Maui Arts & Entertainment

Kamehameha Schools Production of Hā‘upu: A Hawaiian Opera

April 24, 2017, 10:25 AM HST
* Updated April 24, 10:30 AM
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The Maui Arts & Cultural Center will present students from the Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i campus in the Maui premiere of the Hawaiian-language opera, “Hā‘upu,” which will take place on Saturday, April 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the Castle Theater.

“Hā‘upu” tells the legend of Kana and Hina. It is a story of the Wā Kāhiko, the ancient times when gods would walk among men. Photo Courtesy.

“Hā‘upu” tells the legend of Kana and Hina. It is a story of the Wā Kāhiko, the ancient times when gods would walk among men. It is a tale of mythological proportions shrouded in folklore and presented through an opera exclusively in Hawaiian.

It is a story of love and hate; of wrong and revenge; of custom and courage; of passion and superstition. The story in the opera is about Hina, an ali‘i from Hilo, who is captured by Kapepe‘ekauila, a rouge ali‘i from Moloka‘i, and brought to the cliffs of Hā‘upu. Her sons Kana and Nīheu set out to rescue her. But she’s fallen out of love with her husband Hakalanileo and starts to develop feelings for Kapepe‘ekauila and her new surroundings. The opera’s story has been compared to the myth of Helen and Troy.

The opera will be performed in the Hawaiian language and a program will be provided that includes a thorough summary of each act so that the audiences can follow along.

“Hā‘upu” debuted early last year at Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i as part of the school’s annual Ho‘ike, an all-school production that incorporates song, chant and dance to tell a story that connects back to Native Hawaiian culture and mo‘olelo (stories).

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The production also made history last August when it was selected by the American High School Theater Festival to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest performing arts festival. This was the first Hawaiian language and hula production in the festival’s nearly seven decades long history. A group of 19 students were cast to journey to Edinburgh.

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Tickets are $25, $35 plus applicable fees. Kids 12 and under are half-price. Tickets are available at the MACC Box Office, by phone at 242-SHOW or click here. MACC members receive a 10% discount.

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