The 9th Annual Hawaii Performing Arts Festival offers concerts and events for all

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<p>Performers ready backstage before their event. (COURTESY PHOTO FOR NHN)</p>
<p>Students as young as 14, participating in the educational Hawaii Performing Arts festival program accompanied violinist Chee-Yun during a ҆concert last year. (NHN FILE PHOTO)</p>
Ignace "Iggy" Jang, plays during a concert last year as part of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival schedule. (NHN FILE PHOTO)
<p>Violinist Chee-Yun, left, will perform with friends, including Quack More and the HPAF orchestra, at 7 p.m., Saturday, July 13, at Kahilu Theatre in Waimea. She will also perform a “Spectacular String Finale” at 7 p.m., at HPA’s Davies Chapel. For tickets, visit (NHN FILE PHOTO)</p>

Searching for some exciting, world-class performances for music lovers of all ages? Look through the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival schedule and you’re bound to find the type of music you like, offered in your area that is either free or affordable.

Performances in jazz, opera, classical Broadway music and other genres are all available from now until July 28.

“It is very ambitious,” said Genette Freeman, executive director of the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, of this year’s schedule. “We have been working on it really hard for months and months. … We have something for everybody.”

Now in its ninth season, the festival has hit its stride. This year, the festival will offer 20 performances – half of which are free to the public – in locations spanning Waimea, Honokaa, Kona and Hilo. If last year’s numbers are any indication, the festival will attract more than 3,500 audience members.

Highlighted performers include: vocalist Liane Carroll, violinists Chee-Yun, Iggy Jang, Eugene Chukhlov and Michael Strauss, cellist Parry Karp, conductor Anne Krinitsky, soprano Angie Engelbart, pianists Quack Moore and Aurelien Eulert and Jonathan Korth, director Beth Dunnington, conductor Stephen Stubbs, director James Darrah, local artist Christina Skaggs, and Gary Washburn, composer and Honokaa High School Jazz band director, and many more.

This year’s opera, “Cosi fan tutte,” will be performed three times – at 7 p.m., on July 25 and 26, at the People’s Theatre in Honokaa, and at 7 p.m., on July 27, at the Four Seasons Resort. The opera performances will be sung in Italian, but will have super titles for the audience.

According to Freeman, the two performances of Mozart’s classic comic opera in Honokaa directed by James Darrah will be unique. He has especially designed it for the People’s Theatre.

“Nowhere else in the world we they be able to see it,” Freeman said.

Also offered is a free 12:30 p.m. lunchtime performance of the Junior Strings on Tuesday, July 16, at St. James Church in Waimea. Junior Directors Edith Szendrey and Eugene Chukhlov will lead the performance of students from 8 to 14 years old. There is also a “Young Singers Showcase” at 7 p.m., Sunday, July 14, at Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Davies Chapel, featuring classical musical theater songs.

Accompanying the talent are performers from HPAF’s two teaching programs – a three-week vocal program and a two-week string program at Hawaii Preparatory Academy. Students, 14 years and older, travel from the mainland and from all over the world to attend the intensive program, which has a professional faculty. Hawaii music students not only have the opportunity to attend the program, but they can also apply for program scholarships.

Freeman said there is still room for students from 10 to 13 years old to sign up for the Pre-Teen Singers Program, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., July 24-28 at HPA. The four-day intensive offers vocal lessons and coaching, as well as acting classes by Beth Dunnington, with a performance on July 28. Tuition is $500 and includes lunch. For more information or to register, contact Freeman at

Freeman said the final performance at 7 p.m. on July 28 at Davies Chapel on the HPA campus would be a “fun evening of highlights.” Entitled “Closing Act: A Variety Show,” the performance is free and open to all. This year, the festival is also donating five percent of their ticket sales to a program called “Open Concert” that helps people who are disadvantaged or who have disabilities and wouldn’t otherwise be able to get to the concerts.

For more information on the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, to purchase tickets, or to make a donation, visit, or call 333-7378.