A free Education & Community Engagement program

Opera Workshop |  Music That Tells a Story

Rochelle Ellis, DMA Voice

Adjunct Associate Professor, Westminster Choir College

Lecturer, Princeton University

Kyle Masson

Doctoral Candidate, Princeton University

Two-hour Workshop – choice of:

  1. Wednesday June 6 from 6:30-8:30 pm

    Princeton Public Library
    65 Witherspoon St, Princeton

  2. Saturday June 9 from 10 am-noon

    Turning Point United Methodist Church
    15 S. Broad Street, Trenton

  3. Tuesday June 12 from 6:30-8:30 pm

    Mercer County Library Lawrence Branch
    2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville


Backstage Tour and Final Dress Rehearsal:

  • Thursday June 14 from 5:30 pm to 9:40 pm

    Matthews Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center
    91 University Place, Princeton

Princeton Festival Guild logo
Pre-registration is required for this free Education & Community Engagement program.

“Music that Tells a Story” consists of a two-hour opera workshop, in either Lawrenceville, Trenton or Princeton, plus a full professional opera performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and a backstage tour at Matthews Theatre in the McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton.

The workshop is an enjoyable and interactive orientation to opera and to The Princeton Festival’s 2018 opera production of Madama Butterfly. Dr. Rochelle Ellis, assisted by Kyle Masson, leads the workshop, focusing not only on the musical features and techniques of the opera, but also its significance to opera in general, and its relevance to our world today. Workshop participants will join with artists singing in the opera to learn and sing the humming chorus from Madama Butterfly.

In addition to the workshop, participants will attend a full performance of Madama Butterfly at its final dress rehearsal.

There will be a guided backstage tour prior to the performance to give participants insight into the behind-the-scenes preparations for staging the production (optional).


Fact Sheet and FAQ: Coming soon

Registration will start soon

» Read more about The Princeton Festival’s production of Madama Butterfly

Rochelle Ellis, DMA Voice

Dr. Rochelle Ellis is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Voice at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and a Lecturer of Voice at Princeton University.

In addition, Dr. Ellis serves as a vocal consultant for Trenton Children’s Chorus and teaches in the Westminster Conservatory Summer Vocal Institutes for middle school and high school students.


Kyle Masson

Kyle Masson is a Ph.D. candidate in Historical Musicology at Princeton. Kyle specializes in music of the seventeenth-century, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches to opera analysis. Broadly speaking, he is interested in the early modern operatic imagination, seeking to illustrate the creative impulses involved in opera production and how these impulses intersect with constructions of gender, sexuality, race, politics, and the classical tradition. His dissertation research focuses on the operas of Antonio Cesti and Francesco Cavalli from comparative perspectives. He is particularly concerned with developing appropriate historical and analytical tools for discussing these operas as they appear in new cultural contexts, including modern revivals; and subsequently, in elucidating how the early modern musical imagination responded to shifting textual and contextual parameters. Kyle’s research is informed more broadly by interests in opera education and outreach, connecting scholarship and performance, music analysis (including digital approaches), and music aesthetics and criticism.