(PRINCETON, NJ) -- The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO)’s full-length, fully staged production of Benjamin Britten’s comic opera Albert Herring takes center stage at the Princeton Festival Friday, June 17 and Sunday, June 19 at 7:00pm under the 10,000 square-foot performance tent on the grounds of Morven Museum & Garden. Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov conducts the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and vocal artists from the US and Europe performing alongside cast members with ties to the Princeton community. The opera is sung in English with English titles.
Britten’s only comic opera, with libretto by Eric Crozier, is set in a small village in the English countryside. Village leaders choose Albert Herring to be May King when they can’t find a girl virtuous enough to be queen. Just one drink breaks repressed young Albert out of his shell, causing hilarious mayhem. The production is directed by Richard Gammon with scenic design by Julia Noulin-Mérat contributing a Victorian teashop vibe, and period costumes designed by 17-year Princeton Festival veteran Marie Miller.
Maestro Rossen Milanov says, “I am very excited to perform Albert Herring in such a perfect setting! I think this ridiculously funny production with an amazing cast is a perfect experience for both first-time opera goers and opera buffs.”
Among the cast members are Joshua Stewart (Albert Herring), a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music now based in Europe, Ann Toomey (Lady Billows) a 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions national semifinalist, Mariana Karpatova (Florence Pike) a native of Bulgaria who made her recital debut at Lincoln Center and has since performed with companies including the Metropolitan Opera and Michigan Opera Theatre, Sienna Grinwald-Alves (Cis) and Alexandra Thomas (Emmie), both students at Rider University’s Westminster Choir College, and Princeton resident Lewis Jacobson Wasden (Harry), who sings with the Princeton Boychoir, now part of Westrick Music Academy.
Before each performance, a talk is given by Dr. Timothy Urban titled “Under the Hood of Albert Herring” at 5:00pm at Morven’s Stockton Education Center. The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, click here.
Tickets for all Princeton Festival performances 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 performance(s).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 609 497-0020. Note: some services require at least two weeks’ notice to arrange.
Programs, artists, dates, and times are subject to change.
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 diverse community.
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.
Photos by Carolo Pascale