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-part program:

Part 1:  Fun Opera Workshop – choose one

  • Wednesday June 6 from 6:30-8:30 pm
    Princeton Public Library (map)
    65 Witherspoon St., Princeton, 08542

  • Saturday June 9 from 10 am-noon 
    Turning Point United Methodist Church (map)
    15 S. Broad Street, Trenton, NJ  08608

  • Tuesday June 12 from 6:30-8:30 pm
    Lawrence Branch of the Mercer County Library (map)
    2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville, NJ  08648

Part 2:  Opera Live! The Real Thing!

Thursday June 14 from 5:30 pm to 9:40 pm
Matthews Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center (map)
91 University Place, Princeton

  • Backstage Tour (optional) from 5:30 – 6:15 pm with Box Dinner

  • Final Dress Rehearsal from 7:00 – 9:40 pm


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

Registration now closed

“Music that Tells a Story” is a two-part program that combines a two-hour opera workshop, in either Lawrenceville, Trenton or Princeton, with 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 and Kyle Masson lead the workshop, focusing not only on the musical features and techniques of the opera, but also on its significance to opera in general and its relevance to our world today. Workshop participants will learn and sing the Humming Chorus from Madama Butterfly and see an original skit by Festival artists telling the Butterfly story.

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

A guided backstage tour conducted by Assistant Stage Manager Tony Zanghi prior to the performance will give participants insight into the behind-the-scenes preparations for staging the production (optional).

» Read the Fact Sheet

» Read the FAQs

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

Registration now closed

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 Music Director 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 singer and doctoral candidate in Historical Musicology at Princeton University. From 2013-2015, Kyle was Associate Director and then Director of the Education and Outreach Team, Castleton Opera Festival in Virginia.