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The Princeton Festival Guild Presents Annual Artists’ Round Table at Princeton Public Library


originally published: 05/12/2022

The Princeton Festival Guild Presents Annual Artists’ Round Table at Princeton Public Library

(PRINCETON, NJ) -- Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s Princeton Festival Guild presents its annual Artists’ Round Table on Thursday, June 2 at 7:00pm at the Princeton Public Library’s Community Room. The Guild invites anyone curious about what goes into putting on an opera to this round table discussion centered on Benjamin Britten’s only comic opera, Albert Herring. Moderated by Guild member and Princeton Symphony Orchestra Trustee Marcia Bossart, panelists will discuss the upcoming production of Britten's opera, preparing for a role, and the joys and challenges of being in the opera business.

Benjamin Britten’s comic opera Albert Herring is a humorous coming of age tale punctuated by the title character’s overly involved mother, precursor of today’s helicopter parent. Albert Herring is encouraged to wear the May crown when no virtuous maidens are to be found. Add in some celebratory spiked lemonade, and mayhem ensues.

The panel includes Maestro Rossen Milanov, Festival Director Gregory J. Geehern, Stage Director Richard Gammon, and Albert Herring cast members.

Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov has established himself as a conductor with considerable national and international presence. In addition to leading the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and the Princeton Festival, Mr. Milanov is the music director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, and chief conductor of the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra in Ljubljana. Noted for his versatility, he is a welcomed presence in the worlds of opera and ballet. He has collaborated with Komische Oper Berlin (Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtzensk), Opera Oviedo with the Spanish premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Mazzepa and Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle (awarded best Spanish production for 2015), and Opera Columbus (Verdi’s La Traviata). He has been seen at New York City Ballet and collaborated with some of the best-known choreographers of our time such as Mats Ek, Benjamin Millepied, and most recently Alexei Ratmansky in the critically acclaimed revival of Swan Lake in Zurich with Zurich Ballet and in Paris with La Scala Ballet.

Festival Director Gregory J. Geehern, D.Mus., is a multi-talented conductor, pianist, baritone, and scholar who has been called a "gifted new presence" for his work with full choirs, opera choruses, and chamber ensembles in repertoire from the Middle Ages to the present day. He is a recent addition to the Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s administrative staff, having served as acting artistic director of the Princeton Festival in 2021 following the departure of Richard Tang Yuk. Prior to that, he held the position of assistant to the artistic director for several years and served as assistant conductor and chorus master of Beethoven's Fidelio, Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes, and John Adams' Nixon in China. He also conducted performances of masterworks such as J.S. Bach's cantata Der Herr denket an uns and George Frideric Handel's Dixit Dominus with The Princeton Festival's Baroque Chorus and Orchestra.

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Stage Director Richard Gammon’s productions include Der Kaiser von Atlantis and Gluck’s L’i?le de Merlin (Wolf Trap Opera), Gianni Schicchi and Ching’s Buoso’s Ghost (Michigan Opera Theatre), Madama Butterfly and Perla’s An American Dream (Virginia Opera), Scarlatti’s Erminia (Opera Lafayette at The Kennedy Center); Susannah (Charlottesville Opera), CARE Monologue Film Project (Cleveland Play House), The Life and Times of Joe Jefferson Benjamin Blow (National Asian Artists Project), Rorem’s Three Sisters who are Not Sisters (Manhattan School of Music), and Sankaram’s Looking at You (Carnegie Mellon). Creative positions include Opera Maine’s Studio Artist Program director (Kaminsky’s As One, Heggie’s Three Decembers, Fairouz’s Sumeida’s Song), co-founder/director of Art with Arias (Portland Museum of Art/Opera Maine recital collaboration), creative associate for Sea?n Curran Company’s Dream’d in a Dream (BAM Next Wave Festival), and associate director of Porgy and Bess (Greensboro Opera) and The Grapes of Wrath (Michigan Opera Theatre).

The Princeton Festival Guild is dedicated to introducing young and old alike to the joy and inspiration of great performances. The Guild supports the Festival’s many educational and community engagement programs designed to excite, inform, inspire, and invite discovery and engagement. Guild members play a critical role in the overall success of the Festival by supporting Festival events, organizing fund raisers, and providing hospitality.

The June 2 Artists’ Round Table is free and open to the public. 

Health and Safety: The Princeton Symphony Orchestra is closely monitoring and adhering to the New Jersey Department of Health’s COVID-19 Requirements. Princeton Festival COVID policies are available on the PSO website at princetonsymphony.org/visit/health-safety.

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 kkhateri@princetonsymphony.org or 609 497-0020. Note: some services require at least two weeks’ notice to arrange.

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 diversified 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.

Photo: 2018 Princeton Festival Guild's Artists' Round Table – Madama Butterfly cast with principals Janara Kellerman (Suzuki), Matthew White (P.F. Pinkerton), and Anthony Webb (Goro).




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