Hawaii Opera Theatre has been delighting audiences since 1960. HOT’s first opera season opened with Madama Butterfly at the McKinley High School Auditorium. Today, HOT is known for its vibrant and creative productions. Artistic excellence continues to be the cornerstone of standards for the company. International artists, who have graced stages from the New York Met to opera houses throughout Europe and Asia, compete up to three years in advance to perform on the HOT stage along side Hawaii's best local artists.
HOT stages a new contemporary production of Madama Butterfly, featuring set and costume designs by world-renown visual artist Jun Kaneko. In addition to its performances on Oahu, the company travels to Maui for the first time in decades, presenting its Madama Butterfly at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.
HOT Summer Season, now in its third year, showcases a star-studded cast of celebrities for its staging of The King & I, including Richard Chamberlain as the King, Jan Maxwell as Anna and Jordan Segundo as Lun Tha. Broadway producer Martin Rabbett directs.
HOT Executive Director Karen Tiller makes her Hawaii Opera Theatre debut stage directing Susannah while General and Artistic Director Henry Akina stages The Flying Dutchman. It is the first time in HOT history that two in-house directors are behind the scenes directing Grand Opera for the HOT Season.
HOT expands to include a Summer Season, leading with The Mikado by Gilbert & Sullivan. It is a huge success and plays to sold-out audiences.
Renowned New York artist, Thomas Woodruff creates original oil paintings for HOT’s Bad Girl season.
HOT hosts Tristan 2000 and draws international spotlight. Wagner’s grandson attends production.
HOT establishes the Mae Z. Orvis Opera Studio.
General and Artistic Director, Henry G. Akina joins HOT.
HOT membership reaches 2,000 individuals. Support grows from businesses, trusts, and foundations.
HOT retires the mortgage on the Kakaako property and establishes a perpetual cash reserve. HOT expands volunteer chorus, make-up crews and computerizes the HOT office.
First season in which 100% of the available tickets for all performances are sold before opening night.
HOT introduces supertitles.
Governor Ariyoshi proclaims it Opera Year in Hawaii for HOT's 25th anniversary.
Education program expands to more elementary and high school levels.
Opera Highlights become part of University of Hawaii curriculum of College of Continuing Education.
First school classroom-based education program.
HOT becomes an independent tax-exempt corporation and launches HOT's first independent season with La Bohème, Lucia di Lammermoor and Carmen.
First opera season with Madame Butterfly in McKinley High School Auditorium. For the next two decades, HOT functioned as a subdivision of the Honolulu Symphony.