Our June 2018 Season

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Education & Community Engagement

Lectures, workshops, previews, and more!

Coming Up


    Cocktails, dinner, dancing, auction, and musical entertainment!

    • Saturday April 21 at 6 pm

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  • Musical Theater Workshop | Making of a Musical

    A three-day program for high school student singers interested in musical theater with Teaching Artist Gail Blache-Gill. Pre-registration required.

    • Workshop (4 hours) at Princeton Public Library on Saturday, May 19
    • Staging rehearsal on Sunday, May 27
    • Dress rehearsal on Saturday, June 9

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  • SING Spring!

    A pre-season party to celebrate our 2018 season

    • Saturday May 19 from 4-6 pm

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  • Education & Community Engagement Programs

    Lectures, pre-performance conversations, workshops, preview performances, artist round tables and more!

    • Friday February 18 through Sunday July 1

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  • Discussion Artists’ Round Table

    Opera artists and production staff discuss the pleasures and perils faced on stage and off as they bring the opera to life. Free and open to the public.

    • Wednesday May 30 at 6:30 pm

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  • Lecture  |  Musical Comedy in Ancient Rome: The Genius of Titus Maccius Plautus

    Princeton Professor Denis Feeney discusses how Plautus’ works from the 2nd century BC anticipated modern musical comedy. Free and open to the public.

    • Thursday May 31 at 7 pm

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  • Exhibit  |  Music-Inspired Art

    Paintings by A-TEAM artists, affiliated with the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, and ArtSpace Artists of HomeFront will be displayed for sale at Thomas Sweet Cafe, 1325 Route 206, Skillman, NJ 08558

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  • Lecture  |  Madama Butterfly: Beauty in Betrayal

    Timothy Urban, Professor of Music at Rider University, discusses the music and plot of Puccini’s beloved opera Madama Butterfly. Free and open to the public.

    • Saturday June 2 at 2 pm
    • Thursday June 14 at 7 pm

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  • Bringing Opera to the stage

    An unique FREE experience limited to pre-registered high school students.

    • Madama Butterfly staging rehearsal: Sunday June 3
    • Madama Butterfly backstage tour & dress rehearsal: Thursday June 14

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  • Lecture  |  An Opera Composer’s Approach to Storytelling

    Andrew Lovett,  Composer and Professional Specialist at Princeton University, discusses how opera’s combination of vocal and instrumental music structures and deepens a story.

    • Tuesday June 5 at 7 pm

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  • Opera Workshop  |  Music That Tells a Story

    Two-hour opera workshop and the final dress rehearsal of Mdama Butterfly with a backstage tour. Pre-registration required.

    • Workshop at choice of Lawrence Library, TPUMC, Trenton or Princeton Public Library
    • Madama Butterfly backstage tour and dress rehearsal: June 14

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  • Festival Preview

    Singers and directors from the opera and the musical will perform scenes from Madama Butterfly and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Free and open to the public.

    • Thursday June 7 at 7pm

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  • Piano Competition & Finals

    Young pianists compete for over $2,300 in prize money & Grand Prize

    • Application Deadline: May 7, 2018  
    • Preliminary Rounds: Saturday June 9 & Sunday June 10
    • Final Round: Sunday June 17 at 3 pm; free reception immediately follows

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  • Chamber Music | Concordia Chamber Players

    Brilliant performers, intriguing programming. Concordia returns to The Princeton Festival for the 14th consecutive year. Free “Meet the Artists” reception immediately follows.

    • Saturday June 9 at 7:30 pm

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  • Musical Theater | A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

    Sondheim’s joyous, musical romp through Rome has desperate lovers, scheming neighbors and secrets behind every toga. Free “Meet the Artists” reception on Opening Night.

    • June 10 through July 1

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  • Lecture  |  Madama Butterfly Goes to Paris; Isabella Stewart Gardner Goes to Japan

    Marianne Grey, Princeton University Art Museum Docent, discusses the West’s embrace of all things Japanese in the decades preceding Madama ButterflyFree and open to the public.

    • Tuesday June 12 at 7 pm
    • Thursday June 28 at 7 pm

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  • Opera | Madama Butterfly

    Madama Butterfly is one of the world’s most popular operas. Cio-Cio San, the “butterfly” of the title, is a young Japanese geisha who has fallen in love with the American naval officer who is marrying her simply for convenience. The intensely moving drama, combined with Puccini’s heartfelt music, set Madama Butterfly apart as not just a crowd-pleaser, but a masterpiece.

    • Saturday June 16 at 7:30 pm – free “Meet the Artists” reception immediately follows
    • Sunday June 24 at 3 pm
    • Sunday July 1 at 3 pm

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  • Discussion  |  Cross-Cultural Challenges in Opera

    Panelists will discuss issues facing directors when they present operas from a different culture. Free and open to the public.

    • Monday June 18 at 7pm

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  • Lecture |  More About What’s Baroque about Baroque Music?

    John Burkhalter, independent scholar and Artistic Director of The Practitioners of Musick, discusses the music and instruments of the “Age of the Baroque.” Free and open to the public.

    • Thursday June 21 at 7 pm

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  • Princeton Festival Baroque OrChestra

    Concertmaster Juan Carlos Zamudio returns with this favorite Festival ensemble for two different period orchestra performances.

    • Saturday June 23 at 5 pm
    • Wednesday June 27 at 7:30 pm

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  • Jazz  |  Peter and Will Anderson Quintet

    Peter and Will Anderson are known for their unique renditions of classic jazz songs and innovative original music. They are featured on the 2014 Grammy-winning soundtrack of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks.

    • Saturday June 23 at 8 pm

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  • Lecture |  Before Butterfly: 17th-Century Dutch & Japanese Music

    John Burkhalter and Glenn Shōyū Swann discuss the convergence of cultures resulting from the arrival of the Dutch East India Company in Japan and perform 17th c. and Dutch-inspired Japanese music. Free and open to the public.

    • Monday June 25 at 7 pm

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  • Choral | Princeton Festival Baroque Chorus & Orchestra

    The Festival Chorus and Festival Baroque Orchestra perform an uplifting, celebratory cantata by Bach and Handel’s brilliant, lively Dixit Dominus.  Gregory Geehern conducts these youthful works. Period instruments provide an authentic sound. Free “Meet the Artists” reception immediately follows.

    • Saturday June 30 at 7 pm

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Sneak Preview! Live Auction Items plus Trips & Experiences

Season Guide cover

Watch for our 2018 Season Guide in your mailbox!

Marion O'Connor

Founding Trustee Marion O’Connor

Tickets now available


Looking for a videography intern

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Advertise in our program book starting at 1¢ per book

Piano keys

Announcing our 2018 Piano Competition

Princeton Festival Artistic Director to adjudicate the 2018 Trinidad & Tobago Music Festival

@princetonfest on Twitter & Instagram



“… easily the most powerfully moving version of the opera I have ever experienced” –Scott Burnham, Princeton University music professor emeritus, 6/10/17

imaginative staging and directing, as well as superlative singing and instrumental playing” –Nancy Plum, Town Topics, 6/21/17

… an impressive achievement.” –Andrew Moravcsik, Opera Today, 7/5/17


Man of La Mancha

“Great songs, voices, message … a summer gem.” –John Timpane, philly.com, 6/13/17

“… an expressive, engaging show [with] a universal cast of glorious singers … Marie Miller’s costumes are loaded with [wit].” –Neal Zoren, U.S.1/princetoninfo.com, 6/14/17

“I can’t imagine having many opportunities to see performers so good in such an intimate setting.” –Anthony Stoeckert, The Princeton Packet/centraljersey.com, 6/16/17


Baroque Orchestra

“… the music touched my soul.” –Robin Berkel, princetonfound.com, 6/23/17


Concordia Chamber Players

“[Concordia] filled Princeton Theological Seminary’s Miller Chapel with a full orchestral-level sound in music both Romantic and contemporary.” –Nancy Plum, Town Topics, 6/7/17


Quartet²: Panel, Film & arias

“Super dooper, that was fabulous!” –overheard, 6/4/17