The ninth annual Hawaii Performing Arts Festival kicks off Tuesday with an opening night concert featuring Liane Carroll, one of the world’s foremost jazz artists.
Carroll will open the festival’s season at 7 p.m. at the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea. A Hawaii Island favorite, she was named 2012 vocalist of the year by British Jazz Awards and has released a new CD, “Ballads,” to rave reviews in the United Kingdom.
This is the fourth year the Londonite is traveling to the Big Island to take part in the festival, said Genette Freeman, executive director of the festival. The Hawaii Performing Arts Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization founded in 2005 and brings together talented, motivated vocalists and instrumentalists with world-renowned artists and teachers for the purpose of studying and performing together.
“What she does is a wonderful rendering of classic songs that we all know and love,” Freeman said about what it is that attracts the Big Island to Carroll’s performances. “She’s one of the most artful singers we’ve ever heard and she has a wonderful personality.”
And, in a change from previous years, Carroll, who arrived on island Wednesday taught students participating in the festival’s intensive study/performance program. Carroll, who taught Intro to Jazz Style in the closed sessions, is one of 35 festival faculty members teaching some 75 students, ranging in age from local high school students to students in college or preparing to enter a music career, said Freeman.
Students come from around the world, including Great Britain and Korea, Freeman said, noting each applicant has to audition and pay tuition to the festival’s program. The program is held at Hawaii Preparatory Academy in Waimea.
“It’s more than just having her come and perform, she’s teaching students directly,” Freeman said of the renowned artist who sings and plays piano.
Following Carroll’s opening concert Tuesday night, music lovers can experience Chee-Yun, a Korean-American violinist who performs with orchestras and festivals worldwide. Hilo audiences can take in a multimedia/string concert. A raucous night of opera fun will take place at Huggo’s in Kona, plus three complete operas, a collaboration with Honokaa jazz legend Gary Washburn, baroque pieces and a Broadway review. Rising opera designer and director James Darrin of last winter’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” returns. The festival will perform at seven venues around the island. Many concerts are free to the public.
The festival offers 20 concerts, 10 of which are free, awards scholarships to young artists from Hawaii, supports local food banks and works with local nonprofits to provide free concert tickets to disadvantaged adults. Children 12 and younger are admitted free at all concerts.
The 2013 Hawaii Performing Arts Festival concert schedule follows and is subject to change. For the most up-to-date schedule visit hawaiiperformingartsfestival.com.
c Tuesday – Gala Opening Concert with Liane Carroll, 7 p.m., Kahilu Theatre, Waimea. A reception follows. Tickets are required.
c Thursday — “Songs on a Summer Evening,” 7 p.m., Davies Chapel, Hawaii Preparatory Academy campus, Waimea. Festival vocal faculty will perform songs of all types. Sponsored by the Lenore and Howard Klein Foundation.
c July 12 — “Purcell, Mozart, Puccini — An Afternoon Recital,” 2 p.m. Davies Chapel, presents featured festival composers in concert. Free to the public.
c July 13 — “Chee-Yun and Friends,” 7 p.m., Kahilu Theatre, features the Korean American violinist performing classical music with the HPAF orchestra. An HPAF premium event, it includes a private reception. Tickets are required.
c July 14 — “Up Close and Musical,” a private fundraising event for major supporters showcasing HPAF artists, 3 p.m., Anna Ranch, Waimea.
c July 14 — “Young Singers Showcase,” HPAF youngest singers in a concert of classic musical theater songs and classical art song, 7 p.m., Davies Chapel
c July 15 — “Opera on the Rocks” features a mix of HPAF faculty and students plus Opera on Tap Los Angeles’ pianist Aurelien Eulert bringing some opera fun to Kona, 5 p.m., Huggo’s, Kailua-Kona. Tickets are required.
c July 16 — Lunchtime Short & Sweet, 12:30 p.m., St. James Church in Waimea. The Junior Strings, led by junior directors Edith Szendrey and Eugene Chukhlov, present a colorful selection of catchy tunes, from Mozart to Piazzolla. Aged 8 to 14, they’re talented and adorable. Free to the public.
c July 18 — “HPAF Strings in Honokaa,” 7 p.m., People’s Theatre, Honokaa. Grammy-winning Gary Washburn, director of the Honokaa High School Jazz band, joins string program director Iggy Jang and his HPAF band in an evening of classical and Jazz music. Always the busy artist, Mr. Washburn never misses the opportunity to share his creative spirit with the festival. Sponsored by Barbara and Robert Sterne. Buy tickets here!
c July 19 — “Purcell to Puccini — 200 Years of Great Opera,” 7 p.m., Davies Chapel. Two short operas — Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas — are performed in an evening of dramatic opera. Free to the public.
c July 20 — “Spectacular String Finale,” features superstar Chee-Yun, violinists Iggy Jang, Eugene Chukhlov, violist Michael Strauss, cellist Parry Karp, conductor Anne Krinitsky and the HPAF students and orchestra. Free to the public.
c July 21— “Purcell to Puccini — 200 Years of Great Opera,” repeat performance, 7 p.m., Davies Chapel. Free to the public.
c July 21 — “The Art of Strings,” 2:30 p.m., Palace Theater, Hilo, is a string concert and multimedia presentation in conjunction with Big Island artist Christina Skaggs. Tickets are available only through the Palace Theater at 934-7010.
c July 23 — “Big Island Broadway,” 7 p.m., Gates Performing Arts Center, HPA campus, Waimea. Beth Dunnington directs HPAF musical theater students in a review of Broadway’s best. An HPAF premium event. Tickets are required.
c July 24 — “Korth on Keyboards,” 7 p.m. Kahilu Theatre, features University of Hawaii at Manoa professor and HPAF pianist Jonathan Korth. Tickets are required.
c July 25 and 26 — “Così fan tutte,” 7 p.m., Peoples Theatre, Honokaa The site-specific production of Mozart and DaPonte’s comedic masterpiece “Così fan tutte” — a story of young lovers tested to their breaking points through dangerous games of love, desire, sex, fidelity and deception — is for mature audiences. July 26 performance is a HPAF premium event. Tickets are required.
c July 27 — “Così fan tutte,” 7 p.m., Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. Tickets are required.
c July 28 — Pergolesi’s “Stabat Mater,” 2 p.m., Davies Chapel. The celebrated 18th century masterpiece by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi is performed with instrumental ensemble.
c July 28 — “Closing Act: A Variety Show,” 7 p.m., Davies Chapel, is the season finale. It will feature performances by students and faculty, plus favorites from the 2013 season. Free to the public.
For more information, call 333-7378, visit hawaiiperformingartsfestival.org or facebook.com/hawaiiperformingartsfestival.