Roland Hawkins II

Roland Hawkins II





What does a typical day in the PORA program look like for you?

A typical day in PORA starts early for me, usually about 6:30am. This is when I get my morning calisthenics and cardio in. After that breakfast and to the opera center by 8:30/9am for warm ups. We begin our program at 10am every day, where we have a mix of morning activities be it Italian language study, movement and wellness exercise, or weekly administrative meetings.

Following that we begin our day of operatic study where we have either individual coaching or studio classes where we review our arias and art songs, and are offered suggestions and instruction on further honing our artistic package. Afterwards, we have stagings or other targeted classes to help with whichever production we are in at that time. I usually try to fill my remaining hours to review whatever new material I've worked on for the day before heading back home. I usually have a hearty dinner and a long decompression session with whatever binge-worthy show I am currently consuming at the time. Lights out at 10pm to do it all again the next day :)

What are you most enjoying so far and most looking forward to in the PORA program?

I am most enjoying the personal interactions as well as the collegiate discourse between my colleagues. There is such a great mix of veteran performers who have performed this role many times and those who are both new to Portland opera and this masterpiece that it breathes new life into this well-studied work.

I am most looking forward to performing in all the beautiful spaces and performance halls that are here in Portland. The people here have been so welcoming and accommodating I anticipate the same warm and heartfelt reception when presenting our hard work and I am excited to see the faces and hear the reactions. 

Tell us about what production you’re excited about most this season and why?

I am extremely excited to perform in the Puccini concert this season. I have always loved the grandeur of his stories and the lusciousness of his music. 

Do you have any dream roles you'd like to perform?

It has always been hard to state what my dream role would be when you’re doing what you love every role is like a dream. Some more so than others but I truly resonate with the stories and to that end, I do believe the perfect story hasn’t been written yet. I think that as we continue to grow and expand this beautiful art form the next big role is what I dream of. Chasing that new role I can originate and that truly embodies my artistic culmination at that time. 

Tell us about what you’re most excited about performing in your upcoming recital.

I am very excited to program a recital around composers of minority heritage and to bring those works back with me to local spaces. I have had many inquiries about such classical works and would love to be able to help guide a new generation into these cultural masterpieces.


Minnesota-born and raised; tenor Roland Hawkins II is educated not only in the classroom but on the stage. Roland has gained a wide range of musical experiences both in the Midwest as well as nationally. On the operatic stage, he has recently been seen in Minnesota Opera’s production of La Fille du Regiment, Opera Reading Project’s performances of Once Upon a Wind and Balls, Mixed Precipitation’s Pickup Truck Opera performances of The Magic Flute, and in Des Moines Metro Opera’s production of Porgy and Bess. On the musical theater stage, he has recently been seen in Theater Latté Da’s We Shall Someday, as well as in Minneapolis Musical Theater Company’s productions of Analog and Vinyl and Hands on a Hard Body 

Crediting early operatic training, Hawkins has worked with international directors and conductors on personal vocal coaching and character development. Hawkins has performed at concert venues and theater halls around the nation and has been awarded contracts, medals, and accolades in a variety of musical styles from classical to karaoke competitions.  

What's a fun fact about yourself that you'd like to share?

I can solve a Rubix cube in under 2 minutes.

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