The Hawaii Opera Theatre released a number of free videos to HOT Digital over the past two months, featuring the Orvis Young Voices and Orvis Opera Studio members. People can watch free content on www.HOTDigital.VHX.TV. And HOT is also preparing to return to LIVE performances. We spoke to general director of HOT, Andrew Morgan about the exciting season ahead.
“Like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, live performances are preparing to return, and I could not be more excited! Opera, emerging from the pandemic, is also experiencing a metamorphosis. Hawaiʻi Opera Theatre’s 2020-2021 HOT Digital Season opened a new creative world, allowing us to share our story with a global audience. The digital platform is not just a passing fancy, but a unique method of delivery that can interact with and enhance live programming.
Many of the details required to craft a safe and successful return to live opera remain unclear so your Hawaiʻi Opera Theatre team has been considering what our 2021-2022 mainstage season can realistically be.
Our October grand opening will be a one-act program of beloved arias, duets and ensembles from opera and musical theater performed in concert, led by conductor Mark Morash, and staged by HOT Artistic Advisor Jamie Offenbach. Alongside some of your favorite local talent, the program features soprano Elena Galvan, who captured our hearts as the charming Susanna in our 2019 production of The Marriage of Figaro; tenor Amitai Pati, a member of the Samoan trio Sol3Mio; and baritone Hadleigh Adams, in his HOT debut.
In February, we present The Tragedy of Carmen, Peter Brook’s gripping adaptation that brings Bizet’s opera back to its origins of sexual intrigue, power, and complexity. In this distilled 90-minute production, Carmen’s embrace of her dark fate is elevated from an act of submission to an assertion of power. I’m thrilled to offer the HOT debuts of Ashley Dixon as Carmen, Christian Pursell as Escamillo and Maria Valdes as Micaela. Our own Karen Tiller returns to direct, with Emily Senturia conducting.
We close out the season as planned in April 2022 with a full-scale production of one of opera’s best-loved classics, Madame Butterfly. Puccini’s iconic work will be directed by Japanese-Canadian Director Aria Umezawa, who will bring a unique vision of the story to life by telling the tale through the eyes of Cio-Cio-san’s son, Trouble. Joining her creative team, we have local designer Anne Namba returning to HOT.
There is alchemy involved when opera and audience combine in a darkened theatre. The singer plays off the audience, and the audience responds to the singer. I hope you will join us this fall to experience the magic once again. It can’t happen without you! We will be creating additional free content for HOT Digital and expand community performances via our Orvis Opera Studio. While not formally announced, we are planning a special December concert, with performances in our building downtown and a pop-up at the Halekulani.”
Subscriptions are on sale now through the HOT Box Office. Call 808.596.7858 to subscribe now and to learn more about the mainstage productions. In addition to the work onstage, HOT supports over 20,000 students throughout the islands each year. To support HOT, people can make a charitable donation online at hawaiiopera.org/donate