Hawaiian Language Opera ‘Hā‘upu’

March 1, 2016, 3:58 PM HST
* Updated September 8, 5:53 PM
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Kamehameha Schools Hawai’i courtesy image.

Kamehameha Schools Hawai’i courtesy image.

Kamehameha Schools Hawai’i will host its third Hawaiian language opera, “Hā‘upu,” on March 10 and March 11 at the school’s Koai’a Gymnasium.

The performance will begin at 7 p.m. and is part of the school’s annual Hō‘ike.

“Once again, Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi elevates the ‘ike kupuna (ancestral knowledge) through its rendition of one of Hawaiʻi’s moʻolelo (story) – Hāʻupu,” said Poʻo Kumu Lehua Veincent.

“Hā‘upu” is based on the legend of Hina and her son, Kana. Hina, an ali‘i from Hilo, is kidnapped by Kapepeʻekauila, a rogue ali‘i from the island of Moloka‘i.

In retaliation for this outrageous kidnapping, Hina’s sons Kana and Nīheu mount an attack on Kapepeʻekauila’s fortress on the north shore of Moloka‘i on the cliffs of Hā‘upu.


While the daring rescue is being conceived and carried out, Hina unexpectedly begins to fall in love with her captor Kapepeʻekauila. In the end, Hina is saved by her sons and Kapepeʻekauila is vanquished, although the true fate of Hinaʻs love for the Molokaʻi aliʻi is unknown.


An all school production, Hō‘ike tells a story through beautiful and powerful mele, oli, and hula.

Kamehameha School’s Hawai’i’s first Hō‘ike took place in 2004. Students participating in the performance showcase their talents in fine art, Hawaiian language, chant, solo and choral singing, dance, instrumental performance, and drama.

Tickets are between $10 and $15, depending on seat location. The tickets can either be pre-ordered using this form, or purchased at the Koai’a Gymnasium box office on March 2 or March 9 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.


Proceeds from the production will help to offset the cost of the Hō‘ike A Ha‘i performing arts department’s trip to the American High School Theatre Festival at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2016.

This production will debut the opera, which will be performed in Scotland at the festival next summer.

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