HOT sizzles during KCA opener

Kaua‘i Concert Association’s season opener was rife with drama, but thankfully it was confined to the stage.

Members of Hawai‘i Opera Theatre performed a two-hour concert Oct. 9 to an audience of about 100  people at Kaua‘i Community College Performing Arts Center.

Sopranos Chiho Villasenor, Blythe I. Kelsey-Takemasa and Kristin Stone with tenors Chad Williams and Erik Haines performed on a bare stage, sharing arias from nine operas and songs from seven Broadway musicals.

They were accompanied by Eric Schank on the piano.

The first act of the concert featured selections of famous and not-so-famous operas.

 Teetering from life-or-death drama to grandeur confessions of love within a few bars of each other, HOT singers put their voices on display without missing a note.

Villasenor gave an inspiring performance during her performance of “O MioBabbino Caro” (“Oh My Beloved Father”), an aria written by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini featured in the comic opera “Gianni Schicchi.” She also closed out the second act with “Un Bel Di” from “Madama Butterfly” (also penned by Puccini).

Haines performed with unwavering intensity, which was channeled perfectly in “Addio Fiorito Asil” from the opera “Madama Butterfly.”

Williams introduced the audience to a lesser-known aria from Francesco Cilea’s “L’arlesiana.”

Rounding out the first act were selections from Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus”, Gaetano Donizetti’s “L’elisir d’Amore”, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Don Giovani”, Alfredo Catalani’s “La Wally” and Jacques Offenbach’s “The Tales of Hoffman.”

The second act of the concert featured popular Broadway songs, including selections from “My Fair Lady,” “South Pacific,” “Kismet,” “Guys and Dolls,” “The Merry Widow” and “West Side Story.”

Stone was a bundle of energy on stage, and unleashed her bubbly side during “If I Were a Bell” from “Guys and Dolls.”

Kelsey-Takemasa gave a hair-raising performance of “My Man’s Gone Now” from “Porgy and Bess.” 

The finale included a mash-up of popular songs, including “Getting to Know You” by “The King and I,” “Tonight” from West Side Story” and “Sunrise, Sunset” from “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Since its beginning in 1974, KCA’s mission has been to bring world-class music and entertainment to the island, according to its website. In addition, the organization reaches out to local schools to deliver live performances and master classes.

The 2011–12 season of KCA includes performances by the Doric String Quartet on Nov. 13; Berklee College of Music on Jan. 8; Ben Vereen on Jan. 22; Soyeon Lee on Feb. 26; and the Honolulu Jazz Quartet March 16.

Visit www.kauai-concert.org or call 245-SING (7464) for more information about KCA and its upcoming season.

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