Since the summer of 2005, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival (HPAF) has continued to bring world-class music to Hawai’i Island. Over the past sixteen years, HPAF has garnered an international reputation as a premiere training and performance program for aspiring young artists worldwide, many of whom have gone onto significant careers as singers, conductors, directors, orchestral musicians, and teachers. Each season, HPAF assembles an exceptional roster of faculty artists who provide instruction and appear in a series of events for the Big Island community. This year is no exception as the festival transitions to a virtual format. From July 6 through 19, HPAF will present 14 free performances, masterclasses, and special events via an exclusively online format.
On Monday, July 6, HPAF will open the season with celebrated soprano and HPAF Alumna, Cecilia Violetta Lopez. Celebrated soprano, Cecilia Violetta López, has been named one of opera’s “25 Rising Stars” by Opera News and has been praised by The Washington Times for her “alluring voice and incredible range”. López has received numerous accolades for her signature role of Violetta in La traviata, which she has performed many times throughout North America. “It is an absolute thrill to welcome Cecilia back to the HPAF stage. She and I starred opposite one another in the festival’s 2011 production of L’Incoronazione di Poppea. Cecilia has been a longtime friend and supporter of HPAF— following her incredible journey has been nothing shy of thrilling,” says Justin John Moniz, Executive Director. “Audiences are in for a spectacular season opener, featuring a full display of vocal fireworks.”
HPAF’s ongoing commitment to music education and sustained community engagement will continue to be a priority this summer, with a special emphasis on accessibility. As such, the organization has waived tuition for all of its 2020 Festival participants (six from The Big Island), all of whom will be invited to participate this summer, as well as during the 2021 Festival, where they will be a part of previously scheduled productions of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera, and Laura Kaminsky’s As One. In addition to their participation in the upcoming summer’s public masterclasses, participants will receive complimentary private lessons, coaching, and workshop opportunities led by HPAF’s award-winning faculty artists.
HPAF’s 2020 Virtual Festival also features performances by acclaimed vocalists and award-winning instrumentalists including, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Ignance Jang; celebrated cellist Ofra Harnoy and trumpet virtuoso Mike Herriot; long-time festival favorite, jazz pianist Phil Kadet and his wife, soprano Kate Kadet (also a three-time HPAF alumna); as well as many others. Masterclasses will be led by Grammy Award-winning baritone Daniel Belcher; conductor, vocologist, and singing voice specialist Dr. Ana Flavia Zuim of Broadway’s Hamilton; and stage director Kathleen Belcher, whose work has recently been seen at The Metropolitan Opera and La Scala.
New to this year’s festival is HPAF’s Vocal Competition. The finalists of both the classical and musical theatre divisions will be featured publicly on July 12 and 19, where they will compete for cash prizes. In addition to HPAF’s previously announced judges, participants will also be heard by Tony Award-winner Lindsay Mendez, opera superstar Jamie Barton, Broadway icon Ann Harada, and opera agent Ana De Archuleta. According to Moniz, “The opportunity for these young singers to connect with some of the biggest and brightest names in the business is tremendous. We are all so grateful to these incredible women for agreeing to be a part of this momentous occasion.”
Registration for all events opens on June 1 via the HPAF website. Daily performances and masterclasses will begin on Monday, July 6, and continue through Sunday, July 19, entirely free for audiences worldwide. Viewers can tune in each day at 12:00pm HST / 6:00pm EST. For a full list of offerings and additional information, please visit: www.hawaiiperformingartsfestival.org.
ABOUT HAWAII PERFORMING ARTS FESTIVAL
HPAF is a non-profit organization whose aim is to offer a world-class music training and performance program in the inspirational setting of Hawaii and to improve the education and elevate the spirit of all who participate, especially the local community.