Daniel Belcher And Justin John Moniz To Kickoff Hawaii Performing Arts Festival Free Concert Series

Daniel Belcher And Justin John Moniz To Kickoff Hawaii Performing Arts Festival Free Concert Series

For fourteen seasons, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival (HPAF) has continued to bring world-class music to Hawaii Island and this season is no exception. The festival, which was founded in 2005, has established an international reputation as a premiere training and performance program for aspiring young artists worldwide. Each season, HPAF assembles an exceptional roster of faculty artists who provide instruction and appear in a series of free concerts for the Big Island community.

HPAF's first of three free community concerts will be presented on Wednesday, June 27 at 6pm at The Shops at Mauna Lani. Under the Stars: American Pops! features Grammy Award-winning baritone, Daniel Belcher, and HPAF Executive Director and two-time American Prize winner, Justin John Moniz. The program celebrates the work of American composers Irving Berlin, George & Ira Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, and Leonard Bernstein, in celebration of the composer's 100th birthday. Audiences will recognize famed classics from West Side Story, Oklahoma, South Pacific, as well as a handful of patriotic favorites including "God Bless America" - just in time for Independence Day. Belcher and Moniz will be joined by critically acclaimed pianist and HPAF favorite, Phil Kadet (piano), as well as Michael Surprenaut (percussion).

"We are really thrilled to continue our work within the community," says Moniz. Each year HPAF explores new ways to engage local audiences and youth, and has found great success through their Free Concert Series. "We heavily believe in the value and power of music education for all, and especially for youth. We believe that music is an outlet for self-expression. We believe when words fail, music speaks. We believe in empowering artists to use their voice to tell a story, inspire a cause, raise awareness, and make a difference."

For the upcoming 2018 Festival, HPAF awarded $82,275 in scholarships to local, national, and international aspiring young artists. For the first time in the festival's history, 58% of students received scholarship and financial assistance to offset the cost of attending the festival. More specifically, HPAF is proud to have offered assistance to 100% of local Hawaiian talent. This season, nine local young singers from Hawaii Island, will study, train, and perform alongside HPAF's internationally acclaimed roster of faculty artists, including Belcher and Moniz.

The second and third concerts of HPAF's Free Concert Series features vocal and instrumental faculty artists in Great Performances I & II, on Tuesday, July 10 and 17, respectively. Both performances will begin at 7pm at Davies Chapel, located on the campus of Hawaii Preparatory Academy in Waimea. In lieu of ticket sales for all of HPAF's Free Concert Series (including Under the Stars: American Pops!), the organization will accept donations of non-perishable food items to benefit the Waimea Food Pantry. Since 2005, HPAF has collected over 2,600 pounds of food for the hungry.

Aside from HPAF's Free Concert Series, the organization will present three mainstage productions with orchestra including Handel's Alcina, Mark Adamo's Little Women (based on the novel by Louis May Alcott), and Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. Season concert offerings include I Love A Piano (starring Phil Kadet), Pupu and Puccini, and Cabaret and Cabernet. For a full list of offerings and ticket information, please visit: www.hawaiiperformingartsfestival.org.

Grammy Award-winning baritone Daniel Belcher has performed in many of the world's music capitals, including Paris, London, New York, San Francisco, Houston, Berlin, Stuttgart, Amsterdam, Geneva, Toronto, Montreal, Tokyo and Seoul. With a repertoire of nearly 80 roles, Belcher has championed roles from the Baroque to those composed expressly for him. This season, he created the roles of James Addison in Ricky Ian Gordon's The House Without a Christmas Tree at Houston Grand Opera and Inspector Kildare in Kevin Puts' Elizabeth Cree at Opera Philadelphia. Additional world premieres include Prior Walter in Peter Eötvös' Angels in America at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, John Brooke in Mark Adamo's Little Women at Houston Grand Opera, Robert Kennedy in Robin De Raaff's Waiting for Miss Monroe at the Dutch National Opera and Holland Festival, Brian Castner in Jeremy Howard Beck's The Long Walk for American Lyric Theatre and Opera Saratoga, and Bellingham in Lori Laitman's The Scarlet Letter at Opera Colorado. He received the Grammy Award in 2011 for his recording of Jaufré Rudel in Kaija Saariaho's L'amour de Loin. Also active in teaching, he has served on the faculty at Florida State University and is the resident voice teacher for the young artist program at Opera Colorado.

A two-time winner of The American Prize in Vocal Performance, Justin John Moniz's "superb high tenor" (South Florida Classical Review) and "commanding stage presence" (TalkinBroadway.com) has been thrilling audiences in opera houses, theaters, and concert halls across the nation, among them Opera Grand Rapids, Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, Sarasota Opera, Florida Grand Opera, the Opera Company of Middlebury, Opera New Jersey, DreamCatcher Theatre/Adrienne Arsht Center, Orchestra Miami, Gulfshore Opera, Palm Beach Dramaworks, the Orchestra of Northern New York, and Chicago Symphony Center. His unique style and versatility have afforded him an active career in opera, concert and musical theatre, having sung over 80 roles to date. Most recently, Mr. Moniz's star turn as Prince Karl Franz in The Student Prince with Opera Grand Rapids received high praise and great acclaim, the press hailing his performance as "simply outstanding...glorious" (Encore Michigan). His performance also earned him the prestigious BroadwayWorld Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

Phil Kadet is a pianist in high demand. Based in New York City, he regularly appears in several popular nightclubs. Kadet recently concluded a two-season residency in Paris, and has served as the music director for All Hands on Deck, a touring big-band musical. In addition, Phil has served as music director and collaborative pianist for the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. He is a music producer and engineer, writing and collaborating in the fields of synth-pop, hip-hop and electronic dance music for many artists, but especially with his group, Exotik Robotz.

Michael Surprenaut is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. Michael has performed in hundreds of cities throughout the US and Canada, appearing with various artists and groups from Grammy Award Winner Carl Anderson to Broadway Tour productions including Chicago and The Fully Monty.

HPAF is a non-profit organization whose to offer a world-class music training and performance program in the inspirational setting of Hawaii, and to improve the education and elevate the spirit of all who participate, especially the local community.

Now preparing for its fourteenth season on the Big Island, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival brings together talented young musicians from Hawaii, the U.S., Canada, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America and Europe to Hawaii Island between late June and late July to study, grow and perform with professional musical performer/teachers. The results are astonishing.

During the 2018 Festival weeks - June 26 through July 21 - more than fifteen live concerts and fully staged performances will be presented, giving the students invaluable experience and the privilege of appearing on stage with some of the top musical artists in their field. Performances are held around Hawaii Island.

Between Summer Festivals, HPAF offers its High Season Series, featuring exceptional performances by visiting artists like Jake Shimabukuro, ULTIMI - Three Tenors, Amy Hanaiali'i, as well as the popular Stradivarius concerts. The festival's major benefit concert, held each winter, features a celebrity performer and raises funds for scholarships and festival activities. HPAF's Annual Online Auction also provides much needed financial support.


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