Opera Workshop: Music That Tells A Story

Opera Workshop: Music That Tells A Story


Kyle Masson, Teaching Artist



Part 1:  Fun Opera Workshop – select your location

  • Saturday June 1 from 10 am-noon
    Turning Point United Methodist Church (map)
    15 S. Broad Street, Trenton, NJ  08608
  • Tuesday June 11 from 6:30-8:30 pm
    Lawrence Branch of the Mercer County Library (map)
    2751 Brunswick Pike, Lawrenceville, NJ  08648
    The June 11 session is FULL as of June 5! No further registrations are being accepted. Please sign up for the June 12 session instead.
  • Wednesday June 12 from 6:30-8:30 pm
    Princeton Public Library (map)
    65 Witherspoon St., Princeton, 08542

Part 2:  Opera Live! The Real Thing!

Sunday June 23, 2019
Matthews Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center (map)
91 University Place, Princeton

  • 1:30 pm – Optional backstage tour and discussion with set designer
  • 3 pm – Nixon in China


Music that Tells a Story is a two-part program that combines a two-hour opera workshop with a full professional opera performance of John Adams’ opera masterpiece Nixon in China. The opera will be performed in the Matthews Theatre at the McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton. A backstage tour and discussion with the set designer is also an option for participants.

The workshop is an interactive orientation to modern opera and to The Princeton Festival’s 2019 production of Nixon in China. Kyle Masson, a Ph.D. Candidate in Musicology at Princeton University, leads 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. The first half of the program deals with John Adams, his music, and the historical/cultural context of the opera, while the second half focuses on the music and characters of Nixon in China specifically. Among other activities, workshop participants will learn about and perform 20th-century musical styles, and also observe and discuss live performances of arias from Nixon in China with Festival singers.

Participants who attend a workshop will receive a ticket for the opening performance of the opera, underwritten by a grant from Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

Tickets will be issued only to pre-registered workshop participants.

Prior to the performance a backstage tour conducted by the stage manager and discussion with the set designer will give participants insight into the behind-the-scenes preparations for staging the production (optional).


Frequently Asked Questions

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.