Monday, August 21, 2017

 

Emalani Registration Summer of 2014

 

OPERAtunities:  A Youth Opera Program.

Designed for youth with ALL YOUTH performers.

 

Established in 1993 this landmark is unique in the state and country.  The Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus has for more than 15 years now provided our youth with a unique program. 

Commissioning opera’s composed specifically for youth performers and based on a legend, stories or historical issue relating to Hawai’i and its rich cultural heritage.   We have over the year’s commissioned 6 original opera’s by local composers.  This process not only enhances the greater body of opera repertoire, but also develops a repertoire appropriate for youth. Our focus on Hawai’i encourages the promotion of the Hawaiian culture and our diverse cultures and ethnic groups.  The operas are performed in primarily in English by using heavily the language for the culture featured in the composition. 

This 3 week intensive afternoon program is a full-fledged theater training program for youth.  Focusing on Hawaiian culture, while also offering musical education to children in grades four to twelve.  There is no other project like this in the state of Hawaii, nor to the best of our knowledge anywhere in the United States.   All roles are developed and portrayed by students participating in the program.  Composed specifically for youth, appropriate to their skills.

The cultural aspects featured in the stories are incorporated into the learning experience of the participants.  Therefore, if the story discusses, for example, taro growing or feather lei making, our students are exposed through workshops and field trips to learn about these unique cultural aspects featured in the composition.  In this way, the participating students will gain a better understanding of the cultural and physical factors depicted in the opera.  The students also participate in helping to create their own costumes, props, sets and set dressing. 

Students are also receive training in theater make up, auditioning for the theater, acting, dancing and stage deportment.  Daily workshops in drama, dance and music are hallmarks of this program. 

The Opera’s are also accompanied by a small orchestra typically comprised of university students or graduates of the Hawaii Youth Symphony.

Students who participate in OPERAtunities come from public and private schools, primarily from the island of O`ahu.  Students not from the island of O`ahu are also eligible to participate.  However, they will reside with their extended families or, if necessary, HYOC will find a host family to accommodate them during their stay on O`ahu. 

 

Auditions will be held in March & April to determine eligibility.  Auditions for specific principal roles take place within the first few days of the project.

We select students who are seeking exposure to the performing arts through opera and who show talent in voice, dance, and drama.  We can accommodate up to 60 students in the cast.  However, we establish a minimum of 25 participants.  The principal roles are generally cast with high school students. 

 

Previously Commissioned Operas

 

Kahalaopuna:  The Princess of Manoa . . .                                                   By Neil McKay   1994

(Based on the legend of the same name.)

Takes place on the island of O’ahu in Manoa Valley.  The goddess Kahalaopuna is given  mortal life through the kiss of Mahana and denies marriage to the Shark God, Kauhi.

 

La’ie’ikawai:  The Princess of Pali’uli . . .                                                     By Neil McKay   1995

(Based on the legend of La’ie’ikawai)

Takes place on the island of Hawai’i.  La’ie’ikawai is entertained by the Maile sisters and falls in love with their brother ‘Onohiokala.  However, brother ‘Aiwohi is jealous.  He is captured by the Snow Goddess Poliahu.

 

Auli’i:  The Last Menehune of Nu’uanu Valley  . . .                                      By Herb Mahelona, jr.   1996

(Based on an original story by James Wong)

Takes place on the island of ‘Oahu in Nu’uanu Valley. Auli’i the menehune and his companion an ‘o’o bird, experiences 200 years of Hawai’i’s history after missing their escape through the portal.

 

Na ‘Uhane o Hawai’i:  Spirits of our Ancestors  . . .                         By Herb Mahelona, Jr.  1998

(Original story based on Hawaiian folk tales)

Takes place throughout our state of Hawai’i.  Experience tutu’s Hawaiian ghost stories of Naupaka, the Night Marchers and Honu Hiwahiwa.

 

Ka’ililauokekoa….                             By Bertrand Moon & Libretto by Mayumi Shimose Poe  2006

(Based on the legend of the same name)

Daughter of the high chief of Puna is lured by the sounds of a flute, trilling of brings and the beautiful tenor voice of a young man calling her name.

 

Ulu Tree…                                                                                          By Herb Mahelona, jr.  2012

(Original story based on folk stories)

Based in the plantation era of Hawaii’s history between 1870 - 1920.  Featuring the multicultural experiences of those who worked in the sugar and pineapple plantations.  Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Hawaiian life & cultures are featured tied into this compelling portrayal of life in Hawaii.

 

We also seek to expand to the larger genre of theater performance in Hawaii to all audience ages.  Because the opera is written for youth the thematic content and length of the performance production makes it accessible to all ages both young and old.

 

Past grant support has included support from the following foundations:  Mae Z. Orvis Foundation, Dryfus Foundation, Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, Mayor’s Office on Culture and the Arts, State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. 

 

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