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MERRIE MONARCH Cultural Enrichment Programs

  • ʻImiloa Astronomy Center 600 Imiloa Place Hilo, HI, 96720 United States (map)

Wednesday, April 24 Merrie Monarch Presentations

The Battle of Kuamoʻo - 10:00am & 1:00pm Performances

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Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi High School presents The Battle of Kuamoʻo, an opera sung entirely in the Hawaiian language, which tells the story of the fateful conflict after the death of King Kamehameha between regional chief Kekuaokalani, loyal to the traditional customs and religion, and Liholiho, the new king swayed by his regent mother to end the old ways to make way for the new.  Through music, traditional dance and chant the story is retold of the fate of an island nation shaped by a single battle.  This 90-minute performance promises to be culturally educational and entertaining.

In preparation for the performance, students in the cast of The Battle of Kuamo‘o traveled to the ahapua‘a of Kuamo‘o, hosted by Dr. Kamana Beamer and Monika Frazier of Aloha Kuamo‘o ‘Āina.  They visited the battlefield at Lekeleke (above the Sheraton), the heiau built by Kekuaokalani, and the place where Kekuaokalani and Manono are believed to have fallen.  They listened to mo‘olelo handed down by Dr. Beamer’s ‘ohana, lineal descendants of Kekuaokalani and Manono, and contributed briefly to the conservation efforts there.  They walked the path their kūpuna walked, and tried to imagine what it must have been like not only during the battle but also during times of peace when petroglyphs were carved and kōnane games were played on picturesque cliffs overlooking the tranquil ocean.

This talented group will travel to Scotland this summer to perform the opera at the international Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2019.  ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center is proud to host the first performance of the opera by the traveling cast.

Twenty-five students were selected to represent Kamehameha Schools, Hawai‘i, and the United States at the Fringe, the world’s largest performing arts festival.  An annual festival throughout the month of August, the Fringe features more than 3,000 international productions.

Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi was first invited to perform in 2016, the first time for a Hawai‘i Island school, and a first for any Kamehameha Schools campus.  Nineteen students made the trip in August of 2016 to present the Hawaiian opera Hā‘upu.  Upon its return to Hawaiʻi, the school was immediately invited to perform in 2019.  

Reserve your tickets now by calling (808) 932-8901 or in person at our Guests Services Desk.

Pre-Sale Tickets: Members $10, Non-Members $12, Day of $15