Eleventh Princeton Festival Season Kicks off this Weekend, June 6-7

 Haeran Hong as Susanna and Sean Anderson as Count Almaviva in Marriage of Figaro. Photo courtesy of Jessi Franko.
Haeran Hong as Susanna and Sean Anderson as Count Almaviva in Marriage of Figaro. Photo courtesy of Jessi Franko.

The Princeton Festival will kick off its eleventh season June 6 and 7  with jazz, a cappella vocal jazz, and a jazz piano quintet. The first week of the three-week festival also includes free lectures, musical previews, and a hands-on Indian dance demonstration and workshop.

Two award-winning a cappella vocal jazz groups will lead off the 2015 season on Saturday,
June 6, at 8 p.m. in Taplin Auditorium in Fine Hall on the campus of Princeton University.

The Tribunes, a group of five guys who sing doo wop, R & B,  and rock ‘n’ roll will perform hits in five-part harmony. The West  Side 5 will present a more contemporary approach to a cappella vocal jazz. They are known for their unique sound that is characterized by original arrangements, complex harmonies,  and outstanding musicianship.

New York-based pianist and composer Falkner Evans will bring his jazz piano quintet to
the Clark Music Center at the The Lawrenceville School on Sunday, June 7, at 4 p.m. Joining him as they have on recordings are Marc Mommaas, saxophone, Kirk Knuffke, trumpet, Belden Bullock, bass, and Matt Wilson, drums.

Scenes from the festival’s productions of Mozart’s opera “The Marriage of Figaro” and the
musical comedy “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” will come to life in a free
preview performance on Thursday, June 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Princeton Public Library. Singers
will be joined by the stage directors to discuss their productions. The opera
opens on June 13 for three performances, and Spelling Bee on June 12 for ten performances.

A free interactive workshop and demonstration of the classical Indian dance form of
Kathak and tabla drum will take place at the Clark Music Center at The Lawrenceville School at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 6.

Mozart and “Le Nozze di Figaro” will be the subject of three free lectures. On Tuesday, June 2, at 7 p.m. in the Princeton Public Library. Catherine Sprague, historian, pianist and Mozart expert will discuss “Mozart 1784-1786,” a vibrant  period in Vienna that was the most productive of the composer’s life.

On Thursday, June 4, at 7 p.m. in the Lawrence Library, Marianne Grey, Princeton  University Art Museum docent, will present “Figaro, a New Opera Hero,” with  illustrations of the political and social change that underlay Mozart’s opera. The  lecture is repeated on June 25 at 7:30pm in the Princeton Public Library.

“A Marriage of Music and Mayhem: Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro” will be the  subject of a lecture by Timothy Urban, Professor of Music at Rider University on  Saturday, June 6, at the West Windsor Library, and again on June 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Princeton Public Library.

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