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Monday, June 19, 2017

Final week for Princeton Festival

prin fest

The Princeton Festival closes its 2017 season with a week of high quality, exciting performances across a diverse range of performing arts genres. Included are the second and final performance of Beethoven’s dramatic opera Fidelio; a concert by the Festival’s original-instrument Baroque orchestra; choral music of the Baroque period accompanied by the orchestra; a dazzling ballet troupe in contemporary works; and five sold-out performances of this year’s musical.

The premiere of Fidelio won a standing ovation and critical praise. The Festival repeats Beethoven’s paean to liberty, justice and conjugal loyalty at 3 pm on Sunday, June 25 at the Matthews Theatre in the McCarter Theatre Center. Both the plot and the music of the opera are heroic. The brave and faithful Leonore is determined to save her husband, imprisoned and scheduled to die at the hands of a political tyrant. Emotions soar in arias by the principals and the famous ode to liberty sung by the chorus of prisoners. Deeply human and grounded in moral values, Fidelio is a thrilling and uplifting theater experience.

On Saturday, June 24 at 8 pm in the Berlind Theatre at the McCarter Theatre Center the internationally acclaimed contemporary ballet company BalletX will make its Central Jersey debut. Dedicated to introducing new works performed with the impeccable classical technique, BalletX has over 50 world premieres by foremost choreographers to its credit. There will be a free talk for ticket holders by the company’s Artistic and Executive Director, Christine Cox, at 7 pm.

Audiences have responded so strongly to the Festival Baroque Orchestra since its debut in 2015 that it has become an integral part of the Festival season. On Wednesday, June 21 at 7:30 pm the full orchestra will play a program of Stradella, Handel, Bach, Telemann and Hasse in Miller Chapel, Princeton Theological Seminary. On Saturday, June 24 at 5 pm the orchestra will again be heard in Miller Chapel, this time accompanying the Festival Chorus in music by Handel, Monteverdi, Vivaldi and Zelenka. The Festival Chorus is led by professional conductors who have just completed the Festival’s week-long master class in conducting led by Dr. Jan Harrington, retired Professor and Chairman of the Choral Conducting Department at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.  Free “Meet the Artists” receptions follow both events.

The Festival’s production of Man of La Mancha has received universal rave reviews. All remaining performances are sold out, but theater-goers may apply for seats on a stand-by basis beginning one hour before each performance. The critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer said, “If you can get any of those last few seats, do.” The musical completes its run at 185 Nassau Street with 8 pm performances on June 22, 23, and 24, a 3 pm matinee on June 24, and a final performance at 4 pm on June 25.

For more information and a link to ticket sales (handled by McCarter Theatre), visit To purchase tickets by phone, call McCarter Theatre at 609-258-2787.

Photo: BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet company.

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