Weber State University

News & Events

Ta’u Pupu’a: The Utahn, Tongan, football playing opera tenor

March 28, 2018

When opera singer Ta’u Pupu’a performed at Peery’s Egyptian Theatre in Ogden, he was singing less than an hour from the house he grew up in.
But the trip to that stage involved countless miles with many twists and turns.
Pupu’a moved from Tonga to Utah as a child — the youngest of nine siblings.
Growing up, his life was filled with two things: football and music.
“My parents would always take us to church, and they would always sing in the choir,” Pupu’a said. “Music was always around the house and always around me.”
As a teenager, football took on a larger role. Pupu’a went to Weber State University on a football scholarship. After two years in Ogden, he was drafted to the NFL, but after playing for two teams and suffering multiple injuries, Pupu’a left football behind and moved to New York to pursue opera.
At first, this meant working as a restaurant host across the street from the Metropolitan Opera, but later it lead into studying at the prestigious Juilliard Opera Center.
Today, Pupu’a travels full time and performs from Iowa to San Francisco to Beijing.
In March 2018, Pupu’a returned to Utah for a one-night performances with Chamber Orchestra Ogden.


PHOTOS: Strong Like Sara carnival fundraiser at Weber State

March 24, 2018

Prizes, games and live performances entertained Weber State fans and more during a fundraising carnival for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society presented by the Strong Like Sara Team on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at Weber State’s Marquardt Fieldhouse in Ogden. That Strong Like Sara Team consists of family and close friends of Sara Hill, the wife of Weber State head football coach Jay Hill. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in August 2016.