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HomeLocal NewsOpening weekend of 16-Day Princeton Festival features Storm Large and comedic operas...

Opening weekend of 16-Day Princeton Festival features Storm Large and comedic operas by Derrick Wang and Mozart

Performances take place on the grounds of Morven Museum & Garden

Princeton, NJ—Versatile chanteuse Storm Large opens the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO)’s all-new Princeton Festival on Friday, June 10 at 7:30pm. She sings the dual Anna role in Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins in a concert performance of the work with the PSO. On Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12 at 7pm, the Festival continues with the opening performances of the comedic, fully staged opera double bill consisting of Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Impresario. All three vocal works take place under a massive, clear-span performance tent on the grounds of Morven Museum & Garden, and are sung in English with English titles.

The weekend performances kick off the Princeton Festival’s 16-day performing arts extravaganza including multiple evenings of opera with a final performance of the double bill on Saturday, June 18 plus Benjamin Britten’s fully staged Albert Herring, chamber music evenings with “What Makes it Great?” host Rob Kapilow and the Signum Quartet, Baroque concerts with the Festival Chorus and the Sebastians, Broadway’s Sierra Boggess, a family pops concert, the genre-defying trio Time For Three, plus cabaret (Sondheim Tribute) & jazz (Aaron Diehl Trio) evenings in a club-like setting. Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase 1 hour before each performance through intermission.

Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins features songs tracing the movements and actions of two Annas, a pragmatic singer and a passionate, impulsive dancer, through seven US cities in which they encounter sinful temptations. Paired with this work is Rodion Shchedrin’s sultry Carmen Suite, for which the composer arranged and orchestrated the music from Bizet’s eponymous opera for strings and percussion.

Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov conducts the performance. He says, “I love Kurt Weill’s deeply original music—sensual, inventive, violent at moments. Storm Large is perfectly at home with the style of this music requiring not just extraordinary vocal skills, but also an amazing stage presence!”

Storm Large opens the 2022 Princeton Festival on Friday, June 10 performing Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Rossen Milanov. CREDIT Laura Domela

Storm Large shot to national prominence in 2006 as a finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova, where despite having been eliminated in the week before the finale, Storm built a fan base that follows her around the world to this day. She was seen on the 2021 season of America’s Got Talent. Other recent engagements include performing her one-woman autobiographical musical memoir Crazy Enough at La Jolla Music Society and Portland Center Stage, debuts with the Philly Pops, members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Seattle Symphony, as well as return engagements with the Houston, Detroit, Toronto, and BBC Symphonies, the New York Pops, and the Louisville Orchestra, with whom she recorded the 2017 album All In. Storm continues to tour concert halls across the country with her band Le Bonheur and as a special guest on Michael Feinstein’s Shaken & Stirred tour.

Scalia/Ginsburg composer and Librettist Derrick Wang CREDIT Matthew Fried.

Festival Director Gregory Jon Geehern conducts the Princeton Festival’s comedic opera double bill of Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg and W.A. Mozart’s The Impresario opening under the Festival tent on Saturday, June 11 at 7pm with additional performances on Sunday, June 12 and Saturday, June 18. His take on both operas: “They are a joy to conduct, with the humor of each work literally underscored by lively music and interwoven melodies displaying the cleverness and competence of the composers. Wang’s libretto is ‘laugh-out-loud funny’!”

Derrick Wang’s contemporary opera Scalia/Ginsburg is being performed on June 11, 12, & 18 on a comedic double bill with W.A. Mozart’s The Impresario during this year’s Princeton Festival, June 10-25. CREDIT Illustration by David Parkins. Used by permission. Copyright. All rights reserved.

Derrick Wang’s contemporary opera Scalia/Ginsburg is about the unlikely friendship between U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, and Mozart’s The Impresario features a theater impresario named Frank who runs into trouble managing two rival actresses vying for the same leading role. Directed by Richard Gammon with scenic design by Julia Noulin-Mérat, the Princeton Festival’s double bill visually interweaves the two operas by reversing the sets from Scalia/Ginsburg to create, quite literally, a behind-the-scenes setting for The Impresario.

Mezzo-soprano Kelly Guerra performs the role of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the Princeton Festival’s production of Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg, on a double bill with Mozart’s The Impresario. CREDIT Dave Munch/Chautauqua Institution

Princeton-based composer Julian Grant’s free talk “Divas and Justices” delves further into the operas making up the Festival’s double bill, and is offered at Morven Museum & Garden’s Stockton Education Center on Saturday, June 11 at 5pm. Information on additional free talks and other community events presented during the Festival are available at princetonsymphony.org/festival.

Tickets for all Princeton Festival performances including Seven Deadly Sins starring Storm Large and the opera double bill range from $10 – $130; ticket packages are $18 and up. Call 609-497-0020 or visit princetonsymphony.org/festival.

Health and Safety

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra is closely monitoring and adhering to the New Jersey Department of Health’s COVID-19 Requirements. Concert attendees will receive information regarding safety procedures, entry, seating directions, etc. in advance of their selected live performances.

Accessibility

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra is committed to ensuring all programming is accessible for everyone, working with venues to provide needed services. Contact ADA Coordinator Kitanya Khateri for questions about available services at kkhateri@princetonsymphony.org or 609 497-0020. Note: some services require at least two weeks’ notice to arrange.

June 10-25, 2022 Princeton Festival Schedule

The multi-genre extravaganza takes place outdoors under a clear-span
performance tent on the grounds of Morven Museum & Garden

All performances start at 7pm with the exception of the opening night concert, which begins at 7:30pm. Here is a comprehensive listing of ticketed performances:

Friday, June 10 – Opening NightSeven Deadly Sins Starring Storm Large – Kurt Weill’s sensual The Seven Deadly Sins explores age-old temptations in modern context on a program with Rodion Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite.

Saturday, June 11; Sunday, June 12; & Saturday, June 18 – Derrick Wang’s opera Scalia/Ginsburg and W.A. Mozart’s The Impresario –a thought-provoking, yet comedic double bill.

Monday, June 13 – “What Makes it Great?”: Death and the Maiden with Ron Kapilow and the Signum Quartet – an exploration of Franz Schubert’s String Quartet in D Minor led by one of radio’s favorite musicologists.

Tuesday, June 14Schubert’s Late String Quartets featuring the Signum Quartet – Schubert’s “Rosamunde” quartet and the String Quartet in G Major display the composer’s mastery of the form.

Wednesday, June 15Stephen Sondheim Tribute – Cabaret-style entertainment with Broadway vocalists Alyssa Giannetti and Jason Forbach.

Thursday, June 16The Sebastians –New York City-basedBaroque ensemble with a youthful vibe.

Friday, June 17 & Sunday, June 19Albert Herring – A comic opera by Benjamin Britten about a young man who is declared May King when no virtuous maidens are to be found.

Tuesday, June 21Time for Three – This string trio defies conventional boundaries, fusing their instruments with their voices as they perform Americana, modern pop, and classical music.

Wednesday, June 22Aaron Diehl Trio – Pianist, composer, and Juilliard grad Aaron Diehl leads his trio in a performance of works from the early jazz tradition.

Thursday, June 23Festival Chorus with the Sebastians – The Festival Chorus performs some of the most intricate and expressive music of the Baroque period.

Friday, June 24Broadway POPS! Starring Sierra Boggess – One of Broadway’s most beloved leading ladies, Ms. Boggess sings her favorite songs of the stage.

Saturday, June 25Family POPS! with Rossen Milanov and the Princeton Symphony Orchestra – A fun mix of familiar classics, movie music, and pop melodies at this family-friendly concert.

Beyond these performances, there are multiple ancillary events such as public lectures relating to works being performed, a poetry workshop and readings, and the video premiere of the Festival’s International Piano Competition. These events are free and open to the public.

Individual tickets range from $10 – $130; ticket packages are $18 and up. Check the PSO’s Princeton Festival website for ticketing and event details at princetonsymphony.org/festival.

PRINCETON FESTIVAL HISTORY

Founded in 2004, the Princeton Festival has established a strong profile as a multi-faceted, summer performing arts festival attracting people from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. The Festival has a reputation for artistic excellence, for growing the number and variety of its offerings, and for serving an audience of up to 8,000. The Festival promotes life-long learning in the arts, from children to seniors, through performance opportunities for children and young people in the piano competition and opportunities for young emerging professionals to perform principal and supporting roles. The Festival has long-standing partnerships with public libraries and local churches to offer its series of free educational lectures to a wide and diversified community.

ABOUT THE PRINCETON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is a cultural centerpiece of the Princeton community and one of New Jersey’s finest music organizations, a position established through performances of beloved masterworks, innovative music by living composers, and an extensive network of educational programs offered to area students free of charge. Led by Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov, the PSO presents orchestral, pops, and chamber music programs of the highest artistic quality, supported by lectures and related events that supplement the concert experience. Its flagship summer program The Princeton Festival brings an array of performing arts and artists to Princeton during multiple weeks in June. Through PSO BRAVO!, the orchestra produces wide-reaching and impactful education programs in partnership with local schools and arts organizations that culminate in students attending a live orchestral performance. The PSO receives considerable support from the Princeton community and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, regularly garnering NJSCA’s highest honor. Recognition of engaging residencies and concerts has come from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the PSO’s commitment to new music has been acknowledged with an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and a Copland Fund Award. The only independent, professional orchestra to make its home in Princeton, the PSO performs at historic Richardson Auditorium on the campus of Princeton University.

Find the PSO online at www.princetonsymphony.org; on facebook at www.facebook.com/princetonsymphony; on Twitter at www.twitter.com/psomusic and on flickr at www.flickr.com/photos/princetonsymphony.

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