June 7, 2023

Opera is on Roster at Princeton Festival

VIRTUOSO VOCALIZING: Will Liverman, a Metropolitan Opera star and Grammy winner, sings works by Black composers at the Princeton Festival, on the grounds of Morven Museum & Garden, on June 19 at 7 p.m. (Photo by Adam Ewing)

Opera is the focus June 16-20 at the Princeton Festival, being held in an outdoor performance pavilion on the grounds of Morven Museum & Garden. In addition to a new production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville on June 16, 18, and 20, the festival will also present Metropolitan Opera star Will Liverman in a recital on June 19 at 7 p.m.

James Marvel directs The Barber of Seville, which pits the clever wit of the barber Figaro, portrayed by Andrew Garland, against a bumbling and greedy guardian, Dr. Bartolo, played by Steven Condy. The story is centered on Count Almaviva’s love for the beautiful Rosina, roles filled by popular returning Festival artists Nicholas Nestorak and Kelly Guerra. Remaining cast members include Festival veterans Eric Delagrange and Cody Müller, as well as Kaitlyn Costello-Fain and the Festival Opera Chorus. Princeton Symphony Orchestra Music Director Rossen Milanov conducts.

Professor Timothy Urban gives a free pre-performance talk “The Funny Thing About Figaro” on Sunday, June 18 at 3 p.m. at Morven’s Stockton Education Center.

A 2023 Grammy Award-winning vocalist, Liverman will sing works by Black composers, capping a Juneteenth celebration including a special art exhibit, “Beyond Freedom,” at Morven’s Stockton Education Center. Liverman opened the Metropolitan Opera’s 2021-22 season in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which won the 2023 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. Following Fire’s success, the Met announced that Liverman will star in Anthony Davis’ X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, which will be the second opera by a Black composer in the company’s history, premiering fall 2023.

Preceding the concert at 2 p.m., Art Against Racism founder Rhinold Lamar Ponder opens the onsite exhibit Beyond Freedom in a free talk titled “Reclaiming Humanity Through Art” at Morven’s Stockton Education Center. Ponder will speak about the perpetual efforts to restate and reclaim the humanity of those impacted by the legacy of slavery and its aftermath.

Tickets, at $10-$25, are available at princetonsymphony.org/festival or (609) 497-0020.