I’m on the Big Island of Hawai’i for two performances of Handel Messiah with the Kona Music Society, conducted by Susan McCreary Duprey. I was met at the airport by Joann Roberts, a soprano in the choir, whose doctor prescribed singing in the choir to improve her breathing following open heart surgery!
We met the rest of the choir for an hour-long bus ride to Kahilu Theatre in Waimea, and my seat companion was my homestay host, Atsumi Hara. The town is home of the largest privately owned ranch in the United States, Parker Ranch.
We had a dress rehearsal with the orchestra and chorus with a short break before the concert. I must admit that it was a bit disconcerting to hear the continuo organ so prominently, especially from where I was sitting. There was absolutely no problem in hearing myself play! Yikes! But apparently, that was what the choir was used to. The house was nearly full with a most appreciative audience who applauded enthusiastically after every single movement!
Guess what! I saw Anna Derby Blackwell from Honolulu at the concert! I guess you can’t go anywhere in the state of Hawaii without running into someone you know.
Except for myself, every member of the orchestra lives here on the Big Island. The soloists are also local except for Keane Ishii, bass, who flew in from Honolulu and with whom I have worked for years.
Our second performance will take place Sunday afternoon at the King Kamehameha Hotel.
By the way, I would highly recommend the luxurious Kona View Estate, where I am staying, for anyone who visits the Kona area. A big mahalo to Atsumi and her husband, Randy, for their generous and gracious hospitality. Check out their website: www.konaviewestate.com for additional photos of this gorgeous place.