February 12, 2024


Hawai’i Opera Theatre announces the appointment of Elizabeth Askren as the company’s first-ever Principal Guest Conductor.

We needed someone who not only has experience with contemporary works but is also sensitive to singers’ needs and with a nurturing approach since HOT typically engages younger singers. From the very first rehearsal – and even before her arrival – we knew we had found someone completely in command of the score, with a broad and deep knowledge of opera as an art form, and a collegial attitude that put everyone at ease in rehearsals and performances, coupled with extremely high artistic standards,” shares General Director Andrew Morgan.  

After Maestra Askren’s debut with HOT, we knew instantly that we wanted to build a relationship with her by looking for future projects. We knew that she would be the perfect fit,” added Artistic Director Jamie Offenbach.

The first collaboration with the Hawai'i Opera Theatre was last year for the production of "The Secret Garden" by Nolan Gasser.

Maestra Askren shares: “Sometimes there is a chemistry between an artist and a house which is immediate and undeniable. In a post-pandemic atmosphere of doom and gloom, HOT continues to innovate and lead with heart, with a deep love of the craft and treats its artists with respect. They are a company which epitomizes grace under pressure and is a wonderful example of an opera company serving its public. For all of these reasons, I am honored to collaborate with HOT under a new title: that of Principal Guest Conductor."


Currently, Maestra Askren is in Honolulu for the production of Leoncavallo's Pagliacci opera which will premiere on February 16 and 18, at the Blaisdell Arena. You can read more about this here.