Former NFL player turned opera singer to perform benefit concert in Honolulu

Former pro NFL football player, turned opera singer, will perform a benefit concert in Honolulu
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

EAST HONOLULU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Tau Pupua, a successful operatic tenor, and his internationally acclaimed friends, soprano Marie Te Hapuku, and professional pianist Joel Harder will fly to Honolulu from New York, to perform concert of favorites such as "The Holy City," "Maria" and "Tonight"(Westside Story), "Nessun Dorma" (Turandot), arias from La Boheme, and Maori and Tongan songs.

This concert, a benefit for the Kilohana United Methodist Church and Kilohana Angels, will take place on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at the McKinley High School Auditorium.  Admission: $30. Tickets are available at or call 808-373-3373.

Marie Te Hapuku,  a Metropolitan Opera soprano and originally from New Zealand, is a direct descent of the paramount Maori chief who signed the treaties to declare his country's independence from Britain.  Joel Harder, originally  from Canada, teaches at SUNYBinghamton University besides being a professional pianist and accompanist.  All three musicians, who live and work in New York City, have wonderful credentials and are donating their time and talent to support Kilohana UMC?s music ministry and the Kilohana Angels? home health care training and certification program. Also, on the program will be the Kilohana UMC Tongan Choir.

Ta?u, who originated the idea of this benefit concert for the church, migrated  from the Kingdom of Tonga to Utah with his family when he was 5 years old. While studying towards a Bachelor of Music degree while on a football scholarship at Weber State,  he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, which became the Baltimore Ravens. After being badly injured twice,  he changed the course of his life and pursued his true passion - singing. Ta?u immersed himself in opera by moving to New York and obtained a scholarship to study at the famed Julliard School through the support of operatic soprano Kiri Te Kanawa. His passion became a reality with his debut with the San Francisco Opera in 2011.  Since then Ta?u has performed worldwide - Europe, China, USA, including the lead tenor role in Hawaii Opera Theatre?s "Tosca" in 2013.

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