carmen Costumes!

It takes a bunch of talented, skilled people that you never see or hear to pull these things off. There’s a lot going on that the audience doesn’t see. That’s what we are. We’re the people you don’t see. And we don’t want to be seen. We want to have these transitions happen and appear like magic, to some extent. Being the support role is what we do.” – HOT Director of Production Rob Reynolds

Because producing an opera truly takes a village, #HOTVillage gives you an intimate look at one piece of production for each HOT opera! In this piece, we take you behind the scenes with HOT’s costume department. Enjoy this video and Q&A with HOT’s Costume Director Helen E. Rodgers.


Helen E. Rodgers HOTTell me a little bit about the costumes for this production of Carmen.

When I was looking for a set of costumes to rent, I learned that Opera Omaha who had an older set. They said they were planning to fold it into stock , but they would be willing to sell it to us. So I arranged for that to happen. The package that Omaha owned was originally designed for New York Opera, by Eduardo Secano. It’s the first set of costumes we own here at HOT. They shipped it on the first of August. It came in about 30 boxes.

When it arrived, my crew and I unpacked everything and sorted it all into types – meaning shirts with shirts, and pants with pants – measured everything for size, and then started assigning it to the people who we have in the show. When I left, I knew what people we did not have costumes for and what the package didn’t include, which was some lead things – some chorus things. They did have all the soldiers we needed, all the processional costumes at the end, which are really quite spectacular, a chunk of leads, a chunk of chorus, and the entire children’s chorus. Then I left with, essentially, a list of what costumes I still needed. I went to the costume shop Malabar and pulled the remaining costumes we needed for the look of the piece. When all those were shipped here, we started up with fittings.

How long did the unpacking take?

The Omaha stuff took two days to unpack with a crew of four. That included some measuring and hanging, because nothing was shipped on hangers. And then it took another few days to measure and label everything before we started sewing it. The Malabar items from Canada probably took a day, because it was already assigned.

How many costumes are there in Carmen?

Let’s see if I can get these numbers right – we now have 20 men in the chorus, 21 women, 18 children including one child super, and 10 leads – many of whom have 3 different looks. So if you do that math, it’s a lot of clothes!

But some of the chorus looks repeat, like the chorus in Act I is cigarette girls. The cigarette girls are basically in an underwear look. Traditionally, the premise in Carmen is that they’re factory workers. It’s hot in the factory, so during the course of the day, they’re working with other women, and they strip down to be more comfortable. Which is why, in Act I, we find the men waiting to come find them on break. Not only are they known to be open for romance, they also might be scantily clad. So all of those underwear outfits they then wear later as a petticoat under their other looks.

There’s also a super quick change between Act III and Act IIII. There’s a musical interlude just short of two and a half minutes. In that time, just about everyone in the show goes from being a smuggler in the mountains – all layered up – to getting ready for the bullfight scene. And while it’s not too hard to change people in two and a half minutes, it is hard to change 48 people in two and a half minutes. So a lot of them are layered up in such a way that they can simply remove pieces.

Do you have any favorite costumes?

A lot of times, companies will skip the procession at the end of the opera. But if you skip the procession, you don’t have as much of the flashiness, or the visual, but you still have the emotion of the piece. We are doing the procession onstage, and the costumes we got for the matadors and picadors are beautiful! They are satin, they were embroidered, and they were sequined over and beaded. Escamillo’s is from that set. Carmen’s black dress is from that set. They’re just lovely.

If you had to guess retail value for those pieces, what would you guess?

If you had it built in a shop today, in a New York shop, I would say each costume in that set would probably be $5,000, which is why this was such a wonderful find.

The value surprises a lot of people. But if you think about it, if a man is wearing a suit or a woman a full outfit, and you just add up everything they’re wearing from head to toe, then it usually makes a bit more sense to people how much costumes cost. All of these items are custom tailored, so that’s factored into the value, as well.

Why do you enjoy working with costumes?

I have been doing this for a little over 35 years professionally. I studied costumes – I went to the College of William & Mary. I was interested in fashion, and I was interested in theatre. I ended up taking costume design courses and thought, ‘this is even better!’

The wonderful thing about opera is that so many pieces are set in a historical period. It’s fun to take a walk into that period and figure out what people wear. It’s of course the most fun for me as a designer when I get to design and build things, but few opera companies can afford that kind of work anymore. Assembling things so that they look like they all were meant to be together is also artistry. I’ve done shows where we have six or so sources or costumes, and the idea is that it’s all a cohesive look up there. That kind of thing requires some attention. Because I have a musical background, I appreciate the music in opera. It’s come to be the theatrical performance that I prefer. Opera is like being home. 

Why do you think audiences here should see this production?

It’s a wonderful cast. It’s a great opera for people who know the opera, because they know the music. But it’s also a great first opera, because so much of the music is familiar. It’s being used right now in a couple commercials you’ll hear. It’s a great one to bring people to introduce them to opera. It’s got all the big moments – it’s got love, it’s got passion, someone dies at the end – oh, was that a spoiler?


Carmen’s ‘Barihunks” on KITV Evening News

Watch KITV’s great feature on Carmen’s ‘Barihunks’ online!:

Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather – KITV Channel 4

Scroll through an Opera blog and it’s not what you’d expect.

But it’s 2017 and the Barihunks are all the rage.

Three of the sexy Opera Baritones are in Honolulu getting ready for opening night.

The Hawaii Opera Theater opens up its 2017, 2018 opera season with Carmen

Carmen will showcase Barihunks – Mathew, Darren, and Brian.

Hitting the right notes is their main job, hitting the gym isn’t far behind.

“Especially for this role that I’m playing where I have to leap off of tables and I have to circle around and do so much through the crowd and I even have a fight scene. Then after the fight scene, I have some of the highest singing,” Darren Stokes said. 

You’ll visit the Barihunks blog for the shirtless singers but they hope you’ll stay for their craft.

“It’s like a boy band. The little girls love to see the boy band. You flip through this all of a sudden you come up on this website and you found all these good looking guys and you think to yourself, ‘Hm, why don’t I go see this?'” Stokes said. 

Barihunks has been around for over 10 years, the singers say it’s flattering to receive the recognition. 

“We are all singers, we’re all artists and we’re all just trying to make it. And any help we can get I guess, it can’t be bad,” Brian James Myer, plays the “le dancaire” role, said. 

“You don’t work out for people not to notice you correct? and it’s always nice when someone gives you a compliment. As I think about it because I didn’t have any affiliation with the group and so to find out that they have just now featured me…I’m honored by it,”  Stokes said. 


Star Advertiser Review Carmen

Star Advertiser Review: Vocal power makes HOT’s ‘Carmen’ a tour de force

Mezzo soprano Kate Aldrich is the quintessential “Carmen” in Hawaii Opera Theatre’s version of the opera that dates back to 1875.

It is a term heard all too frequently these days: domestic abuse. The stories are always sad, tragic, even horrifying.

But what if you could weave such a painful theme into a story that is intriguing, interesting, even fun? That is what George Bizet managed to accomplish with his 1875 opera, “Carmen,” the tale of a gypsy seductress who stirs lust in the hearts of every man she meets and ultimately falls to the weakest among them.

Hawaii Opera Theatre brings this remarkably current story to life with a well-balanced cast, featuring mezzo soprano Kate Aldrich in the title role — and proving why she is considered perhaps the best Carmen in opera today — and now-local tenor Kip Wilborn as Don Jose, who undergoes a tortuous journey from would-be straight arrow to hapless foil. Under the direction of guest director Tara Faircloth from Houston, this “Carmen” is a traditional presentation, set in 19th-century Seville. Regular HOT patrons will recognize the set from previous years’ productions of “Carmen,” but the costuming is newly acquired from another company, and it’s spectacular.

Carmen and Don Jose have many costume changes, with Carmen going from shabby factory worker to fashionable matador groupie, while Don Jose moves in the other direction, going from decked-out soldier to grubby outlaw.

Aldrich is made for the role of Carmen, her raven hair and pale skin reminiscent of an El Greco painting. She knows how to move like the wanton woman that Carmen is, swaying her hips as she walks, flashing leg from underneath her flamenco skirt when she dances, her body language saying both “come on” and “stay away” at the same time. To the bitter end, there’s no fear in her Carmen, just the occasional hot-blooded outburst as she bends Don Jose and other men to her will. Aldrich’s voice is rich and pure — one almost wishes for some gravel in it in the lower registers, but that would be too modern, too rock ’n’ roll. It was much more impressive to hear that clarity maintained as she descended the chromatic Habanera aria in the first act, in which Carmen sings of the “rebellious” nature of love. Carmen is showboating before a crowd when she sings that famous tune, but Aldrich was equally up to the task in the intimate Seguidilla aria later in that act, when she seduces Don Jose for the first time. It is Don Jose who undergoes the transformation in “Carmen,” and Wilborn plays it subtly but effectively. He is a suppressed Don Jose in the beginning, hiding a troubled past (his back story is that he joined the military to avoid arrest for murder, thus becoming estranged from his family). Struggling to get his life back on track, he tries to put off Carmen, but falls under her spell during the Seguidilla and spends the rest of the opera deluding himself into thinking that he can save Carmen, not realizing that he’s not saving her, she’s breaking him. With that kind of role, his singing was appropriately uneven, showing strength at some times but weakness at others, while his Flower Song in the third act allowed him to radiate a lovely warmth in his voice.

Also showing off a beautiful voice was soprano Talise Trevigne as Micaela, the “good girl” of the story. Trying to save Don Jose, she showed resolve in fending off the unwanted attention of soldiers, yet in her third-act aria, she admits to being terrified. It’s almost like a surfer feeling fear in the face of big waves but then going on to conquer them.

The fun in this production is manifold. Darren Stokes plays the matador Escamillo as a party boy, making flourishing gestures as he hits on the local women, making big body as he belts out the famous Toreador Song. Sarah Lambert Connelly and Leslie Goldman are hilarious as the gypsy women Frasquita and Mercedes, and their quintet with the thieves Brian James Myer (Le Dancaire), Christian Sanders (Le Remendado) and Aldrich “praising” women for their deceitfulness was memorable. Visiting artists have always appreciated Hawaii Opera Theatre’s volunteer chorus, and “Carmen” drew out some outstanding performances from them as well, especially in the first act. The youngsters had a delightful moment as street urchins, mimicking the soldiers’ marching, while the women had a great time with their seductive smoking song — yet another instance in which Bizet anticipated a future trend. (And you thought Bogart and Bacall invented the notion of smoking as a metaphor for sex.)

Holding it all together was the orchestra under visiting conductor Derrick Inouye’s baton. Bizet’s beautiful interludes between acts shone, and the coordination with the singers overall was excellent. It’s hard to believe now that “Carmen” was panned when it debuted, drawing outrage for its portrayal of such immoral behavior. That is believed to have contributed to Bizet’s death a few weeks later. In the present day, however, “Carmen” can be seen as a skillfully drawn portrait of a relationship that should never have been, involving two people who each had weaknesses and were willing to exploit them. That it ends in death is almost logical, and HOT’s presentation is convincing in reaching that conclusion.

By Steven Mark, The Star Advertiser