Princeton Festival Returns With Opening Program

Princeton Festival Returns With Opening Program

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FESTIVAL OPENER: Storm Large sings music of Kurt Weill in the Princeton Festival’s first appearance of the season at Morven on Friday, June 10. (Photo by Laura Domela)

Vocalist Storm Large opens the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO)’s all-new Princeton Festival on Friday, June 10 at 7:30 p.m., in a tent on the grounds of Morven Museum and Garden, 55 Stockton Street.

Large sings the dual Anna role in Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins in a concert performance of the work with the PSO. On Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12 at 7 p.m., the Festival continues with the opening performances of the comedic, fully staged opera double bill consisting of Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Impresario. All three vocal works are sung in English with English titles.

The Seven Deadly Sins features songs tracing the movements and actions of two Annas, a pragmatic singer and a passionate, impulsive dancer, through seven U.S. cities in which they encounter sinful temptations. Paired with this work is Rodion Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite, for which the composer arranged and orchestrated the music from Bizet’s eponymous opera for strings and percussion.

Music Director Rossen Milanov conducts the performance. “I love Kurt Weill’s deeply original music — sensual, inventive, violent at moments,” he said. “Storm Large is perfectly at home with the style of this music requiring not just extraordinary vocal skills, but also an amazing stage presence.”

Large gained notoriety in 2006 as a finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova, where despite having been eliminated in the week before the finale, she built a fan base that follows her around the world to this day. She was seen on the 2021 season of America’s Got Talent. Other recent engagements include performing her one-woman autobiographical musical memoir Crazy Enough at La Jolla Music Society and Portland Center Stage; and debuts with the Philly Pops, members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Seattle Symphony, as well as return engagements with the Houston, Detroit, Toronto, and BBC Symphonies, the New York Pops, and the Louisville Orchestra, with whom she recorded the 2017 album All In. She continues to tour concert halls across the country with her band Le Bonheur and as a special guest on Michael Feinstein’s Shaken & Stirred tour.

Scalia/Ginsburg is about the unlikely friendship between U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia. Mozart’s The Impresario features a theater impresario named Frank who runs into trouble managing two rival actresses vying for the same leading role. Directed by Richard Gammon with scenic design by Julia Noulin-Mérat, the Princeton Festival’s double bill visually interweaves the two operas by reversing the sets from Scalia/Ginsburg to create, quite literally, a behind-the-scenes setting for The Impresario.

Princeton-based composer Julian Grant’s free talk “Divas and Justices” delves further into the operas making up the Festival’s double bill, and is offered at Morven Museum & Garden’s Stockton Education Center on Saturday, June 11 at 5 p.m. Visit princetonsymphony.org/festival for a full schedule and ticket information.

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