The entire High School student body performed their version of “Keaomelemele,” in the form of an opera, done entirely in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi!
Eō mai e ke kula kiʻekiʻe ʻo Kamehameha Hawaiʻi! E like me ka mālama ʻia ʻana o nā ʻaha hoʻokūkū hīmeni mele ma ke kula kiʻekiʻe ʻo Kamehameha Kapālama, he hana mau ka mālama ʻana i Hōʻike ma Hawaiʻi. Eia hou, i kēia makahiki, he ʻumi makahiki o ka mālama ʻana i ka Hōʻike, ua komo nui ke kula holoʻokoʻa ma kahi ʻopela ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi piha!
Wahi a Mika Eric Stack, ke kumu aʻo hana keaka ma ke kula kiʻekiʻe o Kamehameha Hawaiʻi, “ʻAʻole nō paha i ʻike ka hapanui o kēia poʻe i kahi ʻopela. Pā maoli nō ka naʻau i ka hiki iā lākou ke ʻike makamua i kahi ʻopela, ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.”
“Naʻu i haku i ka ʻopela, koe ka panina,” wahi a Mika Herb Mahelona, ke kumu aʻo hīmeni mele ma ke kula kiʻekiʻe ʻo Kamehameha Hawaiʻi.
Ua kālena ʻo Mika Mahelona ma ka haku mele, keu hoʻi no nā ʻopela.
“ʻAʻole au i ʻike i ke ʻano manaʻo o nā haumāna no kēia kumuhana. Ma kēia kula, KS Hawaiʻi naʻe, ua ʻae lākou i ua manaʻo nei,” i ʻōlelo ai ʻo Mika Mahelona.
“Ua hoihoi loa au i ke komo i kēia ʻopela,” i ʻōlelo ai ʻo Kaʻiulani Ahuna, he haumāna papa ʻumi ma ke kula kiʻekiʻe ʻo Kamehameha Hawaiʻi.
Wahi a Kumu Lehua Veincent, ke poʻokumu o ke kula kiʻekiʻe ʻo Kamehameha Hawaiʻi. “Ua komo ka hoihoi i loko o nā kānaka hana. ʻAʻole hoʻi he koina no ka hana, ua komo lākou i ka hana ma muli o ke kālena, i loaʻa iā lākou. No laila, ʻo nā kānaka hoʻoponopono lauoho, ʻo ke kanaka pena helehelena, na lākou i hoʻoholo i kēlā. ʻO kekahi o nā poʻe aʻo i nā hula, ʻo kekahi o nā kumu, na lākou e alakaʻi. Na nā haumāna me nā kumu i hana i kēlā.”
“Kākoʻo piha nā kumu a limahana iā mākou. Ma nā wā hoʻomaʻamaʻa, hoʻomaopopo mai lākou iā mākou, e kia ka noʻonoʻo,” i ʻōlelo ai ʻo Kaʻiulani.
“Ua kō nā hana a pau. Ua komo lākou i ka hana, a he nani lua ʻole ka hopena,” wahi a Mika Mahelona.
Eō Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi High School! Similarly to Kamehameha Schools Kapālama, and their annual Song Contest, KS Hawaiʻi hosts annual Hōʻike performances. This tenth year was celebrated as the entire school joined in a Hawaiian opera!
“Many of these people probably never seen an opera before, and isn’t it great that the first opera they see is not in Italian, it’s not in German, it’s in Hawaiian. And I just think that’s fantastic!” says Mr. Eric Stack, the drama and speech teacher at Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi High School.
“I actually wrote the opera. I composed all the music except the final song.” says Mr. Herb Mahelona, the choir director at the Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi High School.
Mr. Mahelona is skilled in song composition, especially for operas.
“When I wrote this opera, I really wasn’t sure how the haumāna would receive it. But here, on this campus, at KS Hawaiʻi, they were so open to the whole suggestion.” says Mr. Mahelona.
“When I heard it was about a Hawaiian opera, it just interested me and I just wanted to try out.” says Kaʻiulani Ahuna, a sophomore at KS Hawaiʻi High School.
“Even the faculty joined in. Although it was not a requirement, they helped in what skills they possessed. The hair dressers, make-up artists, hula choreographers, those are our teachers. It was a student-teacher effort.” says Kumu Lehua Veincent, the Principal of KS Hawaiʻi High School.
“They (the teachers and faculty) are totally a hundred percent in it. They really want this to work out. They are always with us in rehearsals, making sure we’re always focusing on it.” says Kaʻiulani.
“They’ve risen to the challenge, they’ve put in the work, and their result is breath-taking, it’s beautiful.” concludes Mr. Mahelona.