Oct. 9 – Opera is generally considered adult fare – it’s usually in a foreign language, it’s often long, and the plot is convoluted – but Hawaii Opera Theater is diving into a family production this week with ” The Secret Garden”.

The opera is generally considered adult fare — it’s usually in a foreign language, it’s often long and the plot convoluted — but Hawaii Opera Theater is diving into a family-friendly production this week with “The Secret Garden.”

Based on the 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, “The Secret Garden” tells the story of Mary Lennox, a young girl who survives an outbreak of cholera and is sent to live with relatives in an English country house. There, she discovers a secret garden.

“‘The Secret Garden’ is a heartwarming, heartwarming story – exactly what we need right now – and the music does an amazing job of blurring the lines between what we think of as opera and musical theatre,” said HOT chief executive Andrew Morgan said in an email.

The lead role of Mary will be sung by up-and-coming soprano Laura Corina Sanders, a Filipino American singer who studied in the Artist-in-Residence program at Shreveport (La.) Opera and the Eastman School of Music. Male lead Colin Craven will be sung by local tenor Taka Komagata, who starred as Goro in HOT’s April production of “Madame Butterfly.” The production will also feature keiki dancers from Ballet Hawaii, using costumes from its Hawaiian production of “Nutcracker.”

The opera’s creators, composer Nolan Gasser and librettist Carey Harrison, will be present, but it’s a HOT production, with direction by Karen Tiller and set design by David Hunt. Maestro Elizabeth Askren will make her debut conducting the HOT Orchestra.

The show, lasting approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and at 4 p.m. on October 16 at the Blaisdell Concert Hall. Tickets cost between $30 and $135. For more information, call 808-596-7858 or visit hawaiiopera.org.